Small pronoun edit with MUC error messages #120

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@jmacdotorg

Changing a handful of user-visible MUC error messages so that they use the neutral pronoun “they” instead of gender-specific “he” to describe the MUC participant they pertain to.

@jmacdotorg jmacdotorg Changing a handful of user-visible MUC error messages so that they us…
…e the neutral pronoun “they” instead of gender-specific “he” to describe the MUC participant they pertain to.
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@zinid
Member
zinid commented Dec 2, 2013

"This participant is kicked... because they sent..."
Looks meaningless for me.
Also, translation files should be changed as well.

@jmacdotorg

The use of "they" in English to refer to a single person of unknown gender is well-established, assuming that that's what you're objecting to. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

As for the translation files, I don't have the ability to judge those by myself; I can only speak for English. The file involved in the pull request seems to be the only one using gendered English pronouns to refers to users in user-visible error messages, and so it's the only one I offer a fix for.

EDIT: Scratch that -- I see the files you're referring to, sorry. I'll go have a closer look and update my changes.

(I humbly submit this request after several times seeing my ejabberd-based MUC embarrassingly refer to certain female friends as "he" whenever one of them gets kicked by accident...)

@zinid
Member
zinid commented Dec 3, 2013

OK, it would be great if the translation files are changed as well.

@jmacdotorg

Previous commit accounts for everything, as far as I know.

@badlop
Member
badlop commented Jan 7, 2014

That only solves the problem for the english translation: other languages may not have an equivalent of the "singular they" concept.

In fact, that only solves for English speakers: I didn't know the concept of "singular they", apparently Evgeniy didn't either, and I suspect other non-English native speakers will find the "singular they" as confusing as the "generic he".

A solution both for English natives, non-natives, and other languages would be to not use a pronoun at all. For example:

-This participant is kicked from the room because he sent an error ...
+This participant sent an error ..., and consequently is kicked from the room.
@weiss
Member
weiss commented Apr 11, 2014

The use of singular they seems to be highly controversial even among native speakers, and it no doubt will be confusing for many non-native speakers, so I'd personally opt for closing this PR and accepting any patches that implement the solution suggested by badlop.

@jmacdotorg

Sorry for my lack of response (and thank you for the reminder). I too find badlop’s suggestion of just rewording the pronouns out entirely acceptable.

I can make a point of editing this PR thus in the next few days.

On Apr 11, 2014, at 9:59 AM, Holger Weiß notifications@github.com wrote:

The use of singular they seems to be highly controversial even among native speakers, and it no doubt will be confusing for many non-native speakers, so I'd personally opt for closing this PR and accepting any patches that implement the solution suggested by badlop.


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub.

Jason McIntosh

http://jmac.orgjmac@jmac.org@JmacDotOrg

@zinid zinid closed this Apr 28, 2014
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