To the editor:
My son and I were sitting in The Irish [Setter] Pub, right next to where the car crashed into it last week. Glass shards spewed forth — beside us, never landing upon us.
Other patrons were as flummoxed as we as we collected our jumbled emotions. All of us were thankful that none of us was injured. The wait staff was gracious to us all, as they did their best to keep their feelings in check while they checked on the patrons, soothing ruffled emotions. Some of the patrons went out to the driver of the car, and did their best to soothe nerves.
The responding police officer arrived quite quickly. It was easy to see that he was concerned about the welfare of the driver. He took his report as if he were a student taking notes in a classroom. Soon he went on his way, and the driver was able to drive off.
Everyone present heaved a sigh of relief because damages were not worse.
Your report in today’s [April 28] issue is one with which I take issue. There is a problem writing gender neutrally. Only one person at a time can drive a car. Only one person was involved. Yet, the writeup uses plural pronouns. Did the driver have a split personality? Did the writer graduate from PIHS? If so, did she pass her English grammar course? None of the English teachers in that school would have accepted a paper from a student who wrote with such grammatical transgressions. There are ways to write, and within space limits, to disguise the sex of the driver. How could the editor not pick up on that?
(Editor’s note: Our publications have adopted the Associated Press journalistic style ruling on gender references, which recommends the use of plural pronouns when preferred by a subject or when gender is not known, in order to promote fairness to all.)