Thursday, December 10, 2009

Words Matter

I am a proponent of using gender-neutral wordings to make documents, books, and presentations more effective and more inclusive. It grates on me every time someone uses man/men, or he/him/his as the "generic" person. This is because they are not generic. I've talked about the word "guy" before and how it is not inclusive. The same thing applies to these other words: If you were at a party and someone asked you if you knew of someone who possesses expert knowledge about optimization, supercomputing, and ulnar nerve entrapment, would you say, "He's that man right over there, wearing the turquoise blouse?" No, you would not.

If you have trouble understanding my argument, please read this piece of satire to gain enlightenment. If you're not squirming in your chair by the end of it, you may be entirely devoid of empathy for others.

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