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ISSN : 1226-3206(Print)
Studies in Modern Grammar Vol.99 pp.197-210
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14342/smog.2018.99.197

Alternatives to Sexist Expressions in English

Eunsuk Lee**,Kwang Hee Hong
** Lee (First author, Professor, Daegu University); Hong (Corresponding author, Professor, Yeungnam University)

Abstract

This study tries to examine various sexist expressions in English and propose their alternatives. Given the close relationship between language and thought, sexist expressions in English reflect English speakers’ androcentric assumptions in male-dominated traditional social structures. We see sexist phenomena in English from generic masculine forms, sexism in word orders, marked feminine expressions etc. These sexist expressions can be replaced by alternatives that do not substantially change meanings and grammaticality. Generic masculine forms can be replaced by singular they, he or she, first and second person pronouns, and one. Sexist word orders can use one word expressions or both masculine-feminine and feminine-masculine orders. Marked feminine expressions can adopt universal and gender-neutral words instead. These politically correct expressions will lead English language speakers to an elevated social sense of gender equality.

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