Roger M. Kaye
A retired physicist reinvented as thriller novels writer

No More Binary Language

No picture today. Readers are invited to use their imagination.

A recent item in The Telegraph tells us that we should phase out binary language. The words “male” and “female” are problematic because they reinforce ideas that sex is binary. A better way to describe men and women would be “sperm-producing” or “egg producing”. It is not clear why these two ideas are themselves not binary: surely two is what binary means.

Other, seemingly simple concepts are also to be updated – man, woman, mother, father, primitive, advanced, alien, invasive, exotic, non-native and race.

This item has already collected nearly 2,500 comments. I have not read them all, but “nonsense” would seem to sum up the response.

I am tempted to follow the author’s lead and say:
“What a man and a woman do to make a baby – off”.

But let us not race ahead of ourselves. Readers, be they men, women, or other, using primitive browsers, who have not advanced to more exotic forms, must be protected from terminology that might be harmful. To increase inclusivity, researchers should change their terminology.

A prime candidate for inclusivity is Albert Einstein. Many of us would like to understand his Theory of Relativity but haven’t the faintest idea what it is about.

At its simplest it introduces a 4-dimensional spacetime as a unified entity of space and time, and includes relativity of simultaneity, kinematic and gravitational time dilation, and length contraction.

If you didn’t understand this, don’t worry, neither did I.

Perhaps this theory would be more inclusive if it were to read …..
I’ve got the space; do you have the time? Let’s hope we can dilate together with no length contraction.

If you want the full story, see The Telegraph 14 February 2023:
Use ‘egg-producing’ not ‘female’, say scientists in call to phase out binary language.

About the Author
The author has been living in Rehovot since making Aliya in 1970. A retired physicist, he divides his time between writing adventure novels, getting his sometimes unorthodox views on the world into print, and working in his garden. An enthusiastic skier and world traveller, the author has visited many countries. His first novels "Snow Job - a Len Palmer Mystery" and "Not My Job – a Second Len Palmer Mystery" are published for Amazon Kindle. The author is currently working on the third Len Palmer Mystery - "Do Your Job".
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