Hot answers tagged political-correctness
You are falling into the trap laid out carefully by German Gender Mainstreaming throughout the years. No, in German a noun does not have a gender. It has a genus. This genus is a purely grammatical property defined by tradition. By default, it has nothing to do with biological sex or sociological gender. The word der Student is a masculine noun describing ...
If you know the name, use the name. That’s the easy part. You can often still get away with ‘generisches Maskulinum’, i.e. Studenten, but in a university setting, i.e. where you’d actually use Student and Studentin to refer to students (instead of Schüler and Schülerin ‘pupil’ in a school or most other courses), it’s becoming rather common to use ...
The noun has its own Genus. For "Student" it's masculinum, so you should use masculinum. Der Student is "the student" - both male and female Die Studentin is "the female student" - only female In Indoeuropean languages, genus is the property of the noun, and there is only one "correct" grammar gender to refer to that noun. English is a special case, ...
The usage of the "Binnen-I" in german spelling occured from the 1980ies (e.g. KollegInnen, MitarbeiterInnen). It is frequently used but similarly often it is rejected. These short forms are not consistent with present spelling rules where capitals within words are not allowed. Duden - Richtiges und gutes Deutsch, 6. Aufl. Mannheim 2007
If you go for the gramatically correct version use "die Studenten". That's the generic masculinum form. But: over the last few decades there have been some people (mainly feminists / gender mainstreamers) who felt excluded by that use, so they invented quite a few ways to overcome that. If you speak to a crowd you can't go wrong with "Studentinnen und ...
Often for large groups of people of unknown or mixed gender the plural of the masculine form is used: "die Studenten" etc. This is known as the "Generisches Maskulinum". Of course, just using the masculine form is problematic as it ignores the women and there is an ongoing discussion about what a better alternative should be. Also often used, especially ...
In German we often use the male form of the job titles although we don't mean explicitely one gender (ein Student). In plural this is used really often (Studenten). But both uses depend on the context. You can use it this way if it's a general statement. If you refer to certain people then use exact expressions. In the ages of feminism there came a few ...
You got it right - this form is called "Binnen-I", and it is used as a "neutral" form to cover both genders. It can be used generally in contexts where you are not bound to the "official" orthography rules, since it is not part of them.
Yes, this is the P.C. way, instead of using just "Besucher" (visitors), which traditionally encompassed both genders. Many people don't like it, but it's becoming more and more frequent. Personally I prefer "Besucher and Besucherinnen", instead of using the so-called Binnen-I.
Neutral and modern: 'Sehr geehrte Studierende'
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