Magazine June 20, 2011, Issue

War of Words

(ra2studio/Getty Images)
Notes on a language cop and her struggle

‘The Woman Who Stopped Us from Saying ‘Stewardess,’” read a headline last month. The article was a celebration of Kate Swift, who had passed away. She is credited with rooting out sexism, or perceived sexism, in language. Credited by many, I should say, and blamed by a few. In addition to being a writer and editor, she was a gay-rights activist and a pro-choice activist. When I say “choice,” you know I’m not talking about education.

With her partner, a woman named Casey Miller, Swift wrote an essay called “Desexing the English Language.” That was for the inaugural issue of Ms.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Special Energy Section

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Athwart

Do the Jefferson

Too many tourists, too much traffic noise, swampy D.C. weather, the occasional grunt and scream as the cops tackle people for illegal Monument Dancing.

Recommended

The Latest