'Human' and it inclusivity.

Thu, 6 Apr 1995 19:43:00 PDT

In his otherwise very informative posting Thornton writes:

" As far as I am aware, the notion
that 'man' or 'mankind' is exclusive of females is datable ot
sometime in the 1970s when somewhere in the feminist literature and
issue came to be made of these terms."

Let me quote briefly from my Oxford Universal Dictionary (revised edition,

"Man I.1. A human being; = L. homo. OE. and occas. later. ... 2. In generic
sense, without article: The human creature regarded abstractly; hence, the
human race or species, mankind....

II. 1. An adult male person OE. b. generically (without article). The male
human being...."

I take it that the word, "man" has long had two meanings: humankind OR male
persons. I further take it, then, that the argument of the feminists was
against the usage of the term "man" (even if used in the first meaning) by
virtue of it possibly (often?) being read with respect to the second meaning.

D. Read