"His/Her" vs. "Their" in website copy

21 Jul 2009 - 2:47pm
3 years ago
55 replies
2277 reads
Christopher Rider
2009

Howdy,

I'm working on a website targeted primarily at women. In several places we
need to ask for information about the user's significant other. 80%+ of our
visitors are straight women, but we do get the occasional man (gay or
straight) or gay woman.
The team is debating which pronoun to use in field labels - e.g. "Their
Birthday" or "His/Her Birthday". The site has a pretty relaxed/informal
tone, so we're leaning heavily toward "their", but we thought the list might
have some opinions to share.

Thoughts?
--
Chris Rider
cjrider at gmail.com

Comments

28 Jul 2009 - 7:58am
Joe Sokohl
2004

Their, most definitely. Read steven Pinker & his writing on
substantives to see that it's not a mathematical "agree in person &
number" issue.

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28 Jul 2009 - 8:13am
Joe Sokohl
2004

Knowing that rules such as "never split infinitives" were invented
in England in the 18th century as features to sell grammar books, to
me, sheds light and meaning on the validity of such rules.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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28 Jul 2009 - 10:37am
James Page
2008

Lets go all we the back to Englisc. That is not a spelling mistake but the
name of the language we in England spoke before English.
The advantage of us using Englisc is that it is far more compatible with
Dutch, German and other languages.

But we would run into the problem if we should use formal versus the
informal.

All the best

James

2009/7/28 Joe Sokohl <joe at sokohl.com>

> Knowing that rules such as "never split infinitives" were invented
> in England in the 18th century as features to sell grammar books, to
> me, sheds light and meaning on the validity of such rules.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43910
>
>
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5 Aug 2009 - 8:16am
Karen Bachmann
2009

While I personally agree with the advice to rewrite, I'm curious
whether you've put the different versions in front of intended
visitors and gotten their reactions.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43910

18 Oct 2010 - 9:07pm
Nicole Sylianteng
2010

"Their"

Common sense. Simple.

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