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Updating inherent descriptions to be gender neutral please?


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10 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

There's no patriarchal subtext, no misogynistic narrative, and no gender politics of any kind. The use of 'he' is used only to provide context that the descriptions are referring to an individua

While still voting yes, I agree entirely with this statement. However, I also entirely disagree with this part:

11 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

'they' can have a far broader meaning, and can confuse the reader

 

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14 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

I vote no.

 

There's no patriarchal subtext, no misogynistic narrative, and no gender politics of any kind. The use of 'he' is used only to provide context that the descriptions are referring to an individual, whereas 'they' can have a far broader meaning, and can confuse the reader.


 

That is why I always use “he or she” when the gender isn’t known.  I was taught from elementary school through college that “they” is plural only, and seeing it used in the singular over the past couple of years confuses the heck out of me.  Then again, I am in my mid-40s and therefore old. :P

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Just now, Apparition said:


 

That is why I always use “he or she” when the gender isn’t known.  I was taught from elementary school through college that “they” is plural only, and seeing it used in the singular over the past couple of years confuses the heck out of me.  Then again, I am in my mid-40s and therefore old. 😛

Right, they is fundamentally a plural word that has only found occasional use as a singular when being used to repair awkward sentences. Plenty of people justifiably find it confusing.

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While I don't have any issue with changing entires to be gender-neutral, as an English Graduate at University level I feel compelled to offer my two cents.

'They', as a replacement to 'He/her' or the like, is awkward in that 'He' will always refer to a singular, while 'They' can refer to both an individual or a plurality.
 

It could be assumed in most cases that people would derive meaning through context in regards to using They as a gender-neutral pronoun, but in the case of power descriptions that have multiple targets, for instance, this ambiguity could present an issue.

 

My recommendations, should the development team act on this, would be to either replace all entires of 'he' or 'she' with 'he/she', or even references to the character class instead, such as 'The Tanker will then X' or 'This will give the Blaster Y' or so-on, as this leaves no ambiguity at all and is gender neutral even to the point of being inclusive to non-binary or intersex individuals who have their own pronouns outside of 'he' and 'she'.

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Not super relevant, but, in imagining how English-as-a-second-language person might perceive idiosyncrasies in our language, I am reminded of being surprised when international students in engineering school told me that non-metric units were the single hardest thing about the curriculum - while acknowledging the rest of the curriculum was pretty dang tough.

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24 minutes ago, arcane said:

Not super relevant, but, in imagining how English-as-a-second-language person might perceive idiosyncrasies in our language, I am reminded of being surprised when international students in engineering school told me that non-metric units were the single hardest thing about the curriculum - while acknowledging the rest of the curriculum was pretty dang tough.

 

To be fair, non-metric units are hard for me, and I'm a 'English is the only language I know' person.

Imperial is just confusing all around.

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Id say the risk of confusion from "They" is pretty minor. But ignoring that, converting to "You" or "The Tanker" shouldn't be any significantly more difficult. I don't know what English courses taught they as exclusively plural because a casual perusal of English literature of the last 50 years destroys that suggestion. (Example: The accountant is coming by tomorrow, can you make sure they are helped?) Now the argument that it doesn't translate well from other languages when learning it as a second language is fine though.

I'm all for this, it shouldn't take to horribly long if someone on the dev team feels up for it, but yeah, not something anyone should be planting their flag and declaring their eternal devotion to as a cause one way or the other. Inclusivity is more important than some people make it, but this just isn't a pressing issue.

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1 minute ago, Koopak said:

Id say the risk of confusion from "They" is pretty minor. But ignoring that, converting to "You" or "The Tanker" shouldn't be any significantly more difficult. I don't know what English courses taught they as exclusively plural because a casual perusal of English literature of the last 50 years destroys that suggestion. Now the argument that it doesn't translate well from other languages when learning it as a second language is fine though.

I'm all for this, it shouldn't take to horribly long if someone on the dev team feels up for it, but yeah, not something anyone should be planting their flag and declaring their eternal devotion to as a cause one way or the other. Inclusivity is more important than some people make it, but this just isn't a pressing issue.

I never said that it was exclusively plural, but that in situations where the power being described might effect multiple characters, using a word that also has a plural use could result in confusion.

You're right though, it'd be no less difficult to use the archetype's name in the description, so if enough people raise their voices for this kind of change, I think that should be the way to go.

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3 hours ago, Taboo said:

While I don't disagree with your point, searching and replacing 'He' with 'They' is trivial.

...says the person who doesn't think about what a hot mess English grammar is. Take the example of the Tanker inherent above: "Each time a Tanker attacks, he enrages the target, and those around him," -- simple mindless find-and-replace would make it "Each time a Tanker attacks, they enrages the target, and those around them,". Replacing "him" with "them" works, but replacing "he" with "they" doesn't; "he enrages" has to be changed to "they enrage". So all of the text would need to be checked manually to make sure it read properly after the find-and-replace. So while replacing the pronouns to make people more comfortable by removing the putative sexism of the male pronoun default is a sensible change (or even, with sufficient resources, making the male/female/neither choice at the start of character creation and having the inherent text reflect the chosen gender), I agree with GM Kal that imputing any degree of criticality to fixing it, in the face of the other demands on the devs, is excessive.

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1 hour ago, Koopak said:

Id say the risk of confusion from "They" is pretty minor. But ignoring that, converting to "You" or "The Tanker" shouldn't be any significantly more difficult. I don't know what English courses taught they as exclusively plural because a casual perusal of English literature of the last 50 years destroys that suggestion. (Example: The accountant is coming by tomorrow, can you make sure they are helped?) Now the argument that it doesn't translate well from other languages when learning it as a second language is fine though.

I'm all for this, it shouldn't take to horribly long if someone on the dev team feels up for it, but yeah, not something anyone should be planting their flag and declaring their eternal devotion to as a cause one way or the other. Inclusivity is more important than some people make it, but this just isn't a pressing issue.

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