chapter  1
Pages 32

In such contexts the masculine form (e.g. der größte Produzent) would be equally acceptable.

(iv) In the plural, to refer to both men and women, various possibilities are current. It is not uncommon for the masculine form to be used:

Der Bürgermeister begrüßte die Besucher aus der Hauptstadt Wien

However, this may be considered discriminatory, especially where the feminine form is in common usage. Both forms may then be given:

liebe Zuschauer und Zuschauerinnen; die Studenten und Studentinnen

A relatively recent option is to use the feminine form with a capital I (sometimes spoken as long []) to indicate both sexes:

die StudentInnen der Westfälischen Wilhelmsuniversität Münster

With some words, the problem can be avoided by using a word which is not inherently genderspecifi c, if one is available, e.g. die Studierenden der Universität Passau. However, these tend to be mainly used in offi cial writing and have rarely been adopted in everyday speech.