[ExI] difficult (?) puzzle

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Wed Jul 8 06:33:29 UTC 2020

On Tue, Jul 7, 2020 at 7:46 PM spike jones via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> *From:* extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> *On Behalf
> Of *Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat
> >…"Man" is often gender-neutral in old sayings.  These days, with more
> sensitivity to gender meanings (not to mention a greater understanding that
> female people can have just as much agency as male people), we might say
> "person", but in those olden times when they said "man", women were
> included in what they meant…
> One wonders how far we can take this notion.  We wish to be inclusive,
> certainly a virtue with which none will argue,  but we are up against
> language constraints.  Sometimes we choose the pedantic “he or she” and
> “his or her” rather than do violence to the language by using the terms
> “they” and “their” for the gender non-specific singular.  However, there
> are more than two genders, and we wish to be inclusive.

Indeed, within the past month, I have seen someone opinining that when the
law says "him or her", the law does not apply to anyone who responds to
some other pronoun instead.

This is incorrect.  Where words have been redefined in this manner, the law
uses the meaning of the word used by the author, and the author clearly
meant to mean everyone,  It is entirely possible - likely, in many cases -
that the author had never heard of non-binary people, or of any third party
personal pronoun other than "him" or "her", as of the date of that
particular law's authorship.
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