SPEECH SILLINESS

Is the New Zealand Herald’s parent company chaired by a man or a woman?

In reporting its generally positive financial results the Herald referred to “Chairman Barbara Chapman”.

In these times of gender confusion this may be simply a courtesy gesture to Barbara who has fashionably reclassified herself as a trans.

But if not and she was born and remains a woman then it’s ridiculous. What’s so difficult about Chairwoman?

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Or Chairperson?

Chairman is the true designation for the position, Latin for right hand person. Chairwoman is simply a woman on a chair. The chairman of a company has no gender. That statement probably appropriate in this day and age.

What’s wrong with just using the word “Chair”

The standard convention is to refer to a female chairperson as ‘Sally Bloggs – chair’ or simply ‘the chair’.

I vaguely recall from my grammar school Latin teacher (“Tooth” Mitchell) that the “man” part derives from the Latin t“manus” meaning a hand? The head of a board is this the chair hand, much like leading hand in the construction industry. I stand to be corrected.

Or call him/her a “chair” as if they were more furniture than people. There are no more policemen, no more fisherman, ad nauseum.

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