Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 25th May 2012 14:55 UTC
General Unix James Hague: "But all the little bits of complexity, all those cases where indecision caused one option that probably wasn't even needed in the first place to be replaced by two options, all those bad choices that were never remedied for fear of someone somewhere having to change a line of code... They slowly accreted until it all got out of control, and we got comfortable with systems that were impossible to understand." Counterpoint by John Cook: "Some of the growth in complexity is understandable. It's a lot easier to maintain an orthogonal design when your software isn't being used. Software that gets used becomes less orthogonal and develops diagonal shortcuts." If there's ever been a system in dire need of a complete redesign, it's UNIX and its derivatives. A mess doesn't even begin to describe it (for those already frantically reaching for the comment button, note that this applies to other systems as well).
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Member since:

Now if we could only find sane gender-neutral pronouns for English to replace she / he, him / her, and so on.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Neolander Member since:

Why not use the "it" family of gender-neutral pronouns that you already have ? ;)

It sounds strange to talk about someone using that word today, but give it a chance and maybe tomorrow it's he/she that will sound weird or derogatory...

Edited 2012-05-26 18:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

Alfman Member since:

"Why not use the 'it' family of gender-neutral pronouns that you already have ?"

Maybe that'd go something like this?

(buffalo bill scene from silence of the lambs)


I admit, word genders are the most pointless feature of the french language. At least the english language generally limits the use of he/she to things that actually have a gender.

Edited 2012-05-27 04:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:

There's an easier way that's not contrived: all men use male pronouns, all women use female pronouns.

Problem solved.

Reply Parent Score: 1

ricegf Member since:

What about the very common case where the speaker doesn't know the gender of the referenced person, or he or she (ahem) knows that the gender is indefinite? That's the actual problem case, not the case where we know the gender!

Edit: Wait, just realized your gender reference is to the speaker. But I dislike that approach as well. It means the language is different for men and for women - an odd and unnecessary distinction - and also doesn't cover all of the cases, such as when text is machine-generated. Gender-neutral pronouns are far more satisfactory IMHO.

Edited 2012-05-26 20:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3