Avoid Sexist Usage



Avoid sexist usage. Any writing habit which creates a barrier between you and half your readers must reduce the impact of your message. Inclusive writing usually makes more sense and is more accurate.

(1) Using sex-neutral terms – Using sex-neutral terms means avoiding words which suggest that maleness is the norm or superior or positive and that femaleness is non-standard, subordinate, or negative.

Example:

Sex specific words Sex-neutral words
authoress author
clergymen clergy, clerics
man, mankind the human species, human beings, people, humans
man-hours working hours, work-hours
workman worker


(2) Using titles or ‘he’ and ‘she’ – It is better to avoid ‘he’, ‘his’, or ‘him’ when you intend to include both men and women.

Compare:

  1. Solvent abuse is not a crime but if a police officer finds a young person under 17 sniffing solvents, he should take him to a secure place such as the police station, home, or hospital.


  2. Solvent abuse is not a crime but if a police officer finds a young person under 17 sniffing solvents, the officer should take the person to a secure place such as the police station, home, or hospital.



Related Links:




Keep Sentences Short.
Use words your readers are likely to understand.
Use only as many words as you really need.
Prefer the active voice.
Use the clearest, liveliest verb to express your thoughts.
Use Vertical Lists to make complex materil understandable.
Keep Electronic Text Communication simple.
Put your points positively when you can.
Reduce cross-references to the minimum.
Try to avoid sexist usage.
Avoidable English Errors are so many.
Avoid fusty first sentences and formula finishes.
Put accurate punctuation at the heart of your writing.
Avoid being enslaved by seven writing myths.
Plan Before You Write.
Organize your material in a simple way.
Consider different ways of setting out your information.
Devote special effort to producing lucid instructions.
Use clear layout to present your plain words.





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