The RAE criticizes Congress' suggestions for a non-sexist use of language | Culture | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Headquarters of the Royal Spanish Academy, in Madrid.
Headquarters of the Royal Spanish Academy, in Madrid.Andrea Comas

The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) criticized the doc this Tuesday Recommendations for a non-sexist use of language within the Parliamentary Administration, that was agreed by the Table of Cortes on December 5, as a result of it needs to make clear that this textual content mentioned that it had been ready taking into consideration, in flip, “the current grammatical rules and recommendations” of the Report on inclusive language and associated points, which the academy printed in January 2020. The RAE denies that its place coincides “totally on these issues” with that of the Congressional Board. He even refers back to the title of that Table doc, “which implies that speakers who do not apply the resources set forth therein express themselves in sexist language.” The RAE additionally warns that the suggestions of the Table, because the doc says, search to “promote all social, cultural and artistic relations.”

The “most conflictive point” for the RAE of what was agreed by the Table is in “the so-called inclusive masculine, on which there are fundamental discrepancies.” The establishment factors out that the Board “dedicates several pages to presenting various ways to replace it” with a number of examples. “The Congress Board understands that expressions such as 'about two thousand attendees' should not be used, since they contain the indefinite masculine 'some'. It is recommended to instead say 'approximately two thousand attendees.'

The Table also pointed out that “the forms 'the one' or 'the ones' used with an inclusive value should be avoided.” For the RAE, then “the expression 'those who have elderly care' excludes women from that group of people, so that 'those who' should be replaced by 'who'.” “It should be understood, in an analogous way, that the expression 'those of us who live and work in Spain' excludes women, according to the authors of the document.”

Another instance he mentions: “It should not be said 'the users', but 'the users'. The editors of the text do not seem to care that the substitute expression is extremely forced for any Spanish speaker, just as it would be – speaking of cinema – to replace 'the spectators' with 'the spectators'. The text of the Table added that “they must be adapted as long as they do not change the meaning. It omits, however, that the suggested substitutions can suppress relevant nuances, which speakers would not have to give up.

The RAE explains that “on multiple occasions” it has argued that “the masculine gender is inclusive (in Spanish and many other languages) in a large number of contexts.” “We have explained that the fact that it is not in some cases should not lead to the absurd conclusion that it never is.”

In different instances identified by the Board, the RAE acknowledges that its suggestions have been taken under consideration, “such as avoiding the use of the at sign as a wildcard for the vowels -o and -a (for example, parliamentarians). s), as well as the letters -x (lxs parlamentarixs) and -e (les parlamentaries) in similar contexts.” For the RAE, all this “represents considerable progress in relation to some previous texts from the State Administration.”

When consulted by EL PAÍS, the board's presidential team does not comment on the RAE's note. A spokesperson recalled that the recommendations were written to advance compliance with the Congressional Equality Plan. He has also stressed that “new words are not invented, it is simply advisable to use terms that exist in the dictionary and that are more inclusive. For example, civil service instead of civil servant.” Finally, they point out from the Table that “it will not stop continuing to support inclusive language, because language also marks the thinking of society.”

All the culture that goes with you awaits you here.



The literary information analyzed by the very best critics in our weekly publication