Does anyone think that this is ridiculous?

  • Thread starter iodmys
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Read the following few sentences:

"One such riddle he posed to himself was this: If a person was flying in space at the speed of light (ala Superman) with his/her arm fully outstretched holding a facial mirror, what would they "see" in the mirror? Would they see their face? Would it be bigger or smaller than if they were stationary? Would it be distorted in any way? Would light waves have time to bounce off their face, hit the mirror, and bounce back to their retina which was also moving at the speed of light? And what if an observer was watching all this from the ground. What would he or she see?"

Does anyone think that this should be rewritten as:

"One such riddle he posed to himself was this: If a person was flying in space at the speed of light (ala Superman) with his arm fully outstretched holding a facial mirror, what would he "see" in the mirror? Would he see his face? Would it be bigger or smaller than if he was stationary? Would it be distorted in any way? Would light waves have time to bounce off his face, hit the mirror, and bounce back to his retina which was also moving at the speed of light? And what if an observer was watching all this from the ground. What would he see?"

This seems quite common nowadays. Isn't the second paragraph clearer and easier to read? Is the person in question a transsexual? I would like your opinions.
 
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  • #2
arildno
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PC language IS difficult and unclear..:wink:
 
  • #3
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arildno said:
PC language IS difficult and unclear..:wink:
Definitely. I think many people are so used to writing like that, they don't even think about it anymore. EVEN IN THIS FORUM.
 
  • #4
arildno
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I think it is better in a given text to stick to a single pronoun (doesn't matter which one), but I know I've sinned against that rule..
 
  • #5
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arildno said:
I think it is better in a given text to stick to a single pronoun (doesn't matter which one), but I know I've sinned against that rule..
It DOES matter which pronoun you use. In this context the pronoun "she" would be very unnatural and you would still be accused of PC. "He" is traditional and (supposedly) gender neutral.
 
  • #6
arildno
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Sure, that's traditional; and in that particular sentence (since it's a male riddling himself) he is better.
If it had been a female riddling herself, I would have used "she" as the gender neutral pronoun.
 
  • #7
Moonbear
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Since the example given was Superman, surely "he" is the only correct pronoun, PC or not. If they had provided WonderWoman as the example, then "she" would have been the correct pronoun, but she was better known for spinning in circles really fast and wearing cool bracelets that deflected bullets rather than flying, right? :biggrin:
 
  • #8
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I personally prefer to read something that is either he or she.
 
  • #9
Gokul43201
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Like I've said before, it's an 'it'.
 
  • #10
Gokul43201
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Moonbear said:
Since the example given was Superman, surely "he" is the only correct pronoun, PC or not. If they had provided WonderWoman as the example, then "she" would have been the correct pronoun, but she was better known for spinning in circles really fast and wearing cool bracelets that deflected bullets rather than flying, right? :biggrin:
Can a woman not fly using Superman's preferred style : one arm forward, fist clenched ? The quote does not say that the flying person was Superman, but that he/she flew like Superman. I've never seen Wonder Woman in that pose. Surely the comparison to Superman should not disallow the possibility that the flying person be a woman.

Au contraire, what self-respecting, flight-capable male carries a facial mirror with him !!?? :eek: :yuck: This just has to be a chick !! :tongue:
 
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  • #11
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Gokul43201 said:
Au contraire, what self-respecting, flight-capable male carries a facial mirror with him !!?? :eek: :yuck: This just has to be a chick !! :tongue:
:rofl: Impeccable logic!
 
  • #12
Moonbear
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Gokul43201 said:
Can a woman not fly using Superman's preferred style : one arm forward, fist clenched ? The quote does not say that the flying person was Superman, but that he/she flew like Superman. I've never seen Wonder Woman in that pose. Surely the comparison to Superman should not disallow the possibility that the flying person be a woman.

Au contraire, what self-respecting, flight-capable male carries a facial mirror with him !!?? :eek: :yuck: This just has to be a chick !! :tongue:
Oh, right, it wouldn't have been Wonder Woman, but it could have been the Powerpuff Girls! :rofl:

I just thought it made it easier to pick a gender for the pronoun once a specific example was given. Why not keep the pronoun consistent with the example?
 
  • #13
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I always thought that you're not supposed to say "they" and "their" when referring to one person because that implies plurality which is gramatically incorrect. You're supposed to say "he or she" apparently, which is more confusing to say and makes a person realize just how stupid she is when saying it.
 
  • #14
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I think most of you are off topic here. This had nothing to do with Superman or Wonder Woman.
 
  • #15
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iodmys said:
I think most of you are off topic here. This had nothing to do with Superman or Wonder Woman.
:rofl: This is general discussion, everything gets off topic after about 3 posts.
 
  • #16
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mattmns said:
:rofl: This is general discussion, everything gets off topic after about 3 posts.

We don't have AD...



....ooh look a cookie!!!
 
  • #17
Gokul43201
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iodmys, the use of 'they' has come to be an accepted usage for the gender-nonspecific, third person, singular pronoun. It is used widely in the media and in literature, making it "correct". As early back as Lewis Carroll or Jane Austen, you will see this usage.

Do you object to the following example ?

Everyone is allowed to do things their own way.
 
  • #18
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The question is like this one:

You have an unstoppable unbreakable sphere flying on a collision course with an unmovable unbreakable stationary object. What happens when they collide.

The question does not exist cause they are both two impossibilities. Therefore why speculate the impossible?
 
  • #19
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Gokul43201 said:
iodmys, the use of 'they' has come to be an accepted usage for the gender-nonspecific, third person, singular pronoun. It is used widely in the media and in literature, making it "correct". As early back as Lewis Carroll or Jane Austen, you will see this usage.

Do you object to the following example ?

Everyone is allowed to do things their own way.
That example sounds OK (although it would be considered bad grammar on an English test such as the SAT). I do object to the following:

"Each student turned in their test." It should be: "Each student turned in his test."
 
  • #20
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how did each student get IN their test?
 
  • #21
cepheid
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iodmys said:
That example sounds OK (although it would be considered bad grammar on an English test such as the SAT). I do object to the following:

"Each student turned in their test." It should be: "Each student turned in his test."
Simply rewrite the sentence as: "All the students turned in their tests."

Many similar conundrums can be resolved in this manner. In fact, when referring to a group of several people most likely not all the same gender, all performing the same action, this version is more logical in the first place. Why resort to a grammatical construction that demands a singular pronoun?

EDIT: In any case, I still use "his" to refer to an individual whose gender is not specified. I honestly don't see what the problem is...it's a grammatical convention.
 
  • #22
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cepheid said:
In any case, I still use "his" to refer to an individual whose gender is not specified. I honestly don't see what the problem is...it's a grammatical convention.
I'm glad we still have some rational people here.
 
  • #23
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arildno said:
PC language IS difficult and unclear..:wink:
What does PC stand for? :confused:
 
  • #24
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recon said:
What does PC stand for? :confused:
"Politically Correct"

Its the brainchild of liberals and liberal studies majors who insist that its not nice to hurt anyone's feelings by speaking in certain ways. They're not garbage men, they're "sanitation engineers". They're not illegal aliens, they're "undocumented workers". They're not mass murdering terrorists, they're "freedom fighters". That sort of thing.
 

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