December 02, 2015

Northern Ireland Assembly Debates Gender Neutrality of 'Ombudsman'

Earlier this week, Members of the Legislative Assembly in Northern Ireland debated whether the new commissioner for complaints should be called an ‘Ombudsman’ or an ‘Ombudsperson’ – and have even commissioned research on the origin of the words themselves. The committee sponsoring the bill had proposed 'Ombudsperson,' but The Ombudsman Association wrote to the MLA's to express concern that a change from 'Ombudsman,' which is commonly used throughout the UK, would be confusing in Northern Ireland.

An article in the Northern Ireland News Letter provides more details and acknowledges the issue has also been debated in the U.S. (NI News Letter.)

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; Blog Post Explores Use of 'Ombudsman' in UK.

1 comment:

  1. Here's something I found interesting:
    It's an interview with a Swedish Ombudsman. At about 2:18, she addresses the question about whether or not the word ombudsman is a gender neutral term. Does her opinion count?