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Hen/hens makes the documentation confusing

作者:Michael Lynch @michael
    2023-05-11 22:11:18.436Z

    I notice that the TalkYard UI uses the pronouns hen/hens. I've never encountered these pronouns outside of TalkYard.

    From reading the Wikipedia article, it sounds like it's only used in the Swedish language.

    Would it be possible to change the terminology to they/their/them, which are the standard English gender-neutral pronouns?

    I find that hen/hens makes the text really difficult to read, as those words have different meaning in English.

    • 2 回复
    1. Hmm yes I guess that that's a good idea (to change to "they" / "their"). Which parts of the documentation do you have in mind? (Is it the "inline" documentation in the Admin Area?)

      I find that hen/hens makes the text really difficult to read, as those words have different meaning in English

      Oh, good to know. I didn't realize the bird with the same name, would make it that much extra hard (just a bit). Yes those are Swedish words. They're originally from Finnish actually, although then spelled "han".

      I wonder if "han" would be simpler to parse, than "hen". At least, there's no bird called "han". My idea was that the bird would be "henbird" instead. I find it mildly annoying that the birds and animals have occupied so many short words. It made sense 100+ years ago, but today, how often does one say "owl" or "hen" etc, hmm.

      I also wonder if a non-native speaker who might be unaware about "they" also meaning "he or she", would find it simpler with: "Han means "he or she". [...] ... and then han clicks the button ..." than with: "and then they clicks the button" (then they might wonder: "but who are they?"). — But maybe there're better ways to find out (than experimenting in Ty's docs)

      1. Michael Lynch @michael
          2023-05-17 12:36:39.305Z

          Which parts of the documentation do you have in mind? (Is it the "inline" documentation in the Admin Area?)

          I ran into this most recently on the moderation settings. I found this paragraph especially difficult to read:

          After you've approved a new member's first few posts, hens subsequent posts get
          published directly — then, can be good if you review a few of those next posts, just
          to be sure hen won't start typing weird things, when hen notices that hens posts
          now are published directly.
          

          I also wonder if a non-native speaker who might be unaware about "they" also meaning "he or she", would find it simpler with: "Han means "he or she". [...] ... and then han clicks the button ..." than with: "and then they clicks the button" (then they might wonder: "but who are they?"). — But maybe there're better ways to find out (than experimenting in Ty's docs)

          That still feels a bit complicated. I learned English as a first language, but I'd expect that English learners would learn the meaning of they/them/theirs pretty early on, no?

          It seems like if we're trying to make the docs intelligible to people with very limited English, there are tons of other words we'd have to define. But even still, if we're defending against someone not knowing a common word, wouldn't we teach them the widely-used word as opposed to inventing a new word that's specific to TY?

          I find it mildly annoying that the birds and animals have occupied so many short words. It made sense 100+ years ago, but today, how often does one say "owl" or "hen" etc, hmm.

          Haha, I've never thought of this, but that's true.

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        • @KajMagnus marked this topic as Planned 2023-05-17 13:21:19.378Z.