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Guest Oksana

Chairman vs. Chair

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Guest Oksana

RONR uses Chairman, he, his etc. throughout.  An organization i am involved with insists everyone be called a chairman regardless of gender.  Is it possible to substitute chair instead especially for a female?   I noticed on the DOJ web site the use of the title Chair for an advisory committee announcement and that was for men who were appointed.  May I call myself a chair instead of chairman?

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4 hours ago, Guest Oksana said:

RONR uses Chairman, he, his etc. throughout.  An organization i am involved with insists everyone be called a chairman regardless of gender.  Is it possible to substitute chair instead especially for a female?   I noticed on the DOJ web site the use of the title Chair for an advisory committee announcement and that was for men who were appointed.  May I call myself a chair instead of chairman?

Yes. “A person presiding at a meeting who has no regular title or whose position is only temporary is addressed as "Mr. [or Madam] Chairman" by long-established usage. Several variations of this form—such as "chairperson" or "chair"—are now frequently encountered, however, and may be in use as the general practice in particular assemblies.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 23)

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4 hours ago, Guest Oksana said:

RONR uses Chairman, he, his etc. throughout.  An organization i am involved with insists everyone be called a chairman regardless of gender.  Is it possible to substitute chair instead especially for a female?   I noticed on the DOJ web site the use of the title Chair for an advisory committee announcement and that was for men who were appointed.  May I call myself a chair instead of chairman?

You can call yourself whatever you want, but if the organization insists (by rule) on something different, then you are not following the rule.

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The English language has adapted rather well to modern changes in gender roles. We now have female policemen, firemen, doctors (not "doctrices"), administrators (not "administrices"), and so forth. The universe of parliamentary procedure seems to be adapting, too.

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3 minutes ago, reelsman said:

The English language has adapted rather well to modern changes in gender roles. We now have female policemen, firemen, doctors (not "doctrices"), administrators (not "administrices"), and so forth. The universe of parliamentary procedure seems to be adapting, too.

Somehow I don't think that Oksana was looking for personal opinions on this matter.

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I'm speaking of the mechanics of modern language, not my personal opinion of them. For some reason, this seems to be a "hot button" issue, when it really does not have to be. The original poster wonders about the propriety of "chairman" to reference a female presiding officer; but it would likely never occur to her to call her female physician Doctrix Alice.

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8 minutes ago, reelsman said:

I'm speaking of the mechanics of modern language, not my personal opinion of them. For some reason, this seems to be a "hot button" issue, when it really does not have to be. The original poster wonders about the propriety of "chairman" to reference a female presiding officer; but it would likely never occur to her to call her female physician Doctrix Alice.

RONR recognized long ago the variations that came into practice long ago in this regard. There is no use in pretending otherwise.

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Yes, indeed. And to be clear, Oksana can graciously receive being addressed as Madam Chairman, in an organization that insists on it, without any sense of disrespect or slight.

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16 hours ago, reelsman said:

The English language has adapted rather well to modern changes in gender roles. We now have female policemen, firemen, doctors (not "doctrices"), administrators (not "administrices"), and so forth. The universe of parliamentary procedure seems to be adapting, too.

Actually we don't have very many policemen, firemen, or mailmen any more.  We have police officers, firefighters, and letter carriers.

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On ‎4‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 1:34 AM, Gary Novosielski said:

Actually we don't have very many policemen, firemen, or mailmen any more.  We have police officers, firefighters, and letter carriers.

But my letter carrier never brings letters these days. USPS may need to change the terminology. I call officers and leaders of committees by whatever title is bestowed on them by the bylaws.

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4 minutes ago, Ann Rempel said:

But my letter carrier never brings letters these days. USPS may need to change the terminology. I call officers and leaders of committees by whatever title is bestowed on them by the bylaws.

Always a breath of fresh air here on this forum.  

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