A widely-used online writing and grammar resource by Purdue University is encouraging students to avoid ‘generic use of MAN and other words with masculine markers.’
No more using the words “mailman”, “postman”, “mankind”, “Manchester”, “man-made”, “Manhattan”, “batman, “superman”, “boogeyman”, “businessman”, “cameraman”, “woman”, “human”, “romance”, and the list goes on.
All set to be banned because of the ‘feelz’ of a looney few.
Purdue Online Writing Lab, a citation website provided by Purdue University available for free to the general public, recently updated its writing guidelines to instruct the avoidance of “stereotypes and biased language.”
“Writing in a non-sexist, non-biased way is both ethically sound and effective,” the Purdue OWL site authors claim. “Non-sexist writing is necessary for most audiences; if you write in a sexist manner and alienate much of your audience from your discussion, your writing will be much less effective.”
Cautioning writers to “[avoid] using language that is stereotypical or biased in any way,” Purdue OWL describes that the general use of “man” as well as its use in professional titles is no longer considered a formal or professional writing style.
“Although man in its original sense carried the dual meaning of adult human and adult male, its meaning has come to be so closely identified with adult male that the generic use of MAN and other words with masculine markers should be avoided,” the site claims.
The formal recommendations include replacing “mankind” with “humanity,” “man-made” with “synthetic or machine-made,” “the common man” with the “average person,” and “man the room” with “stock the room.”
Additionally, writers should avoid the use of “man” for occupational terms such as mailman, congressman, policeman, and fireman.
Even the occupational terms once deemed politically correct, such as steward and stewardess, policeman and policewoman, are also taboo. The replacements for these now “gendered” terms are flight attendant and police officer.
The Purdue OWL site surpassed 410 million page views in 2016, a 30 percent increase in traffic. Typically considered an authoritative, nonpoliticized source of information for writing and citation guidelines, Purdue OWL is frequented by college and graduate students, professionals, and anyone who seeks writing advice.