Date: Fri, 28 Jan 1994 08:15:28 -0600 From: Joan Livingston-Webber Subject: waiter/waitress Most of my restaurant experience in Omaha is at inexpensive ethnic places where the people don't refer to themselves at all. At a Chilean restaurant on Tuesday, I had a hard time simply understanding at all. (It was very good food however.) I do occasionally go to the Olive Garden, and, there, we are served by waitresses and waiters. Actually, I THINK the most common script is something like, "My name is _____ and I'll be serving you/be back for your order"--shifting to verbs where gender-marking isn't an issue. Here, I'm still encountering female grad students using "mankind." And my department still has an officially designated "chairman." I hardly expect the restaurant trade to have gone beyond the English department, tho it would be nice to be surprised. -- Joan Livingston-Webber webber[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] "What gets better is the precision with which we vex each other." -Clifford Geertz