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Atatürk
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 11:18:27 AM
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Behavioral skill is defined as the extent to which one can control himself, communicate effectively, and feel self-motivated.

Is it a good sentence?

I also wonder if 'himself' should be changed to 'themselves'?
FounDit
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 11:29:45 AM

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Atatürk wrote:
Behavioral skill is defined as the extent to which one can control himself, communicate effectively, and feel self-motivated.

Is it a good sentence?

I also wonder if 'himself' should be changed to 'themselves'?


It seemed a bit "off" to me. I wanted to insert an "A" at the beginning and select a different word for "extent".

As for "himself", this seems fine to me, but the trend today is to select gender-neutral words so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of snowflakes. If that sounds sarcastic, that's because it is. I find such thinking silly; but that is a personal opinion.

That said, if you want to abide by that, you could either use "themselves" or perhaps "oneself", or "one's reactions". I prefer the latter.

A behavioral skill is defined as the ability to control ones reactions, communicate effectively, and feel self-motivated.



We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Romany
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 1:44:03 PM
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I feel it's a good sentence; but am not quite sure I agree with it.

I think the way it is written makes one concentrate of the "skill" part in a meaning which isn't intended.

One isn't 'skilled' in behaviour. Every sentient being has behavioural skills. The sentence doesn't make it clear that there is a world of difference between a being with "Good behavioural skills" and one with "Bad behavioural skills."

Surely when we discuss a behavioural skill in relation to someone we judge those individual skills within a particular scale? Thus a behavioural skill refers to the WAYS in which they are able to control themselves, communicate effectively,OR feel self-motivated? Do you see what I mean?

As to gendered language: while it may have taken a long while to get to Foundit it has been the standard among all other English speakers for over 40 years. So yes, "plural singular" can be used instead of himself/herself.

Mostly, however, it's more simple to begin with plurals "Students must not be late to their classes" rather than "A student must not be late to his/her class." "One" is good - but it has to be maintained: ' One ties one's shoes.' not "One ties his/her shoes." Thus, regardless of gender questions, "One can control himself" is not correct even if the subject were male. It's "One can control oneself"

RuthP
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 2:02:24 PM

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Atatürk wrote:
Behavioral skill is defined as the extent to which one can control himself, communicate effectively, and feel self-motivated.

Is it a good sentence?

I also wonder if 'himself' should be changed to 'themselves'?

You might try "behavioral ability" rather than "behavioral skill". Behavioral ability would suggest you are talking about the degree to which the patient is able to, or capable of exhibiting control, effective communication and self motivation.

About the himself / themself (the latter not being a recognized word yet, but if we are going to use this as singular, there you are) issue, you will need to be consistent throughout your writing. If you are writing for a journal, you need to find out what they expect you to use. If you are writing a thesis, or a paper for a class, speak with your professor. In either case, the journal editor or the professor should answer that question. Of course, you can always avoid it by saying "the patient".
Niranjan L. Bhale
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 2:48:44 AM

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Instead of gender discrimination the essence needs to applied. Very good sentence.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 4:52:46 AM

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I can't comment on the phrase "behavioural skill" - I don't know the subject well enough. "Skill"? "Ability"? - I don't know.
I would understand both (especially as the sentence defines the term anyway).

Concerning the pronoun. . .

Behavioral skill is defined as the extent to which one can control himself, communicate effectively, and feel self-motivated.

As the first pronoun used is "one", there is no choice, it's straight grammar, nothing to do with 'gender neutrality'.
"himself" is wrong and "themselves"/"themself" would also be wrong.

Behavioural skill is defined as the extent to which one can control oneself, communicate effectively, and feel self-motivated.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
RuthP
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 12:25:30 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
I can't comment on the phrase "behavioural skill" - I don't know the subject well enough. "Skill"? "Ability"? - I don't know.
I would understand both (especially as the sentence defines the term anyway).

Concerning the pronoun. . .

Behavioral skill is defined as the extent to which one can control himself, communicate effectively, and feel self-motivated.

As the first pronoun used is "one", there is no choice, it's straight grammar, nothing to do with 'gender neutrality'.
"himself" is wrong and "themselves"/"themself" would also be wrong.

Behavioural skill is defined as the extent to which one can control oneself, communicate effectively, and feel self-motivated.

Oh, I love it! Sadly, however, the use of "one" has (for no good reason IMNSHO) fallen out of favor, even in many academic / professional journals. Personally, I find it exceptionally useful.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 1:17:07 PM
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Drago, Ruth,

That fits in exactly with what I said, surely?: -

""One" is good - but it has to be maintained: ' One ties one's shoes.' not "One ties his/her shoes." Thus, regardless of gender questions, "One can control himself" is not correct even if the subject were male. It's "One can control oneself"
RuthP
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 1:36:42 PM

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Romany wrote:
Drago, Ruth,

That fits in exactly with what I said, surely?: -

""One" is good - but it has to be maintained: ' One ties one's shoes.' not "One ties his/her shoes." Thus, regardless of gender questions, "One can control himself" is not correct even if the subject were male. It's "One can control oneself"

Agreed. Which also relates to what I said further above. If one is moving to "they, them, their" for third person singular, then one must maintain that terminology all the way through. Honestly, given current needs I believe use of "one" in academic writing is probably the best choice until grammar-as-defined-by-real-life catches up.

(Reflexively speaking does the "they-them-their" singular revival mean "themselves" or "themself"? I think the latter will be the ultimate on this one, even though it does not officially exist now.)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 5:46:45 AM

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Sorry Romany - yes, I was reiterating your "if you start with 'one' you have to follow on" idea.

I got lost in the "skills" vs "ability" discussion and forgot to refer back to your post.

Hi Ruth.
Yes - for some reason (probably my own version of 'logic' Anxious ) I like "themself" for the singular reflexive, if it can't be avoided.

I think the "formal-ish" use of "one" as a general pronoun is fine - and probably the best non-gendered choice.
However, it has gained some unpopularity in Britain as 'overly-POSH' or 'affected' because some famous people (Prince Charles and Princess Anne particularly when they were young and regularly in the news) had the habit of using 'one' instead of 'I' - which sounds really odd to "us working-class blokes'.

Reporter: I see you are dressed for riding this morning.
Charles: Yes - one likes to get ones exercise early in the day.
(Meaning "I like to get my exercise early in the day." - It seems to assume: "This is what I think, therefore everyone must think this way.")

Reporter: And can you say what you expect to wear at your niece's wedding?
Anne: One will probably have a summer-cotton dress, as one expects it to be warm in July.

It assumes that 'the general person' - 'one' thinks and dresses exactly as she does.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 10:30:49 AM
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Drago - at last I understand your aversion to "one".Dancing Dancing

It's always puzzled me (and kinda hurt a little) that you so often call it "posh" - when I know that your knowledge of English was laid down on the same bedrock (the nuns!!!) as mine.

I do understand that if one lives in an environment where "one" isn't common, that it doesn't spring to mind as a choice. But you have so often condemned it as a strictly Middle/Upper-class usage, my egalitarian principles rise up in heated denial!!

OK, so I fully see the usage which put you off originally. But the thing is that no-one except very ancient Royals (and complete arses) are even familiar with that kind of distancing usage any longer.

The use of "one" as a practical and non-forced way of using non-gendered pronouns has become ubuiquitous - not just in academic language, but across the spectrum of Class.(Which, of course, no longer exists in the UKWhistle Whistle )

Oh, of course I'm not concerned with "right" or "wrong" - am simply pointing out that, after all our interactions on TFD, the penny has finally dropped!
Hope123
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 10:49:25 AM

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Hi Ruth, Drago, Rom.

I still use "one" all the time, even though I know it is "old-fashioned". As well as side stepping the gender issue, it also helps to make sure the general "you" is not interpreted as personal.

As pointed out by all of you, one does have to be consistent if one is going to use it.

I wonder if royalty really thought that way or if they thought they were including themselves as one of the crowd rather than setting themselves apart. Maybe somebody should have told them how it was being interpreted. Class was a much bigger thing in the UK than in the British subjects in Canada, so I have no innate bias about that word and many others I have learned about on the forum.

The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
Romany
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 11:36:40 AM
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Hope -

"Maybe somebody should have told them how it was being interpreted."

"Somebody" did! Which is why even the Queen's language and accent has changed. (Get hold of one of her early Xmas speeches back in the 50's, and then listen to the latest one. The difference is quite startling.)

"The Palace" sometime in the '70s or 80's told the Queen that she was drifting away from "the people" because of her accent and way of speaking; she began to change, but a lot of the Old School royals didn't then.However, most of those (Margaret really WAS a snob!) have died off by now and since Diana & Fergie, those "commoners" marrying into The Firm, have completed the process of the monarchy learning how to be Royal in modern society. (Tho' some of them were dragged into it kicking and screaming!!)

(Just another little History nugget you might find interesting.)

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, November 12, 2018 3:02:34 AM

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Romany wrote:
. . . the spectrum of Class.(Which, of course, no longer exists in the UKWhistle Whistle
Of course.
Sorry for the delay - I was down in Sussex - horrible weather you had this weekend!

Yes - it's only people trying to assert a non-existent superiority which 'grates on my ear'.
I'd forgotten Margaret, but you're right.

I didn't know that bit of history.

Hi Hope! Yes - that's another good reason to use 'one'.
In some sentences, the general "you" sounds a little too much like an order, too personal.

"You should eat well" sounds a little like "You eat badly, you should change your habits."

"One should eat well" sounds like "My opinion/advice is that people should eat well."

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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