Gender-neutrality of "-person" forms

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Tue Dec 24 17:31:28 UTC 2002

I seem to recall an article in the mid-1990s addressing
the issue of whether "-person" forms (e.g. "chairperson")
are truly gender-neutral or if they're marked as feminine
forms. I also seem to recall seeing something very
recently referring to this article, perhaps with more
research or something.

Can anyone help me out with this? I'm working on a mainstream
and short-deadlined article myself that might mention this
phenomenon, and I'd like to get the facts right.


Jesse Sheidlower

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