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Important notice

Writing Tips has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

poet, poetess

Avoid the suffix ess in occupational titles such as poetess, actress, laundress, manageress, stewardess, sculptress and waitress. Instead, use gender-neutral terms like poet, actor, laundry worker, manager, flight attendant, sculptor and server.

  • There is a resurgence of interest in the work of First Nations poet Pauline Johnson.

However, in historical texts, it may be fitting to choose gender-specific titles.