Talking About People: A Guide to Fair and Accurate Language / Edition 3

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Anyone who works with words and people will want to keep this indispensable guide close at hand. In her highly entertaining style, best-selling author Rosalie Maggio offers thousands of alternatives for outdated, stereotypical, and damaging language. This substantially updated and expanded version of Maggio's earlier work, The Dictionary of Bias-Free Usage, also covers numerous words and phrases that were not even part of our language five years ago. This handy reference guide merits a place next to the dictionary and thesaurus of all who are sensitive to the use of fair and accurate language. It will help them make an informed judgment when choosing words to describe people in terms of their age, sex, employment, economic status, religion, lifestyle, ethnic background, or disability.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Maggio The Nonsexist Word Finder: A Dictionary of Gender-Free Usage, Oryx, 1987 has written about "people language" for more than ten years. Her new book consists of two sections: "Writing Guidelines" and a "Dictionary of Terms." The short first section gives the writer or editor a rationale for inclusive and bias-free language, providing rules of thumb and suggestions for handling problems such as letter salutations, adjectival forms as nouns, the "insider/outsider" rule, sex-linked expressions, and the like. The "Dictionary of Terms" consists of some 8000 words and phrases that may be perceived as problematic. Each term is briefly explained, sometimes with illustrative quotations, and in many cases alternatives to the entry word are listed. Throughout, Maggio argues that verifying fair and accurate "people language" should be as commonplace as checking spelling, grammar, and usage. This book is the most recent and useful of a short shelf of specialized reference works, e.g., Casey Miller's The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing for Writers, Editors, and Speakers HarperCollins, 1988, Val Dumond's The Elements of Nonsexist Language Prentice Hall, 1990, and Maggio's earlier works, that have appeared in the last ten years to fill the need for guidance in bias-free language not supplied in existing dictionaries and style manuals. Another good source is Jenny R. Redfern's Writing with Gender Fair Language website . Recommended for all libraries lacking a source on bias-free language.Paul D'Alessandro, Portland P.L., Me.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573560696
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/9/1997
  • Edition description: 3rd
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 448
  • Lexile: 1380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

ROSALIE MAGGIO has been a professional writer and editor for 25 years.

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Table of Contents

User's Guide
Writing Guidelines 1
Introduction 1
Definition of Terms 2
Bias/Bias-Free 2
Inclusive/Exclusive 2
Sexist/Nonsexist 3
Gender-Free/Gender-Fair/Gender-Specific 3
Generic/Pseudogeneric 4
Sex/Gender 5
General Guidelines 6
Pseudogeneric "He" 6
Pseudogeneric "Man/Men/Mankind" 9
Parallel Treatment 12
Gender Role Words 12
"Feminine" Word Endings 13
-Woman, -Man, -Person 15
Word Order 15
Naming 15
Self-Definition 16
Relevance 16
"People First" Rule 16
Women As Separate People 17
Name-Calling 17
Special Problems 18
Hidden Bias 18
Passive Constructions 18
Perspective 18
Fellow, King, Lord, Master 19
Letter Salutations 19
Miscellaneous 20
How to Make a Fortune With Fair and Accurate Language 21
Who Controls the Language? 21
Does It Really Matter? 22
They've Got to Stop Changing the Language! 23
What Ridiculous Word Will We Have Next? 24
But Will It Be Better Writing? 24
Everybody Is Getting So Sensitive! 25
Additional Information 27
Your Help Wanted 27
Dictionary of Terms 29
Bibliography 433
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