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219

Yes, there is: realizing that "craftsmanship" is gender-neutral. People who think it is not should take it up with themselves, not the word. If I see discrimination where there is none, the root of the problem is myself and not the language. It is also a textbook example of an etymological fallacy. Craftsmanship implies "man" about as much as woman does.


128

"Guys" can be used in English as gender neutral to refer to a group of mixed gender. You will even hear women refer to other women as "guys." The closest linguistic equivalent with a feminine tilt would be "gals". "Guys and gals" is a rather informal variant of "ladies and gentlemen". (Note the reverse order.) Edit: As noted by @kitukwfyer in the question ...


65

I often use folks when addressing a group, both in public speaking and in email. Admittedly, it is a bit, er, folksy for business email, but it saves me time in thinking about the issue. Edit: another informal term is gang. For email, I would only use this for colleagues within my department or team, and not to those outside of the team. e.g. "Hey gang, ...


49

It's already gender neutral. It isn't and never was specifying male. It's the root of the word. Linguistically it's traced back to an archaic word for human not the gender specific word for a male.


45

Certainly many usage guides have advised against use of this "singular they" on various "logical" grounds. Nevertheless, singular they has long been part of the English language, and there are various posts on Language Log giving examples of it being used in the Bible, by Shakespeare, by the president, by the Canadian Department of Justice, etc.. The ...


37

That is quite true: there is no such word. In English we have to use several words to express the precise nature of the kind of relationship you describe. The words girlfriend and boyfriend usually indicate that the people concerned are rather more than friends, although I believe ladies will sometimes refer to their female friends as girlfriends with no ...


36

You could simply drop the dressing and go with "craft". The word is already used this way, parallel to the word "skill". It is generally unambiguous whether one is using "craft" in the sense of a set of skills, or in the sense of the quantity of those skills one has developed. Edit -- edge case: For the use "fine craftsmanship", I like the earlier ...


35

Using the inverted-gender pronoun for the partner in a homosexual relationship who is not physically pregnant is entirely sensible, although a bit odd. If you want an alternative, parent-to-be is a fair term which is not mismatched on gender and does not include the same health restrictions as mother-to-be. Of course, one wonders how you would describe a ...


35

Consider the terms artisan and artisanal. From en.wiktionary, artisan means “A skilled manual worker who uses tools and machinery in a particular craft”, while artisanal has senses including “Of or pertaining to artisans or the work of artisans” and “Involving skilled work, with comparatively little reliance on machinery”. As a parallel to the ...


33

The non-birthing part of a lesbian relationship having a child is often called the co-mother (last sense—ignore the previous senses, they're very rare in normal settings, at least in my experience). So your friend would be a co-mother-to-be or (perhaps less likely to make you suffer a hyphen overdose) expecting co-mother.


32

Especially in these rapidly changing times, we must be careful not to make false assumptions about our addressees. For this reason, it is important to use broad, inclusive appelations like sentient life forms and beings. If there is a chance that one or more of the group members may have ceased to be by the time your utterance has been processed, you ...


31

Personally I typically use "guy friends" and "lady friends" to avoid the relationship connotation.


29

Lady is the term, although the term gentlewoman exists.


28

Wikipedia is pretty accurate on this one: The origins of this practice are not certain, and it is currently in decline (though still more common for ships, particularly in nautical usage, than for countries). In modern English, calling objects "she" is an optional figure of speech, and is advised against by most journalistic style guides such as the ...


27

Well, obviously you can't translate many things literally, as you would constantly end up with sentences such as "it gave it to it" in English, where in the source language with genders you have a perfectly clear "she gave it to him". However, there are usually easy ways around this, the most obvious one being: kick out the pronouns and replace them with ...


27

I don't think you can find a term that is entirely symmetrical, because the cultural concepts of romantic and sexual pursuit aren't symmetrical. Identical behavior in a man and a woman will usually be interpreted differently in most cultures I know. The reason it's hard for you to find a non-perjorative female counterpart to casanova, and the reason so many ...


25

Perhaps something mildly humorous might do the trick. For instance: "We're pregnant, but I'm still allowed to drink and go bungee-jumping". "We decided that as I was better at rugby than her, she'd be the one taking a break". "It turns out I'm having to drink for two".


22

Gals comes to mind, as in the commonly used expression guys and gals.


19

The style guides I know advise against this kind, with the brackets or slashes (he/she), unless used ironically or in contexts where there is no reasonable alternative to avoid confusion, like forms or legal texts.


19

Casanova does not have a consistent definition but here are a few typical examples: Casanova — 1) A man who is amorously and gallantly attentive to women. 2) A promiscuous man; a philanderer. Casanova — a man with a reputation for having many amorous adventures; rake; Don Juan. Casanova — lover; especially a man who is a ...


18

You can also use guys to address a group of women. See my response to the question "What is the possessive of 'you guys'?"


18

I have heard the phrase "gal pal" used in this way.


18

Most people will have no problem with calling her proprietor. Actually some people will reject the idea that you need a female form of the word anyway. Why would the word proprietor only be applicable to a man, and not simply to a person? So actually, calling her a proprietor is the safer and better option. Don't use an -ess or -ix version. Legally it ...


18

There are potentially infinite gender-neutral alternatives to craftsmanship. You could say that an item was "well-crafted", or if you have to refer to the specific quality of its well-craftedness, then you could stay general with a word like "quality" or "artistry" or you could be more specific. If it was a car, you could talk about its "engineering" or its ...


17

Just out of curiosity I have done some quick statistics. I downloaded the following books from Project Gutenberg Men writers Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Moby Dick, or, the whale by Herman Melville The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Picture of Dorian Gray by ...


17

It used to be that "master" was the word for a man who was in authority or in control, and "mistress" was the word for a woman in such a position. I presume that "mistress" came to be used for a woman that a married man was having an affair with on the idea that she is controlling and ruling him through her seductive powers. This usage has come to overshadow ...


17

In the industry, the accepted term is fisherman, plural fishermen. There was a campaign in Canada to adopt the word fisher, but the women in the profession largely refused to have anything to do with it: [F]ederal efforts to replace fisherman with fisher in government documents, coupled with a high-profile Supreme Court decision on native fishing rights, ...


17

I think the reason for your friend's preference is that using either the male or female pronouns implicitly pigeon-holes the person in question as either one or the other. However, all of the examples you give seem to me to be forced, and to shout out loud "Hey, look at how sensitive I'm being! I'm not calling Kris either male or female!" There are ...


16

Yes to all of your questions: Old English had three genders, each of which had their own definite articles and case endings (though the masculine and neuter were largely the same). If you look at the Wikipedia article on Old English Declensions, you can see sample declensions for masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns in their five cases, as well as examples ...



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