The Feb. 4 story, “State erasing male-centric words from laws,” reported “Over the past six years, state officials have engaged in the onerous task of changing the language used in the state’s copious laws” to remove any supposed gender bias. So “policeman” isn’t politically correct anymore … it must be “police officer.” Perhaps our legislators could have used a dictionary and looked up “man”:
An adult male person, as distinguished from a boy or a woman.
A member of the species Homo sapiens or all the members of this species collectively, without regard to sex: prehistoric man.
The human individual as representing the species, without reference to sex; the human race; humankind: Man hopes for peace, but prepares for war.
A human being; person: to give a man a chance; When the audience smelled the smoke, it was every man for himself.
There are 16 more definitions at http://www.dictionary.com for “man,” but three out of the first four refer to the word man in a gender-neutral manner already.
What a waste of time and money.
As reported in the story, “Seattle Council member Sally Clark, who was one of the catalysts for the change,” says to naysayers like me, “language matters.” Yes, it does. She should read a dictionary.