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Re: Comment on introduction pages

From: Stefano Lattarini
Subject: Re: Comment on introduction pages
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 11:08:04 +0200
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At Friday 04 June 2010, Russ Allbery <address@hidden> wrote:
> Eric Blake <address@hidden> writes:
> > Thanks for the report.  However, English is one of those silly
> > languages where the pronoun "his" can have a neuter sense rather
> > than masculine, and this is one of those cases.  Politically
> > correct pundits are trying to eradicate that usage, but
> > personally, I'm still of the opinion that "his" looks better than
> > "his/hers", as long as you understand that the usage is not
> > locking down the gender of the antecedent.
> The long-standing gender-neutral pronoun in English is singular
>  "their," as used by such people as Jane Austen.  I would rewrite
>  the sentence as:
>     "The developer expresses the recipe to build their package in a
>     Makefile"
Such a formulation could however confuse non-native speakers, 
especially if their mother tongue lacks gender-neutral pronouns of 
this kind, and they don't read Jane Austen often  ;-)

In particular, that formulation would have confused *me*, and I'd have 
probably ended up by suggesting a patch with s/developer/developers/
or s/their/his/, to fix the perceived "grammatical error".

Just my 2 cents.


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