On Thu, 2 Jul 2020 14:52:04 +0100 Paul Moore email@example.com wrote:
On Thu, 2 Jul 2020 at 14:34, Henk-Jaap Wagenaar firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
PEP-8 however does not mention a particular edition and the version that is readily available (in the public domain) does contain this problematic section "to use the masculine pronouns whenever possible" which is not inclusive.
(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 :-(
There's no good answer because "good" depends on the morality of the day, and things that used to be "good enough" are now considered (at least by some and/or in some contexts) to be "evil". And whatever seems good today might well become horrible in two decades.
Which, actually, is a good argument to let language lag behind the times, because at least you can ensure some reasonable stability in communication conventions. If you change conventions every decade, how will you read texts from the past?