Language problems

We often see the same language problems over and over again in the manuscripts we receive. Here we discuss some of the more common problem categories.

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Gender versus sex

Sex is a biological trait. Gender is both a grammatical term and a social construct. Recently, because sex has become a colloquial synonym for sexual intercourse, many writers use gender in place of sex. The US National Institutes of Health often uses gender, and so do some journals, but at SciWrite we retain the distinction.

“Gender . . . is not a substitute for ‘sex’ (but then, what is?).” The Careful Writer: A Modern Guide to English Usage, T.M. Bernstein

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"Understanding" books

Tower of Babel

Tower of Babel, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525-1569)