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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 9, 2012/ 15 Adar, 5772

Gender Specific Writer

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Apple Inc. makes dazzling, life-enhancing products, so G0d bless them ... to a point.

Having recently upgraded my computer to OS X 10.7.3 or Lion, I discovered that the new operating system no longer supports Microsoft Word, the word processing program I'd been dragooned into using after Microsoft muscled the far superior Word Perfect out of contention. What to do?

Purchasing a new version of Word would run about $150.00. But Apple offers its own word processing program called Pages that you can have for $20.00. Trusting in the quality of all things Apple, I bought it and congratulated myself on my thrift.

Pages has traits that are not immediately apparent, however. While it's a sturdy little word processor, it's true personality is not revealed until you use the proofreader — or Proofreadress, as I now think of her. Yes, she's female all right. Seems to have been designed and programmed by the women's studies department at Cupertino community college.

In a column about Rick Santorum, I had used the word "spokesman." The proofreader flagged it: "Gender specific expression. Consider replacing with 'speaker,' 'representative' or 'advocate.'" Hmm. How would that work? The sentence read, "A spokesman said 'there is little daylight between Ryan and Gingrich on Medicare.'" None of the suggested words would accurately convey who was talking. Every one would have changed the meaning and confused the reader.

Pages just hates gender specific expressions and is constantly on guard for them. In a column titled "Assad's Useful Idiots" I had written that Vogue magazine "apparently immune to shame, ran a fawning profile of the dictator's wife." Proofreadress was on it. "Gender specific expression. A gender neutral word such as 'spouse' may be appropriate." Really Proofreadress? Spouse is a legal word, good for real estate transactions and rhyming in Les Miserables' "Master of the House." But as a substitute for wife, it's ungainly and odd. Wife is a perfectly good word — in fact, it's a perfectly good status, one that I'm glad to enjoy.

Proofreadress was also unhappy about the next paragraph of that column, when I quoted Vogue to the effect that Asma al-Assad was "glamorous, young and very chic — the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies." Uh-oh. "Gender specific expression. Consider replacing with 'women,' 'people' or 'individuals.'" It was a quote, of course, and therefore untouchable. But imagine writing "the freshest and most magnetic of first individuals."

Proofreadress also believes that I may be guilty of lapsing into politically incorrect ethnic characterizations without her watchful eye. So when she saw "Scotch," she reproved me. "Consider using the preferred term 'Scottish.'" I would. I truly would Proofie, but I was referring to the drink.

She doesn't approve, it won't surprise you to learn, of "strongman," either. But what is most confidence eroding is that Proofreadress doesn't understand what she's reading. In a column about the Susan G. Komen furor, she highlighted the word "service" and suggested that it was "jargon." "Consider rephrasing with 'serve' or 'repair,' if you are using 'service' as a verb." I was not. I was using it as a noun. I would never use it as a verb unless I intended the vulgar connotations it acquires as that part of speech. But wait. Shouldn't Proofreadress know it was a noun? Isn't she reading for grammar and spelling?

She doesn't even seem to read to the end of a sentence. In the Komen column, I had written, "But calculated as a percentage of revenue generated, abortion accounts for about a third of PP's business." Reaching only the word "percentage," Proofie objected. "Vague quantifier. Try 'part' or 'some' or give a specific percentage." Can she not read to the end of the sentence?

Proofreadress has a bias toward unadorned language, which is OK if you recognize it as a point of view. But not everyone should be obliged to emulate Hemingway. She recommends against the word "purchase." She finds it "complex." "Try," she admonishes, "rephrasing with a verb like 'buy.' She felt the same way about "materialized," preferring "happened," "turned up" or "developed."

No, thanks. I ran Lincoln's second inaugural past Proofie for fun. She was busy from the first sentence. "Countrymen" was a gender specific expression. "In regard to" was deemed "wordy."

Apple's language sentinel has been schooled in political correctness at the expense of English. In another column, I mentioned that the collapse of marriage was "aggravating" inequality in America. Consider "irritating" or "exasperating" instead, Proofreadress advised.

No, those are words I reserve for her.

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