[Ads-l] [Non-DoD Source] Re: "man" avoidance

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 26 13:21:33 EDT 2016


"_A Horse's Mouth_, by a man named Joyce Cary" seems worth writing only if
the author's sex is important enough to highlight at the book's first
mention. It also suggests that there's no way the reader could be expected
to know that Cary was a man, and he/she/they better be told right now.
(Personally I prefer generic "he" : so sue me. Plural "readers...they"
would also obviously work, but "the reader" is an established convention
and I see no advantage in pandering to the trendy essentialism that finds
"you guys" to be sexist.)

"_A Horse's Mouth_, by Joyce Cary" would ordinarily be enough. If
identifying Cary's sex is important but not central, it can be done later,
even later in the same sentence.

JL

On Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 12:42 PM, MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY
RDECOM AMRDEC (US) <william.d.mullins18.civ at mail.mil> wrote:

> >
> > It's like the middle-schooler who writes, _Ulysses_ is a book by a man
> named James Joyce."
> >
> > "A man named" adds nothing to the sentence . .  .
>
> Unless the assignment is "Give me a 100 word book report."  "A man named "
> gets you 3% farther down the road.
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> 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."

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


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