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Re: Being excellent to one another

From: John Darrington
Subject: Re: Being excellent to one another
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2017 11:44:06 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

On Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 11:17:28AM +0100, Alex Sassmannshausen wrote:

     Perhaps we have to agree to disagree on singular they, but I hope we can
     still agree on the following statements from my earlier email:
I agree to a slightly edited version:

     [...] sometimes there is not a simple solution, however :
     - if you know someone has a preference for particular pronouns, use those 
       refering to that person.
     - don't use pronouns when *you know* the other person does not identify
       with them.
     - if unsure, ask the person how he or she would like to be referenced.
     If you make a mistake, an apology will show your intention was not 
     In manuals we can just use "singular they",  or another non-gender specific
     form of reference.

     Alternatively it would be incumbent on you to provide an
     alternative that is not just "I will bloody-mindedly stick to
     gendering people when I don't know anything about them".

It is this tendency to call any difference of opinion by terms such as 
"bloody-minded" which offends me  - I try not to take offence - but I find
hard not to.  I'm sorry.

To answer your question:  How about saying "he or she" or "the person".  

     In the formal context, well??? I think there is broad consensus that
     "singular they" is awesome.

There is a broad concensus that Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte and 
Recep Erdogan are awesome.    However I do not agree.

     > People having been talking about being "welcoming".  Well, I beleive the 
     > to achieve that is threefold:
     > 1. Try not to offend.
     > 2. Try not to be offended.
     > 3. Recognise that diversity is an asset.
     Absolutely, wonderful sentiment.  To that I would add:
     4. Respect the integrity and right to self-definition of all participants

I agree.  Put that one in too.


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