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14.03 Parallel treatment

When the names of a woman and man are mentioned together, use parallel language so that men and women are portrayed as equals:

  • Alan Knight and Joyce Philips
  • J. Philips and A. Knight
  • Knight and Philips
  • Joyce Philips, the engineer, and Alan Knight, the journalist


  • Mrs. J. Philips and Alan Knight


  • Alan Knight, the journalist, and Mrs. J. Philips

Ensure parallel treatment of couples:

  • Mr. and Mrs. James and Irene Luciano
  • James and Irene
  • Mr. and Mrs. Luciano
  • James and Irene Luciano


  • Mr. and Mrs. James Luciano


  • James Luciano and his wife Irene

Ensure parallel treatment of work associates:

  • Raymond Kovacs and his assistant Karen White
  • Margaret Thompson, Vice-President, and her executive secretary Bill White


  • Mr. Kovacs and his assistant Karen
  • Margaret Thompson, Vice-President, and her executive secretary Bill

Alternate order of reference so that one sex is not always given second place:

  • Karen White and her immediate superior, Raymond Kovacs
  • Joyce Philips and Alan Knight
  • Mr. White and Ms. Thompson

In distribution and other lists, use alphabetical order or list according to rank.