Gender specific pronouns -- do you use them, not use them, or half and half? - Page 2

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Thread: Gender specific pronouns -- do you use them, not use them, or half and half?

  1. #11
    What is perceived as the male variants is and always has been seen as the default. I don't use female specific variants because I'm not interested in othering my own characters.

    Simple as.

  2. #12
    Creative Area Specialist (Fiction) Blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander416 View Post

    I will admit that, at least here in America, there does seem to be some kind of agenda behind attempts to make English gender-ambiguous. It'll probably end up failing just like attempts from years back to change the spelling of "woman" and "women" to "womyn" or something like that, though, so I'm not going to get too wrapped up in it. While I lean a bit on the progressive spectrum, I'm honestly getting sick of political correctness.

    Gender-ambiguous is worse than useless when you have the need to indicate gender.: If politically correct language is concocted merely in the minds of of our precious elite as a form of social guidance and not in popular speech it will never gain much ground.

    'Actress' is an effective term as it indicates both the profession and the gender, 'actor' as a gender neutral term indicates only the profession and should be used as a more descriptive reference to a male.
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  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Blade View Post
    Gender-ambiguous is worse than useless when you have the need to indicate gender.: If politically correct language is concocted merely in the minds of of our precious elite as a form of social guidance and not in popular speech it will never gain much ground.

    'Actress' is an effective term as it indicates both the profession and the gender, 'actor' as a gender neutral term indicates only the profession and should be used as a more descriptive reference to a male.
    I don't quite agree. While the terms may be "gender-ambiguous" to some, as long as there's a feminine alternative, it can safely be assumed that either you're referring to someone of the male gender, or the gender doesn't matter. If I see someone use the word "actor," I rightfully trust he or she is describing a male; otherwise, that person would have written "actress" instead.
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  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer_2k4 View Post
    Getting back to the original post, a lot of these are new to me. I knew fiancé/fiancée, but I had always thought blond/blonde were just variations of spelling, like grey/gray. I've never encountered or even knew of the word "brunet," and I'm as American as, well...just see my avatar.
    "Grey" is British English and "gray" is American English, but both are accepted spellings in either country. I know for years in school I spelled it with an E and not one teacher ever corrected me. Microsoft Word doesn't correct it either, but does for other British English spellings like honour and neighbour. I actually thought the same about blond/blonde until I looked it up one day.

  5. #15
    Creative Area Specialist (Fiction) Blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer_2k4 View Post
    I don't quite agree. While the terms may be "gender-ambiguous" to some, as long as there's a feminine alternative, it can safely be assumed that either you're referring to someone of the male gender, or the gender doesn't matter. If I see someone use the word "actor," I rightfully trust he or she is describing a male; otherwise, that person would have written "actress" instead.
    I would agree with that. The thing is that actor actress is really an anomaly. You don't here of a 'doctoress' or a 'lawyeress' as the generic term is assumed to indicate both male and female. If you wish to indicate gender you have to add in the information rather than use the feminine convention.

    I think this is basically a consequence of common usage. Most people have little to do with doctors or lawyers but are exposed to actors/actresses on a regular basis. If the common usage is to use 'actress' then using 'actor' to designate the feminine seems a little stilted but would be well understood.
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  6. #16
    Instead of Mailman we should use the gender neutral Person-person. Heh..(mad magazine, 1970 something)

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Blade View Post
    I would agree with that. The thing is that actor actress is really an anomaly. You don't here of a 'doctoress' or a 'lawyeress' as the generic term is assumed to indicate both male and female. If you wish to indicate gender you have to add in the information rather than use the feminine convention.
    Perhaps that lack of the word "doctoress" (or should it be "doctress"?) is an oversight. My angel used to attend a medical practice where a husband and wife were both doctors, so the female one was always referred to as "Doctor Penny" using her first name to avoid any confusion. An appropriate distinctive title would have avoided the problem. In fact her husband eventually eliminated the problem. Weighed down by financial and other problems he went deep into the local woods one day and committed suicide. Suicide isn't unusual in that profession, I understand. I'm not sure how the hippocratic oath works regarding one's own life.
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  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Blade View Post
    I would agree with that. The thing is that actor actress is really an anomaly. You don't here of a 'doctoress' or a 'lawyeress' as the generic term is assumed to indicate both male and female. If you wish to indicate gender you have to add in the information rather than use the feminine convention.
    The word is in the dictionary. Actress: "A female actor". Along with waitress, stewardess, baroness, princess, empress, and a dozen others.

    Use them. That's what they're there for.

    Why would you say "you have to add in the information rather than use the feminine convention"? Says who? I don't understand this mentality.
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  9. #19
    You only use the "ess" suffix if the first people to use the root term were male and you want to differentiate between sexes. In my story I use "Emperor" on a female simply because she was the first to be given that title. So it's of been ludicrous to use Empress then or subsequently. Same with goddess,which has a different connotation to god. goddess i more associated with beauty than anything else. First generation deities are never called goddess and it's rare with other applications. Heroine is never used. As the word has not been associated with many people in reality, so hasn't had the level of empowerment through usage that the word "hero" has. And of course there is no good rationale to separate heroics by gender.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Annoying kid View Post
    In my story I use "Emperor" on a female simply because she was the first to be given that title.
    This is a case where it's not without historical merit. There have been a number of female rulers in history that used the masculine forms such as emperor and king.

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