Style question: "he" or "she" or "he and she"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-19-2008, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

I am working on a series of informative articles on babies and sleep. I hope to put them on my own website. If I write for someone else, I follow their guidelines, but now I don't know what to do.

I don't know whether to use "he" to refer to the baby and put a note to say that it applies to girls too, to use "he" and "she" in different parts of the text or to write "he and she" all the time.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

Mama to DS1 and DS2
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#2 of 8 Old 02-20-2008, 12:03 AM
 
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I'll use he sometimes and she sometimes in my writing. I don't know if this is the correct way to do it, it is just what comes naturally to me.
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#3 of 8 Old 02-20-2008, 02:54 AM
 
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According to the APA guidelines, one would use "he or she;" but you can also use them interchangeably, if it is not a scientific article. you can also have a footnote which would say that when you refer to the baby as a "she" you mean "he or she."

i've seen s/he, but personally i don't like it. i am not sure whether this is a particular style.
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#4 of 8 Old 02-20-2008, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your answers!

Mama to DS1 and DS2
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#5 of 8 Old 02-22-2008, 01:06 AM
 
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I like to use s/he for my own writing.
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#6 of 8 Old 02-24-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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I usually use s/he in my own writing, but what I've been noticing lately is switching the usage between chapters or sections. You could alternate the pronouns in your series.

If if it's not too awkward, you can switch to the plural "babies" and then use the pronoun "they."

All the alternatives seem sloppy to me, but readers get what you're trying to do and they go with whatever option you pick.
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#7 of 8 Old 02-25-2008, 11:01 AM
 
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Most of the baby books and articles I've read switch it up and use 'he' for awhile, then 'she', explaining at some point that (of course) they mean, "the baby, whichever it is". There really ought to be a nongendered pronoun for infants and etc; too bad it's bad form to call them "it"s!

Mara, mama to two boys born 05/2009 and 04/2011, after four miscarriages. 

Also: chicken3.gif  dog2.gif

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#8 of 8 Old 02-26-2008, 02:27 AM
 
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I tend to use he for the babies and she for the mothers, but if there's no mother invovled in the article, I like the s/he If you're submitting to a magazine, see what their other writers are doing, so you're writing in their style. good luck
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