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mushroom
December 6th, 2006, 09:14 AM
That aside, your general-purpose use of feminine pronouns intrigues me. Please do explain.

aysiu
December 6th, 2006, 05:16 PM
And I explain here why I use the feminine third person singular pronoun: http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntucat/why-i-say-she/

mushroom
December 6th, 2006, 11:13 PM
And I explain here why I use the feminine third person singular pronoun:
http://www.psychocats.net/essays/thi...ingularpronoun

Interesting. I still think we need a gender-neutral third person pronoun in the English language, but as that's not something that can just happen, this is a good substitute.

bailout
December 6th, 2006, 11:31 PM
And I explain here why I use the feminine third person singular pronoun:
http://www.psychocats.net/essays/thirdpersonsingularpronoun

Please drop the desperate PCness. Either use he or they.

aysiu
December 6th, 2006, 11:48 PM
Please drop the desperate PCness. Either use he or they.
I'm a little confused by this.

How am I "PC"? You're the one trying to police me around with your own version of political correctness. I'm not telling anyone else what to do.

Someone asked me to explain what I do, and I linked to an explanation for what I do. I didn't demand anyone else do it.

Sef
December 7th, 2006, 12:05 AM
They has been used as singular for centuries, and I suspect will continue to be used as so. It may not be correct in prescriptive language, but it is correct in descriptive language. (Prescriptive language is the formal grammar rules; descriptive language is how people actually speak it.) It doesn't matter if one uses he, she, or they as singular in general. What matters is one uses what one feels comfortable with.

While on the subject of history, she was not the orignal 3rd person singular for stating the female gender. It was heo, but in time (around the 1200s), it came to be pronounced very similar to he. People wanted to keep the difference, so the substituted she (whose origin is unknown.)

ComplexNumber
December 8th, 2006, 09:48 PM
You can't convince someone into using an OS that doesn't suit her needs.
aysiu, you're a nice enough person and all that, but i really wish you wouldn't be so politically correct in your language (eg your insistance upon using "she" and her" instead of the more normal unisex address of "he", "his", "they", and "their"). it really confuses what you say, but it doesn't serve any useful purpose.

aysiu
December 8th, 2006, 09:56 PM
You don't have to agree with me, but I stand by my choice, and I've explained it to the best of my knowledge.

That_Geek
December 9th, 2006, 12:04 AM
i believe we probably have bigger fish to fry than which pronoun aysiu uses

war
world hunger
oppression
violence
global warming
whether brad and angelina are going to break up
(i hope you read that last one as a joke, if you didnt, then... *trails off mindlessly)

a few big ones

DoctorMO
December 9th, 2006, 09:37 PM
I like using 'she' sometimes because it makes people think more about why I've used it; and mostly it's to balance up all the times I use 'he'.

On the other hand most of my generic statements are none possesive.

Jun-Dai
December 11th, 2006, 12:31 AM
I can't believe people are giving Aysiu crap about this. Given how frequently I see she used as the singular anonymous third person these days, and certainly in computer books, I'm surprised that anyone can even manage to be irritated by it. And those that consider it PC should probably consider that they are the ones insisting on a convention, or a sense of 'correctness'; Aysiu, on the other hand, is not insisting on any type of 'correctness', or even insisting that anyone use anything other than their preferred third person singular pronoun.

Incidentally, the tendency to assume that one is using he as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun is often betrayed when it comes to referring to unspecified nurses, secretaries, and other roles that are conventionally thought of women. In that case, the normal anonymous singular third-person pronoun becomes she.

wykedengel
December 11th, 2006, 08:57 PM
from my experiences in writing if you use he in one paragraph, be consistent in that graph. you are more than free to use she in the next.

wieman01
December 12th, 2006, 09:57 AM
A compromise would be to either avoid 3rd-person singular pronouns at all or write "she/he". I find the use of an isolated "he" or "she" both confusing & not particularly politically correct. It's a bit silly for guys to use a single "she" and equally for girls to use "he".

Guess the adherence to "he/she" or plural "they" would resolve all our problems. And yes, writing an essay, etc. one should be consistent. Otherwise you lose credibility.

dorcssa
December 12th, 2006, 01:46 PM
In my language, there's only one pronoun for third person, so we don't have a problem. :mrgreen: As a woman, it's good to see someone to use she instead the common he(though I don't read two much english nowdays). :D But I agree with wieman01, we should use they, I don't like the form he/she.

wykedengel
December 17th, 2006, 08:36 PM
Unfortunately, the form he/she or even s/he is just too clunky looking in a document. From my understanding, we here in the US have the most difficult language to learn...I am starting to see why.

dorcssa
December 17th, 2006, 09:58 PM
Actually, beside the she/he problem, english is a very simple to learn language. Of corse, when you get involved, it's a little bit harder, cos there are too much exceptions. But for basic use it is easy. I know that my language is really hard for others. :D

DoctorMO
December 17th, 2006, 10:35 PM
it's not normally full of exceptions, people take exception to complex rules because they're lazy and their brains can remember exceptions rather than rules.

spelling is another matter though ;-)

macogw
December 18th, 2006, 06:59 AM
aysiu, you're a nice enough person and all that, but i really wish you wouldn't be so politically correct in your language (eg your insistance upon using "she" and her" instead of the more normal unisex address of "he", "his", "they", and "their"). it really confuses what you say, but it doesn't serve any useful purpose.

I'm confused. How does aysiu make saying "You can't force someone to use an OS that doesn't suit her needs" confuse anything? "He" is not neuter. It is male. There is no neuter singular gender in English. If you want that, use German or Russian. "They" is plural. Colloquially, it takes the place of a singular pronoun, however. Regardless, "he" would not be gender-neutral. "They" can be. "She" is also not gender-neutral. It does not confuse things one bit, though. It is much more standard now to say "s/he" or "he or she." Also becoming popular is the practice of alternating between male and female pronouns. Aysiu's writing is perfectly acceptable.

Dorcssa, what language family is Hungarian?

wieman01
December 18th, 2006, 07:36 AM
I'm confused. How does aysiu make saying "You can't force someone to use an OS that doesn't suit her needs" confuse anything? "He" is not neuter. It is male. There is no neuter singular gender in English. If you want that, use German or Russian. "They" is plural. Colloquially, it takes the place of a singular pronoun, however. Regardless, "he" would not be gender-neutral. "They" can be. "She" is also not gender-neutral. It does not confuse things one bit, though. It is much more standard now to say "s/he" or "he or she." Also becoming popular is the practice of alternating between male and female pronouns. Aysiu's writing is perfectly acceptable.

Dorcssa, what language family is Hungarian?
Hungarian is a separate language family... So is Finnish.

As for German, there is no such thing as "neuter singular gender", so I am not sure what you are referring to. So the German language is facing pretty much the same problem as English in that respect.

aysiu
December 18th, 2006, 07:40 AM
By the way, does anyone know what languages have gender-neutral third-person singular pronouns?

I know Chinese does, and I think Korean does as well. What others are there?

wieman01
December 18th, 2006, 07:44 AM
By the way, does anyone know what languages have gender-neutral third-person singular pronouns?

I know Chinese does, and I think Korean does as well. What others are there?
Chinese doesn't in fact. You are right in that the pronounciation is the same for all genders, however, the Chinese character is different for each.

I don't know any language that would have a gender-neutral 3rd person... In French you would use "on" which is kind of neutral but then it is similar to using "one" in English (e.g. "one is entitled to...").

aysiu
December 18th, 2006, 07:45 AM
Well I grew up hearing Cantonese, but I can't read/write any Chinese, so I guess that's how I got that impression. In English you can't get away from it even in speech, though.

wieman01
December 18th, 2006, 07:55 AM
Well I grew up hearing Cantonese, but I can't read/write any Chinese, so I guess that's how I got that impression. In English you can't get away from it even in speech, though.
That is true. You cannot do away with something that has grown over thousands of years and I would reckon that most of the languages have the same problem as the "male part" of the population has been ever so dominant. So from a historical perspective, we know where it stems from. That leads me to the conclusion that only the minority of languages would allow for gender-neutral pronouns, thus it's up to modern civilization to change that, inconvenient as it may appear... It's important nonetheless.

dorcssa
December 18th, 2006, 12:21 PM
As I said, we have a gender-neutral third-person singular pronoun(it a long expression :D).
I=én, you=te, and he/she=ő. (Do you want to now the plural ones? :mrgreen: ) If you really want to put hungarian in a language family, it's Finn-ugor from the Ural mountain(I don't know how to write it in english), but the Finn and the Ugor family separated a long time ago. We are from the Ugor family.( But nowdays many linguist think there's no such family, and hungarian is really a seperate language, but that's how I learned in school.) The lesson ends. :D

wieman01
December 18th, 2006, 12:37 PM
As I said, we have a gender-neutral third-person singular pronoun(it a long expression :D).
I=én, you=te, and he/she=ő. (Do you want to now the plural ones? :mrgreen: ) If you really want to put hungarian in a language family, it's Finn-ugor from the Ural mountain(I don't know how to write it in english), but the Finn and the Ugor family separated a long time ago. We are from the Ugor family.( But nowdays many linguist think there's no such family, and hungarian is really a seperate language, but that's how I learned in school.) The lesson ends. :D
That's why it should be really tough for you guys to learn any other language as well... Not much in common with Indo-Germanic languages, has it? Hence if you are saying that Hungarian is a very difficult language for us to learn, so should be any other language for you (apart from Finnish, Estonian, etc.). :-) Is that a correct statement?

Sef
December 18th, 2006, 12:48 PM
Finn-ugor from the Ural mountain(I don't know how to write it in english), but the Finn and the Ugor family separated a long time ago. We are from the Ugor family.

It's Altaic-Uralic in English. These languages include Hungarian, Finish, Estonian, Turkish, Japanese, and Korean. Though the last two are more distantly related. These languages make extensive use of suffixes and post postions (the opposite of prepositions from pre-positions.)

dorcssa
December 18th, 2006, 01:55 PM
That's why it should be really tough for you guys to learn any other language as well... Not much in common with Indo-Germanic languages, has it? Hence if you are saying that Hungarian is a very difficult language for us to learn, so should be any other language for you (apart from Finnish, Estonian, etc.). :-) Is that a correct statement?
Well, no not so much..especially nothing common. :) But like I said, english is a lot more easier than our language, personally, I had not too much problem with it when I started to learn it at about age 9. We have a lot more conjugations, and as Sef said, we use post positioned appendixes.

Sef: the turkish, the japanese and the korean is not inculded as I know. There was a debate in the 1700-1800's in Hungary, that we have common language family with the Finns or with the Turkish. Both was a theory, the first won. The second theory only existed cos we have a lot of turkish word due to the turkish dictatorship back in 1544-1688.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finno-Ugric_languages

Urmas
December 18th, 2006, 02:26 PM
By the way, does anyone know what languages have gender-neutral third-person singular pronouns?

I know Chinese does, and I think Korean does as well. What others are there?

That can be a slippery slope, trust me... in Finnish, the gender-neutral third-person singular pronoun is hän for human beings... and se for animals/inanimate objects (=it). In written, "correct" Finnish, that is.

In "everyday" speech, however, the KISS principle rules... hän or se... why bother... so: instead of... here's me looking for aysiu, right?

"Minne hän meni?" --Where did she/he go? (still alive and kicking in written, "proper" Finnish.)

... it's...

"Minne se meni?" --Where did it go? (for he/she/it... simple to the hilt... and democratic, too, right?)

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Circus-Killer
December 18th, 2006, 02:29 PM
what i dont understand, is why people feel the need to change a language that's been around for hundreds of years. i also dont understand the purpose of discussion over languages. its like using all your writing skills to re-invent the alphabet.

its there, it exists, use it how you will. but when people start to try get indepth about language, well, for me its kinda like showing how you have nothing better to talk about. please dont take offense to this, this is just my point of view.

its just, cmon, out of all the things you could speak about you speak about speaking. at that point, communication becomes useless. whats the point of communicating if all you communicate is how to communicate.

just a thought, dont flame me. just dont see the purpose of this thread....other than talking about how people talk.

EDIT: and btw, all those suggestions about changing a language, it dont work that way. languages evolve over time and have no single author. if you dont like the way a language is, dont use it. languages have evolved in a specific way for a specific reason, and will continue to do so, regardless of what effort anyone puts in to try shape said language.

wieman01
December 18th, 2006, 03:35 PM
Circus-Killer:

Firstly, if you did not see a particular point in discussing this topic, you would not have posted in the first place. Second, languages don't "just evolve". It's the people that shape a language, a language always reflects the current state of a civilization, is subject to social as well as political changes & perceptions. So there IS a need to discuss language & the (right) use of it. Let me be blunt as well: You are from South Africa & you will know that political correctness does play an important role nowadays and that fact eventually has an impact on the way we talk, the way we walk. Like or not. The discussion is crucial... Anywhere, anytime.

Sef:

I would think that Korean & Japanese is more influenced by Chinese... At least the Chinese influence is more obvious in my opinion. But where would I find more about what have stated? Sounds interesting...

eselma
December 18th, 2006, 11:29 PM
In Catalan there are different pronouns for different genders. But fortunately, we can elide the pronouns (the verbal desinence is enough) so we can avoid this problem easily.

On the other hand, you can find difficult to know if someone is speaking about "he" or "she"; so if this avoid gender incorrectness it can't resolve the correct gender of the addressed subject.

As a joke, the given name "Joan", that defines a feminine gender in English, in Catalan equals to "John", so, there is a reason for many scholar men being named "Joan" in Catalan translate their name to "John" in other countries. I should vote for a "neutral" pronoun nowadays (it shall come soon) but by now the things are a bit more complex.

Eduard (yes, this means "Edward" and not "Edwin").

Sef
December 19th, 2006, 12:52 PM
I would think that Korean & Japanese is more influenced by Chinese... At least the Chinese influence is more obvious in my opinion. But where would I find more about what have stated? Sounds interesting...

Vocabulary-wise Chinese has influenced Korean and Japanese, but not structurally as much. Structurally Chinese is closer to English than either Korean or Japanese.

This is similar to English. Vocabulary-wise it has been heavy influenced by Latin and Latin languages, especially French, even though it is a Germanic language.

pmasiar
December 19th, 2006, 09:03 PM
And I explain here why I use the feminine third person singular pronoun:
http://www.psychocats.net/essays/thirdpersonsingularpronoun

Good link, thank you. I was using she occasinaly in this situation in a whim (I liked the surprise effect), I will continue to do so - now I know why.

One of nice person doing this was one priest - he (male) referred to God as 'she', even when reading standard bible with he. It also got people thinking - half of them even broke off his church, but the good and smart ones stayed. :-) Very nice people.

This Ubuntu thing gets under your skin. I will hang around. To be nice to other people - what an innovative concept! And in debian based distro, even! :-)

pmasiar
December 19th, 2006, 09:10 PM
what language family is Hungarian?

Hungarian is not even indo-europen language, it is **very** different. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_language

macogw
December 20th, 2006, 02:26 AM
It's Altaic-Uralic in English. These languages include Hungarian, Finish, Estonian, Turkish, Japanese, and Korean. Though the last two are more distantly related. These languages make extensive use of suffixes and post postions (the opposite of prepositions from pre-positions.)

Russian likes post-positions too. 日本語は難しくない!

hmm to demonstrate post-positions

watashi wa gakkou ni densha de ikimasu.
watash = I
gakkou = school
densha = train
ikimasu = go
wa = that was the topic
ni = that was a place
de = that was how

Those particles are added on after the word to describe the word's function. "I go TO school BY train." Those are the same function, but they go first in English.

dorcssa
December 20th, 2006, 06:39 AM
It's a little different in hungarian. To pick the same example:

Vonattal járok iskolába.

Vonat = train, +al = by
járok = go, it's the verb, but with the ok conjugation, it inculdes the personal pronoun I
iskola = school, with ba = to

macogw
December 20th, 2006, 07:00 AM
In Japanese, there are no spaces, so essentially, that's what it's doing. watashiwagakkounidenshadeikimasu. The Japanese leave off as much info as possible though. It's perfectly acceptable (and totally normal) to leave off the "watashiwa" part of that sentence.

Is this similar to the cases in Russian? shkola = school, shkole = in school, shkolu = to school

dmizer
December 20th, 2006, 09:40 AM
actually more related to this thread in japanese ...


By the way, does anyone know what languages have gender-neutral third-person singular pronouns?

often it's difficult for japanese to decide which gender pronoun to use when learning english, as the distinction is very rare. in fact, it's rare to hear 3rd person references at all as it's impolite.

usually the situation is left completely ambiguous. but when necessary, people are usually referred to according to their given name, or their title if their name is not known. for example:

the student, the driver, the company worker, the guest, and so on. when the title is not known, they usually defer to "hito" or person

so from the example given earlier, the sentence:

You can't convince someone into using an OS that doesn't suit her needs.
would read more like:
i can't convince a person into using an os that doesn't suit that person's needs.

this same approach works perfectly well in english as well, and it's how i prefer to address the issue. either by composing the sentence so the reference is not needed, or simply by referring to the individual by title.

because, in my opinion (yes opinion), it is more correct to remove gender from the situation entirely than by reversing it. in my opinion it is just as discriminating to use "she" as it is to use "he".

is this an issue peculiar to americans, or do other english speaking nations (england, austrailia) struggle with this as well? because i do feel that the american culture is overly sensitive about this.

compwiz18
December 20th, 2006, 10:06 AM
actually more related to this thread in japanese ...



often it's difficult for japanese to decide which gender pronoun to use when learning english, as the distinction is very rare. in fact, it's rare to hear 3rd person references at all as it's impolite.

usually the situation is left completely ambiguous. but when necessary, people are usually referred to according to their given name, or their title if their name is not known. for example:

the student, the driver, the company worker, the guest, and so on. when the title is not known, they usually defer to "hito" or person

so from the example given earlier, the sentence:

would read more like:
i can't convince a person into using an os that doesn't suit that person's needs.

this same approach works perfectly well in english as well, and it's how i prefer to address the issue. either by composing the sentence so the reference is not needed, or simply by referring to the individual by title.

because, in my opinion (yes opinion), it is more correct to remove gender from the situation entirely than by reversing it. in my opinion it is just as discriminating to use "she" as it is to use "he".

is this an issue peculiar to americans, or do other english speaking nations (england, austrailia) struggle with this as well? because i do feel that the american culture is overly sensitive about this.

i mean ... in german and french, "toilet" is feminine. to me, this would be far more offensive even than the english custom of deferring to "he" when the gender is not known.
Yeah, in Japanese, I believe it is "arenohito" (literally: that person), not she or he as it is in English. But I'm probably wrong, I'm still learning :D Also in Japanese, instead of saying "you", I believe it is perfectly fine to use that person's name in place, so for example person-san ha (pronounced wa) doudesuka?, which would be how are you, using their name in place of you.

macogw
December 20th, 2006, 10:52 AM
Japanese does have "he" (kare) and "she" (konojo), however it is impolite to use them in reference to someone with whom you are not very very close. Because of this, it often implies your boyfriend/girlfriend/lover/spouse.

wieman01
December 20th, 2006, 12:34 PM
i mean ... in german and french, "toilet" is feminine. to me, this would be far more offensive even than the english custom of deferring to "he" when the gender is not known.
I did not understand this one. Why would genders be offensive in general? Although genders do not make really sense, they are not discriminating at all if you know where they come from. English has genders as well by the way. You are referring to ships, cars, planes, countries, etc. as "she". So what's your point?

dmizer
December 20th, 2006, 03:09 PM
I did not understand this one. Why would genders be offensive in general? Although genders do not make really sense, they are not discriminating at all if you know where they come from. [...] So what's your point?

well, it was an afterthought and in retrospect i've decided to remove it as it didn't come across as i intended. but what i was making a poor attempt at relating is that some societys have a far greater gender dicotomy built into their language, but seem to have less of a problem with it. whereas in english, the lack of one tiny pronoun creates a (so far) 5 page discussion.

to me this illistrates that the issue is deeper than the lack of the word itself. the problem is in how the collective conscious of the society perceives the issue. it should not be offensive to default to "he" or in aysiu's case "she" when the cause for it arrises, particularly when the situation is mutualy understood to be gender non specific to begin with. so even if english did have a gender neutral 3rd person singular pronoun, the gender gap problem would (most likely) still exist.

so, although i would not use the aproach myself, in my opinion i see nothing wrong with aysiu's use of the word "she" as a vehicle for awareness because it is also my opinion that there should not be such a dicotomy.

wieman01
December 25th, 2006, 10:44 AM
Well, no not so much..especially nothing common. :) But like I said, english is a lot more easier than our language, personally, I had not too much problem with it when I started to learn it at about age 9. We have a lot more conjugations, and as Sef said, we use post positioned appendixes.
There is an interesting article that I read in one of the latest issues of "The Economist". This is a quote while we are talking about languages and in particular Hungarian:

"According to a survey by the European Commission last year, just 30% of Britons can converse in a language other than their own (only Hungarians did worse). Bad as these figures are, they are flattered by the one in ten residents of Britain who speak a language other than English at home."

Issue: December 16th - 22nd 2006, P. 59

This kind of corroborates my statement that Hungarians find it as hard to learn foreign languages as non-Hungarians do when embarking on Hungarian language studies.

dorcssa
December 25th, 2006, 11:19 AM
Well, maybe, but there's another problem here. There's not much motivation, and the language teaching at school is not very good (it concentrates on grammer, and not usability), so you have to learn it at a language school for money. I did that, and my mom speaks english too, so with that advantage, it was easier. Maybe in two generations, it will change, hence the older generation will be speaking a foreign language too. Why they don't now? Because during the socialism, the russian language was obligated, and of course the language teaching was worse than nowdays.

wieman01
December 25th, 2006, 11:31 AM
Well, maybe, but there's another problem here. There's not much motivation, and the language teaching at school is not very good (it concentrates on grammer, and not usability), so you have to learn it at a language school for money. I did that, and my mom speaks english too, so with that advantage, it was easier. Maybe in two generations, it will change, hence the older generation will be speaking a foreign language too. Why they don't now? Because during the socialism, the russian language was obligated, and of course the language teaching was worse than nowdays.
Ok, you've got a point of course. There is probably a multitude of root causes. Just though it's interesting while we were talking about it. But I am sidetracking.

dorcssa
December 25th, 2006, 12:17 PM
Yeah, it is interesting, and sad.

Phesto
January 5th, 2007, 05:21 PM
What about the use of "One" as in :
"One cannot help but grow older. "
"If one were to fail, that would be unfortunate. "
Isn't this a gender neutral, third person singular pronoun for the English language?

macogw
January 6th, 2007, 04:34 AM
What about the use of "One" as in :
"One cannot help but grow older. "
"If one were to fail, that would be unfortunate. "
Isn't this a gender neutral, third person singular pronoun for the English language?

Because one may have a hard time making the sentence's grammar fit one's thoughts, especially when one wants to be understood by one who is not oneself and then there are two ones. Or does one need to be understood by two? But then are there two or three people?

I used to mental-default to male. I think I default to female online now (in my head). I usually either type the person's handle or s/he though. Don't want the menfolk getting angry at being called "girly," now do we? ;)

Sef
January 6th, 2007, 11:35 AM
I used to mental-default to male. I think I default to female online now (in my head). I usually either type the person's handle or s/he though. Don't want the menfolk getting angry at being called "girly," now do we?

If I was called "girly", I'd just say cheers and laugh. Would not bother me in the least.


in german and french, "toilet" is feminine. to me, this would be far more offensive even than the english custom of deferring to "he" when the gender is not known.


Gender simply is a way of classifying a nouns, adjectives, etc. It has nothing to do with sex. It does not make always make sense if you look at it as dealing with one sex or the other. For example, the word for milk in French is lait. Lait is masculine, hence le lait (the milk.) Now tell me when was the last time you say a man breastfeeding a baby? :lol:

ubuntu-freak
April 16th, 2008, 03:10 AM
A Ubuntu Forums member who tells another forum member she doesn't belong in the community because she doesn't want to do all those things will probably get an infraction or warning of some sort.


What's with the "she" business again? Weird. I'd have thought "they" makes more sense, as it implies either sex.

Nathan

LaRoza
April 16th, 2008, 03:16 AM
What's with the "she" business again? Weird. I'd have thought "they" makes more sense as it implies either sex.



Singular they is awkward for some people. It isn't correct by some standards, although it has historical use dating back to the 1300's.

"They" is always plural, even if when used as a singular. "My friend just bought a new monitor, they are happy with it".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

The use of "he" for a generic pronoun was acceptable until about the 60's in the USA (don't know about elsewhere). Some felt it was not a good tradition, and the use of other wordings rose in popularity. "He or she", "they", "one", or using "he" or "she" interchangably are all in use. (I use "one")

Also, the poster could have a specific case in mind. Often times a poster will reference me as a she, or a he (about 50/50 now).

ubuntu-freak
April 16th, 2008, 03:28 AM
Singular they is awkward for some people. It isn't correct by some standards, although it has historical use dating back to the 1300's.

"They" is always plural, even if when used as a singular. "My friend just bought a new monitor, they are happy with it".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

The use of "he" for a generic pronoun was acceptable until about the 60's in the USA (don't know about elsewhere). Some felt it was not a good tradition, and the use of other wordings rose in popularity. "He or she", "they", "one", or using "he" or "she" interchangably are all in use. (I use "one")

Also, the poster could have a specific case in mind. Often times a poster will reference me as a she, or a he (about 50/50 now).



Interesting. I wouldn't say "he" when talking generally, as it excludes females. It's normal to use "they" in the UK as singular. It's also common to hear someone say "give us a kiss" instead of "give me a kiss" in the UK. That wasn't a request however. :-)

Nathan

LaRoza
April 16th, 2008, 03:58 AM
Interesting. I wouldn't say "he" when talking generally, as it excludes females. It's normal to use "they" in the UK as singular. It's also common to hear someone say "give us a kiss" instead of "give me a kiss" in the UK. That wasn't a request however. :-)

Nathan


It is personal preference. In the USA, I guess it would depend on where one lives. They is common, but it isn't a rule.

The use of "us" is also common in that sense. The use of "us" to refer to one person is common in other languages as well.

Some people on this forum use "she" to make a point of being inclusive. This forum is heavily male as far as the polls show, and it can be hostile to females at times.

http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/love006.gif

ubuntu-freak
April 16th, 2008, 04:23 AM
That's a contradiction though, only "they" (or he/she) is inclusive of both sexes when talking about users in general.

Some people here have been hostile to females? Why? I don't get it. Must be fun banning them.

Nathan

LaRoza
April 16th, 2008, 04:44 AM
That's a contradiction though, only "they" (or he/she) is inclusive of both sexes when talking about users in general.

Some people here have been hostile to females? Why? I don't get it. Must be fun banning them.

Nathan

Note to new readers: This thread was moved from OMG pInK pOnIeS where I have been using navy as the font color.

I said it was to make a point. It is one thing to be neutral, it is another to show a deliberate effort to include others.

I sometimes use: (s)he

It passes without notice when someone uses he or they, but people twitch when "she" is used.

ubuntu-freak
April 16th, 2008, 04:57 AM
Note to new readers: This thread was moved from OMG pInK pOnIeS where I have been using navy as the font color.

I said it was to make a point. It is one thing to be neutral, it is another to show a deliberate effort to include others.

I sometimes use: (s)he

It passes without notice when someone uses he or they, but people twitch when "she" is used.


You think I wouldn't find it weird if someone kept saying "he"? I'd find it just as strange and consider it sexist. I just don't think women need cheap handouts from men in that way. It's just as sexist and non-inclusive to say "she" as it is to say "he".

Nathan

ubuntu-freak
April 16th, 2008, 06:02 AM
By the way, does anyone know what languages have gender-neutral third-person singular pronouns?

I know Chinese does, and I think Korean does as well. What others are there?

Not officially, but most use these:

They, Their, Them (informal)

You, One, He/She, Him/Her (formal).

Nathan

ubuntu-freak
April 16th, 2008, 06:38 AM
Bleh....

hypatia
April 17th, 2008, 08:21 PM
I don't feel like going through the whole thread, so please forgive me if this has already been posted, but I think Hofstadter's Person Paper on Purity in Language (http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/cs655/readings/purity.html) is a propos here :)

days_of_ruin
August 4th, 2008, 12:22 AM
iirc, LaRoza is a she guys, lol...

And we are supposed to know that how?FYI "he" is correct grammar
when gender is unknown or you are speaking generically.

LaRoza
August 4th, 2008, 01:01 AM
And we are supposed to know that how?FYI "he" is correct grammar
when gender is unknown or you are speaking generically.
Says who? http://ubuntucat.wordpress.com/2006/07/29/why-i-say-she/


The debate about LaRoza's gender has come up over and over again. It has never been revealed, and there is a lot of speculation both ways. My advice would be to forget about it.

That would work.



I thought as a thread creator you were endowed with inalienable rights -- one of these being the ability to hijack your own thread :)

And the thread is specifically about post count as it relates to LaRoza -- a bot for sure!
This topic of the thread is specifically not about me, but those as they relate to my post count (whatever it is, somewhere around 11000 I think)

days_of_ruin
August 5th, 2008, 01:31 AM
Says who? http://ubuntucat.wordpress.com/2006/07/29/why-i-say-she/



That would work.



This topic of the thread is specifically not about me, but those as they relate to my post count (whatever it is, somewhere around 11000 I think)

Yeah because what some random blogger says means a LOT.

Btw I read it in a physical encyclopedia.And it should be obvious as to
why(man,mankind etc).

picpak
August 5th, 2008, 01:32 AM
Yeah because what some random blogger says means a LOT.

aysiu is no random blogger. [-X

days_of_ruin
August 5th, 2008, 01:46 AM
aysiu is no random blogger. [-X
Cause he is a mod?Stop sucking up.

LaRoza
August 5th, 2008, 01:52 AM
Yeah because what some random blogger says means a LOT.

Btw I read it in a physical encyclopedia.And it should be obvious as to
why(man,mankind etc).

Then why is the default "he"?

In Hindi. there is no word for "he" or "she", and it is one word (actually, 2 depending on number).

The lack of such a word in English makes a choice necessary? So why use "he" over "she"?

A real reason, not because it is habit.

I find the reasoning in the blog to be very nice and I admire him for that effort. Think about it.


Cause he is a mod?Stop sucking up.
There is nothing to suck up to. What are we going to do? Give him a raise or a better office? aysiu has shown himself (note, he portrays himself as male on the internet, so I use the appropriate pronoun) to be a very helpful and valuable member of this community and the internet. Why should we care about some random guy uploading a univerity project up to the net?

days_of_ruin
August 5th, 2008, 02:11 AM
Then why is the default "he"?

In Hindi. there is no word for "he" or "she", and it is one word (actually, 2 depending on number).

The lack of such a word in English makes a choice necessary? So why use "he" over "she"?

A real reason, not because it is habit.

I find the reasoning in the blog to be very nice and I admire him for that effort. Think about it.


There is nothing to suck up to. What are we going to do? Give him a raise or a better office? aysiu has shown himself (note, he portrays himself as male on the internet, so I use the appropriate pronoun) to be a very helpful and valuable member of this community and the internet. Why should we care about some random guy uploading a univerity project up to the net?

If someone wants to be offended they will be.Most people who say "he" say
it because it is the default.They are not being sexist.There is no
real reason to say she over he except you want to make males uncomfortable.It is not more politically correct.

Lostincyberspace
August 5th, 2008, 02:33 AM
Then why is the default "he"?

Because in the past men have taken all the blame (and still do) but got the credit (which if they work with women they don't as much) for everything.


Anyway I use they when I am not sure because It is a gender nutral.

LaRoza
August 5th, 2008, 02:46 AM
<offtopic>I hate the fact that LaRoza doesn't give any sort of gender to identify to, it makes it really hard to prase a sentence without having to guess a gender, use (s)he or make a choice of he or she for some unrelated reason. At the same time I agree that LaRoza has the right to keep anything secret that (s)he wants, there's a reason why many forms will have options for "Prefer not to say" or something similar, because this information should be irrelevant.


Since I am the Borg Queen, use "she".

Lostincyberspace
August 5th, 2008, 02:49 AM
No since you are the borg queen use "WE" or they.

tiachopvutru
August 5th, 2008, 02:57 AM
Just use Shemale so it will be fair to both genders when identify a person with unknown gender.

Oh, I'm a guy so just he is fine.

lisati
August 5th, 2008, 03:20 AM
In Hindi. there is no word for "he" or "she", and it is one word (actually, 2 depending on number).
Similar can be said of some Polynesian languages. Samoan & Maori have one word which covers "he", "she" and "it". Just to confuse things more, in some circumstances there are three (or more) words, depending on whether you're talking about one person, two people, or more than two people, and whether or not the person(s) spoken to is included in what's being spoken about.

LaRoza
August 5th, 2008, 04:30 AM
No since you are the borg queen use "WE" or they.
No. The Borg is One. I am the collective.


Similar can be said of some Polynesian languages. Samoan & Maori have one word which covers "he", "she" and "it". Just to confuse things more, in some circumstances there are three (or more) words, depending on whether you're talking about one person, two people, or more than two people, and whether or not the person(s) spoken to is included in what's being spoken about.

Neat. Hindi (which I am studying) has three words for "you" which is fun.

Lostincyberspace
August 5th, 2008, 05:04 AM
Neat. Hindi (which I am studying) has three words for "you" which is fun.
So does German.
Ye=Du Informal
You= Sie Formal
Y'all (contraction of "you all" from the southe east United States FYI)= Ihr Plural

So english has two but not in the order people think it is in.

loell
August 5th, 2008, 05:21 AM
Pumalite?

yes, although usually anyone higher 3 to 4 thousand post, should be visible enough by the regulars to say yeah, I know his/her posting styles. but with this user i have yet to know him or her, it should be interesting. :)

LaRoza
August 5th, 2008, 07:04 AM
So does German.
Ye=Du Informal
You= Sie Formal
Y'all (contraction of "you all" from the southe east United States FYI)= Ihr Plural

So english has two but not in the order people think it is in.

I knew that :-)

Hindi has three levels. Intimate, Familiar and Formal (when in doubt, use formal). Like English, the Familiar and Formal are grammatically plural but used the same was as in English.

Old English also has a lot of pronouns. For Singular, Dual and Plural for first person and second person.

bobpur
October 8th, 2008, 12:22 AM
I, vaguely, remember a thread from a couple of years ago about sexual identity, at least, in the forums.

I try to avoid it as not to be offensive. My posts use words like "you" or your." What do I care if a person is male or female? If someone needs help and I can fix their problem, I'm good with that. It doesn't matter which bathroom they use. :)

semitone36
October 9th, 2008, 06:59 PM
I know from literally tens of thousands of posts I've seen over more than three years on the forums that when a new user asks how to log in as root, she usually doesn't really want to log in as root. She thinks she has to log in as root in order to perform some other task. Same deal with the .tar.gz. When a new user asks how to install a .tar.gz, she usually doesn't want to install a .tar.gz. She wants to install a program and thinks using the .tar.gz is the only or preferred method of doing so.

Hmmm... interesting choice of gender when referring to inexperienced users...

LaRoza
October 9th, 2008, 07:00 PM
Hmmm... interesting choice of gender when referring to inexperienced users...

Not interesting to me. Why should he use another pronoun for a generic user?

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=313881

(Funny how males notice that, whereas females are normally expected to be quiet and expect "he")

semitone36
October 9th, 2008, 07:16 PM
(Funny how males notice that, whereas females are normally expected to be quiet and expect "he")

You misunderstand me LaRoza. I was not commenting because I want equality, I was commenting because I was surprised to see a respected member in our community referring to "new" "inexperienced" (or even perhaps ignorant) users as being soley female. It does females injustice to be labeled in such a way.


While I do believe that justice means treating people equally, I don’t believe that—in the face of injustice—treating people the same brings about justice. If men truly believe he does not leave women feeling left out sometimes, they should have no problems with me using the word she.

And I dont. Knowing now that this is the direction you were coming from I can understand. However, to anyone else that would read this thread without understanding your principle, your views on women might come into question.

LaRoza
October 9th, 2008, 07:42 PM
You misunderstand me LaRoza. I was not commenting because I want equality, I was commenting because I was surprised to see a respected member in our community referring to "new" "inexperienced" (or even perhaps ignorant) users as being soley female. It does females injustice to be labeled in such a way.


But if he used "he" would it do males an injustice?

"She", in that sense, was generic, just like "he" is often used, yet, it isn't easily accepted by most people.

lukjad007
October 9th, 2008, 08:07 PM
But if he used "he" would it do males an injustice?

"She", in that sense, was generic, just like "he" is often used, yet, it isn't easily accepted by most people.

Yes, and no. The fact is that the computer industry has long maintained that only men can handle computers. It was pointed out to me once that in every ad for electronics, everything that was marketed as simple was handled by a woman while things like hard drives and RAM were handled by men.

I choose to use the "he" and "him" generally, just because that is what I was taught was the default gender in this language (I quote the words "Chairman" and "Human" as examples).

As much as I agree that there have been injustices to woman kind, using "she" and "her" draws attention away from what is being said to what might be implied. In this case the first impression is that woman are clueless. I did not post this because I had already read the article by aysiu about why he was writing the way he does.

I would like to commend aysiu on using the same gender consistently. It really improves readability once you understand where he is coming from. This she/he, he/she, he or she, or worse the dreaded alternating "he", "she", "it", "them" seen in many posts. My personal preference aside, choose a gender and stick to it in ALL your posts.

Tristam Green
October 9th, 2008, 08:12 PM
You misunderstand me LaRoza. I was not commenting because I want equality, I was commenting because I was surprised to see a respected member in our community referring to "new" "inexperienced" (or even perhaps ignorant) users as being soley female. It does females injustice to be labeled in such a way.

At risk of delving into some sexism discussion (god forbid), I think it's simply because English lacks a gender-neutral pronoun. Saying "she" is the next best, and more acceptable, alternative.

lisati
October 9th, 2008, 08:15 PM
But if he used "he" would it do males an injustice?

"She", in that sense, was generic, just like "he" is often used, yet, it isn't easily accepted by most people.

I don't mind "she" being used in a generic sense, even though I'm not used to it.

semitone36
October 9th, 2008, 09:00 PM
But if he used "he" would it do males an injustice?

"She", in that sense, was generic, just like "he" is often used, yet, it isn't easily accepted by most people.

Yes! If he had used "he" in place of every she I highlighted I would have made the same remark, word for word. And it is very rare (at least where I have grown up) for someone to use the generic "he" anymore. People tend to use "they" unless they are writing a formal document, in which case I have been taught to use "he or she".

semitone36
October 9th, 2008, 09:15 PM
Saying "she" is the next best, and more acceptable, alternative.

I disagree. It is no better than using "he" for everything. If the head of a company made a speech congradulating his or her office workers on a profitable year by saying: "I want every worker in this branch to know that her efforts made our success possible" the men would feel as if their efforts meant nothing. The same could be said about women if the "she" was replaced by "he".

I commend Aysiu for trying to promote women rights and for sticking to his personal values. But on the note of equality for men and women, I dont believe that this is the way.

panickedthumb
October 9th, 2008, 10:10 PM
It's really a problem with the language. We have no gender-neutral substitute for she/he. Using "you" (If you do A then you get B) "one" (If one does A then one gets B) and "they" (If a person does A then they get B) are very awkward as replacements. That's why I choose to find neither he nor she to be sexist, because you have to pick one. Who cares which it is?

lisati
October 10th, 2008, 01:27 AM
It's really a problem with the language. We have no gender-neutral substitute for she/he. Using "you" (If you do A then you get B) "one" (If one does A then one gets B) and "they" (If a person does A then they get B) are very awkward as replacements. That's why I choose to find neither he nor she to be sexist, because you have to pick one. Who cares which it is?

We have the gender-neutral "it", which is probably just as awkward as having to choose between "he" or "she" because "it" is commonly used for animals and inanimate objects. My Polynesian in-laws somehow manage to get by with one word which covers all three of the third-person singular pronouns I know.

Sef
October 10th, 2008, 04:57 AM
We have the gender-neutral "it", which is probably just as awkward as having to choose between "he" or "she" because "it" is commonly used for animals and inanimate objects.

It can be used for people, but it is very insulting; thus it is never used for people, except as a put down..


My Polynesian in-laws somehow manage to get by with one word which covers all three of the third-person singular pronouns I know.

Some languages have only he and she equivalents, and some have only one word to cover all three meanings in English.

ubuntu-freak
October 12th, 2008, 09:23 PM
It's really a problem with the language. We have no gender-neutral substitute for she/he. Using "you" (If you do A then you get B) "one" (If one does A then one gets B) and "they" (If a person does A then they get B) are very awkward as replacements. That's why I choose to find neither he nor she to be sexist, because you have to pick one. Who cares which it is?


Ever since my arguement with aysiu and LaRoza over this issue, I'm careful to say he/she and him/her whenever I'm talking generally, or about a forum member whose sex I'm not confident of.

I don't think it's awkward (except that him/her sounds like Himmler) and it beats excluding one sex altogether, whether it's the male or female sex.

LaRoza has a point though, cos' I didn't have a problem with "he" being used all the time until I saw "she" being used all the time.