she as a gender-neutral pronoun

Paul Frank paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU
Fri Jan 7 04:45:44 UTC 2011


Federico quoted:

> "The virtue of compassion requires us to put ourselves consistently in
> somebody else's shoes, to feel his pain as though it were our own, and to
> enter generously into her point of view."


I have no problem with "she" as a gender-neutral pronoun, nor with
"they," nor in fact with "he," and mixing "he" and "she" in the space
of a few paragraphs to talk about the same non-specified person often
works more or less, but doing so in one sentence sounds too artificial
to me. Here Karen Armstrong (whose book a History of God I loved)
seems to be talking about a person whose gender is interchangeable,
which doesn't make sense.

Paul

Paul Frank
Translator
Chinese, German, French, Italian > English
Espace de l'Europe 16
Neuch√Ętel, Switzerland
mobile +41 79 957 5318
paulfrank at bfs.admin.ch
paulfrank at post.harvard.edu

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org



More information about the Ads-l mailing list