[Paul Moore email@example.com]
(This is a genuine question, and I'm terrified of being yelled at for asking it, which gives an idea of the way this thread has gone - but I genuinely do want to know, to try to improve my own writing).
What *is* the correct inclusive way to refer to an unidentified person in a technical document, without sacrificing clarity by using convoluted circumlocutions like "he/her/they" or over-use of the passive voice? My impression is that commonly accepted language rules and usage are lagging behind, and there's no good answer to this question yet :-(
I've used singular "they" for years'; if someone truly objects to that, they've kept it to themself.
"Authorities" are moving in that direction too; e.g.,
""" The singular “they” is a generic third-person singular pronoun in English. Use of the singular “they” is endorsed as part of APA Style because it is inclusive of all people and helps writers avoid making assumptions about gender. Although usage of the singular “they” was once discouraged in academic writing, many advocacy groups and publishers have accepted and endorsed it, including Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. """
Then again, we're talking about humans. There's nothing you can do - or refrain from doing - that won't mortally offend someone :-)