ERIC Number: ED179092
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Nonsexist Use of Language in Scientific and Technical Writing.
Billingsley, Patricia A.; Johnson, Neil A.
The need to introduce nonsexist language into scientific and technical writing is addressed. By taking advantage of the versatility of the English language, it can easily and clearly be indicated that either one or both of the sexes is being discussed, without resorting to biased, euphemistic, or newly-invented wording. There are two conceptually different aspects of writing style on which attention should be focused: language that designates improperly and language that evaluates in situations that should be nonevaluative. Careful selection of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives can eliminate or minimize the occurrence of ambiguity in designating sex identity. Examples of where changes are needed and substitute wording are presented on the following: use of personal pronouns, and use of generic terms to indicate homo sapiens. Examples of problems of evaluation and suggested alternatives concern: sex-typed adjectives or descriptions, use of irrelevant demographic information, use of nonparallel construction, use of inaccurate terminology, and use of sex-typed illustrations. Substantive guidelines for eliminating sex bias in scientific and technical writing, a reference list, a list of materials for further reading, and information on a genderist rating scheme for written and oral communication are included. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Human Engineering Labs., Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.