From: Thorsten Ottosen (nesotto_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-11-30 16:52:23
a lot of energy wasted on whether to use he or she. So lets waste some more
Here in Denmark the correct way to refer to a person (of both genders) in
a representative sense is simply "he". Nobody is foolish enough to think
its literally a man.
So if the persons gender is unknown, simply use "he". It's just a
convention, but until
there is some good reason to change it (and there isn't, BTW) it should stay
Now, the most used form is however the incorrect version where the author
"he or she" or some the first, sometimes the last. The result is that the
language has lost
its elegantness and consistency; it will at best make confusion.
I guess you Englishmen (and all you other folks) have seen the appearence
of this kind of language misuse. In Denmark anyway, it started as some kind
"women's liberation" thing and people we're stupid enough to think it was
unpolite not to say
"or she". Those people complete forgot the negative uses: ...and when the
killer/terrorist he or she ...
It doesn't really make sense to go away from using the word "he" as
representative and gender neutral.
Thorsten Ottosen, AAU
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