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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • This made me think of something. I'm hearing more and more people, women including, speaking to groups of people and referring to the group as "guys". Merriam-Webster has added it even: 3b -- "used in plural to refer to the members of a group regardless of sex ".
    • There is a bit of a backlash against this use, which can get pretty silly [feminista.com]. Douglas "G.E.B." Hofstadter is quite strongly anti-"guy", basically since "guy", in the singular, strongly defaults to male ("I saw a guy running down the street"), so he sees using "guys" as sexist as using "he" as default, or "fireman". I think that he even views it as worse, because to him women calling themselves "guys" is inherently self-denigrating. I don't know if anyone's really ever bothered to argue with this view, but it doesn't acknowledge that "guy" is has very specific implications about class and social behavior (kind of like "buddy") that do not have to be masculine, and it's these that are the focus when women choose to use it. It also assumes that what words mean may change people, but that people never change what words mean.