Another excellent post from the Mad Genius Club
When I was in my last year in college, I had a Fulbright professor from North Carolina, who taught American Culture and Literature.
The one time he brought the entire class of thirty women to a standstill – well besides the time when he said “Poym” and we had no idea what he was talking about. (He meant poem.) – was when he apologized for using the generic “he.”
He made the logical construction “when one does this, he” and then went into immediate, reflexive, panicked apology while we stared at him, blinking. At long last one of us (weirdly not me) said “Why are you apologizing for grammar? “He” is the correct terms for a person of indeterminate gender in anglo-saxon grammar, and it includes both male and female.”
The look of relief on that man’s face, because a group of college women weren’t taking issue with his use…
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