boyarsky (67) [Avatar] Offline
#1
There was a comment on the errors thread about "herself" excluding guys. The author suggested starting a new thread for the topic so here we are.

Note: I am female

This is an awkward problem because English doesn't have a gender neutral word to refer back to a person. It isn't for people. Usually "he" is used in tech literature. On occasion authors use a mix of he/she which I like. Of write "he/she" literally but that is awkward.
benjamin.evans (18) [Avatar] Offline
#2
Re: Himself/herself
> There was a comment on the errors thread about
> "herself" excluding guys. The author suggested
> starting a new thread for the topic so here we are.
>
> Note: I am female
>
> This is an awkward problem because English doesn't
> have a gender neutral word to refer back to a person.
> It isn't for people. Usually "he" is used in tech
> literature. On occasion authors use a mix of he/she
> which I like. Of write "he/she" literally but that is
> awkward.

I don't think Martijn and I have explicitly discussed this, but my general preference is to use a mixture of masculine and feminine forms. E.g. use "she" and "herself" during one section and "he" and "himself" in another.

It's not a perfect solution, but rather is a compromise which I feel is acceptable.

Maria - is there a Manning style point here? Is there a preferred solution to this problem?
shajiajf (3) [Avatar] Offline
#3
Re: Himself/herself
I am guy but always respected the world where both ladies and gentlemen work. Programming is definitely an area where both can demand same attention. I wondered if there is a popular language that is invented by a Lady smilie

I lived in London and it is a beautiful place. My wife is a developer too. So no bias there.
shajiajf (3) [Avatar] Offline
#4
Re: Himself/herself
I generally prefer writing s/he or h/er/imself or g/al/uy or Sir/Madam neutral words like person or fellow programmers or developers etc. but the concept is good. It is still open to criticism if they didn't know why you did it and understand until they read the entire book but in a technical world why would anyone bother if any gender preference in used as long is message is conveyed. I liked the way chapter 1 is introduced. I don't remember reading or owning a Manning book. I am getting ready for it.