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Yes, I agree!

-----Original Message-----
From: "James Cummings" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 10/01/08 05:50
Subject: Re: SV: s/he media/tion car(s)

Matthew James Driscoll wrote:
> I think <orig> and <reg>, definitely, rather than <app> and <rdg>, but 
> shouldnt it rather be:
> 
> <choice>
>   <orig>s/he</orig>
>   <reg>he or she</reg>
> </choice>?
> 
> (He or she sounds more natural, to my ear, than she or he, and Mr 
> Google seems to confirm that I am not alone in this, although many of 
> the first hits were discussions of whether one should be allowed to use 
> such a formulation.)
> 
> One /could/, of course, argue that s/he is an abbreviation (for he or 
> she, or, if you insist, she or he) and use <abbr> and <expan>. This 
> applies equally, if less obviously, to the others, too, I should have 
> thought.

This is exactly what I was going to argue.  I think it fits in best with 
Wendell's division of simple vs complex notation.  The string 's/he' in the 
english language is not a word.  Nor do I believe it is truly offering me a 
choice between substituting she or he at this point.  Whenever anyone reads 
this aloud they'll say something like 'she he' or 'he she' or 'he or she' 
rather than simply substituting a random choice of one or the other.

In my mind at a very basic level this is:
  <choice>
    <abbr>s/he</abbr>
    <expan>she or he</expan>
  </choice>

Or maybe something like:
<choice>
   <abbr>s<am>/</am>he</abbr>
   <expan>s<ex>he or </ex>he</expan>
</choice>

I much prefer this to orig/reg.  What form of regularisation is it to take 
something with less letters and funny characters and expand this into plain 
normal english words with spaces between them?  Sounds to me like abbr/expan.

-James
-- 
Dr James Cummings, Oxford Text Archive, University of Oxford
James dot Cummings at oucs dot ox dot ac dot uk