Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:09 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y During the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit, Richard M. Stallman of the Free Software Foundation (and the Superfluous Introduction Award goes to...) gave a keynote speech. Said keynote speech raised a few eyebrows in the Free software community because of a number of questionable remarks regarding women in technology. David "Lefty" Schlesinger, member of the GNOME Advisory Board and active in the mobile open source community, took issue with RMS' remarks and decided to call him out on it. The response he got was... Less than satisfying.
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RE: What an utter non-issue
by sbergman27 on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:24 UTC in reply to "What an utter non-issue"
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

o Some people have an irritating habit of using the female pronoun when refering to third parties, even when the third party may be any gender.

Or randomly switch around on pronouns. And then there was an OS security article I was reading some time back. The author would do that. But as I read on, I began to realize that every time there was a poor, honest, overworked sysadmin who just wanted to protect his users and systems... that was always a 'he'. And whenever there was a viscious, dishonest, unscrupulous cracker trying to break in to steal credit card numbers... that was always a 'she'. :-P

Reply Parent Score: 4

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Well, there is a third option.

You could always add (or she) everytime you say he.

It would go like this: Whenever the user wants to launch a program, he (or she) simply double-clicks the icon, and he (or she) will see the program launch.

Reply Parent Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

You could always add (or she) everytime you say he.

Yeah. But what we really need is a new gender neutral pronoun which is not genderless. If it weren't for that last requirement, we could just use "it". ;)

The tough part is that to have a chance of being used, the new term has to come into common use *first* and then be picked up by dictionaries and other references. It's not the sort of thing that can be pushed down from the top.

A natural candidate would be some portmantaeu of "he" and "she". But nothing obvious enough to be catchy comes to mind. It's a problem remeniscient of the conundrum we have with the word "Free" in describing OSS software. In every direction in which one turns, there is something blocking the way to any simple and obvious solution.

Edited 2009-07-09 16:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3