Back in the 1980s, American academics realized that English is as hopelessly masculine as mudflaps on a pitbull. So they wrote books like 1988's The Nonsexist Word Finder, a thesarus-like guide to writing gender-neutral sentences in a highly gendered language. This week's Studies in Crap post over on our Style Council blog has many of the ridiculous results.
Why "say uncle" when you can "cry barley," "draw in one's horns," or "throw in the sponge?" Other practical suggestions from The Nonsexist Wordfinder can help when ordering soft-serve:
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"Jimmies: The origins of this term are unclear, but because it sounds sexist you might prefer an alternative: candy sprinkles."
And when you go on a bender:
"Spend money like a drunken sailor: This phrase is to be avoided because of its masculine overtones and because it unnecessarily vilifies today's sailors who do not fit the old stereotype."
There's whole heaps more where that came from, over at this week's Studies in Crap!