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Date:   Fri, 9 Nov 2001 16:44:16 -0500
Reply-To:   Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees <[log in to unmask]>
Sender:   Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees <[log in to unmask]>
From:   Chris Mohr <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:   Re: Gender Benders - a simple solution.
Comments:   To: [log in to unmask]
In-Reply-To:   <[log in to unmask]>
Content-Type:   text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Brent Howlett replied to: > > (s)he with: <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< I dislike written constructions that cannot be read in standard English. How about simply changing the tense: The A.R. delayed raising the flag until having seen that the offside-positioned player was actively involved in the play. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

You forget that the underlying "problem" is that "standard English" lacks suitable gender-neutral constructions, which is why there is a felt among many to craft something new here that seems most effortless and least kludgy. Your proposal, while grammatically correct, nevertheless would seem to many to be at least as uncomfortably awkward a piece of diction as the neologism you criticize. That's why most people are naturally inclined to say "The A.R. delayed raising the flag until HE SAW the offside-positioned-player....", but whups there we go getting sexist again.

To a great many people, the fact that some see the lack of available gender-neutral ways to express things is a dubious P.C. "problem" in the first place, and people should get over it and get on to more important things. Any visible effort toward gender-neutrality of language is going to stand out as awkward in their eyes, including using less-natural sounding sentence constructions as a way around using pronouns in the first place. (There's a reason people like to use pronouns - they're convenient).

So, I was simply throwing out the idea of using "(s)he" as something less awkward and difficult than trying to balance the number of "his"s and "her"s in a document - as the original situation was posed, the author got tripped up trying to do it, until he (there we go again, but the original poster was a he ;=) had to apply a great deal of sweat in redrafting it.

How 'bout "you all" and "them all" ;=) ?

Chris Mohr USSF 8


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