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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I agree with everything you've said, except that I place less significance on the importance of the use of "he".

    I only see a few options here. "they" is obviously better, when the grammar supports it. He/she gets tiresome very quickly, and alternating between he and she looks even more jarring.

    I've understood the cleanest method to be that when no gender is identifiable, the writer's gender is used.

    The sentence, "And if their manager doesn't like it, he can go shove it" from me would be instead "And if their manager doesn't like it, she can go shove it" from you.

    This seems to be be very common in most writing, including newspapers and so on.

    I don't see any obvious alternatives...
    • I think it's easy to place less significance on the use of the word "he" when it matches your own gender, the majority of people in that position and your personal experiences.

      Consider the following sentence. Apparently it (or something like it) used to appear in standard medical textbooks, and is now used as an example in lingustics courses as to how our language has changed:

      Before prescribing any medications, doctors should always ask their patient whether he may be pregnant.

      I personally do

      • About your example of a doctor in old times asking his (presumably) patient whether he was pregnant. How does it feel being so closed-minded? Yes, you're closed-minded. It's jarring if you're not used to men being pregnant, isn't it? We make little assumptions all the time. People like to communicate in concrete terms. I'd politely suggest getting over it. Are you really so frail that you need our grammatical protection?

        • Here! I've got an idea: Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb - which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans' - but that he can have the *right* to have babies.