The state of Washington is putting the final nail in the coffin of what it considers anachronistic, outmoded language. Like "fireman," or "freshman."
The state's governor, Democrat Jay Inslee, has signed legislation mandating that only gender-neutral language be used in all future statutes. It's a move that builds upon the goals of a 1983 mandate stating that all laws be drafted in language shorn of gender bias. This means "journeyman" is out, and "journey-level" in; "penmanship" a thing of the past, and "handwriting" the wave of the future.
"Words matter," said Liz Watson of the National Women's Law Center. "This is important in changing hearts and minds."
An exception to this more androgynous legal language is being made, however, for places and things (but not people) for which "no common-sense substitutes could easily be found," according to
the Toronto Sun
, e.g. "man-hole."
Via the Toronto Sun