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Moving Toward Gender Neutral

Language is always changing.

by Eric Holdeman / August 3, 2020

Every morning, part of my routine is to listen to a series of items on my Amazon Echo while showering. One of the items is the "Word of the Day," which covers the definition of a word, its origins, Latin, Old English, French, etc. And, sometimes the "original meaning of the word," which tells you that language is constantly changing.

Then there is this article, Instead Of Saying 'Hey, Guys!' At Work, Try These Gender-Neutral Alternatives, which highlights how language is changing even today. 

My first experience with this was the early 1990s. After entering the civilian workforce, I switched from saying "manpower" to "staffing" to make it gender neutral. Today we are in a he/him/she/her [and sometimes they/them -- Editor] world if you look at the signature blocks for many a government person these days. Get used to it or retire. If it is a fad, it will go away -- but, many an emergency manager thought that social media was a fad that would go away too!

For the record, I recall asking women in the early 1990s if it was OK to use the term "guys" when referring to a group of people. The response, back then, was that it was considered gender neutral. Change happens!

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