[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
September 9, 1988

Epicene Pronouns—Obliterate, Slash, or Pluralize?

Author Affiliations

New York

New York

JAMA. 1988;260(10):1407. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410100097029

To the Editor.—  Legitimate concern over sex bias in JAMA was recently expressed by Ms Lorimer-Lundberg1 when she assailed Dr Kellner1 for the use of nongeneric masculine pronouns such as he to signify he or she. Nevertheless, I must agree with Dr Kellner that use of the nonsexist he/she or himself/herself is rather clumsy and choppy and disrupts a smooth writing style. I have found that a far more acceptable epicene pronoun is s/he or him/erself. These are eminently readable and flowing, and while they are still cause for pause, this should resolve with increased use.