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Creating Gender-Neutral Engineering Prose: Does Anyone Actually Care?

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Duane Benson
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Re: What's your knee-jerk reaction?
Duane Benson   3/20/2014 6:27:50 PM
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re "Forcing girls to love engineering is counter-productive."

Being the father of both a son and a daughter, I'd have to say it's not so much about forcing girls to love engineering. Rather, it often has to do with keeping the world around them from discouraging a love of engineering. Of course, I'm generalizing based on their experiences.

Wnderer
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Re: "Masculine preferred"
Wnderer   3/20/2014 6:05:38 PM
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Yes. See Singular They.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

Max The Magnificent
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Re: "Masculine preferred"
Max The Magnificent   3/20/2014 6:05:03 PM
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@Dave: Doubt a non-gender change is in the language any time soon.

I agree -- but I sort of wish we could make the change -- a lot of science fiction stories have ways and words around the gender problem -- I sort of think it's time to start thinking of us all as people rather that the many ways we divide the world into "us" and "them," one of which is gender...

Dave1010101
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Re: "Masculine preferred"
Dave1010101   3/20/2014 5:59:51 PM
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Well you can change "An engineer should look after his tools." to "Engineers should look adter their tools."

 

Doubt a non-gender change is in the language any time soon.

 

I throw in "his" and "her" randomly.

 

Bert22306
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Re: What's your knee-jerk reaction?
Bert22306   3/20/2014 5:51:16 PM
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When you hear someone say "engineer" -- what's your knee-jerk reaction in terms of visualizing a character associated with this term?

A guy, no doubt. And I'm right 99.9 percent of the time, in my line of work anyway. I don't know how fast that's going to change, and frankly, it shouldn't matter. People should do what they have a passion to do. Forcing girls to love engineering is counter-productive. You can't force this sort of thing. It would just create mediocre engineers.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: "Masculine preferred"
Max The Magnificent   3/20/2014 5:47:57 PM
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@Bert: ...masculine also implies gender neutral...

But that's primarily because the unenlightened men of yesteryear wrote the rules (the little scamps)

Max The Magnificent
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What's your knee-jerk reaction?
Max The Magnificent   3/20/2014 5:45:53 PM
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When you hear someone say "engineer" -- what's your knee-jerk reaction in terms of visualizing a character associated with this term?

By this I mean do you think of a male character or a female character -- also are you male or female yourself?

Bert22306
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"Masculine preferred"
Bert22306   3/20/2014 5:45:43 PM
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Heh heh. I keep reminding my daughter that the general grammatical rule, in the languages I'm familiar with anyway, is "masculine preferred." Meaning, masculine also implies gender neutral. Being a gen X or Y, naturally, she scoffs.

These are the sorts of changes that sound ludicrous at first, but then everyone sort of gets used to them. Meanwhile, the fact that there are now more women than men enrolled in universities makes me blush in shame for my gender. You bunch of wusses!

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