[ExI] what? what?

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 25 15:57:34 UTC 2010

"spike" <spike66 at att.net> asked:

> Ladies here, would you have any objections to making
> all unknown persons she and her?

On the other hand: Males here, would you object to being referred to as 'she' when somebody doesn't know (or doesn't care about) your gender?  

> I am hoping to make the female gender terms more general than 
> the male as opposed to how it is now, the other way around.

Why?  Just to overturn an established convention that works perfectly well?  In the absence of a proper, gender-neutral term, I fail to see why we should make such an effort to change something that works quite well already simply to satisfy what seems to me some vague (and mistaken, imo) notion of political correctness.  What does it gain?  What does it cost?

> It stands to reason, since the term she contains he...

You could equally argue that 'Man' is the root, as in 'mankind', and it's therefore more appropriate for the default to be 'he'.  I think that's a better argument.

Rather than focus on the divisive aspects of the language, why aren't we focusing on the commonalities?  There's nothing wrong with a woman being a spokesman or a salesman, they are after all members of the race of mankind.

It just seems contrived and unnecessary to me.  And makes me wonder where it might lead.  Will we be encouraged to refer to womanagers?  Will officers on ships have to woman their posts?  Should we call Bruce Willis an actress?

Ben Zaiboc,
Tongue only partly in cheek


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