I was purusing the Washington Times and came across an article that says some Democrats don't like President Bush's most recent political ad. Fine and good; one could hardly expect them to. What caught my eye however was that the AP reporter who filed the story used the title "Miss" when referring to Republican National Committee spokesman Christine Iverson.

"We have no doubt that Senator Daschle and others in his party who oppose the president's policy of pre-emptive self-defense believe that their national-security approach is in the best interests of the country," RNC spokesman Christine Iverson said. ...

The ad will air through tomorrow in Iowa, and then might run again in New Hampshire during the next Democratic debate in December, said the RNC's Miss Iverson.

She said the party plans to run ads in conjunction with the Democratic debates, but the decision hasn't been made whether to run the current ad or new ones supporting the president.

I don't see "Miss" or "Mrs." used very often these days, with "Ms." being the preferred marriage-neutral title, and I thought it was noteworthy.

Additionally, Miss Iverson was referred to as the "spokesman", despite the fact that she's a woman; this is the appropriate job title, although the more politically correct "spokeswoman" or "spokesperson" is now universally common.

A similar transformation can be seen with the ascension of "their" as a third-person singular gender-neutral pronoun. It is correct to instruct that "Each student must submit his own report.", but modern gender-neutral usage has made the incorrect "Each student must submit their own report." widely accepted. English has no proper third-person gender-neutral pronoun, but there are other ways of eliminating gender, if it's greatly desired. For instance, "All students must submit their own reports." is acceptable.



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