In a blog post yesterday, researcher Margaret Doyle wrote about "the problematic matter of terminology in the use of the term ‘ombudsman’" -- an issue that came up early in her study of informal resolution approaches by Ombuds in the UK and Ireland. Her early review found both a wide range of terminology and a surprising question: "Why the ombuds community is so intent on engaging in both linguistic and conceptual acrobatics by insisting that ‘man’ does not mean ‘man’."
Her concise article reviews the Scandinavian etymology of ‘ombudsman’; current usage in Norway (which has moved to the gender neutral ‘ombud’ and ‘ombudet’); explains why it matters linguistically and socialogically; and discusses gender neutral alternatives. (Ombuds Research Blog.)
Related posts: UK Financial Ombudsman Service Debates Name Change; Texas Tech Ombuds Updates Name; Linguist Finds "Ombuds" Usage Shifting Slowly; Former ESPN Ombuds Explains Why She Was Not an “Ombudswoman”; Statute Changes BC "Ombudsman" Into "Ombudsperson"; New Google Tool Shows Dominance of ‘Ombudsman’ Over Variants; Washington State Education Ombuds Faces Budget Cuts.