On 3/07/20 1:52 am, Paul Moore wrote:
What *is* the correct inclusive way to refer to an unidentified person in a technical document... My impression is that commonly accepted language rules and usage are lagging behind,
I don't know if "lagging behind" is the right term, seeing as there seems to have been a fairly good answer available for about 700 years.
"The singular they emerged by the 14th century, about a century after plural they. It has been commonly employed in everyday English ever since then and has gained currency in official contexts. Singular they has been criticised since the mid-18th century by prescriptive commentators who consider it an error. Its continued use in modern standard English has become more common and formally accepted with the change toward gender-neutral language, though many style guides continue to describe it as colloquial and less appropriate in formal writing."
Personally I'd go with that and tell any prescriptivists who object to go and jump in a bitbucket.