And other questions for Persuasion's advice columnist
Respecting the conversation between the advice seeker and the "blowhard," it may be worth pointing out how irrelevant the comparison of bird deaths from wind power v. cats is to the initial point the advice seeker was making, namely that nuclear power might be a worthwhile source of future power in the fight against global warming. I find often that people in earnest conversation about important things get sidetracked by what are essentially very tangential issues. The initial response that the blowhard was making was that wind power would suffice. That indeed is a relevant question but one that requires some knowledge of possible scope of wind power usage and the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the two forms of energy. I suspect -- and perhaps this is being unfair -- that neither party knew enough to continue the conversation along the lines that the subject demanded and so the conversation rapidly deteriorated. I think we're all guilty of sometimes wanting to continue a debate when we just simply have not informed ourselves well enough about the issue.
Am I the only person who feels it's rude to refer to a person in the third person in their presence?
Good advice on both counts. And as to the cats (although I agree we need 4th-gen nukes to fix the climate soon enough), I think the Maserati-driving lawyer, may not be so illogical, and yes, it's worth looking for what to like about her. The argument behind the cat comment is this. If we can tolerate all those bird killings for the sake of cute cats, maybe we can tolerate the wind-turbine killings for the sake of avoiding nuclear disasters.
My response would be -- just use my full name, first and last. No requirement to participate in culture war.
I'd be inclined to simply opt out (not respond), but folks for whom the issue is significant can supply their's, and I'd fully respect their preferences.
In that fashion, I'd (a) not engage in the moral grandstand market, and (b) respect folks who have very, very low probability preferences.
I'm with you but you're forgetting "non-binary." Non-Binary people can look completely conventionally masculine or feminine, and can have gendered names, but have decided they are neither. They often want to be called "they."
"Asking someone for their preferred pronouns implies that the answer isn’t already obvious, an insinuation that can be especially offensive to trans people."
This is pretty off the mark in a lot of cases. Lots of trans people aren't interested in "passing" for either gender, and what is offensive is assuming you know someone's pronouns and mis-gendering them. I have never in my life heard a trans person complain about being asked their pronouns. And normalizing the idea that we shouldn't assume we know how everyone identifies by their appearance isn't culture war, it's empathy.
Actually it is no longer obvious which pronoun applies:
This year’s American Dialect Society "Word of the Decade, “they,” honors the way the pronoun has become a singular pronoun for many people who identify as nonbinary. " The preferred pronoun of a nonbinary person is not obvious so not asking for the preferred pronoun does not allow then to indicate that they wish to be addressed as their, they.
“Asking someone for their preferred pronouns implies that the answer isn’t already obvious, an insinuation that can be especially offensive to trans people.”
My understanding is that the consensus among LGBT groups is that they prefer to be able to give their preferred pronouns but dislike being singled out. (Of course no one really likes being singled out.)
Maybe the planners should leave pronouns out, because it’s a bad idea to enter the culture war, but I’m not sure that I buy that trans people are offended by the form.
I have my pronouns on my LinkedIn profile, and I genuinely mean it as an inclusive gesture (hopefully not just virtue-signaling). I wonder what everyone here thinks of pronouns on LinkedIn? Is it irritating? Fine? Or maybe no one really cares about what people do with their own pages.