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Old 08-15-2007, 07:09 AM   #7
Michael Rowley
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ipswich (the one in England)
Posts: 5,105
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Ben:

Quote:
It is curious that languages with feminine and masculine case endings for nouns seem less bothered with gender politics in grammar than in English, where there is none.
There has been a change in attitudes even in some of those coutries too; for instance, in Germany and France it is no longer customary to address grown women of any age as 'Fraülein' and 'Mademoiselle': instead, it's now always 'Frau' and 'Madame', unless the female in question has obviously not yet reached the age of puberty. But they never break grammatical rules. I read somewhere about a Frenchwoman, 'un Ministre' in the government, who demanded to be known as 'Madame, la Ministre' (ministre is masculine), but apparently that didn't go down at all well with her civil servants.

I write many rules and regulations without going out of my way to avoid calling a member he or him, instead of 'he or she' or 'him or her' (without incurring the wrath of my mostly female colleagues), but I do use 'members' and 'they' or 'them' wherever possible.

   
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