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Example:

A fighter is someone who fights for the pleasure of the spectator, against his or her own safety.

How can I clearly show that his or her refers to the fighter and not the master?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I despise "his or her." It's so bad, it should be unconstitutional. Randomly switching "his" and "her" from sentence to sentence is almost as bad. If you're making a general statement, and you think exclusively using "his" is sexist, then use the plural.

Fighters fight for the pleasure of the spectator, against their own safety.

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I use plural instead of "his/her" all the time, so yes, excellent suggestion. –  Lauren Ipsum Nov 16 '13 at 15:47

Change something else in the sentence.

A fighter is someone who fights for the pleasure of spectators, against his or her own safety.

A fighter is someone who fights for the pleasure of the audience, against his or her own safety.

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"his or her" is extremely awkward. Also delete "is someone who": A fighter fights for the pleasure of the audience, against her own safety. Simply distibute male and female examples evenly and without sexist bias throughout the text, and you can avoid "his or her". –  what Nov 11 '13 at 8:55

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