Responsible Marketing

It’s a man’s world. You just get to live in it, sweetheart.

By February 6, 2008August 19th, 20202 Comments

I was leaving a restaurant in Issaquah (about 20 minutes East of Seattle) and this sign caught my eye:

After a double take, I realized that, no, I hadn’t gone back to the 1950’s, and, yes, this sign was for real.

Oh, the images this conjures…

Honey, I’m home! I just got back from my 1 Man Office. Would you mind bringing me my smoking jacket? That’s swell, hon. Now, when will my dinner be ready?

Okay, it’s just a crusty old sign, but it’s a contact point. A contact point that’s not message responsible. How many prospective tenants have they alienated?

At least half, I’d guess.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Yup. Gender-neutral language is important–and it can cause some grammar issues. Yet I believe that you can have good grammar AND good (non-sexist, smoothly worded) taste.

    Just moments ago, I rewrote a line in an article I’m about to post on my site, from a well-known PR guru.

    The original contained this very common grammatical howler, in an attempt to be gender-neutral:

    “Of course, the journalist knows better, but nonetheless, they expect releases to
    be written in the third person.”

    I could have used the awkward “he or she” instead of “they”, but instead, I did it this way:

    “Of course, journalists know better, but nonetheless, they expect releases to
    be written in the third person.”

    And yet I still see lots of people either getting very awkward or using phrases like “manning a table.” Even lots of women will say that. I say “staffing a table.”

    Shel Horowitz, copywriter, author, speaker
    Blogging on the intersections of marketing, media, politics,
    ethics, and sustainability:

  • Interesting. I always say “she” if I don’t know the sex of the person or thing I am referring to. It is funny how often that will raise eyebrows. Even though it isn’t grammatically correct (yet), I’m a full supporter of the word “they” when referring to a “he or she” situation. If enough of us use it, it will eventually become correct.

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