Early exit polls

Early exit
Drudge is announcing the unsuprising news that Bush is
Time’s Man of the Year. As Newsweek chose not feature bloggers on the cover
nor did they clone-cover, I doubt I’ll be making any more comments on
this topic. Side trivia: This is the first post I’ve ever made using
Firefox, the “Browser of the Year.

Update: Time.com posted the news slightly before 8 a.m. EST but calls Bush “Person of the Year.” As I have no problem determining the gender of the President, I will continue referring to it as “Man of the Year” and, on those years when a woman is selected, I will refer to it as “Woman of the Year.”

That reminds me,, Merry Christmas.

4 thoughts on “Early exit polls

  1. I agree with “Man of the Year” vs. “Person of the Year.” “Person of the Year” seem appropriate when the person has not yet been announced and hence the sex of the person is not known. But, once there is a particular known individual, either “Man of the Year” or “Woman of the Year” makes more sense.
    I have the same rant about committee “chairperson” or, worse still, “chair.” When speaking of the office in general, “chairperson” is appropriate when the holders of that office, either past or future, might be of either sex. When referring to a specific individual of known sex, can’t we say either “chairman” or “chairwoman” as the case may be?
    But it never makes sense to me to call a person a “chair.”

  2. I’ll argue this point.

    While “Man of the Year” and “Woman of the Year” are indeed easy to say and write, and have the benefit of being specific, other usages are not. “Congresswoman” is an incredible mouthful, as is “councilwoman.” Frankly they are not dramatically improved by the male gender — “councilman,” etc.

    So yes, I’m a big fan of noting that Susan is “chair” of the committee and that Fred and Jane are “members” of Congress. It’s just EASIER. When we have the ability to make our speech and writing more fluid, let’s do so.

    As noted elsewhere in the rexblog, there are plenty of folks trying to butcher the English language, even in otherwise excellent magazines.

  3. I dislike using the term “chair” to refer to a person because it sounds like gender sensitivity run amok: eliminating the “man/woman” suffix to avoid offense, but at the expense of the dignity of the person as a person because the same term can refer to the mere furniture he or she is sitting on.

    That said, this usage of “chair” may be older than I supposed and may not be a neologism. In such case, I could be persuaded in its favor.

    My main point above was that, while gender-neutral terms should be used when the sex of the person isn’t known, once we do know the individual’s sex, why then use gender-neutral terms? And why do I see gender-neutral terms so often used only when the person is a woman? Why call a man “chairman,” but a woman in the same position “chairperson”? Shouldn’t she be called “chairwoman”? Each deserves the same dignity. And neither needs to be confused with furniture.

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