In reply to:
Poster: TEd Remington
Subject: Re: political correctness
>I find that using the generic term 'they' a perfectly acceptable form of address for those of both sexes. Otherwise I refer
to people using the formal term 'one'.
The problem is that doesn't fit in with a lot of the writing I do at work. I frequently have to write scenarios about military
pay, such as:
An Army member, enters a combat zone on the third day of the month. To compute her entitlement to hostile fire pay,
(apply this formula). As a result she will be entitled to...
Ah, I didn't intend for my answer to be a panacea! In the case of 'her' and 'she' above you can simply use the more generic 'the individual' etc. etc. ad nauseum.
In reply to:
"They" is a plural construction so it doesn't work very well in this context. And for me, "one" is just too formal. I'm
supposed to be writing to a 6th-8th grade level, which is not easy to do. And it was a struggle to get to that point.
Originally my marching orders were to write to a third grade level.
Yup. I guessed this. I knew that the plurality would be a problem but I thought that you would have picked up on some of its useful interpretations. Again, not to be used universally.
In reply to:
See the Army member. See his gun. He goes to war. He shoots his gun. He gets extra pay. The extra pay is $10 a
day. The extra pay starts on the first day of the month.
I actually wrote a regulation somewhat similar to this to illustrate the point that writing to a second or third grade level
was next to impossible without being demeaning to the mentality of the reader.
I can understand your frustration. Methinks that the language above would be better adopted by the crewcutted grunts.
Alternative suggestion for phrasing that sentence. This seems like the kind of military speak I'm used to hearing:
1. See the [enter rank of serviceman/woman here]. 2. See [the serviceman/woman]'s [state design and specification of firearm/weapon of mass destruction here]. 3. The [serviceman/woman] goes to [enter state of emergency/hostility/war/police action/insurgency/liberation from (evil) Islamic/Communist/non-US conforming/Saddam Hussein led/Colonel Ghaddafi led/tyrannical empire here]. 4. The [serviceman/woman]'s [see 2 above] is fired (legally according to the 2nd Amendment) by the [serviceman/woman]. The [serviceman/woman] gets extra pay. The extra pay is $10 a day. The extra pay starts on the first day of the month.