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When a writer uses masculine words as a generalization (he, him, man), our minds can quickly grasp through context that the writer means "any given person". But when, for no apparent reason, a writer tries to pull off feminine words as a generalization (she, her, woman) it is very hard to picture the subject as anyone but a woman, amirite?

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I've been taught to use "his or her" now. Is this "his or her" thing a new thing?

AdonisBatheuss avatar AdonisBatheus Yeah You Are +2Reply
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@1832050

Some people don't like it because they, their, and them are all plural. Him/her is singular.
You wouldn't say, "A teacher grabbed their book off the table," you'd say, " A teacher grabbed his or her book off the table."

AdonisBatheuss avatar AdonisBatheus Yeah You Are +2Reply
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@1832295

Still, it's considered improper. But it's just as improper as saying "Cucumbers, bread and ketchup" instead of "Cucumbers, bread, and ketchup". So it's not a particularly big deal.

AdonisBatheuss avatar AdonisBatheus Yeah You Are 0Reply
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@1831840

I thought it was actor and actress?

AdonisBatheuss avatar AdonisBatheus Yeah You Are +1Reply
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Well, it's because "him" can refer to anyone of unspecified gender, but "her" is only for females.

Harpers avatar Harper Yeah You Are +2Reply

Ah, yes. Men are generic, women are special. xDD
Just look at toilet doors: men are people, women are people in skirts.

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