he, she, whatever?

Vince Rodriguez atgrim at telocity.com
Mon Mar 19 00:03:32 PST 2001

Simon Perreault wrote:

> On Sunday 18 March 2001 13:49, Thomas 'Balu' Walter wrote:
> > Is "a user" usually male, female or "both" in english books?
> I think a user would be a "he", but I'm biased since a user is always male in
> French (utilisateur), and we have a female counterpart (utilisatrice).
> Couldn't you make it an "it"?

Kinda the same in Spanish. Primarily, if you are talking about a group of people
and there is at least one male in that group, then the masculine form would be
used. ie el instead of ella, muchachos instead of muchachas. Kinda funny.

> > Should we make everything passive style (not "Install ... by running"
> > but "... is installed by running")
> Diversity is good, I think. If someone chose to use passive style for
> something and active style for something else, then it means that their
> thought process found that particular style more natural. I think style
> should be left as it was written, unless it makes things more understandable.


Vince Rodriguez
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