Quick question: When you see the title, subtitle, and image below, what comes to mind?
She’s referring, at least in part, to the phrase “Entrepreneurship is about being the last man standing” that entrepreneur.com tweeted in promoting the article. I’ve so far received not one, not two, but three comments from the PC police on that alone. Never mind the actual content, or that paragraph two of the article says this:
More than anything, entrepreneurship is a game of attrition. It’s about having the determination, the discipline, and the cash to see it through. It’s about not giving up and being the last man or woman standing when everyone else has fallen by the wayside.
As you can tell, the addition (highlighted here for emphasis) didn’t matter. I doubt if she even read that far.
And please, don’t ask me what her problem was with the photo. I haven’t a clue.
Should you run into the same sort of nonsense or just want to know about proper usage of gender-specific pronouns, let me fill you in on the current state of the literary arts. It’s actually quite simple: mix them up. Sometimes you use male, sometimes you use female. That’s all there is to it.
Of course you can use gender neutral pronouns as well, as long as you use them correctly. Most don’t. If you write and don’t own a copy of The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, get one and refer to it often. It’s the writer’s bible.
And when it comes to genuine words such as “mankind” and “chairman” or common phrases like “last man standing,” they’re fine to use as is. At least, that’s the currently accepted practice in the literary world. Will it change? Probably. But not today.
Just so you know, what I did in the article – bending over backwards by including “or woman” in the phrase – was a mistake. I’ve never done it before and I don’t know what possessed me to do it there. It’s tedious, cumbersome, and, as you can see, it didn’t help. The PC police still managed to find something to whine about. I guess they always will.