guys != gender neutral

Bjørn Mork bjorn at mork.no
Fri Sep 28 09:00:22 UTC 2012


Scott Howard <scott at doc.net.au> writes:
> On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM, Jo Rhett <jrhett at netconsonance.com> wrote:
>
>> Guys seem to think that it's gender neutral. The majority of women are
>> used to this, but they have indicated to me that they don't believe it to
>> be very neutral. Using "guys" is not gender neutral, it's flat out implying
>> the other gender doesn't matter. *
>>
>
> The Oxford English dictionary apparently disagrees with you.
>
> http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/guy?region=us&q=guys
> (*guys*) people of either sex: * you guys want some coffee?
> *
>
> As other many words in the English language there are multiple definitions,
> and one of those definitions is gender specific - but the one above is very
> much gender neutral ("either sex" - it doesn't get much clearer than that!)

Well, "either" sort of implies that there are only two sexes.  I believe
"people of any sex" would have been better.  See e.g.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_gender


Bjørn



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