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Old 2018-04-08, 19:14   #67
science_man_88
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
The funniest early attempt to solve these problems which I heard about - it must have been back in the 1970s - was from a passage which included the word (or possibly suffix) "man" when no gender was intended. This was given an asterisk, and underneath a footnote was written: "Under the regulations, man embraces woman."
https://www.google.ca/search?q=etymology+woman
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Old 2018-04-08, 20:02   #68
S485122
 
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A text that convinced me :
A Person Paper on Purity in Language by Hofstadter.

Jacob
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Old 2018-04-08, 20:03   #69
xilman
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I've seen a comment that "person", used in preference to man or woman, is itself objectionable. The resolution was to coin the word "perchild".

The complaint was not entirely serious.

Personally, I prefer the phrasing "he or she or it, henceforth abbreviated to horseshit", with horseshit being used exclusively thereafter.
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Old 2018-04-08, 20:14   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S485122 View Post
A text that convinced me :
A Person Paper on Purity in Language by Hofstadter.

Jacob
Convinced you to which view, Jacob?
The piece is so full of satire that I cannot actually work out where the author actually stands. That is undoubtedly a failure of comprehension on my part, but I'm interested to know your genuine view.
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Old 2018-04-08, 22:14   #71
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I'm in favor of using "they" as a neuter pronoun, for singular or plural.
Benefits:
- It's already a common word, you don't have to try to, e.g., convince people that "ze" is a legitimate word or teach them how to use it.
- It already has a long historical usage as this (alongside he).
- It's a lot more natural to use than constructs like "he/she".
Drawbacks:
- It can sometimes be unclear whether you're using it in the singular or plural.

In the usage that kicked off this whole thread, it would be perfectly natural to use they/their in place. If we were referring to a particular group of people all known to be men, then he/his would be fine in my opinion. But since it's specifically referring to unknowns ("Any would be code author or maintainer"), it doesn't make sense to assume they'd be the same gender as the bulk of such persons have been in the past (or, as has been discussed at length in this thread, use its ungendered meaning, especially without a note to such effect).

Last fiddled with by Mini-Geek on 2018-04-08 at 22:20
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Old 2018-04-08, 22:41   #72
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Originally Posted by kladner View Post
It just seems that there is less concern for us old white fags.
Are you saying you are an old white cigarette? That's what "fag" means to me, and a lot of other people in the UK. If you explain that "fag" is short for "faggot", I and many others in the UK will think of a traditional dish made from meat off-cuts and offal, especially pork. In general, we in the UK don't associate the word "fag" with "gay".

What I am trying to say is that what might be fine in one country's usage of English is not necessarily fine in another's.
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Old 2018-04-09, 00:40   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgieJane View Post
Are you saying you are an old white cigarette? That's what "fag" means to me, and a lot of other people in the UK. If you explain that "fag" is short for "faggot", I and many others in the UK will think of a traditional dish made from meat off-cuts and offal, especially pork. In general, we in the UK don't associate the word "fag" with "gay".

What I am trying to say is that what might be fine in one country's usage of English is not necessarily fine in another's.
Touché!
I must point out, however, that "fag" and "faggot" more closely relate to words such as, "queer, fairy, pansy, poofter, sissy, girly (Mama's) boy......." In other words, they are more derogatory than Gay is generally taken to be. I am not sure about the usage, "Fagged out," though I can imagine some possible "Public" School origins.
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Old 2018-04-09, 00:44   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
Convinced you to which view, Jacob?
The piece is so full of satire that I cannot actually work out where the author actually stands. That is undoubtedly a failure of comprehension on my part, but I'm interested to know your genuine view.
This piece is so inexorable in its substitute usage that I have little doubt that the targets are those who argue, "we've always said it that way," with regard to the generic use of "he/him."
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Old 2018-04-09, 15:23   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
This piece is so inexorable in its substitute usage that I have little doubt that the targets are those who argue, "we've always said it that way," with regard to the generic use of "he/him."
Yes, you're correct. Jacob told me as much in a PM. It wasn't clear to me that those people were the targets, but that may be because I missed various cultural references which are unfamiliar to me.
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Old 2018-04-09, 15:27   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgieJane View Post
Are you saying you are an old white cigarette? That's what "fag" means to me, and a lot of other people in the UK. If you explain that "fag" is short for "faggot", I and many others in the UK will think of a traditional dish made from meat off-cuts and offal, especially pork. In general, we in the UK don't associate the word "fag" with "gay".

What I am trying to say is that what might be fine in one country's usage of English is not necessarily fine in another's.
Another rather ancient usage of "fag" which I came across when I lived in the UK was from boys' boarding schools (and, yes, these were actually gender-specific, I'm sorry to say). An older boy would have a younger boy, called a "fag", who would basically act as his slave.

I know, the whole idea is appallingly un-PC.
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Old 2018-04-09, 16:57   #77
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Readers of The Lord of the Rings will be familiar with the meaning, "bundle of sticks as kindling or firewood".
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