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July 21, 2007


Lisa Braithwaite

I don't mind "female" as an adjective, but I can't stand it when people use it as a noun, instead of woman. Ick.


Yay, more arbitrary and random rules set up to separate the language artists from the common people!

I would guess hip-hop's exclusion is the result of stuffy stylebook editors who can't actually believe people write about "that rap crap" seriously.


Note that it was *Woman's* Christian Temperance Union, not *Women's*, which is why it merited an entry. In the unlikely event that anyone ever writes about the WCTU again, they will most probably name it incorrectly ... and the AP Stylebook won't be able to set them straight. Oh well!


Since when was "woman" an adjective anyway?
I can understand "female" being used as an adjective or more recently as a noun - replacing woman when the age discrimination implied by woman / girl and the class implication of lady are distracting. Using it indiscriminately as a pseudo-PC term makes no sense.

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  • When I started to e-mail out a weekly writing tip to my Chicago colleagues at Edelman in 2002, little did I know how quickly how many people outside my office would start to request it. But word spread, as word is wont to do, and in 2006 the e-mail evolved into this blog. The tips, which are about grammar, usage and style, have a dual purpose – to remind my colleagues in PR of the power of the written word and, more generally, to support and perpetuate clear, concise, creative, honest, lively, stylish, compelling writing everywhere. In 2009 I started to add commentary about and links to stories and other blog posts related to the media, marketing, writing and, sometimes, just interesting stuff. For some reason, I also started Twittering (at SantowDan).