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Does anyone think that this is ridiculous?

  1. Jan 24, 2005 #1
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2005 #2

    arildno

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    PC language IS difficult and unclear..:wink:
     
  4. Jan 24, 2005 #3
    Definitely. I think many people are so used to writing like that, they don't even think about it anymore. EVEN IN THIS FORUM.
     
  5. Jan 24, 2005 #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..
     
  6. Jan 24, 2005 #5
    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.
     
  7. Jan 24, 2005 #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.
     
  8. Jan 24, 2005 #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:
     
  9. Jan 24, 2005 #8
    I personally prefer to read something that is either he or she.
     
  10. Jan 24, 2005 #9

    Gokul43201

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    Like I've said before, it's an 'it'.
     
  11. Jan 24, 2005 #10

    Gokul43201

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    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:
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2005
  12. Jan 24, 2005 #11

    Evo

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    :rofl: Impeccable logic!
     
  13. Jan 24, 2005 #12

    Moonbear

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    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?
     
  14. Jan 24, 2005 #13
    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.
     
  15. Jan 24, 2005 #14
    I think most of you are off topic here. This had nothing to do with Superman or Wonder Woman.
     
  16. Jan 24, 2005 #15
    :rofl: This is general discussion, everything gets off topic after about 3 posts.
     
  17. Jan 24, 2005 #16

    We don't have AD...



    ....ooh look a cookie!!!
     
  18. Jan 24, 2005 #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.
     
  19. Jan 25, 2005 #18
    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?
     
  20. Jan 25, 2005 #19
    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."
     
  21. Jan 25, 2005 #20
    how did each student get IN their test?
     
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