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How to Write Reference Letters

Originally published March 31, 2002

I recently wrote a reference letter for someone I supervise. When writing one of these, it can be somewhat difficult to know what to say in the letter. You want to write a good letter (unless you don’t like the person who the letter is for, in which case they were stupid to ask you) so the person gets what they are applying for, but you don’t want to go overboard and sound ridiculous.

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Androgynous Names

I’ve always found that names which can be applied to either gender are a bit troubling. Maybe I like the reassurance that when someone mentions a John or a Mary I can form a simple picture of said person based simply on the name. With non gender specific names this becomes impossible. That, said, some androgynous names are certainly better than others. I should mention that I won’t be rating names that have alternate spellings for male and female, such as Aaron/Erin or Rene/Renee. If I happen to rate your name badly, that doesn’t mean I don’t like you, so don’t email me complaining about it. Continue reading Androgynous Names