OT: gender-neutral English usage (was Re: OT: Where can I meet a female companion with similar interests and personality /in person/?)

Brolin Empey brolin at brolin.be
Tue Jan 19 01:32:10 CET 2010

Juan Lucas Dominguez Rubio wrote:
> No we dont have a neutral gender in Spanish, but the Spanish for 'his'
> and 'her' is the same ('su') so we don't have that problem:
> 'his/her Freerunner' ==> 'su Freerunner'

Spanish is still patriarchal, though:  plural nouns are masculine unless 
all the members are female.

AFAIK, German has a neutral gender in addition to masculine and 
feminine, but I know even less about German than Spanish.

> As for English, I prefer 'their' rather than 'his/her'.

I prefer to preserve distinction between singular and plural forms, 
which means using “he/his/him or she/hers/her” for singular and 
“they/theirs/them” for plural.

> I wonder how
> this issue was solved in the past. Such a usual problem must have been
> solved centuries ago in the English literature, no?

It was “solved” in a patriarchal style by using masculine terms as 
gender-neutral terms, which I think is wrong even though I am male.  See 

> And yes, this is totally off-topic,

Hence the “OT: ” prefix in the Subject.  Why would anyone complain about 
off-topic subjects in a thread clearly marked as off-topic? (fail)  If 
you do not want to read off-topic discussions, avoid reading threads 
clearly marked as such!

> and the where-can-I-meet-a-female
> topic is totally ridiculous and bad taste

Why?  Please support your claim.  My question was not simply “Where can 
I meet a female?”, but “Where can I meet a female *companion with 
similar interests and personality /in person/?*”  Did you even read my 
original post in this thread?  Please understand I do not intend to be 
harsh and/or belligerent.  However, I find your reasoning/logic faulty.

> and I think the list
> administrator (if there is one) should do something about it.

Such as?  Are you suggesting censorship of a list about a project to 
free the cellular/mobile phone?  If yes, I find that highly ironic.

Even if the list administrator changed or removed this thread, it would 
be too late because this thread has already been copied to many 
unofficial archives and members’s mailboxes.

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