[rfc-i] Thread for gender-neutral language in RFCs

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Mon Jun 30 08:22:57 PDT 2014

If folks would like to discuss gender neutral language in RFCs and
discussions about RFCs, that's fine.  Here's a thread to get the
discussion out of the plain text draft comments, however, and advice
from the Chicago Manual of Style:

Maintaining credibility.
Discussions of bias-free language--language that is neither sexist nor
suggestive of other conscious or subconscious prejudices--have a way of
descending quickly into politics.  But there is a way to avoid the
political quagmire: if we focus solely on maintaining credibility with a
wide readership, the argument for eliminating bias from published works
becomes much simpler.  Biased language that is not central to the
meaning of a work distracts readers, and in their eyes the work is less
credible.  Few texts warrant the deliberate display of linguistic
biases.  Nor is it idea, however, to call attention to the supposed
absence of linguistic biases, since this will also distract readers and
weaken credibility.

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