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April 22, 1987 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-04-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Baseball Doubleheader
vs. Cleveland State
Today, 1 p.m.
Ray Fisher Stadium


Women's Tennis
vs. Ohio University
Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
Track and Tennis Building

The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, April 22, 1987

Page 15

Who is making Daily policy,
and how? What is the role of the
Daily in raising social awareness?,
Who should dictate sports-section
These questions arose last week
because of the Daily's new
"inclusive language policy." The
answers to these questions are
disturbing and require explanation.
The following are the changes
that affect the sports page: the term
freshman will be replaced by frosh
or first-year student athlete, and
certain sports terms will be
characterized with male and female
distinctions. A man who plays first
base, for example, will be called a
first baseman, while a woman who
plays first base will be called a first
While these changes seem
minor, they're not. Using frosh for
fieshman is grammatically
incorrect. Frosh is defined in
Webster's New Collegiate
Dictionary as the plural of
freshman. Using first-year student
athlete is even worse than frosh.
First-year student has nothing to do
with an athlete on the field. It is
like saying an athlete is a first-year
car aficionado or some other
extraneous fact. A first-year athlete
can refer to a senior finally getting
a chance to play. The terms first
basewoman, linewoman, defense -
woman, etc., do not exist. The
fports staff agreed to these changes
*s a compromise. If the sports staff
had not reached the compromise, it
would have had;to use terms such
s first baseperson, etc. That
lprminology is totally unacceptable.
further reasons for dissatisfaction
vill appear below in the sports staff
memo to the Daily staff.
U/nacceptable process
The entire process by which the
Daily enacted the "inclusive
language policy" is unacceptable.
All Daily readers, not just sports
readers, deserve an explanation of
the new policy, and how it was
voted on and enacted. The only
notification readers were given of
the policy change was a self-serving
two paragraph explanation on page
one of the Monday, April 13 paper.
It said:
Beginning today, the Daily will
use gender-inclusive language.
This means, for example,
changing freshman to first-year
student, chairman to chair, and
congressman to member of
By changing our language we
can change ideas about
stereotypical gender roles. The
change may shock people or
sound wrong, but all change
seems odd at first.
Saying change seems odd does
not justify making changes. Indeed,
Nazism may have shocked people
or sounded wrong, but, after all, all
change seems odd at first.
Isn't the Daily great because it
makes changes? Why doesn't the
Daily come out and proclaim itself
the bastion of journalistic integrity
in the United States? Could it pat

the DI
itself on the back more? I think
The new policy change was
approved on Sunday, April 12, by
Management Desk ('M' Desk),
composed of two sports editors,
two photography editors, two
opinion page editors, two arts
editors, the Weekend Magazine
editor, three news editors, and the
Editor in Chief. Another sports
editor and I voted for the policy
without careful consideration of its
implications for sports termi -
nology. We failed to realize we
would need to change any sports
terminology, because we assumed
terms to be "inclusive."
I agree with the policy to a
certain extent. "Inclusive language"
should be used when there are
available substitutes such as flight
attendant for steward or stewardess.
I also voted for the policy for fear
of being labeled sexist. My stand
did not matter later in the week
when I was accused of being sexist
for fighting the policy when it
affected sports terminology.
Because all the sports editors are
male, the originators of the policy
considered us sexist. I found their
attitude sexist. It did not matter that
the previous sports editor, a
woman, agreed with the current
sports editors.
The observant Daily reader will
have noticed that the "inclusive
language policy" proposal has never
been printed in the newspaper.
When 'M' Desk decided to
capitalize the B in Black as a matter
of style, an editorial was run to
explain why. The Daily won't print
the "inclusive language policy"
because it would reveal how absurd
some of it is. While the edit board
doesn't possess the courage to
allow the policy to undergo public
scrutiny, I do. Make your own
judgments. The policy, verbatim,
appears on page 16.
The explanation at the beginning
of the policy is ludicrous. Using
"inclusive language" doesn't
necessarily allow for either gender's
participation. Labeling offensive
lineman John "Jumbo" Elliot an
offensive lineperson will not make
my sister follow in his footsteps. If
there was a 6-7, 306-pound woman
who wanted to play football and
was capable, Michigan coach Bo
Schembechler would put her on the
team in a second. He would use a
robot if it was talented and he could
get it eligible. Schembechler's
main goal is to win, and he would
use any talented student to attain
that goal.

aily face


Miller Time

As for the Daily's Editor in
Chief elections, the woman who
ran lost because she did not receive
a majority of the vote. It is
simplistic, incorrect, and ignorant
to say she lost because people
referred to the editor as a he.
Referring to Lee Iacocca, one of
the great business executives in this
country, as the Chair of the Board
is ridiculous. Iacocca is not a piece
of office furniture. Calling Paul
Volcker the Chair of the Federal
Reserve Board is incorrect.
Volcker's title as proclaimed by the
federal government is the Chairman
of the Board. Who gives the Daily
the right to rewrite people's official
A better alternative would be
keeping those titles accurate and
having the rest of the paper use
"inclusive language." It would
make more of a statement about
how sexist those terms are, which
is the position of the creators of the
"inclusive language policy."
Again, I understand the reasons
for "inclusive language," but taking
it to the extreme is absurd. Woman
contains the suffix man. Are we not
going to call females women? After
all, we don't live in an androgynous
society. Men and women are
biologically different.
This "inclusive language policy"
suffers from biases. Its main
author, one of the news editors, is
using the policy and its effects for a
woman's study class project. While
the person may sincerely believe in
the policy, the person's motives
aren't only ideological.
Other problems
I have other problems with the
policy that are best expressed in the
sports staff memo below that was
read at the April 15 'M' Desk
meeting to revise the "inclusive
language policy." That meeting was
attended by a large portion of the
Daily staff.
'M' Desk Members and Daily
After careful review and
deliberation of the new inclusive
language policy, the sport staff
feels certain exceptions must be
made for sports terminology.
While we agree with the policy in
principle, certain terms that
happen to contain the word man
In them are not by nature

exclusive. Innovation is fine, but
the sports staff feels it is more
Important to conform to the
reality of sports rather than to
'M' Desk policy. Consistency
and accuracy should be goals of
the paper. By trying to change
certain terminology, we would be
forced to print inaccurate,
incorrect or misleading
The policy specifies that
"staff writers and editors will use
Inclusive lanuaae in all cases."
Most sports terminology doesn't
have accurate substitutes. The
following are examples:
defenseman, swingman, first
baseman, linesman, lineman,
etc. These terms are generic
and have lost all suggestion of
maleness. There are no
substitutes. Defense person,
defender, defense player are not
accurate substitutes for a
defenseman in hockey. Each
player in hockey game is
supposed to play some defense
so these substitutes could refer
to a center, a left wing, or any
other player.
It was suggested to sports
staff to call women's softball
players first basewomen, etc.
The sports staff after careful
consideration disagrees with
this idea. There term first
basewomen doesn't exist. This
would violate the part of the
resolution that eliminates female
suffixes. First baseman is like
calling a female an actor which
the policy allows. Actor has the
male suffix "- or', in it.
The sports staff realizes that
the term freshman was banned
by the policy, but after review
and much debate we cannot
come up with a suitable
alternative. First-year student is
not accurate when describing
certain athletes. First-year
player Is not accurate because it
could characterize a senior who
has never played before. Frosh
is a slang term. Redshirt
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freshman is a generic sports
term to denote an athlete in
his/her second year of school
but first year of athletic
eligibility. Identifying an athlete
by class is vital to the accuracy
of our coverage. Readers want
to know what year an athlete Is in
to know their experience and
how many years of eligibility
they have remaining.
Unfortunately, freshman is the
only accurate term we have to
use without writing a novel to get
our point across. Other sections
of the paper can use
alternatives. We on sports
The sports staff is more than
willing to use acceptable
substitutes if anyone can think
of any. But we are not willing to
change the English language to
satisfy the inclusive language
policy. We agree sexism is a
serious problem in society, and
our intentions are not in any way
an attempt to be sexist. Our
primary objective is to cover
sports to the best of our ability,
and this policy is severely
handicapping us. We hope 'M'

desk understands our need for
- The majority view of
Sports Staff
The above policy was not
receiving careful consideration by
'M' Desk, so I decided to favor the
use of Associated Press style. The,
following is AP style on then
treatment of women:
Women should receive the
same treatment as men in all.
areas of coverage. Physical)
descriptions, sexist references,
demeaning stereotypes and con-
descending phrases should not:
be used.
To cite some examples, this::
means that:
- Copy should not assume:;
maleness when both sexes are:
involved, as in Jackson told the
newsmen or in the taxpayer... he:
when it easily can be said"
Jackson told reporters or'.
taxpayers... they.
- Copy should not expresi┬░
surprise that an attractive
woman can be professionally -
See WILL, Page 16

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edlike to
a special group of people.
The Senior Business Staff of The Michigan Daily would like to recognize
the Business staff for their outstanding efforts during the past year. Their
dedication, spirit and professionalism have brought you the best
possible paper ever. Much love and many thanks to:
Advertising Sales: Karen Brown, Missy Hambrick, Ginger Heyman,
Denise Levy, Wendy Lewis, Jodi Mancik, Laura Martin, Mindy
Mendonsa, Scott Metcalf, Carolyn Rands, Jackie Rosenburg, Todd
Samovitz, Laura Schlanger, Jill Shiner, Julie Slakter, and Jennifer Siegel.
Finance: Samara Heyward, Anne Karle, Matt Lane, Ryan Tutak.
Classified: Julie Christ, Kristin Garey, Jacob Margulies, George

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