The Handbook Of Nonsexist Writing

Overview

An indispensable guide for overcoming gender bias in language with clarity and sensitivity. Man, he, brotherhood, founding fathers. It is argued that such words are and always have been used by educated people to encompass all humanity?men and women. Psychological and historical research in the past few years has produced evidence to the contrary: for most people "false generics" seldom if ever convey a female image, nor are they ancient unchangeable rules of the English grammar that have always been used by the ...
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Overview

An indispensable guide for overcoming gender bias in language with clarity and sensitivity. Man, he, brotherhood, founding fathers. It is argued that such words are and always have been used by educated people to encompass all humanity—men and women. Psychological and historical research in the past few years has produced evidence to the contrary: for most people "false generics" seldom if ever convey a female image, nor are they ancient unchangeable rules of the English grammar that have always been used by the educated. Using hundreds of examples, mostly from published sources, the authors illustrate what certain words are saying to us on a subliminal level. Solutions are supplied that range from word substitutions to suggestions for rewriting. Without a trace of self-conscious righteousness, and with refreshing humor, Miller and Swift provide surprising insights into the English language and the ways in which people use it and are used by it. They demonstrate that to be in command of the language, we must find clear, convincing, and graceful ways to convey our ideas accurately. We must recognize and replace exclusive, distorting, ambiguous, and injurious words.

The standard book on nonsexist writing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595159215
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 196
  • Sales rank: 571,608
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Introduction: Change and Resistance to Change 1
1 Man as a False Generic 11
Historical Background 12
Alternatives to "Generic" Man 17
In Cliches 17
Terms for the Human Species 18
Men of Letters and Other Women 22
Man as a Verb 23
Man's Inhumanity to Men 23
Man in Compounds 26
Man as a Prefix 26
Man as a Suffix 30
The Man in the Chair 31
Groups of People as Men 34
Public Manservants 35
Job Titles 36
Some Recalcitrant Compounds 40
Fathers, Brothers, and Bomfog 40
2 The Pronoun Problem 43
Historical Background 44
Solving the Problem 47
They as a Singular 47
He or She 50
Pluralizing 51
Eliminating Pronouns 51
Further Alternatives 54
The Ubiquitous Male Animal 55
A New Generic Pronoun? 57
3 Generalizations 59
Assigning Gender to Gender-Neutral Terms 59
Linguistic Abuse of Wives 64
Gratuitous Modifiers 66
As Putdowns 66
Unintentional Distortion 69
"Damn Good for a Woman" 70
Relevance and Irrelevance 71
Sports Reporting 72
Personification 75
4 Seeing Women and Girls as People 80
Masculinity, Femininity, and Other Sex-Linked Descriptives 80
Girls, Ladies, Females, Women 84
Girl and Gal 85
Lady 86
Female 90
Woman 91
Women and Work 93
Housewife 93
Working Wife, Working Mother 95
Homemaking and Parenting 99
5 Parallel Treatment 101
Women and Men 101
Man and Wife 102
Religious Language 104
Double Standards 104
Describing Women by Appearance 104
Trivializing 105
Passive Constructions 107
Women as Entities, Not Appendages 108
Woman as Metaphor 113
Categories 114
Order 116
Names and Titles 118
The Social Titles Mrs., Miss, and Ms. 124
Salutations in Letters 126
6 A Few More Words 129
Alumnae, Alumni 129
Blond/Blonde and Similar Imports 131
Coed 131
Esq. 132
Fellow 133
"Feminine" Suffixes 134
Ess 136
Ette 138
Trix 138
Feminist 138
Hero, Heroine 139
Madam 141
Maiden 142
Master 143
Midwife 144
Old Wives' Tale 145
Person 146
Suffragist, Suffragette 150
"Surrogacy" 151
Tomboy 152
Women's Liberation 153
A Brief Thesaurus 155
Maxims Maximized 163
Inclusive Language Resources for Religious Worship 164
Reference Notes 167
Index 175
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