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

Tim Bray tbray at textuality.com
Mon Jun 30 09:35:17 PDT 2014


Worth reading in this context:
http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/cs655/readings/purity.html


On Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 8:22 AM, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) <
rse at rfc-editor.org> wrote:

> 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:
>
> 5.221
> 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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-- 
- Tim Bray (If you’d like to send me a private message, see
https://keybase.io/timbray)
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