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Old 07-20-2019, 02:24 PM
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Do the pros of Berkeley's gender-pronoun-ban outweigh the cons?


Don't want to start a debate on LGBT/genderism/non-genderism itself (we have many other threads,) but just want to ask about the practicality of this:


Does this mean that police will not be allowed to describe a suspect as a man or a woman, and can only say "person of interest" or something non-gendered like that? That wouldn't help the public in identifying the suspect. Are medical professionals allowed to say that a patient is a man or a woman? (makes a big difference if a patient needs a vasectomy or hysterectomy, for instance.)

If a child goes missing, are the authorities allowed to say that it's a boy missing or a girl missing, or does it have to be non-gendered pronoun child? Again, that wouldn't help the public in finding the missing kid at all. If a school prided itself on increasing its representation of women (i.e., "our student body used to be only 12% women, but now is 45%!") then doesn't this mean they couldn't convey such a fact anymore?

It sounds like from a practical standpoint, the cons significantly outweigh the pros, especially in light of all the names, policies, practices that would have to be changed.
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:32 PM
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Is there a link missing from the OP?
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:49 PM
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[...] just want to ask about the practicality of this:

Does this mean that police will not be allowed to describe a suspect as a man or a woman, and can only say "person of interest" or something non-gendered like that? That wouldn't help the public in identifying the suspect. Are medical professionals allowed to say that a patient is a man or a woman? (makes a big difference if a patient needs a vasectomy or hysterectomy, for instance.)

If a child goes missing, are the authorities allowed to say that it's a boy missing or a girl missing, or does it have to be non-gendered pronoun child? Again, that wouldn't help the public in finding the missing kid at all. If a school prided itself on increasing its representation of women (i.e., "our student body used to be only 12% women, but now is 45%!") then doesn't this mean they couldn't convey such a fact anymore?

It sounds like from a practical standpoint, the cons significantly outweigh the pros, especially in light of all the names, policies, practices that would have to be changed.
If this is what you're talking about ("Berkeley plans to remove gendered pronouns from its municipal code"), then I fail to see how it would affect any of your examples at all.

AFAICT, the purpose is simply to make Berkeley's own code of municipal regulations non-gender-specific in its language. That is, the code would presumably refer to "firefighters" rather than "firemen" and "firewomen", "mail carriers" rather than "mailmen", "meter readers" instead of "meter maids", singular "they" rather than "he" or "she" as a gender-indefinite singular pronoun, and so on. Nowhere, AFAIK, is it proposed to restrict what municipal employees can say about the gender of individuals when it's pertinent to what they're talking about.

Is there some right-wing huffery-puffery making the rounds claiming that Berkeley police henceforth won't be allowed to mention the gender of a suspect, or something? If so, that sounds extremely implausible, but please link to it so we can check if it has any discernible merit (and if not, at least we'll get a good laugh out of it).
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:20 PM
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:41 PM
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I know lawyers who do legal drafting here in Canada. They've been doing non-gender vocab on statutes for 30 years.
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Don't want to start a debate on LGBT/genderism/non-genderism itself (we have many other threads,) but just want to ask about the practicality of this:


Does this mean that police will not be allowed to describe a suspect as a man or a woman, and can only say "person of interest" or something non-gendered like that? That wouldn't help the public in identifying the suspect. Are medical professionals allowed to say that a patient is a man or a woman? (makes a big difference if a patient needs a vasectomy or hysterectomy, for instance.)

If a child goes missing, are the authorities allowed to say that it's a boy missing or a girl missing, or does it have to be non-gendered pronoun child? Again, that wouldn't help the public in finding the missing kid at all. If a school prided itself on increasing its representation of women (i.e., "our student body used to be only 12% women, but now is 45%!") then doesn't this mean they couldn't convey such a fact anymore?

It sounds like from a practical standpoint, the cons significantly outweigh the pros, especially in light of all the names, policies, practices that would have to be changed.
It sounds like you have no idea what you're talking about with respect to Berkeley's policies. No link, no description of what Berkeley is actually doing... nothing.
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:13 PM
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This is crazy! How are they gonna make babies if they neuter everyone! This is political correctness gone mad.

Eta: or, what iiandyiiii said.

Last edited by CarnalK; 07-20-2019 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Don't want to start a debate on LGBT/genderism/non-genderism itself (we have many other threads,) but just want to ask about the practicality of this:


Does this mean that police will not be allowed to describe a suspect as a man or a woman, and can only say "person of interest" or something non-gendered like that? That wouldn't help the public in identifying the suspect. Are medical professionals allowed to say that a patient is a man or a woman? (makes a big difference if a patient needs a vasectomy or hysterectomy, for instance.)

If a child goes missing, are the authorities allowed to say that it's a boy missing or a girl missing, or does it have to be non-gendered pronoun child? Again, that wouldn't help the public in finding the missing kid at all. If a school prided itself on increasing its representation of women (i.e., "our student body used to be only 12% women, but now is 45%!") then doesn't this mean they couldn't convey such a fact anymore?

It sounds like from a practical standpoint, the cons significantly outweigh the pros, especially in light of all the names, policies, practices that would have to be changed.
Why didn't you ask if Berkeley was going to impose the death penalty on anyone who wears gendered clothing, like pants or a skirt?
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:14 PM
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Velocity, are you planning on explaining what the hell you're talking about with this OP? Maybe with a link?
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:31 PM
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Velocity, are you planning on explaining what the hell you're talking about with this OP? Maybe with a link?
Berkeley is removing gender-specific language from its municipal code. This only affects about 40 or so words. "Fireman" is now "firefighter", "manhole" is now "maintenance hole", and so on. The updates will cost the city $600.

A police officer can certainly refer to someone as a man. I don't see why they wouldn't be able to.
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:41 PM
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Berkeley is removing gender-specific language from its municipal code. This only affects about 40 or so words. "Fireman" is now "firefighter", "manhole" is now "maintenance hole", and so on. The updates will cost the city $600.

A police officer can certainly refer to someone as a man. I don't see why they wouldn't be able to.
Velocity, is this what you're referring to? If so, where did you get the fear-mongering nonsense in your OP?
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:00 PM
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It sounds like you have no idea what you're talking about with respect to Berkeley's policies. No link, no description of what Berkeley is actually doing... nothing.
Srsly.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:26 PM
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This is crazy! How are they gonna make babies if they neuter everyone! This is political correctness gone mad.
Just wait until you hear what they're planning to do to Manfred Mann.
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:20 PM
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nm

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Old 07-20-2019, 10:31 PM
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Ah, Berkeley! Or Berzerkly, as it is fondly known to us on the conservative wing of the extreme left! First city in America to have a foreign policy!
That's the People's Republik of Berzerkley to you, bub.
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:42 PM
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Typical right wing fear mongering over-reaction.

1. Do something minor.
2. Have Republicans take the issue to it's farthest, illogical conclusion and insist that this is what is happening.
3. Have it get distorted, further exaggerated with a pile of outright lies on top as the story makes its way through the right wing media and blog circus.

"We're changing Fireman to Firefighter in our policies and documentation."
becomes
"You won't be able to refer to someone as a man anymore, they're making it illegal."
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:24 AM
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Can I call bullshit, or by Berkeley rules is it now cattleshit?
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:29 AM
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Can I call bullshit, or by Berkeley rules is it now cattleshit?
Ungulateshit is a lot more inclusive.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:43 AM
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:18 AM
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Typical right wing fear mongering over-reaction.

1. Do something minor.
2. Have Republicans take the issue to it's farthest, illogical conclusion and insist that this is what is happening.
3. Have it get distorted, further exaggerated with a pile of outright lies on top as the story makes its way through the right wing media and blog circus.

"We're changing Fireman to Firefighter in our policies and documentation."
becomes
"You won't be able to refer to someone as a man anymore, they're making it illegal."
And "Robinson’s office estimates it will cost only $600 to implement the change to the municipal code." prompted a long discussion on a local radio station about how that must mean $600/per taxpayer- because $600 total makes no sense ,according to one of the hosts and a bunch of callers.

Of course $600 total is perfectly reasonable total for what amounts to a search for : "he, she , him ,her, his , hers" and replacing them with " “the Title" , "“that Title” or "“the Title’s” as appropriate. My guess is that Berkeley went from "fireman" to "firefighter" years ago, so actual titles wouldn't need to be changed now.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:10 PM
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I feel like I should point out that "fireman" and "women" are not pronouns, they are nouns.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:20 PM
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No conservative Bingo card is complete without a "Berkely" and an "AOC".
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:38 PM
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I'm surprised Berkeley hadn't already done this. Wasn't the gender neutral pronoun debate done years ago?
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:49 PM
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For right wing demagoguery being wrong, even egregiously wrong, I irrelevant. Just drop a Bombay characterizing “the libs” as idiots and no after what the truth is, the targets’ “feelings” have been successfully reinforced.

It’s trolling as a political strategy and a way of life.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:50 PM
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For right wing demagoguery being wrong, even egregiously wrong, I irrelevant. Just drop a Bombay characterizing “the libs” as idiots and no after what the truth is, the targets’ “feelings” have been successfully reinforced.

It’s trolling as a political strategy and a way of life.
I think autocorrect may have murdered your post.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:53 PM
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Maybe it's Cockney rhyming slang ... lemme make something up .. okay, it's a shortening of "Bombay Duck" to rhyme with clusterf*ck.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:58 PM
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It’s trolling as a political strategy and a way of life.
And the goal of the trolling is not to convert liberals. The intended audience is backsliding conservatives, who need reassurance that the outside world is full of crazies.
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:06 PM
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Good lord. Can this thread be put out of ēs misery, please?
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:40 PM
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I'm surprised Berkeley hadn't already done this. Wasn't the gender neutral pronoun debate done years ago?
I'm also surprised Berkeley's just getting to it; maybe they haven't rewritten the relevant sections of code in a while? I got male-specific pronouns pretty well out of the town zoning book in, it must have been the revision done somewhere in the 1990's; though each time we go through the book again I seem to find an instance or two that got missed. (It's slightly more complicated than just doing a word search, as some sentences become awkward if not changed a bit otherwise; but I'd still expect $600 to have been used mostly for reprinting any needed hardcopies. It shouldn't cost much for what actual rewriting would be necessary. Changing text is otherwise a lot cheaper than it used to be.)

This is overall a very red area, full of conservative rural people, a number of whom are on the board. Back in the 90's I had to argue with the oldest planning board member, while everybody else on the board just waited for me to argue him down and then voted for the changes. Since he retired there hasn't even been an argument, just 'oh we did miss that one, didn't we? everybody approve [thorny's] rewrite of the sentence? OK then.'

Last edited by thorny locust; 07-21-2019 at 04:42 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:02 PM
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If this is what you're talking about ("Berkeley plans to remove gendered pronouns from its municipal code"), then I fail to see how it would affect any of your examples at all.

AFAICT, the purpose is simply to make Berkeley's own code of municipal regulations non-gender-specific in its language. That is, the code would presumably refer to "firefighters" rather than "firemen" and "firewomen", "mail carriers" rather than "mailmen", "meter readers" instead of "meter maids", singular "they" rather than "he" or "she" as a gender-indefinite singular pronoun, and so on. Nowhere, AFAIK, is it proposed to restrict what municipal employees can say about the gender of individuals when it's pertinent to what they're talking about.

Is there some right-wing huffery-puffery making the rounds claiming that Berkeley police henceforth won't be allowed to mention the gender of a suspect, or something? If so, that sounds extremely implausible, but please link to it so we can check if it has any discernible merit (and if not, at least we'll get a good laugh out of it).
Considering they've been doing that kind of thing since the 1980s, why would anyone be so upset over this now? I can't remember the last time anyone freaked out about "firefighter" or "mail carrier"?

Yeesh.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:17 PM
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Good lord. Can this thread be put out of ēs misery, please?
Heh. (But, "es" is for people)
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:27 PM
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Heh. (But, "es" is for people)
I see your trap, I am NOT calling for putting Velocity out of ēs misery. Nice try, but no warning for me!
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:31 PM
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I think autocorrect may have murdered your post.
Well, certainly bruised it, anyway.

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I see your trap, I am NOT calling for putting Velocity out of ēs misery. Nice try, but no warning for me!
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:08 AM
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It is still a waste of $600. Doesn't change a single thing and only makes liberals feel better. What is the pressing need for it?
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:11 AM
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It is still a waste of $600. Doesn't change a single thing and only makes liberals feel better. What is the pressing need for it?
It only costs $600 and makes liberals feel better. That's reason enough.
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:23 AM
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Do the pros of Berkeley's gender-pronoun-ban outweigh the cons?


Actually, legislative drafters tell me it provides greater precision. Sometimes "he" and "him" can be ambiguous when there are several individuals or positions being referred to. If the statute always says things like "the complainant", "the licence-issuer", the "applicant", it's always clear exactly who is being referred to. If that greater precision prevents even one lawsuit, that will pay for the $600 cost.
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:37 AM
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Actually, legislative drafters tell me it provides greater precision. Sometimes "he" and "him" can be ambiguous when there are several individuals or positions being referred to. If the statute always says things like "the complainant", "the licence-issuer", the "applicant", it's always clear exactly who is being referred to. If that greater precision prevents even one lawsuit, that will pay for the $600 cost.
That is a different issue, but it doesn't seem like what Berkeley is doing simply by eliminating gendered pronouns. They or them is even more ambiguous (as it could refer to the plural) than he or him or "he or she" or "him or her."

My state, whenever it amends a statute, substitutes "he or she" for "he" and "him or her" for "him." There is also a catch all provision that any gendered pronouns shall refer to either sex.

Many statutes also refer to "the county jail" even though we don't have county jails anymore and "the penitentiary" even though we have several prisons and don't refer to them as penitentiaries anymore (at least officially). But again, a catchall provision says basically that anytime you see "county jail" it means "regional jail" and when you see "penitentiary" it means in the custody of the Division of Corrections.

I have never heard a single individual see a statute like "If any person commits murder, he shall be imprisoned for life" and be outraged by it. If a handful of people are, it is not worth the cost of rewriting a code.
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Old 07-22-2019, 02:21 AM
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Why assume outrage is the motive rather than precision? You say your state has catch all's for improper verbiage. Did those catch alls cost less than $600 to write up? Is it a better solution?

Last edited by CarnalK; 07-22-2019 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 07-22-2019, 02:48 AM
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Why assume outrage is the motive rather than precision? You say your state has catch all's for improper verbiage. Did those catch alls cost less than $600 to write up? Is it a better solution?
Whatever it costs, the catchall is cheaper that rewriting the whole code. And precision? Are you or anyone you know confused with something like "If a man litters on the highway he shall be fined $500"? Do you read that and believe that a woman can litter without penalty?

If nobody is confused by that, then it is a solution in search of a problem.
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Old 07-22-2019, 02:59 AM
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Why assume outrage is the motive rather than precision? You say your state has catch all's for improper verbiage. Did those catch alls cost less than $600 to write up? Is it a better solution?
And to be fair, it is not really improper, but antiquated. AFAIK, the French still use the male form of a singular pronoun when the gender of the individual is unknown or generic, and the male form of the plural pronoun when the group is unknown or comprised of at least one male. We used to do that with the singular, and some old people still do it.

Yes, I have no problem changing that to meet with the custom of the times, but we can do that piecemeal without expending any money unnecessarily.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:31 AM
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Whatever it costs, the catchall is cheaper that rewriting the whole code. And precision? Are you or anyone you know confused with something like "If a man litters on the highway he shall be fined $500"? Do you read that and believe that a woman can litter without penalty?



If nobody is confused by that, then it is a solution in search of a problem.
I am not a lawyer, but if that were the law as written, and my daughters were litterbugs, that would be exactly the argument I would use in court on their benhalr.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:36 AM
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... Are you or anyone you know confused with something like "If a man litters on the highway he shall be fined $500"? Do you read that and believe that a woman can litter without penalty?

If nobody is confused by that, then it is a solution in search of a problem.
It's a good sentence structure if the intention is to make it sound like it was taken from the Bible, or an etched sacred stone or something.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:42 AM
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Whatever it costs, the catchall is cheaper that rewriting the whole code. And precision? Are you or anyone you know confused with something like "If a man litters on the highway he shall be fined $500"?
Is there any compelling reason why such a code should not read "If one should litter on the highway, they shall be fined $500"?
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:46 AM
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And to be fair, it is not really improper, but antiquated. AFAIK, the French still use the male form of a singular pronoun when the gender of the individual is unknown or generic, and the male form of the plural pronoun when the group is unknown or comprised of at least one male. We used to do that with the singular, and some old people still do it.

Yes, I have no problem changing that to meet with the custom of the times, but we can do that piecemeal without expending any money unnecessarily.
Perhaps they have been doing it piecemeal, and now there's not much left and they decided to clean up.

Tidier laws that don't rely on "oh, by the way, 'cow' also means other large domestic animals, like 'horse'" clauses are valuable all by themselves.

I re-wrote some internal documentation last year to switch from "he or she" to "the ___", where ____ was the role of the person to do this or that. I did it both to be gender-inclusive and also to read more precisely and gracefully.

There was one clause that was hard to re-word, so I suppose it cost my employer something. But overall, my spending the time to review the documentation and update it was well-spent. For instance, I updated some descriptions of processes that were out-of-date as part of the same review.
  #45  
Old 07-22-2019, 07:02 AM
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Berkeley spends way more than $600 to clean the carpets in city hall, for no other reason than clean carpets make people happy.

This is marginally more important than cleaning the carpets.
  #46  
Old 07-22-2019, 07:32 AM
Ravenman is offline
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Here's what I've learned in the last few posts:

Berkeley spending $600 to make stylistic edits to its laws: we need fiscal discipline!!!!!

Trump running trillion dollar deficits: [crickets]
  #47  
Old 07-22-2019, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Are you or anyone you know confused with something like "If a man litters on the highway he shall be fined $500"? Do you read that and believe that a woman can litter without penalty?
If I'm a sovereign citizen, sure.
  #48  
Old 07-22-2019, 07:43 AM
Gyrate is offline
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I for one am outraged. Not by this - this* is just stupid. I'm just generally outraged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobot View Post
It's a good sentence structure if the intention is to make it sound like it was taken from the Bible, or an etched sacred stone or something.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Is there any compelling reason why such a code should not read "If one should litter on the highway, they shall be fined $500"?
"Woe unto them that cast their litter by the public wayside, for they shall have $500 taken from them."


*thread

Last edited by Gyrate; 07-22-2019 at 07:43 AM.
  #49  
Old 07-22-2019, 07:43 AM
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Imagine having such a deep thirst for hating liberals that you oppose $600 for proofreading.
  #50  
Old 07-22-2019, 07:55 AM
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Yeah, but Berkeley.
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