guys != gender neutral
Otis L. Surratt, Jr.
otis at ocosa.com
Fri Sep 28 11:32:56 UTC 2012
Maybe the OP for "really nasty attacks" in hindsight wishes "NANOGers" was used instead to address the list. :)
Having "all walks of life" essentially all around, it really makes one careful to truly think before speaking. Sometimes we miss this with everything we have going on, but no one is perfect.
The bottomline is, no one can really sastifisfy any indivdual and their preference of how they would liked to be addressed. If one is to be offended or looks for offense they will capitalize on it period. I try much as possible to avoid those situations.
When we refer to our clients in a mass communication we either utilize our tools to auto fix their name to the letter or we address them as "OCOSA Family" or "All" or "Clients". We are a very family-oriented business and are "down to Earth." We'd like to believe our clients are apart of our family and some may take offense but you might or never would know unless an opportunity presented itself.
Personally, I practice using the person's name, I am in communication with...not "buddy", "bud", "pal", "man", "guys", "gal" "y'all" and etc. When addressing mixed gender groups, I simply speak or address as "all". Thus, no mistakes.
When addressing both genders you have to be extremely careful. Ultimately, It depends on the audience and treating all with respect seems to work for me.
For example: You could address a group a men and call them "boys". Well, that might offend some, especially if they are older than you.
For example: You could address a group of young adults and call them "kids". Well, that might offend some.
As Owen mentioned saying "human" seems okay and true but then again, because it's not the norm it raises some question. (Internal thinking process, "Oh I'm a HUMAN!!!!, well I that is true" then your temperature gets back to normal) :)
In general, this is life and I simply have fun and enjoy it because it's too short.
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