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Re: Neutral language in W3C specifications

From: Wendy Seltzer <wseltzer@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2020 16:11:38 -0400
Cc: Denis Ah-Kang <denis@w3.org>, Spec-prod <spec-prod@w3.org>, chairs@w3.org
To: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Message-ID: <82e833f8-9158-b2ef-e856-8743411d82be@w3.org>
On 7/29/20 4:03 PM, Ivan Herman wrote:
> 
> 
>>
>> Doesn't lose anything if it becomes:
>>
>> "Alex is a developer who uses SVG as part of their job..."
>>
>> There are times when the gender of the person in a user story is important, but in the context of W3C I can't think of one that applies to technical standards!
>>
> 
> i must admit that for a non-native English speaker the usage of the plural form as a gender-neutral pronoun sounds extremely strange in this case. I know it is coming to the fore but I am worried it would create lots of confusion. (It is certainly a usage that goes against my own English training.)

English grammar is evolving to serve the people using it. As a growing
number of people are using "they/them" pronouns to match their
identities, and to express the gender neutrality of examples that don't
refer to a specific gender, I appreciate that W3C styles will recognize
and promote that usage.

--Wendy

> 
> Ivan
> 
> 
> 
>>
>> Léonie.
>>
>>> [1] https://www.w3.org/TR/vc-use-cases/
>> [2] https://github.com/w3c/idcg/issues/17
>>
>>>> Denis
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 7/22/20 1:21 PM, Léonie Watson wrote:
>>>>> Denis, this is a really positive step, thank you to you and the team.
>>>>> One suggestion - is it possible for PubRules to check for gender specific pronouns (he/she, him/her etc.) too?
>>>>> They are rare in specifications, but do sometimes feature as part of use cases or examples.
>>>>> Léonie.
>>>>> On 22/07/2020 09:40, Denis Ah-Kang wrote:
>>>>>> Dear editors and chairs,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In order to offer the best environment possible to its
>>>>>> community, W3C is supporting the push for a more inclusive and
>>>>>> neutral language, especially in our specifications.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In the upcoming weeks, pubrules [1] will show a warning if
>>>>>> terms like "master", "slave", "grandfather", "sanity" or
>>>>>> "dummy" are detected in a specification and this will also
>>>>>> be reflected in the Manual of style [2] with a list of
>>>>>> alternatives.
>>>>>> Note, since it may take time for the editors to change the
>>>>>> branch name "master" to something else, we will not flag the
>>>>>> URLs containing that word in the first place.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Going forward, we will audit all the specification repositories
>>>>>> and open issues if they contain problematic terms.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Let me know if you have any comments/suggestions.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Denis
>>>>>> W3C Systems team
>>>>>>
>>>>>> [1] https://www.w3.org/pubrules/
>>>>>> [2] https://w3c.github.io/manual-of-style/
>>>>>>
>>>>
>>
>> -- 
>> Director @TetraLogical
>> https://tetralogical.com
>>
> 


-- 
Wendy Seltzer -- wseltzer@w3.org +1.617.715.4883 (office)
Strategy Lead and Counsel, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
https://wendy.seltzer.org/        +1.617.863.0613 (mobile)
Received on Wednesday, 29 July 2020 20:11:41 UTC

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