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@@ -551,6 +551,51 @@ Writing Documentation:
documentation, please see the documentation-related advice in the
Documentation/SubmittingPatches file).
+ In order to ensure the documentation is inclusive, avoid assuming
+ that an unspecified example person is male or female, and think
+ twice before using "he", "him", "she", or "her". Here are some
+ tips to avoid use of gendered pronouns:
+ - Prefer succinctness and matter-of-factly describing functionality
+ in the abstract. E.g.
+ --short:: Emit output in the short-format.
+ and avoid something like these overly verbose alternatives:
+ --short:: Use this to emit output in the short-format.
+ --short:: You can use this to get output in the short-format.
+ --short:: A user who prefers shorter output could....
+ --short:: Should a person and/or program want shorter output, he
+ she/they/it can...
+ This practice often eliminates the need to involve human actors in
+ your description, but it is a good practice regardless of the
+ avoidance of gendered pronouns.
+ - When it becomes awkward to stick to this style, prefer "you" when
+ addressing the the hypothetical user, and possibly "we" when
+ discussing how the program might react to the user. E.g.
+ You can use this option instead of --xyz, but we might remove
+ support for it in future versions.
+ while keeping in mind that you can probably be less verbose, e.g.
+ Use this instead of --xyz. This option might be removed in future
+ versions.
+ - If you still need to refer to an example person that is
+ third-person singular, you may resort to "singular they" to avoid
+ "he/she/him/her", e.g.
+ A contributor asks their upstream to pull from them.
+ Note that this sounds ungrammatical and unnatural to those who
+ learned that "they" is only used for third-person plural, e.g.
+ those who learn English as a second language in some parts of the
+ world.
Every user-visible change should be reflected in the documentation.
The same general rule as for code applies -- imitate the existing