Letter: Writer fails to see purpose in make state laws gender neutral

February 19, 2013 

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." Those folks who have spent Washington taxpayers money to "neutralize sex across all its laws" (Herald, Feb. 4) must not have paid attention to children's rhymes. Six years of effort by state officials to "neutralize sex terms" probably cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Once the 500-page bill is implemented (The U.S. Constitution has 16 pages.), I assume the state courts, law offices, newspapers, etc. will have to update their printed and computerized dictionaries, at no small expense, to comply with the terminology of the bill. The Tri-City Herald certainly doesn't want to have a lawsuit against it for referring to someone's poor penmanship instead of using the "neutralized" word "handwriting."

If this bill is passed, I suggest a couple of other changes prompted by their change of ombudsman to "ombuds." For instance their "humankind's past" would be more correct as "hukinds past" and their "jury foreperson" would be "jury foreper."

I agree with Rep. Shelly Short, who in the article stated, "I don't see the need to do gender neutrality." She added her constituents want her to focus on jobs and the economy.

DON CURET , Richland

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