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Re: DevRef English writing style advice, was: incomprehensible sentence in exim4-config.pot.

> As I've previously stated, I feel d-w is fatally flawed and
> some aspects are demonstrated by this topic.  Several list
> members zealously advocate using indefinites (like "their") -
> apparently in the belief that they are gender-neutral definites
> - or neologisms like "sher".  This makes the text harder to
> understand and ignores that it probably won't change what
> anyone thinks: few linguists today believe in the Sapir-Whorf
> hypothesis that language shapes thought, so please don't make
> the text more clumsy by following it.

Such neologisms haven't been promoted very hardly and they are even
been debated among d-w. Please don't take the d-w project members as a
single person...:-)

My main personal conern with that regard is to do my best for showing
our readers that we don't blindly (and inconsciously....if that word
means something in English) assume they are men.

Which is pretty tricky, indeed. And has no real perfect solution.

Using the radomness lead to some "he" being used...which may lead
readers to think exactly what we want to avoid.

The less worse solution I've found for English, and the pronoun "he"
is using "(s)he" which does not make the reading too clumsy as long as
it's not repeated in each sentence. Indeed, doing it for the first
occurrence is probably enough to just implicitely say "hey I do take
care about gender neutrality".

For French...well, we actually haven't found any perfect
solution. "il/elle" is really clumsy.

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