Re: Gender Neutral Pronouns

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 15:49:51 MST

At 1:48 PM -0500 3/30/01, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
>James Higgins wrote:
> > May very well be true, but 've' still sounds goofy. I hear more stupid
>> comments about those pronouns than anything else in the papers when I
>> suggest others read them. That indicates to me that they are a problem.
>Now *that* has an impact on me. (Why? Usually, when I hear someone say
>"Other people won't like X.", my response is "Take responsibility for your
>own reactions; if you don't like X, say so." But if you're actually
>*seeing* other people react badly...)

Now, I've had totally different experiences. In fact, I've found
that I have to point out the use of gender neutral pronouns for them
to notice it. In fact, I've regularly used them in e-mails with one
friend for several months now and only recently, when I brought up
the issue, did she let me know that she hadn't even noticed! No one
I know even seems to care when I do use them, they just read on and
if I bring up the subject they are rather apathetic (the most
response I've gotten was that the guy noticed what I was doing but
quickly realized that they were pronouns and accepted it as something
new that he just didn't know about).

Here is another way to look at it. My mom has a Mac, but she didn't
even notice when the Mac OS started using NeXT style scroll bars
instead of regular scroll bars. When I brought it up, she said she
had noticed that something was different and upon inspection realized
what it was, but otherwise went on living her computer life. Such a
change might seem like a big deal to those of us involved deeply in
the issue, but the rest of the world isn't concerned at all. The
average person just accepts what ve is given.

Gordon Worley
PGP Fingerprint:  C462 FA84 B811 3501 9010  20D2 6EF3 77F7 BBD3 B003

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