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April 22, 1987 - Image 16

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

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'!oge 16- The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, April 22, 1987

Will the


(Continued from Page 15)
accomplished, as in: MalySmith
doesn't look the part but she's
an authority on...
- Copy should not
gratuitously mention family
relationships where there is no
relevance to the subject, as in:
Golda Meir, a doughty grand -
mother, told the Egyptians
- Use the same standards
for men and women in deciding
whether to include specific
mention of personal appearance
br marital and family situation.
in other words, treatment of
:the sexes should be even-
handed and free of assumptions
and stereotypes. This does not
mnean that valid and acceptable
:words such as mankind or
hunanity cannot be used. They
ire proper.
Merits of AP style
AP style is not perfect, but it's a
suitable policy. AP could be
construed as ambiguous on whether
to call a woman a first baseman or

first basewoman, or whether to call
a woman a freshman or
freshwoman. I believe AP allows
the use of freshman for a woman as
a valid and acceptable word. The
sports staff is willing to call a
woman a freshwoman if necessary.
We will agree to equality in
language. But we must be able to
call a man a freshman so we can
accurately convey the athlete's year
in school and eligibility. I don't
believe calling a man a freshman is
'M' Desk voted, 7-5, against AP
style for another policy, with the
final and deciding vote being cast
by the Editor in Chief. He voted
against AP style because he
probably feared a tie vote would
drag the meeting on all evening (it
was 2:45 a.m. at the time). If it
were 2:45 a.m. and we were voting
whether to massacre all red-haired
people, would he have voted that
way to avoid a tie?
The policy that passed reaffirmed
the original "inclusive language
policy" with the exception of the
term man-to-man defense. Why

man-to-man defense deserves an
exception anymore than first
baseman is still a mystery to me.
This proposal was offered by one of
the opinion-page editors. He also
used the Harvard Crimson
newspaper and the Amherst College
student paper for stylistic
comparisons to the Daily. Since
Harvard and Amherst don't grant
athletic scholarships or redshirt
athletes, the comparison was
worthless. The opinion-page editor
was trying his hardest to understand
the sports staff's point of view. He
just has a limited knowledge of
Yet the majority of 'M' Desk
members refused to understand the
facts. The Harvard Crimson uses
the year of graduation after an
athlete's name, and it was suggested
that the Daily do likewise. Harvard
style would be inaccurate here,
because Michigan athletes can
utilize five years as a student and
four as an athlete, as permitted by
the NCAA.
Unlike the editor who made that
proposal, some of the opinion-page
staffers didn't make the effort to
learn and didn't want to. Two
opinion staffers dominated the
Tuesday night (Wednesday morn -
ing) 'M' Desk meeting.
Opinion page rhetoric
Not showing concern for the


reality again?

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particulars of the issue at hand is an
opinion-page specialty. The
meeting's two dominant staffers,
let's call them Opinion #1 and
Opinion #2, are rhetoric-spewing
pseudo-intellectuals who will not
yield in their views. That's fine.
Everyone has the right to their own
opinion. But at a meeting where an
issue is being discussed, it is not
right for them to express their same
idealistic and unrealistic view six,
seven, or eight times. The bottom
line is: they cannot make sweeping
statements about an environment
about which they know nothing.
These people are living in a glass
house that they believe cannot be
stoned. Well, here comes a boulder
on top of that house.
Opinion #1 argued that the main
job of the newspaper is to raise
social awareness. Wrong. It is the
job of the opinion page to raise
social awareness. It is the job of the
sports page to report the sports
news as it happens on campus and
in the rest of the world. The sports
page, as a secondary objective,
raises social awareness in columns
and feature stories.
Opinion #2 suggested that there
is something wrong in society
when he turns on the television and
sees only male professional sports'
leagues. He finds it just as bad to
see more extensive coverage given
to the men's football team than to
women's sports teams. There is a
certain amount of sexual inequality
in sports. But the Daily cannot
correct the problem, and that is not
its purpose. He argued that the
Daily can start the correction of the
problem by changing its policy.
Right. Most forward-thinking
Americans read the Daily, don't
With all that is wrong in the
world as perceived by Opinion #2,1
don't know how he can sleep at
Opinion #1 and #2 would not
take the sports staff or its cause
seriously - a grave error in
judgement. Who are Opinion #1
and #2 to tell the sports staff how
to run its department? They cannot
run the sports page when they have
no understanding of sports. They
have enough problems with their
own page, let alone trying to tell
sports how to run its department.
In Weekend Magazine's Best of
Ann Arbor poll, respondents
disliked the Daily's left-leaning
opinion page more than anything
else in the newspaper, saying it
didn't represent the thinking of a
majority of the student body. No
kidding. It represents a majority of
the Daily's edit board, a body
usually composed of less than 10
people. Unfortunately, it also
represents the majority view of the
Daily as a whole. I am ashamed of

Here is verbatim the policy that "Member of Congress
was passed: Representative, Senator" in
INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE place of Congressman. These
for THE MICHIGAN DAILY titles are more specific.
Using language that includes -"They, their, one" in place of
both males and females allows the pronoun he. Try to rewrite
for either gender's participation, sentences to avoid pronoun use
A male-related term can say in non-specific cases. Pluralize
women are not welcome, or that examples whenever possible (an
she is an exception, or that she author can write what he wants
is not the real thing. An example to -authors can write what they
of this is calling a committee want). They can be singular in
head who Is a female a chairman rare occasions.
- we are saying a man Is ""No Feminine suffixes" on
usually the chair, and implying words such as sculptor, actor,
men are all committee heads. author. Use gender inclusive
Another example is the pronoun words when possible, for
"he." At recent Daily elections, example steward, stewardess
many candidates referred to the would be flight attendant.
editor as "he" - and a woman -Other instances will not be
was running. The use of this listed here, but staff writers and
masculine pronoun kept the editors will use inclusive
woman out of consideration for language in all cases. Examples
the position. Include manpower (work force),
By changing ourlanguagewe mankind (humankind or
can change ideas about humanity), manmade
stereotypical gender roles. The (handmade, human built). Be as'
change may shock people or sensitive to gender associations
sound "wrong," but all changes as you would to racial ones.
seem odd at first. One's race Is applicable .ti
The idea of inclusive language special cases, (Thurgood
at the Daily is not new, as we Marshall was the first Black
have used it in the past. justice of the U.S. Supreme
PROPOSALS Court) as Is one's sex (Sandra
""First - year (LSA, Day O'Connor was the first
Engineering, etc.) student" in woman justice); however more
place of Freshman. All freshmen often than not this information Is
are first-year students, all first- irrelevant.
year students are not freshman -Copies of the Handbook Qf
and will be referred to by their Nonsexist Writing (for writers,
class and transfer student, if editors,┬░and speakers) by Kate
necessary. Identify a person by Swift and Corey Miller will be
their number of credits. provided by the Daily in case of
-"Chair" in place of chairman, further questions. Often writing
chairwoman. Don't capitalize can be made inclusive by
chair if it is not a proper title (i.e. rewriting:
a woman who wants to - A man who lies constantly
"chairman"). If you think a needs a good memory'to A
person cannot be a chair, you chronic liar needs a good
are wrong. The Oxford English memory;
Dictionary, for one, specifically - No man would be safe from
uses the term in this context. nuclear fallout... to No one would
Robert's Rules of Order says be safe from nuclear fallout; or,
motions and comments should - They had to man the
be addressed to the chair, for pumps all night to They had to
example. work the pumps all night.

member can show up and vote.
Sounds fair. It isn't. The meetings
degenerate into forums for multiple
repetition of the same idealist
rhetoric. Often they go in circles for
hours. I know I have better things
to do than listen to the same
arguments ad nauseam, and then
watch them be approved for
The opinion page is not the only
thing that makes me sick at the
Daily. The attitudes of many Daily
staffers are so far removed from the
real world it's ridiculous. But since
Sports composes a minority of the
votes on 'M' Desk, I have to be
thankful Sports is still allowed to
use the term first baseman.

The future?
The Daily's reporting is
suffering because of excessive
concern for its self-proclaimed
noble causes. The Daily cannot and
should not be attempting to rewrite
the dictionary or the English
language. Soon, the Daily will
have to issue a Daily decoder book
to translate the paper into normal
If it sounds like I'm airing my
dirty laundry, I am. Unless
someone has the courage to step
forward and reveal the problems, the
Daily will continue to slip into a
morass. Until the Daily becomes
more concerned with reality, it will
never be anything more than a
leftist rag.



Move Yourself,
All Your Stuff,
And Save, Too!'

Editorials are approved at
board meetings. Any Daily



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