Sunday, December 22, 2019

Today's Writing Tip Is about Women Candidates

What's wrong with the term "women candidates"? We are using a noun instead of an adjective to modify the word candidates. What is the correct term? Female. Female candidates.

However, we don't want to talk about males and females at the dance. In this instance, we are using adjectives when we want nouns. What's the correct version? Men and women at the dance.
Be careful with this one because we can easily slip up. Or sometimes we can write something in a sexist way when we never intended to by saying something like "female judge" when the gender has no relevance to the narrative. It's almost as though we are thinking that most judges are male, so we want to clarify. Resist the urge!

It's like the old joke about an injured boy coming into the hospital with his father. He is greeted by a surgeon who says, "I can't operate. This boy is my son." Then everybody has to scratch their heads to figure out who the surgeon is. At least they used to years ago. Nowadays we have two answers — the boy could have two dads or the boy's mother could be the surgeon. When I was young, nobody ever figured out the latter. But those days are over, thankfully.

Happy writing.