New "Dealing with eBay" FAQs are up

Bill DiBenedetto billdi at earthlink.net
Sat May 28 19:31:59 EDT 2005


That's probably the best way to handle it.

In my other life as an editor dealing with the conspicuous and pervasive
sexism of the English language, and finding ways around it, is a constant
part of the job.  The "modern" constructions that attempt to solve the
problem --he/she. s/he, hir -- are too awkward, ugly and jarring, plus they
are unreadable and difficult to say aloud. In a way they are also sexist
because they call attention to the issue by trying so hard not to be sexist.
 As Richard D. Johnson, in the Handbook of Good English, says, "They are
bows in the direction of feminism and are therefore sexist anyway." He says
the least annoying solution is to "evade the problem by making any noun that
will become the antecedent of a pronoun plural, so that  they, them, their
can be used."


bill
206-491-0296 (wk)
206-963-0499 (personal)


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-modlib at algol.owu.edu [mailto:owner-modlib at algol.owu.edu]On
Behalf Of Scot Kamins
Sent: Saturday, May 28, 2005 4:06 PM
To: modlib at algol.owu.edu
Subject: Re: New "Dealing with eBay" FAQs are up



On May 28, 2005, at 3:58 PM, Michael Stutz wrote:

> Scot Kamins <kamins at dogeared.com> wrote:
>
>
>> On May 28, 2005, at 3:35 PM, Michael Stutz wrote:
>>
>>
>>>> "Hir" is part of a movement in certain modern schools of grammar to
>>>> eliminate the awkward "him/her" construct when the sex of the
>>>> object
>>>> is indeterminate but the number is singular.  But it is a bit
>>>> startling. I'll change it.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> What's wrong with Strunk & White?
>>>
>>
>> I avoid wasted words whenever possible. :-D
>>
>
> Then you'll love what S&W has to say: never ever ever use that clumsy
> awful "him and her" and stick with the intelligent "him."
>
BUSTED!!!

But growing up in the gender-bending and anti-sexist 60's, I HATE
"him" when the referand  could be a "her."  And of course using the
gender-neutral "one" sounds too pretentious even for moi. I suppose
could rewrite the sentence using the plural "sellers" and thus
allowing me to say "their" and "them."

- Scot Kamins


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