Tell me it ain’t so!

I saw on one of my listservs that the Chicago Manual of Style has given up on “his or her” for the singular possessive. I know it requires re-writing to fix those awkward sentences: The user must check their his or her manual for the exact procedure.

But languages have rules so that they are governed by logic that any speaker/reader/writer can follow to get the job of communication done. It is not hard to revise the sentence to achieve agreement: Users must check their manuals for the exact procedure. It is much more elegant to have a language that works because the more exceptions we incorporate the more vagueness we incorporate.

We count on reference sources like CMS to hold the line for the rest of us.

Tsk, tsk, CMS.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Just thinking

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s