2019-05-19 Hex Describe Gender

ktrey parker recently asked on Diaspora about pre-generating facts before you actually start writing, gender in particular. I’ve tried to avoid this by using singular they a lot. It works really well! But I confess, sometimes I was also happy to simply assume all druids were male and all witches were female.

The question made me think introducing a new keyword. [fact monster gender] would establish the “monster gender” which you could then use with [same monster gender] throughout. I like that better than just hiding the result using CSS because I love text browsers. 🙂

This isn’t strictly required because if we know where the first call to a table is, we can just drop the “same” keyword there and it will work as intended. If we’re writing a long text, we’re going to run into trouble if we’re rearranging it.

Here’s an example of how we would do it today:

Assume this text:

[ruler] had a centaur [raise their kid].

What we want is a result like this:

“Queen Alexa had a centaur raise her son.”

We just need to know where the gender is first determined and from then keep using “same”.

;gender
1,male
1,female

;ruler gender
1,[gender]

;kid gender
1,[gender]

;ruler
1,[[ruler gender] title] [[same ruler gender] name]

;male title
1,King

;female title
1,Queen

;male name
1,Alex

;female name
1,Alexa

;raise their kid
1,raise [[same ruler gender] possessive] [[kid gender] kid]

;male possessive
1,his

;female possessive
1,her

;male kid
1,son

;female kid
1,daughter

Result:

This example will always work if [ruler] is called first and determines [ruler gender] before it gets used later in [ruler gender] or [raise their kid]. If the order is ever changed, this will result in bugs that are hard to spot.

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