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Part III: Keys to Effective E-Mail > Avoiding Sexist Language

Chapter 18. Avoiding Sexist Language

The greater presence of women in business has changed many traditional practices, including the use of language. Historically, English grammar called for masculine pronouns (he, him, his, himself) to refer to both men and women. That practice is no longer acceptable. Now writers, including e-mail writers, must look for alternatives to avoid language that could offend clients, colleagues, or hidden readers.

Short of adopting the cumbersome he/she or he or she construction, what’s a gender-sensitive e-mail writer to do?


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