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Re: sexist language in debian instructions/documentation

On Mon, Aug 02, 2004 at 04:02:58PM -0400, Nori Heikkinen wrote:

> i'm with you on this one, wholeheartedly.  it's a pet cause of mine.
> unfortunately, a lot of male geeks i know don't see it the same way i
> do, and have dismissed me as all kinds of raving, polemicist, and
> crazy because of it.  the most recent was with a debian developer (who
> also happens to be an ex of mine, making it all the more infuriating)
> who just doesn't see the problem because he's never been on the
> receiving end of discrimination, refuses to acknowledge that it
> exists, and therefore refuses to change his language.

I'm a female geek and disagree wholeheartedly. He/his has historically been
a generic way to refer to people, and concentrating on the fact that it also
implies 'male' seems to go a little overboard. To me, there really is no
good alternative unless you change everything to plural (they, them, their)
since grammar /does/ matter, or make these documentations ridiculously
cumbersome - he or she, his or her, etc.

I for one am not willing to sacrifice proper grammar or readability in
official documentation for political correctness. This, to me, isn't a
change that needs to be made as long as people see a simple, generic pronoun
as just that - a simple, *generic* pronoun.

There is so much more that we need to be concentrating on, rewriting
documentation because we're offended at generic pronouns seems, to me, to be
an unecessary diversion from The Important Stuff.


Patty Langasek


At times, you may end up far away from you; you may not be 
sure of where you belong, anymore. But home is always 
there... because home is not a place. It's wherever your 
passion takes you.
                                --- J. Michael Straczynski

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