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Subject: gender pronouns rss

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Dean Adam
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Sorry if this has been discussed before, but we were wondering what happened with the gender pronouns on the Dominion (+expansion) cards...

The more we play it the more we can appreciate the careful wording in so many places, but every time we introduce the game to a new group/player, they comment on the 'his deck' 'he discards' etc...

Just wondered if there was a story there at all....
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In English, a person of unknown sex is referred to with masculine pronouns. It may not be PC, but it is grammatically correct.
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Lee Wardle
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There is some debate about using "their" as a gender-neutral singular.

For example; if Thief said "Each other player reveals the top 2 cards of their deck", it is said to be incorrect as "their" should refer to a plural, not the singular player.

What confuses this is that it is used as a gender-neutral singular in common speech by people not wishing to sound gender bias; such as, "Anyone who thinks they have been affected should contact their doctor".

To avoid this you could do the following for Thief: "Each other player reveals the top 2 cards of his or her deck", but this seems cumbersome. As Medusas said above,
Quote:
a person of unknown sex is referred to with masculine pronouns
making things much less confusing.

Some games tend to alternate between the masculine and feminine pronouns in an attempt to look more politically correct. Personally I don't have a problem with using "their" or "his", but it would drive me insane having to read "his or hers" consistently.

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Jon
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One of the Dominion developers has already commented on this.
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Stuart Dagger
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The only thing you can be sure of with this one is that whatever you do is going to annoy somebody.

If you look it up in the Oxford English Dictionary and in the latest edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage you will find:
1) that the use of "they" to mean "he or she" has been around in English since the 15th century.
2) that the practice was frowned upon by grammarians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
3) that up to the middle of the 19th century it was used by writers of the first rank, such as Henry Fielding and John Ruskin.
4) that the practice revived in the later part of the 20th century in response to feminist objections to the use of "he" to mean "he or she".

The use of "he" to mean "he or she" has, like it or not, been grammatically correct in English since the earliest days of the language.
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Dean Adam
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Nice responses, thanks folks.
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Yaron Racah
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The rules of grammar are conventions, not laws of nature. Like all conventions, they tend to shift over time, sometimes due to the work of specific people and groups.

Interesting arguments can be made against changing the convention in this particular case, but just asserting that it is the current convention ("it is grammatically correct") does not address the point of those who would like to see it changed.

For an excellent discussion of arguments against changing the language for political reasons, see this text by Douglas Hofstadter (author of "Goedel, Escher, Bach"): http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/cs655/readings/purity.html
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3 Cheers for not being PC(politically correct).
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Lacombe
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yaron wrote:
The rules of grammar are conventions, not laws of nature. Like all conventions, they tend to shift over time, sometimes due to the work of specific people and groups.

Interesting arguments can be made against changing the convention in this particular case, but just asserting that it is the current convention ("it is grammatically correct") does not address the point of those who would like to see it changed.

For an excellent discussion of arguments against changing the language for political reasons, see this text by Douglas Hofstadter (author of "Goedel, Escher, Bach"): http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/cs655/readings/purity.html


Hofstatder is a genius.

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corkysru wrote:
3 Cheers for not being PC(politically correct).


3 cheers for caring about other people.

"Political" just means "concerning people".

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Patrick G.
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NateStraight wrote:
corkysru wrote:
3 Cheers for not being PC(politically correct).


3 cheers for caring about other people.

"Political" just means "concerning people".


No political correctness is about coddling people and telling them that the world is fair and wants them to succeed. NEWFLASH: It doesn't. Life isn't fair. Get used to it.

Political correctness is what has led to the removal of special treatment in schools to the overly smart and the really dumb. Both groups deserve special treatment. The smart kids need to be challenged more to unlock their potential. The dumb ones need more care and attention to try to catch up to the average.
Political correctness is what is leading some schools to remove the grade of "F" from the grading scale.
All "political correctness" does is make people weak. All people are not equal in capabilities and potential. You will fail in life. Everyone does at some point.
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corkysru wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
corkysru wrote:
3 Cheers for not being PC(politically correct).


3 cheers for caring about other people.

"Political" just means "concerning people".


No political correctness is about coddling people and telling them that the world is fair and wants them to succeed. NEWFLASH: It doesn't. Life isn't fair. Get used to it.


Political Correctness was never about this originally. It's become a label for the above-described behaviour but I think it's unfair, and a source of people talking at cross purposes.

All political correctness is, in my mind, is good manners. Not calling someone "cripple", or "retard", or "*ethnic slur*" when there are less offensive more POLITICALLY CORRECT terms to use.

The general trend towards the wussification of the world is something else entirely IMHO
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corkysru wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
corkysru wrote:
3 Cheers for not being PC(politically correct).


3 cheers for caring about other people.

"Political" just means "concerning people".


No political correctness is about coddling people and telling them that the world is fair and wants them to succeed. NEWFLASH: It doesn't. Life isn't fair. Get used to it.

Political correctness is what has led to the removal of special treatment in schools to the overly smart and the really dumb. Both groups deserve special treatment. The smart kids need to be challenged more to unlock their potential. The dumb ones need more care and attention to try to catch up to the average.
Political correctness is what is leading some schools to remove the grade of "F" from the grading scale.
All "political correctness" does is make people weak. All people are not equal in capabilities and potential. You will fail in life. Everyone does at some point.


"Political correctness" is a phrase that is most often used to shut down any discussion with which the speaker disagrees, or to defend the speaker's boorish behavior. Don't want to debate the merits of a particular issue? Accuse your opponent of being PC; end of discussion. Said something inappropriate and got a bad reaction? Well, the person who called you on it is just being PC; carry on as you were.

Side note: I don't know what school systems you're dealing with, but all the public schools around me have specialized programs for kids at both ends of the spectrum.
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Lacombe
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JonPrud wrote:
One of the Dominion developers has already commented on this.


statonv wrote:
Unfortunately it was not possible to avoid personal pronouns completely in the rules and card texts.


That's really just a cop-out.

It's impossible to avoid personal pronouns, but not impossible to avoid gendered third-person personal pronouns.

Let's take the non-lazy approach.

[I've only played the game once, but even I can still accomplish this "impossible" feat. It's not really that hard.]

Here's the text of the Thief:

"Each other player reveals the top 2 cards of his deck. If they revealed any treasure cards, they trash one of them that you choose. You may gain any or all of these trashed cards. They discard the other revealed cards."

Here's my non-gendered, and non-"their" rewrite:

"Each other player must draw and reveal 2 cards. You may trash a treasure card of your choice from any player(s) that reveal one. You may gain any or all of these trashed cards. All players then discard any remaining revealed cards."

Let's try another random card from the gallery:

Bureaucrat: "Gain a silver card; put it on top of your deck. Each other player reveals a victory card from his hand and puts it on his deck (or reveals a hand with no victory cards)."

This one is trickier, but if we have the term "trash" for "remove from the game", we can use a term like "recycle" for "return to the top of the deck". Then, we have "discard" for "discard to discard pile", "trash" for "discard from game", and "recycle" for "discard to draw deck".

"Gain a silver card; put it in on top of your deck. Each other player with a victory card in hand must reveal it and recycle it or else reveal a hand with no victory cards."

Language is wonderfully varied. To say something is linguistically "impossible" is just to say it is difficult.

You could even go the Blue Moon route and use "I" vs "You":

"I gain a silver card and put it on top of my deck. You all must reveal a victory card from your hand and return it to the top of your deck or reveal a hand with no victory cards."

This all ignores the simple fact that "they" is perfectly natural.

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Lacombe
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corkysru wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
corkysru wrote:
3 Cheers for not being PC(politically correct).


3 cheers for caring about other people.

"Political" just means "concerning people".


No political correctness is about coddling people and telling them that the world is fair and wants them to succeed. NEWFLASH: It doesn't. Life isn't fair. Get used to it.


If that's what it means, then it is no small wonder that you chose to comment about it in here, as the use of "they" for "he" is certainly not coddling to women or telling them that the world is fair and wants them to succeed. It's not dodging a slur against females, telling females that they're important, making special accommodations for females. It's just being inclusive.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I think the PC suggested in this thread is silly. I'm glad I don't have to read through attempts at it on the Dominion cards. It doesn't bother me a bit just as it wouldn't bother me if every reference was she. This type of thing actually hurts deeply much more important gender equality issues by telling people that obviously unimportant issues like this are really important.
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Next Dominion expansion:

Dominion:Gender Wars

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Lacombe
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rickert wrote:
This type of thing actually hurts deeply much more important gender equality issues by telling people that obviously unimportant issues like this are really important.


This is a serious claim, but I think undefendable.

Much of the brouhaha over gender-inclusive language has come from women who were already being victimized by the "much more important gender equality issues".

One would think that if a person was being paid half as much as a man for equal work, she just wouldn't care if the title of her CEO was "chairman of the board" rather than "chairperson of the board"... yet the two have gone hand-in-hand for most of the history of gender rights.

Why would someone care about such "obviously unimportant issues" when there are "much more important" issues that they also care about and are suffering under?

Why, indeed, unless it, too, was an important issue.
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Patrick G.
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rickert wrote:
I think the PC suggested in this thread is silly. I'm glad I don't have to read through attempts at it on the Dominion cards. It doesn't bother me a bit just as it wouldn't bother me if every reference was she. This type of thing actually hurts deeply much more important gender equality issues by telling people that obviously unimportant issues like this are really important.

I agree.
 
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This just in: Men that don't care if every pronoun is masculine. News at 11.
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NateStraight wrote:
rickert wrote:
This type of thing actually hurts deeply much more important gender equality issues by telling people that obviously unimportant issues like this are really important.


This is a serious claim, but I think undefendable.

Much of the brouhaha over gender-inclusive language has come from women who were already being victimized by the "much more important gender equality issues".

One would think that if a person was being paid half as much as a man for equal work, she just wouldn't care if the title of her CEO was "chairman of the board" rather than "chairperson of the board"... yet the two have gone hand-in-hand for most of the history of gender rights.

Why would someone care about such "obviously unimportant issues" when there are "much more important" issues that they also care about and are suffering under?

Why, indeed, unless it, too, was an important issue.


Just because a handful of people care enough about an issue to post it here, that doesn't make it an important issue that most people care about and it certainly doesn't raise it to the level of equal pay for equal work no matter how many people post about it here.
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Patrick G.
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Luce wrote:
This just in: Men that don't care if every pronoun is masculine. News at 11.

Honestly if it was traditional to for the pronouns to be feminine I wouldn't have a problem with that.

I also don't never understood the whole incorrectness of using "they/their". But 'he' is the shortest word you can use... just saying for laziness/efficiency purposes it is the most convenient.
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corkysru wrote:

But 'he' is the shortest word you can use.


Hee hee. I'd not thought of that. Think of all the ink that has been saved in the production of Dominion. It gets my vote for most environmentally friendly game now!
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rickert wrote:
I think the PC suggested in this thread is silly. I'm glad I don't have to read through attempts at it on the Dominion cards. It doesn't bother me a bit just as it wouldn't bother me if every reference was she. This type of thing actually hurts deeply much more important gender equality issues by telling people that obviously unimportant issues like this are really important.

I think I read a rulebook once that was written with "she/her" instead of "he/his".

It was pretty funny, actually. I wrote the company and asked how they could do such a thing on "The Barbie Game".

Still waiting for a response. I don't expect one.

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plpompey wrote:
corkysru wrote:

But 'he' is the shortest word you can use.


Hee hee. I'd not thought of that. Think of all the ink that has been saved in the production of Dominion. It gets my vote for most environmentally friendly game now!

don't you mean "he he" instead of "hee hee"?
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