Contemporary essays, fiction, and opinion offered regularly by author Anne Brandt.

Question for the week
When is it correct to use towards?
Rules of the Games
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Kristen, who helps produce a monthly newsletter for hospital volunteers, asks...
I'm searching for a comtemporary neuter for "chairmen". I need a plural word which refers to both males and females. "Chair people" is the best I have done so far, but it doesn't seem right. Do you have any suggestions for me?
Anne answers...
I sympathize with your dilemma. Having checked my Webster's Unabridged, there is a precedent for using the word 'chairpersons.' At the same time, perhaps you could rewrite the sentence or the list of distinguished volunteers so that those people involved are listed as "Co-Chairs." While I would have shudderred at listing people as chairs several years ago, I now feel it is an acceptable alternative.
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