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公關專業要知道 : 甚麼是合適的稱謂? 2016 年 06 月 17 日

Filed under: 未分類 — 曬蝴蝶 (vanessapsy) @ 13:29:12

  PR pros want to know: Is it he, she or they?

  By Bob Keane | Posted: June 9, 2016

 

What’s in a name? That’s a question William Shakespeare asked and answered by saying, “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

莎劇名言“玫瑰花即使不為此名,仍舊芳香。”巴德也說,無論命名為何亦不會改變其本質。

The Bard of Avon was telling us that nomenclature is unimportant and that whatever name we give to a thing does not change its essence.

As society changes and gender standards become less rigid, though, questions of nomenclature have assumed an outsized importance. There are heated and highly emotional battles being waged worldwide.

 


社會與性別的標準已隨時代變遷而改變,命名的問題雖承擔了豐厚的重要性。目前全世界情感戰役持續加熱。

When the American Dialect Society declared “they”—used as a third-person, gender-neutral, singular pronoun—to be the word of the year, as part of the self-proclaimed “grammar police” I found that tough to swallow. It wasn’t that I don’t agree we need gender-neutral language, but rather that “they” obviously refers to more than one thing.

 

當美國方言協會申報“他們”,用於作為第三人,不分性別的,單一代名詞,是今年的字,自稱為“語法警察”的一部分,我覺得難以置信。但這並不是說我不同意,我們需要中性語言,“他們”顯然指的是超過一件事。

‘He’ versus ‘they’

It turns out that this new locution is actually a very old one. “They” has been used reflexively to refer to an unknown person of unknown gender probably for as long as there have been English speakers. It has been used by some of the most respected writers in the English language, including Shakespeare, Chaucer, Shaw and Orwell.

“It wasn’t until 1745, when the schoolmistress-turned-grammar-expert Ann Fisher proposed ‘he’ as a universal pronoun for a person of unknown gender, that the use of ‘they’ in the same circumstance was respun as grammatically incorrect,” explained a recent article in The New York Times Magazine.

“他”與“他們”

事實是這種新的慣用風格其實是舊式的。當只要有使用過英語的人 “他們”已經用反射形式來指代性別未知的可能不明身份之人,。它已被用於一些在英語系中最尊敬的作家,包括莎士比亞,喬叟,肖和奧威爾。

“直到1745年,當出身為語法專家的女教師 Ann Fisher 在紐約時報雜誌最近的一篇文章提出:當”他“是一個未知性別的普遍代名詞時,那’他們’在同一環境下使用是再編造則語法上不正確

 

The problem with “he” as the universal generic pronoun is that the reader cannot help but envision a man, and that just doesn’t seem right in a world where women (in most countries) do the same jobs as men—including serving in combat.

As the roles of women in the military have expanded, the Pentagon has made moves to reflect that in certain job titles. Although not quite as elegant a label, rifle technician is certainly an acceptable replacement for rifleman.

The Navy, though, has run into a real head-scratcher trying to find a replacement for yeoman —enlisted personnel performing clerical duties aboard ship. Because “yeo” by itself doesn’t mean anything, I can’t wait to see what they come up with.


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Although “they” is an acceptable solution to the problem, and I’ll eventually get over my issue with singular/plural agreement, it does take some adjustment and can result in some strange-sounding statements.

問題是當“他”為普遍通用的代名詞時,讀者很難不想像是指稱男人,當世界中(在大多數國家)有做同樣工作的女性,包括參戰 ,看 來似乎不正確。

由於女性在軍隊扮演的角色作用不斷擴大,五角大樓做出動作,以反映在某些職稱。雖然不是很優雅的標籤,(technician)步槍技術人員肯定是步槍兵一個可接受的替代品。

不過海軍試圖找入伍人員船上執行文書職務執行文書職務 yeoman 更換的替代字時卻碰上一個頭痛問題。因為“yeo”本身並不意味什麼,我很期待看看他們想出甚麼。

 
雖然“他們”是問題的一個可接受的解決方案,我最終將克服我單數/複數協議的問題,它確實需要一些調整,可能會導致一些怪異的冠冕堂皇之聲明。

 

The culture of today

現今的文化

A recent episode of the HBO show “Girls” highlighted the issue when one character referred to a coffee shop barista of ambiguous gender as “sir,” which, as it quickly became apparent, was not the proper form of address. The barista’s co-worker responded, “You offended they, and you offended me, so I think it’s best that you leave.”

The ultimate lesson for the PR and marketing world from this language revolution is that you have to know to whom you are speaking and how they want to be addressed. Otherwise, “they” might be offended.

 

HBO最近的節目“女孩”以一個字符稱呼咖啡店一個不明的咖啡師為“先生”突顯出議題,這,因為它立即失真,並不是適當的稱呼形式。咖啡師的同事回答說:“你冒犯了他們,也就是冒犯了我,所以我認為你離開是最好的。”

從這種公關和行銷世界的語言革命終極教訓是,你必須知道你是和誰說話,他們想如何加以解決。否則,“他們”可能是冒犯之詞。

(中文非譯文)

Bob Keane is the Editorial Director at JConnelly, a communications and marketing agency based in New York. A version of this article first appeared on JConnelly’s blog.

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