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David Daley over at Salon pointed out how critically acclaimed novelist James Salter, when "Asked about how his characters refer to women" [in an interview with NPR's Arun Rath], "names a Clinton and a Kardashian, then can't remember any others" (full transcript at NPR):

RATH: And it's interesting how - I don't know if this is a reflection of Bowman's own state of mind from his military background, but I notice you tend to refer to men by their last names and women by their first.

SALTER: Hmm. Well, you rarely refer to a woman by her last name. I mean, well, Hillary Clinton's not a good idea because they both have the name Clinton. But I mean, Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, well, there, you use both names. It's hard to think of any other women on the spur of the moment here, but you always refer to a woman by her first name. But men, I think, commonly, make - it's not so unusual to call somebody by their last name.


Yeah. Because two Clintons, or a Clinton and a Rodham-Clinton is just totally too confusing, but two Bushes aren't. And Kardashians are so different from Baldwins here. I'm not sure whether it's worse that he can't see the double standard here or that he can't think of any other women. And this is a guy who talks about the power of a novel in a "nation's culture". He may be 87, but an old dog can learn new tricks and plenty of men his age get that "you rarely refer to a woman by her last name" is an outdated, sexist language pattern that reveals unacceptable attitudes. And when you make your living with language, it might not hurt to pay attention to what your language patterns reveal about you.

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