Re: generic "he"

Subject: Re: generic "he"
From: "Dave L. Meek's User Account" <dave -at- DISC-SYNERGY -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 1994 09:17:42 -0800

>From netcoms!!techwr-l Mon Nov 21 15:36:16 1994
>Message-Id: <199411212331 -dot- PAA24217 -at- netcomsv -dot- netcom -dot- com>
>Date: Mon, 21 Nov 1994 17:06:00 PST
>Reply-To: Jane S Torpie <handson!boston -dot- handson -dot- com!janet -at- uunet -dot- uu -dot- net>
>Sender: "Technical Writers List; for all Technical Communication issues" <TECHW
R-L -at- vm1 -dot- ucc -dot- okstate -dot- edu>
>From: Jane S Torpie <handson!boston -dot- handson -dot- com!janet -at- uunet -dot- uu -dot- net>
>Subject: Re: generic "he"
>Comments: To: TECHWR-L <VM1 -dot- ucc -dot- okstate -dot- edu!TECHWR-L -at- boston -dot- handson -dot- com>
>To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L <TECHWR-L -at- osuvm1 -dot- bitnet>

>>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
I agree with you completely. The generic "he" and "she" should
be used interchangeably. My point is that the generic "he" is
not inherently sexist, anymore so than the generic "she."

Dave Meek "It takes a big man to cry,
but it takes an even bigger man
to laugh at that man."
-Jack Handy

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