[Ads-l] "man" avoidance

Flourish Klink flourish.klink at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 24 13:09:14 EDT 2016


Thanks, Jonathan. My point exactly. Why is the gender of these people more
important than race - or age? If the subject of the work is gender, I
agree. But I don't see why gender should naturally and always be considered
the most important aspect of a group of people.

On Sat, Sep 24, 2016, 12:43 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> But even specificity has its practical limits.
>
> One would not ordinarily write "309 non-African-American men and two
> non-African-American women."
>
> JL
>
>
>
> On Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 12:24 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com
> >
> wrote:
>
> > Not wrong logically but weird stylistically. Which is the problem.
> >
> > The writer intentionally avoids writing "men" in the lead when, in this
> > case, men are obviously the focus of the story."Men and women" are also
> > easier to picture than "people." There's no good reason that I can think
> of
> > to avoid the more customary phrase. The bad reason, however, seems to be
> > the superstition that one should never specify anyone's sex unless
> > absolutely unavoidable.
> >
> > And biological sex was indeed significant, since women were not permitted
> > to fly in combat, maintain aircraft, etc. "Masculinity" (or "maleness")
> in
> > the simple sense of being a male human adult was a requirement.
> >
> > To write "311 people," followed immediately by a discussion of planes
> shot
> > down, suggests that a fair number of women were flying as combat pilots -
> > as they do today.
> >
> >  "309 men and two women" is more specific and prevents that
> > misinterpretation; and whatever prevents misinterpretation is a necessary
> > thing.
> >
> > JL
> >
> >
> >
> > I
> >
> > On Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 11:16 AM, Flourish Klink <
> flourish.klink at gmail.com
> > > wrote:
> >
> >> Why is it wrong or weird to say "people" if the fact that they were men
> is
> >> unimportant to the statement at hand? Certainly their masculinity is not
> >> what shot down the planes. If they were women, it would only be
> >> significant
> >> inasmuch as it was unusual for the time, so only worth mentioning if
> your
> >> point was to discuss sexism or similar. I don't see how this erases
> >> history
> >> at all.
> >>
> >> On Sat, Sep 24, 2016, 10:09 AM Marc Sacks <msacksg at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Last night, my wife referred to two of her students as
> >> "male-identified."
> >> > Oh, I innocently asked, were they trans, gay, genderfluid? No, she
> >> replied,
> >> > just male. She was reporting her discomfort after innocently referring
> >> to
> >> > them as "guys." I'm not sure how serious she was; I don't think she
> was
> >> > either.
> >> >
> >> > Marc Sacks
> >> >
> >> > On Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 10:43 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >> >
> >> > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> >> > > -----------------------
> >> > > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >> > > Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> >> > > Subject:      Re: "man" avoidance
> >> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> > > -------------------
> >> > >
> >> > > On Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 9:51 PM, Benjamin Barrett <
> >> > mail.barretts at gmail.com
> >> > > >
> >> > > wrote:
> >> > >
> >> > > > =E2=80=9C311 mostly male people=E2=80=9D
> >> > >
> >> > >
> >> > > "311 men and women"?
> >> > >
> >> > >
> >> > > --=20
> >> > > -Wilson
> >> > > -----
> >> > > All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
> >> to
> >> > > come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> >> > > -Mark Twain
> >> > >
> >> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >> > >
> >> >
> >> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >> >
> >>
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >
>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list