Gender neutral pronouns
Although I would not want anyone to feel excluded by using "he" to indicate a person of unknown gender, that is the traditional gender-neutral pronoun in such cases. It may not be "politically correct" in contemporary times, but it does have a long history of, in fact, serving as the singular gender-neutral pronoun. I personally do not have any difficulty with including myself in "mankind" or being referred to with the use of an abstract "he," whereas I do mind the subject and verb disagreeing in a sentence. There are other ways of resolving issues like this, such as making everything plural:
- "A saint who has the title Fool-for-Christ is one who is known for his ..."
- "Saints who have the title Fool-for-Christ are those who are known for their ..."
but this does not work in all cases. I don't mean to jump into a discussion between you and Dn. Andrew, but I wrote the original sentence in Fool-for-Christ and can provide a "female perspective" should that be useful or desired. —magda (talk) 22:20, December 10, 2005 (CST)
- What Magda writes here is essentially my rationale, as well. We haven't made it our policy on OrthodoxWiki to use "inclusive language," and in fact have stuck with traditional pronoun usage. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 16:26, December 11, 2005 (CST)
- Just wanted to weigh in here too -- for what it's worth I'm with magda and Dcn. Andrew. I'd to mention another aspect - As far as I can tell, traditional English usage fits the general attitudes of the Orthodox community (admittedly a rather nebulous thing) much better. Except for a few academics, or those trained in a certain way in colleges over, say, the past 10-15 years. Maybe Dcn. Andrew can add a note to the style manual for future clarity. Fr. John
- Thanks, all. I would like to point out, though, that the use of the 'singular they' in English is definitely not a neologism. It dates back to William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. Magda suggests: "Saints who have the title Fool-for-Christ are those who are known for their ... ". By way of consensus, until some future year when the "singular they" might be acceptable on OrthodoxWiki, can we go with plural then, in the Fool-for-Christ article, or would such a revision also be reverted? --Synoptic 21:51, December 11, 2005 (CST)