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Kemet: Seth» Forums » General

Subject: The choice of language for the rulebook of this game is sexist. rss

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Samuel Pivarnik
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ncRubert wrote:
Hey forum, I'm a big fan of Kemet and I am eagerly looking forward to the expansion. I've got a complaint with the rulebook though. On the first page of the rulebook we get this note:

NOTE: Male pronouns have been used for simplicity and readability.


The rulebook could have easily been written with all instances of "he" replaced with "Seth" or "the player". Neither the words "Seth" nor the words "the player" are particularly long or cumbersome to write/say. Adopting gendered pronouns (he or she) is completely unnecessary for this rulebook.


Well, historically Seth was a "he" so the rulebook is actually spot on with it pronoun usage.
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Luke

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Yes there are many problems in the world and the existence of one does not prevent you from solving another even if you believe they are less important problems. There are wars and starvation in the world but a board game company is not in the position to solve those problems. They are in the position to be more inclusive in their use of language. As much as that seems like a small problem it's also a small fix. On top of that even though this is just language it is the o ly medium we have to communicate with each other and spread ideas. The first step in accepting people and not discriminating against them in your actions is to accept them with your language. The sooner the language we use advances to accept people, the faster our community accepts them as well. There is a large problem in this hobby with discrimination and sexism, removing that from anywhere in the hobby, including rulebooks, is a small step towards eliminating that problem.
 
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Arthur Seidman
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reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:


Now, I talked to a friend at Essen who is an Expert in English language. He mentioned it was very possible to use "They" for all rulebooks, so we will explore this in the future for all games. It sounds funny to a person that was born a French speaker like me and in spite of 3years living in California, but I trust my friend and so we will do that.


It would sound funny to someone born an English speaker as well because it is technically incorrect. It's not necessarily widely accepted yet but I'm coming around to it.


Now I'm confused... But we'll try they asap and hope it works to get no one is unhappy... somehow I doubt it :soblue:


I'm saying that under "proper" English, using the singular they is technically incorrect (so it's not just you that it sounds funny too). However, I realize that using a singular they (even if improper) is less cumbersome than writing he or she everywhere and helps everyone feel included. So I'm just saying that I think it's a good idea even if some grammarists disagree on using it.

This is false.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/they
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/they
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/they
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they
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Matthew M
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Barbasol
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I think using "they" works pretty well. It is not necessarily problem-free or an easy solution though. Rules often require precision and sometimes you just need a singular pronoun. You'd be surprised. I've personally spent hours and even days carefully crafting a card's text in dozens of ways trying to find a version that fits and has as little ambiguity as possible. But I would agree most times "they" works and is more appropriate for actual game components.

However, I have absolutely no problem with the rulebook using traditional writing standards. I mean, it was only recently that these started changing. Calling it "sexist" and by extension the authors I feel is pretty accusatory. These threads often come across as "if you don't agree fully this needs changing, then you are hateful/sexist as well". Perhaps not the intention, but that's certainly how it feels, so it's no surprise you get some counter opinions.
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Reddish22
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Rhinoceritis wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:


Now, I talked to a friend at Essen who is an Expert in English language. He mentioned it was very possible to use "They" for all rulebooks, so we will explore this in the future for all games. It sounds funny to a person that was born a French speaker like me and in spite of 3years living in California, but I trust my friend and so we will do that.


It would sound funny to someone born an English speaker as well because it is technically incorrect. It's not necessarily widely accepted yet but I'm coming around to it.


Now I'm confused... But we'll try they asap and hope it works to get no one is unhappy... somehow I doubt it :soblue:


I'm saying that under "proper" English, using the singular they is technically incorrect (so it's not just you that it sounds funny too). However, I realize that using a singular they (even if improper) is less cumbersome than writing he or she everywhere and helps everyone feel included. So I'm just saying that I think it's a good idea even if some grammarists disagree on using it.

This is false.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/they
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/they
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/they
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they


Literally every definition you posted starts with the more common plural form. The wiki link literally says the same thing I did, that singular they is generally frowned upon.
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Arthur Seidman
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reddish22 wrote:
Rhinoceritis wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:


Now, I talked to a friend at Essen who is an Expert in English language. He mentioned it was very possible to use "They" for all rulebooks, so we will explore this in the future for all games. It sounds funny to a person that was born a French speaker like me and in spite of 3years living in California, but I trust my friend and so we will do that.


It would sound funny to someone born an English speaker as well because it is technically incorrect. It's not necessarily widely accepted yet but I'm coming around to it.


Now I'm confused... But we'll try they asap and hope it works to get no one is unhappy... somehow I doubt it :soblue:


I'm saying that under "proper" English, using the singular they is technically incorrect (so it's not just you that it sounds funny too). However, I realize that using a singular they (even if improper) is less cumbersome than writing he or she everywhere and helps everyone feel included. So I'm just saying that I think it's a good idea even if some grammarists disagree on using it.

This is false.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/they
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/they
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/they
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they


Literally every definition you posted starts with the more common plural form. The wiki link literally says the same thing I did, that singular they is generally frowned upon.

If singular they was "technically incorrect" I would expect it to not show up as a definition at all
 
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Brian Garmon
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Writing he/she is extremely cumbersome to write and especially to read. It's commonly taught to choose one or the other and stuck with it through the work. Putting that disclaimer, while unnecessary, makes that stylistic choice overt in order to avoid offense.

They as a singular pronoun is incorrect. Good writing trumps hurt feelings.
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Grant
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reddish22 wrote:
Rhinoceritis wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:


Now, I talked to a friend at Essen who is an Expert in English language. He mentioned it was very possible to use "They" for all rulebooks, so we will explore this in the future for all games. It sounds funny to a person that was born a French speaker like me and in spite of 3years living in California, but I trust my friend and so we will do that.


It would sound funny to someone born an English speaker as well because it is technically incorrect. It's not necessarily widely accepted yet but I'm coming around to it.


Now I'm confused... But we'll try they asap and hope it works to get no one is unhappy... somehow I doubt it soblue


I'm saying that under "proper" English, using the singular they is technically incorrect (so it's not just you that it sounds funny too). However, I realize that using a singular they (even if improper) is less cumbersome than writing he or she everywhere and helps everyone feel included. So I'm just saying that I think it's a good idea even if some grammarists disagree on using it.

This is false.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/they
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/they
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/they
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they


Literally every definition you posted starts with the more common plural form. The wiki link literally says the same thing I did, that singular they is generally frowned upon.

But of course you realize that “technically incorrect” (an objective assessment) and “frowned upon by some language sticklers”(a subjective opinion) are massively different things, yes?
 
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Reddish22
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grant5 wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
Rhinoceritis wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:


Now, I talked to a friend at Essen who is an Expert in English language. He mentioned it was very possible to use "They" for all rulebooks, so we will explore this in the future for all games. It sounds funny to a person that was born a French speaker like me and in spite of 3years living in California, but I trust my friend and so we will do that.


It would sound funny to someone born an English speaker as well because it is technically incorrect. It's not necessarily widely accepted yet but I'm coming around to it.


Now I'm confused... But we'll try they asap and hope it works to get no one is unhappy... somehow I doubt it :soblue:


I'm saying that under "proper" English, using the singular they is technically incorrect (so it's not just you that it sounds funny too). However, I realize that using a singular they (even if improper) is less cumbersome than writing he or she everywhere and helps everyone feel included. So I'm just saying that I think it's a good idea even if some grammarists disagree on using it.

This is false.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/they
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/they
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/they
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they


Literally every definition you posted starts with the more common plural form. The wiki link literally says the same thing I did, that singular they is generally frowned upon.

But of course you realize that “technically incorrect” (an objective assessment) and “frowned upon by some language sticklers”(a subjective opinion) are massively different things, yes?


Given that language is fluid, no I don’t see any difference (it wasn’t “some grammar sticklers” it was most “style guides” anyways).

It doesn’t seem to matter that I said if it helps people feel more included, writers should go for it because what is “correct” is nebulous at best.
 
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Grant
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reddish22 wrote:
grant5 wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
Rhinoceritis wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
arnaud4matagot wrote:


Now, I talked to a friend at Essen who is an Expert in English language. He mentioned it was very possible to use "They" for all rulebooks, so we will explore this in the future for all games. It sounds funny to a person that was born a French speaker like me and in spite of 3years living in California, but I trust my friend and so we will do that.


It would sound funny to someone born an English speaker as well because it is technically incorrect. It's not necessarily widely accepted yet but I'm coming around to it.


Now I'm confused... But we'll try they asap and hope it works to get no one is unhappy... somehow I doubt it soblue


I'm saying that under "proper" English, using the singular they is technically incorrect (so it's not just you that it sounds funny too). However, I realize that using a singular they (even if improper) is less cumbersome than writing he or she everywhere and helps everyone feel included. So I'm just saying that I think it's a good idea even if some grammarists disagree on using it.

This is false.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/they
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/they
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/they
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they


Literally every definition you posted starts with the more common plural form. The wiki link literally says the same thing I did, that singular they is generally frowned upon.

But of course you realize that “technically incorrect” (an objective assessment) and “frowned upon by some language sticklers”(a subjective opinion) are massively different things, yes?


Given that language is fluid, no I don’t see any difference (it wasn’t “some grammar sticklers” it was most “style guides” anyways).

It doesn’t seem to matter that I said if it helps people feel more included, writers should go for it because what is “correct” is nebulous at best.

Keep moving those goal posts.
 
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Trey Chambers
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I find it odd that the rulebook called itself out. I wonder what's worse, being aware of being problematic and still being problematic anyway, or being oblivious. The former sounds worse, actually. And this is clearly the former.
 
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Severijn De Wilde
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Quite frankly, I don't think it needed the call-out, because the approach taken is still good English. That it did was a nice touch, but it's also the root cause of why we're seeing this topic in the first place.

You may be right that it could have been better if there was no call-out, since it had the opposite effect of what was intended by informing everyone. At least in this thread.
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