APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2001-04 > 0987738120
From: "Timothy C. Coyne" <>
Subject: [APG] he she and it
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 23:44:54 -0400
References: <C12E389DBC0AD211A9D100805F6516EDC15B32@csc-nt-2.csc.cc.il.us.> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Would you find it satisfactory to simply use _either_ of the pronouns, without /or/, in a random fashion trying to avoid obvious alternation?
"Robert V. Montague" wrote:
> To ALL professional writers of genealogy . Allow me just one minute of candor for this posting.
> This is entirely off most subjects I've been monitoring for the past several months on APG-L, but Michael Neills posting reminded me of something. [To Michael Neill, this is not a personal criticism and I mean that sincerely.] This is a professional observation about a newly emerging trend in writing that is annoying and obnoxious as a literary device because it masquerades as a concession of sensitivity to whoever might decide that the traditional use of a masculine pronoun might be considered sexist. So with apologies to Michael here goes:
> Michael employs the politically correct technique below of "his (or her)", then in order not to offend sensitive readers everywhere, this order is reversed to "her (or his)", and that flip-flopping cycle repeats itself as many times as necessary to conclude the posting.
> This emerging trend in writing styles tortures me twice. First, the notion that we readers need to be reminded that human beings come in two flavors (with and without) I mean his and hers. Second, that we then have to reverse the order of these two flavors, that we didn't need to know about in the first place. Writers pay a price for such wanderings in his (or her) writings. The expense of disturbing the reader (me) with the fact that this writer is preoccupied with her (or his) pronouns to the point that he (or she) would actually manipulate her (or his) otherwise perfect literary masterpieces. Like people who want to ban Huckleberry Finn for use of the "N" word. If you are one of those, I hope you will choose another profession. I do not want to see any of the old colonial records dealing with the slave trade redacted and censured to assuage your enlightened twentieth/twentyfirst sensibilities.
> Be you a sensitive genealogist or a traditionalist, better is simply to use the third person possessive pronoun, "their" or rework the sentence so as to not have to get into the so-called sexist language issues. Now that's a professional's touch. Leave the sensitivity debates about the "fairness" of our general use of pronouns out of our profession and let "People" magazine play with it.
> This is a website for professional genealogists to banter back and forth and I would like to see this silliness disappear. Return to the use of gender neutral pronouns, so that a hundred years from now are descendants won't feel the urge to snicker at our amateurish use of language. If I deserve a tongue-lashing for this commentary, I am ready for whatever I deserve, and I will keep an open mind.
> Robert V.Montague
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael Neill" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2001 8:58 AM
> Subject: [APG] GEDCOM to clients or not?
> > For what it is worth....my humble toughts
> > 1) If the client wants a GEDCOM of the information compiled by the hired
> > researcher, then the client should stipulate this and include this as a part
> > of the contract.
> > 2) If the client insists on a GEDCOM of the information from the researcher,
> > then the client can locate a researcher who will include that as a part of
> > the final report. (In other words, if I don't like the way you do your
> > reports, I will hire someone who will create the reports in the format I
> > want. If the professional loses clients because of this, then that's
> > something the professional will have to consider.)
> > 3) Those whose professional work centers on their own families also can
> > exercise discretion as to where and to whom they submit their own GEDCOM
> > files. They may wish to freely exchange them with anyone and post them on
> > numerous sites and hopefully make new connections. They may not wish to
> > share in this fashion. When one has taken the time to collect facts and
> > information themselves, they are free to share it (or not to share it) in
> > whatever manner they so choose. Yes, the data is "out there" but nothing
> > says the researcher must share it if it were compiled for his (or her) own
> > personal use.
> > 4) GEDCOM transfers of data are not entirely 100% reliable, especially when
> > different programs are used to create and to read the same GEDCOM file. It
> > is understandable that some hired researchers may have concerns about the
> > transfer of data they compiled via this format and potential difficulties
> > that may be created with the transfer.
> > 5) Personally, if I'm going to hire a researcher to research records for me
> > and make interpretations of those records, I am paying for her (or his)
> > expertise in reading and interpreting those records in that location during
> > that time period. I am paying for his (or her) knowledge of those records
> > and her (or his) ability to locate those records effectively. If the
> > researcher can find that elusive document or make (and establish clearly)
> > that connection I have been "dying" to make, then I personally don't care
> > one iota whether the report is in GEDCOM, Word, or neatly handwritten.
> > I have other thoughts that I'll keep to myself (grin!).
> > Michael
> > ==== APG Mailing List ====
> > The Association of Professional Genealogists
> ==== APG Mailing List ====
> The Association of Professional Genealogists
RIGLER, HORNKETH and ESLING
families, anytime, anywhere
Timothy C. Coyne
specializing in genealogical research
Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania