Tuesday, 27 January 2009
This is a useful and interesting book. I've made notes on three main areas. One is to think about individual words - don't say man the reception desk (especially if you are talking about a female) say staffed the reception desk. They give many examples. If in doubt you can always use the usual form, I'm never sure about words such as chair/chairperson/chairman, but it is good to be aware of the differences. The next is to recast sentences to avoid any awkward constructions when speaking generally - a child can feed himself, for example, could become a child can eat without help. The third section is very interesting - it's about trivialising. I think it was Adrienne Rich who said that being called a poetess brought out the terroristess in her. It can be obvious, as in two Thais and their wives, or more subtle, as in 'she helped slaves to escape.' Doesn't 'led slaves to freedom' sound stronger?