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Re: Debian Project Leader Election 2009: Final call for nominations.

On Mon, Mar 09, 2009 at 02:39:46PM +0100, Marco d'Itri wrote:
>liw@liw.fi wrote:
>>While I agree with Ben, perhaps we could retire this, the 12765th
>>iteration of this discussion, in favor of having a discussion about
>>platforms and some Q&A with the candidates?
>Maybe this is a good time to ask the candidates what is their position
>wrt this PC bullshit.
>So candidates, what do you think about this?

Not that I think this is a particularly important issue, but...

My main problem with using "he" etc. as gender-neutral prononuns is
that it sounds really old-fashioned, in en_GB at least. I'm also
unconvinced by the new made-up "sie", "hir, etc. as they're just too
uncommon: they sound awkward and the vast majority of English speakers
will have no understanding of them, making them pointless.

So, both intentionally and by default, I use "they" and "them" to
cover both singular and plural cases. Some people may complain that
they believe singular "they" to be invalid, but I don't care. English
as a language is defined by usage, not by pedants making up and
following arbitrary rules.

There are lots of discussions of this topic on the net
(e.g. [1],[2],[3]), so I'm not going to spend any more effort on it

[1] http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-the2.htm
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they
[3] http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/austheir.html

Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
"I've only once written 'SQL is my bitch' in a comment. But that code 
 is in use on a military site..." -- Simon Booth

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