Writing in Neutral
Huttonian nearly missed this letter in the Berwickshire:I can assure readers of the Berwickshire News that the European Union has no plans to introduce “gender neutral legislation” (your report March 19).
So ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ will not be banned and the tradition of the Common Riding is perfectly safe - contrary to what the Conservatives would have people believe.
All that has happened is that the European Parliament has produced a short guide for staff and translators who have to write documents for people from 27 different countries.
This is similar to advice already given to staff and Members at Holyrood, Westminster and the Welsh Assembly.
The Conservatives do recognise in their comments that there are major problems to solve in this world. My advice to them ahead of the European elections in June would be to focus on these rather than inventing ones that don’t exist.
Liberal Democrat MEP for Scotland.
Never mind the EU, gender neutrality has long been the bane of Academia and especially when writing books. Co-authoring a text book on Jordan
as an academic virgin in the late 1990s I was pulled up short by my fellow writer, a long standing scholar and lecturer at Queens Belfast for penning : 'King Hussein's Statesmanship'. No, No; will not do: King Hussein's 'Statespersonship' is the correct formulation. Much too clumsy so I had to rewrite the entire paragraph, keeping it gender neutral and still stylistically readable. Foolishly,tongue in cheek, I wondered if 'King' Hussein was acceptable-King being identifiably masculine; the co-author pleased that I was catching on to the accepted niceties suggested that the king's title could be disguised by referring to him as the 'Jordanian Monarch'
Winston Churchill had it right when he said that when he referred to the male sex he meant 'Man as embracing woman'
In the meanwhile we can assume that the 'Coldstreamer'
(invariably male) will not be inflicted with a Right and Left Hand Person. And the Reiver, in Duns, can hold on to his Lass (npi) -Reiver's Companion (sex irrelevant) does not quite have the same ring about it.
Labels: Berwickshire News, Gender Neutral, Politically Correct