If you write contemporary fiction, this post is for you. If you write only historical fiction, please ignore.
A colleague recently asked me about the blond vs. blonde conundrum. While I've addressed this on The Grammar Cop (Blonde is slang, used as a noun; blond is an adjective), it occurs to me the issue resolves itself with political correctness. No longer do we refer to females as stewardesses, waitresses, or actresses. They are flight attendants, servers, and actors, same as their male counterparts.Your will has a personal representative, not an executrix or executor.
Blonde is defined as a woman who has blond hair. It's slang for a sexy or glamorous woman with blond hair. There is no word for a man who has blond hair, so why do we need "blonde?" Short answer: We don't. Lose it.
Please don't buy into the explanation that women have blonde hair while men have blond hair, at least if you live in the United States. While the "e" denotes gender in some languages, it doesn't apply to English. I have a daughter named Lynn. Not Lynne. And she's as feminine as any woman I know. My nickname is Cheri (Originally French), not Cherie. I am a female, but I live in America. Gender distinctions are outmoded.
(Too bad Starbucks didn't get that message. They refer to their light roast coffee as "Blonde Roast." But I overlook the name since it's my favorite brew.)
Other politically incorrect or obsolete terms include master bedroom. It's now owner's bedroom. Master is mindful of serfdom and slavery. Again, obsolete.
If you use MS Word, enable your spelling and grammar review programs (under Options). Any outdated or insensitive word or phrase should be underlined for your attention.
Happy writing, authors (no more authoresses!).