English question

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by (marc), Feb 18, 2011.

  1. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #1
    I'm writing some documentation for a game in English. I'm not a native speaker so I wondered how should I refer to the player. I'm currently always using "he / she" and "his / her". I believe I once read that it's polite to always just use "she", "her" and so on. Is this correct?
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    I think its politically correct now a days to use (s)he and other mechanisms as awkward as they are to make your document gender neutral. By the same token there's still nothing wrong with defaulting to the masculine gender when the occasion calls for it.

    Personally, I opt for masculine gender over using the (s)he or him/her as that tends to make the document awkward in my opinion.
     
  3. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #3
    I'd use he and him only. Traditionally this is what was done, but it is starting to go out of favour. Which is silly!

    It is like when people say 'mankind' or 'fireman' they don't mean people with bits on the outside! They mean all people, as in that context 'man' is not gender-specific.

    I'd much rather read instructions written with 'he' than lots of silly '(s)he' or 'he/she' things around.
     
  4. (marc) thread starter macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #4
    Yeah, afaik in French and German you always just use "he" to refer to both sexes. So it's the same in English? Btw, Wikipedia even has an article about it. It appears that using just "she" isn't common.
     
  5. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #5
    I normally refer to "they" and "their". Although you are writing in the singular you are actually referring to a group of people, so it's grammatically valid as well as being gender neutral.
     
  6. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #6
    yeah, I never see people using just she unless it's clear they are only talking about women. I'd usually either just use he or they.
     
  7. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #7
    Why not just refer to the player using the player's name. Even the in the player's dialogue, he/she will use his/her name as well, thus confirming the long held belief* that heroes/heroines are textbook narcissist.

    * I believe this anyhow. The hero is always hogging all the HP, melee attacks and/or the miracle-special-ultra-super-megaton attack spell, while the supporting cast have to make do with half the hp and healing spells.:p
     
  8. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #8
    This is grammatically nonsense, of course. Singular is singular, plural is plural. If you need to avoid the awkward he/she palaver, try placing the subject in the plural.
     
  9. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #9
    Recently, they/their has become acceptable as a singular pronoun.

    The Cambridge Guide to English Usage (2004): "They, them, their are now freely used in agreement with singular indefinite pronouns and determiners, those with universal implications such as any(one), every(one), no(one), as well as each and some(one), whose reference is often more individual....For those listening or reading, it has become unremarkable—an element of common usage."

    First they drop Shall in favor of Will for singular, now this. When with the butchery of the Queen's language end?:p

    To the Op: If you don't want to go with the narcissist hero/heroine, use they/them to make thing simple.
     
  10. Queso macrumors G4

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  11. (marc) thread starter macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #11
    Coincidentally, I just found an example of this in an article by Richard Stallman:
    Then, in the next paragraph:
    Go figure! :p
     

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