Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 25
  1. #11
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    22,852
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    I don't have much of a problem with the feminine version of a noun which used to only have a male version but I don't think it should be obligatory and I certainly can't see how anyone could be offended by the name of a job. It's this bizarre attempt to make everything sex-less (gender neutral) that I can't understand.

    If the chair of a board is male, then he's the chairman. If the chair of a board is female, then she's the chairwoman. I don't think we should have to create the word "chairperson" just to keep everyone happy.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  2. #12
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,047
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    I am in full sympathy with all that has been said in this thread. But ems's opinion is out of step with what is actually happening in response to this PC impetus. Instead of chairmen or chairwomen or chairpersons, what we now have are human chairs, at least on the boards I sit on or chair.

    But worse, by far, is usage like this: If anyone thinks, does, has or whatever, THEY ... This is rapidly becoming standard. The feminists won the political battle, and quite rightly in my opinion. Now as a result of their victory the language is being forced into new and uncharted territory.

  3. #13
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    But worse, by far, is usage like this: If anyone thinks, does, has or whatever, THEY ... This is rapidly becoming standard. The feminists won the political battle, and quite rightly in my opinion. Now as a result of their victory the language is being forced into new and uncharted territory.
    I can't agree with you on that one, probus. This is one occasion where a little bit of PC pressure has tipped the balance in favour of common usage. For the majority of native speakers, they/them/their were always the pronouns of choice for some/any/nobody, some/any/no-one, etc. Generations of tyrannical schoolteachers tried to insist that only the 'all-embracing' (!) masculine pronoun should be used, and generations of editors and proofreaders enforced the rule. Meanwhile, ordinary people ignored the rule in their everyday speech and correspondence, either (depending on their approach to arbitrary authority) blushing or looking a little puzzled if they were reproached by Class X, that small, self-appointed and self-perpetuating clique of people who knew beyond any doubt that people who used a plural pronoun for indefinite determiners belonged in that subspecies of yahoos who did not understand when to use whom, dropped inital hs, split infinitives, said 'It's me', didn't wear a tie on Sundays and ate dinner in the middle of the day.

    Formal logic has never been one of the foundations of natural languages, though for several centuries 'educated' people tried to force native speakers of English into its (somewhat twisted) yoke. A rearguard action by Class X to compromise on the replacement of he with he or she, she or he, s/he, (s)he or newly-invented words was largely treated with the contempt it deserved.

    PC pressure has caused some changes in usage which I regret, largely because they are, or were, not natural.The release of the plural pronoun from its underground samizdat existence to a newly-won respectability is one of the changes I welcome.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  4. #14
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,773
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Politically Correct Language

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    It took years for me to get used to complete strangers addressing me by my first name after two seconds' acquaintance.
    Five, sorry, uh Mr J, or Mr JJ.

    A lot of what is known as PC language strikes me as simply a question of manners and is fine- the use of they as a non-gender specific pronoun that comes up later in the thread is an example that I approve of. When the terms change endlessly, it simply becomes annoying, but this example strikes me more as corporate speak than PC. The use of first names has sent me back to more formal forms - I use sir and madam more than I used to - and I don't want to be asked how we guys are doin' tonight- I want to be served good food, largely in silence, but I am not sure that the PC gang are guilty here.

  5. #15
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    22,852
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post

    But worse, by far, is usage like this: If anyone thinks, does, has or whatever, THEY ... This is rapidly becoming standard. The feminists won the political battle, and quite rightly in my opinion. Now as a result of their victory the language is being forced into new and uncharted territory.
    I'm not sure about your definition of rapidly. Using "they" instead of "he/she" was well-established 40 years ago when I was a child learning the language so it's been around rather too long to be considered to be currently rapidly becoming standard. It is entirely standard and much preferable, in my opinion, to faffing about with "he/she", "him/her", "his/her" etc.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #16
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    22,852
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Politically Correct Language

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The use of first names has sent me back to more formal forms - I use sir and madam more than I used to - and I don't want to be asked how we guys are doin' tonight- I want to be served good food, largely in silence, but I am not sure that the PC gang are guilty here.
    Were you referring to the use of first names by wait staff or by other people?

    I'm curious as to how you would (if you had to) address those wait staff. If they are wearing a name tag, would you ever say "Excuse me, Joseph (for example), may I have another pitcher of water?" or would you call him "waiter" or "nothing at all"? I assume you expect him to refer to you as "Sir".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #17
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Politically Correct Language

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I'm curious as to how you would (if you had to) address those wait staff. If they are wearing a name tag, would you ever say "Excuse me, Joseph (for example), may I have another pitcher of water?" or would you call him "waiter" or "nothing at all"? I assume you expect him to refer to you as "Sir".
    I am not someone who goes around asserting the superiority (or inferiority) of one language compared with another, but I do, sometimes, regret the lack in English of a deference-free equivalent of (for example) the French Monsieur/madame/mademoiselle. Perhaps it's a result of my age and/or background, but there are few situations in which I can happily address anyone as 'sir'(/'madam'), and as few in which I am comfortable at being addressed as 'sir'.

    Although I was brought up to despise 'You're welcome' (horrid transpondial practice) as a response to being thanked (a true Englishman simply gives a self-deprecating smile), I have learnt to appreciate it. I look forward to an acceptable English equivalent to 'monsieur/senor/pane/etc' and 'bon appetit/buen apetito/dobrou chut/etc'.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  8. #18
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,047
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I'm not sure about your definition of rapidly. Using "they" instead of "he/she" was well-established 40 years ago when I was a child learning the language so it's been around rather too long to be considered to be currently rapidly becoming standard. It is entirely standard and much preferable, in my opinion, to faffing about with "he/she", "him/her", "his/her" etc.
    What I meant by rapidly is that resistance to the usage of they is fading away, as 5jj noted. I know that many people were using this they fifty and sixty years ago, but I accepted the instruction I received and always tried to avoid it myself. Certainly I never let it creep into any of my writing. Nowadays, however, I hear highly educated professional wordsmiths using it freely, and one of them , a lawyer, smartly told me it was now standard.

  9. #19
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,773
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Politically Correct Language

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Were you referring to the use of first names by wait staff or by other people?
    I was thinking of call centres.

  10. #20
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Politically Correct Language

    I have moved the 'Enjoy your meal' discussion to a thread of its own.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 15-Aug-2012, 18:56
  2. check my language is it correct .
    By R P Singh in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-Jul-2009, 17:49
  3. Correct language and wording
    By moodstruck in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-Dec-2006, 06:26
  4. Correct language
    By Heather Bacon in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-Oct-2006, 19:14
  5. politically incorrect
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Jan-2004, 08:01

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •