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Re: sexist language in debian instructions/documentation

On Tue, Aug 03, 2004 at 08:02:13AM +0100, Helen Faulkner wrote:
> Patty Langasek wrote:
> >On Mon, Aug 02, 2004 at 04:02:58PM -0400, Nori Heikkinen wrote:
> [...]
> >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.

> Actually, doing some reading about this one last night, I found the 
> material below on 
> http://www.ai.mit.edu/people/ellens/Gender/pap/node21.html.
> It is consistent with my belief that in today's world, "man" doesn't 
> really mean "man and woman".  Also, as Akkana said, "they" is actually 
> historically correct.

This article would be a great example of why we should not use the term
"man", but does not seem to have any direct relevance to the use of the
pronoun "he".

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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