Another Handful of Tips 10 – Sexist Writing
The five best tips to remove sexist writing
If you want to be accepted by a wider audience avoid the use of sexist words. In subjects that apply to both men and women be careful to use non-sexist language.
1. Avoid using ‘man’ as a verb
Instead of ‘To man the exhibit’ say ‘To staff the exhibit’.
Instead of ‘To man the ships’ say ‘To crew the ships’.
2. Look for alternative nouns
Instead of ‘manpower’, ‘mankind’, ‘businessman’ use words like ‘personnel’, ‘people’, ‘executive’ and so on.
3. Rewrite in the plural
Replace ‘his or her’ with ‘their’ when you use the plural noun. For example, instead of ‘Each applicant must bring his birth certificate’ say ‘Applicants must bring their birth certificates’.
4. Address the reader directly in the second person
Instead of saying ‘Each stall holder is responsible for cleaning his own area’, say ‘You are responsible for cleaning your own area’.
5. Replace the third person singular possessives with an article such as ‘an’.
For example, ‘Each committee member expressed his opinion,’ say ‘Each committee member expressed an opinion’.
Beware of sexist language. Avoid references that could alienate half your group, or your readers will doubt your credibility.
“It’s impossible to please everyone.
At times, a little consideration is a sound investment.”
SOURCE: “Persuasive Ways” published by Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand and in Chinese by Shanghai People’s Publishing House and as “Secrets of Persuasion” by Cengage Learning Asia. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com.
Visit: http://www.mossassociates.co.nz to download a FREE app containing a handful of tips for 101 topics and two free books.