How can you explain for an inexpert accuser that avoiding of sexism in language is not equal to prejudice or a personal matter but a social and cultural practice against prejudice and sex discrimination?

Which synonym, term or phrase can I use instead of inexpert accuser to create a more correct question in English grammatically and semantically?

  • You're asking how to explain things to your ill-informed detractors (or critics). Commented May 4 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


Firstly, accuser is probably the wrong word here altogether:

Accuser, n:

someone who imputes guilt or blame.

Accuser is a strong word, because it implies that the person is claiming that you are not only wrong, but also guilty or to blame for something (perhaps guilty of spreading falsehoods). Since you are claiming that they are wrong, you are accusing them of making false accusations, and hence a liar, which is a major insult.

Perhaps you want one of these words:

opponent (esp. in a formal debate scenario)

friend/colleague/student/person I met on the Internet (or any other relation)

You can even get away with avoiding the word altogether, since it's implied by the rest of the sentence anyway. Change the adjective inexpert to the noun non-expert and you have the sentence:

How can you explain to a non-expert that ...

But we can improve the sentence further by making it less abstract:

How can I explain to a non-expert that...

And you can even choose to be more polite by avoiding the implication that your opponent is not an expert (which sounds prima face that you are calling them an idiot, which is rude), by changing the emphasis on you needing an simple answer because they are unable to cope with a more complex one, to simply asking for a simple answer full stop:

How can I explain in a simple way that...

  • About accuser it is correct because they are exactly doing this about me but it would be better to find a better word instead of it. I upvoted your answer because of the second part of your answer. Non-expert is a better choice. About first part opponent seems good but I will wait to see more answers. Thanks! Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 9:08
  • 2
    +1 Also, using 'accuser' wants to be followed closely by a specification of the accusation, which OP wants to postpone to contrast with the justification. Most of the difficulties in this sentence can be avoided by not specifying who is to receive the explanation: "How do I explain, in simple terms, that my practice of avoiding sexism in language is not a merely personal matter motivated by prejudice against men but, on the contrary, a principled social and cultural matter directed against prejudice and sex discrimination" Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 13:23
  • @StoneyB Send your idea as an answer. It seems a good one! Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 16:32

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