Re: generic "he"

Subject: Re: generic "he"
From: Jane S Torpie <handson!boston -dot- handson -dot- com!janet -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 1994 17:06:00 PST

Nancy Burns (nburns -at- noao -dot- edu) replied to Dave Meek's <dave -at- disc-synergy -dot- com>
comment about "generic" and "PC"

>If we do NOT use inclusive, non-sexist language ... we risk alienating some
of our >readers. Their negative feelings about the documentation may be
transferred to >negative feelings about our company, which can negatively
affect sales or new

A few years ago I worked in a company that did Executive Information
Initially, only top executives in Fortune 500 companies had this software.
Some of those executives were also decision-makers at purchase time. Many
also made the [very political] decisions to expand usage of the EIS
throughout their departments. New users meant more per-seat revenue for our

We couldn't afford to offend anyone, especially women who worked long and
hard and probably through lots of gender-related obstacles to earn those
jobs. Wherever possible, we used gender-neutral language and tried to
balance examples using "he" with those using "she." You never know when
your work may play a marketing role. It pays to be careful.

Jane Torpie
janet -at- handson -dot- com

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