5 Ways To Stay Gender Neutral And Solve Problems With Pronouns

5 Ways To Stay Gender Neutral And Solve Problems With Pronouns


Examples:

a. Let him/her organise his/her own banking facilities.

b. S/he needs to collect his/her letter of recommendation.

c. Dear Sir / Madam

5 Ways To Stay Gender Neutral And Solve Problems With Pronouns

1.    Rewrite the sentence to avoid a gender-specific pronoun.

Instead of:
Every staff member is required to hand in his report;
Write:
Every staff member’s report needs to be handed in.

2.    Use a plural instead of singular pronoun. 

Instead of:
Each staff member is required to hand in his report;
Write:
Staff members are required to hand in their reports.

3.    Replace pronouns with articles.

Instead of:
Each staff member must hand in his report;
Write:
Each staff member must hand in a report.

4.    Remove all pronouns from a sentence.

Instead of:
Each staff member must hand in her report;
Write:
Staff members must hand in reports.

5.    Avoid the use of gender-specific terms. 

Instead of:
Chairman, policeman, air hostess;
Write:
Chair, police officer, flight attendant.

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This article has 3 comments

  1. Michael Felix Fusco

    That science and technical writing is another type of writing where the pronouns are avoided. Over the years, the practice of forming ideas into sentences has given opportunity to acquire a style that does not depend on pronouns at all.

  2. Michael Felix Fusco

    That science and technical writing is another type of writing where the pronouns are avoided. Over the years, the practice of forming ideas into sentences has given opportunity to acquire a style that does not depend on pronouns at all.

  3. Tim Gatewood

    A simpler way to get gender-neutral pronouns is to use they. There is a long history of using they as both gender-neutral and number-neutral. It usually takes a plural verb, but can still be seen as not specifying plurality or singleness. Even some copy editors and style books are coming around to the use of “they” as the simplest and best solution, especially in instances where the alternative is to rewrite a sentence from active voice (which sounds more emphatic) to passive voice (which sounds weaker and less interesting).

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