Posted By: mamabear In Response To: OT: solution to Mike's problem (Art Grater)
Date: Saturday, 2 November 2013, at 1:25 a.m.
In Response To: OT: solution to Mike's problem (Art Grater)
Although I use "he or she" and also convert the singular to "they" or "their" quite often, I am not offended by the use of male pronouns in sentences that are obviously meant to include all of, umm...mankind?
There are other languages, including French, where there are male and female forms of "they" (ils and elles). When the group is mixed, they default to ils. I don't think anyone feels excluded or offended, since it beats inventing yet another word in a language that already has more pronouns than we do in English.
I tend to opt for the messy compromise of using inclusive language when it's truly necessary for some reason, regardless of how awkward it is, and otherwise using the inclusive forms only when they sound reasonably natural. Turning an ordinary sentence into word salad doesn't foster inclusiveness; instead, it gets in the way of the meaning.
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