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February 4th, 2010


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12:46 am
lately (past couple months) i've been unusually aware of the gendering of english[2]. the lack of accepted neutral pronouns, the way maleness is the assumed default state, etc. i find myself somewhat often intentionally phrasing things so gender is not specified needlessly. what makes this really odd to me is i don't know why i'm doing it. i mean, i have misgivings about this aspect of language - though no firm conclusions - but i am not consciously thinking "gee i should say this in an unspecific way". i just find myself doing so.

as a sidenote, the reading and/or editing teams (i forget which) of my law school Social Justice Project decided that in our giant written thing[1] we will use "she" for all pronouns that aren't referring to specific people. i find it distracting. i suppose that's part of the point.
they also banned such things as "and/or" which is just a shame. oh and semicolons. AND WE HAVE TO HAVE 2 SPACES AFTER EACH PERIOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT WHO DOES THAT

my sleeping and eating habits lately are both totally out of whack, and my body is starting to rebel against me. i suppose i should do something about this. but instead i'll just play magic online all day. it's all i want to do lately! ahh!

[1] i'm not being coy or anything, i just have no idea what to call it at this point. it's a report/guidebook/explanation/instruction manual/set of pamphlets/etc.
[2] http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/cs655/readings/purity.html
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(18 shots upside the head | en garde!)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:miss_geek
Date:February 4th, 2010 06:06 am (UTC)
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I've found that both anthro and gender and women's studies tend to use "s/he" or "person" instead of the awkward and inappropriate pronouns. Maybe that's just the vocabulary for the kinds of things that I am particularly studying at Cal, but it totally makes sense to use them.

Of course, it would take a lifetime to understand why people use the words that they do, why they choose them, the particular context in which they are all used, etc., etc....
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:February 4th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC)
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is there a pronunciation for s/he? i use singular they pretty often, but a lot of people don't like that. also, it feels weird to me to use it when the gender is known, even if it isn't relevant.
[User Picture]
From:miss_geek
Date:February 4th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC)
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Gender and women's studies people pronounce it "she or he." It depends in other departments... some just say he or she, some say she or he, some say sh-he. I mean the GWS people get more hung up on it than anthro. We anthro people tend to try to figure out the gender that is actually being referenced and then use that, or go in round-about ways to avoid the distinction all together like referring to "this one particular member of homo sapiens," or "the informant," or "the person being referenced." I have a lot of professors that do the member of homo sapiens thing. Berkeley anthropologists are odd, I like it, and I apologize if it's little help for you, but it's the exact kind of vocabulary I will be bringing with me to law school ;)
[User Picture]
From:miss_geek
Date:February 4th, 2010 06:23 am (UTC)
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Also, two spaces after a period is standard correct grammar. Dude.
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:February 4th, 2010 06:39 am (UTC)
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i was never taught this! i've always used 1 space
[User Picture]
From:ardentdelirium
Date:February 4th, 2010 10:15 am (UTC)
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when first learning to type, I was taught this as well, however, its not always true. MLA requires only one space after a period. I can't remember if 2 spaces is Chicago or APA but its a rule for one of those style manuals.
[User Picture]
From:plotsthicken
Date:February 4th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
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Chicago. APA is one space (aka NORMAL) :)
[User Picture]
From:crschmidt
Date:February 4th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)
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Depends on who you listen to for a 'standard' ;)

"The consensus within U.S. and international style guides that use the modern Latin alphabet is to prescribe or recommend the use of a single space after concluding punctuation in writing and publications. Some style guides permit the use of a double space in certain circumstances if preferred by the writer. No known U.S. or international style guide currently prescribes the use of a double space after concluding punctuation for final or published work."

-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_spacing_at_the_end_of_sentences

The fact that Jess does it in web pages, where it actually *doesn't work* (multiple whitespace elements just become one), has always amused me.
[User Picture]
From:mercy_rain
Date:February 4th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
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Yes, it strikes me as a rather antiquated practice. Which is why I'm not in the least surprised that Jess would insist on keeping it ;) (<3 you, Jess!)
[User Picture]
From:crschmidt
Date:February 4th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
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:) It's largely based, from everything I've read, on getting typewriters to not jam. Jess did do some of her first typing on a typewriter, so I'm totally willing to let it go, it has just always amused me :)
[User Picture]
From:miss_geek
Date:February 4th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
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Crazy... I learned to type on a typewriter as well, maybe it's an old person thing? I have never heard of using just one space. Weird.
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:February 4th, 2010 06:41 am (UTC)
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hahaha "member of homo sapiens" how alienating. that reminds me of something i read once, that as an experiment you should spend a week referring to your body as "the robot". the robot is tired. the robot needs water.
[User Picture]
From:miss_geek
Date:February 4th, 2010 06:45 am (UTC)
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yeah some of anthro is pretty alienating, i hope it came across that both of those examples are pretty extreme.

the norm is like "the person in question" or just person or something, but it always depends on context, who is writing, who the audience is, all that shit. there is no easy way to deal with it really. honestly i just try to reword things so as to avoid any kind of gender speak getting into my writing.

though i do use "we" a lot ;)
[User Picture]
From:kingnixon
Date:February 4th, 2010 06:49 am (UTC)
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the royal we, i hope
[User Picture]
From:miss_geek
Date:February 4th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
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I'm fairly certain that it's the academic, intellectually privileged "we." Which is probably pretty similar, unfortunately.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:gorzo
Date:February 5th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
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So have I!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:gorzo
Date:February 5th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, a lot of sites do.
[User Picture]
From:deadeyedave
Date:February 6th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
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How is MTG:Online?

Is that the one where you pay real life money for virtual cards (or are you playing a cracked version somehow?)

Lauri and I were considering picking up the MTG game on Xbox live, but the fact that we could play against each other (or in a coffee shop) was a pretty strong reason not to bother.

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