Beyond Terminology: Zooming Out to Focus on Bias | Conscious Style Guide

Remarks by Conscious Style Guide founder Karen Yin, from “Is This Racist? How Editors Can Identify Hidden Bias” at the 2017 ACES: The Society for Editing conference.


Revising the Language of Addiction | Harvard Gazette

“The terms ‘abuse’ and ‘abuser’…imply a willful misconduct and have been shown to increase stigma and reduce the quality of care.”—Sarah Wakeman, medical director of the Substance Use Disorders Initiative and the Addiction Consult Team at Massachusetts General Hospital

How Patients Hear Their Diagnoses Can Change Everything About What Happens Next | Quartz

“A survey of multiple studies examining the effect of the terminology used by doctors when communicating diagnoses on patients’ decisions found a trend: the more precise or ‘medical-ese’ the doctor’s term for the condition, the more patients opted for invasive, aggressive treatments.”

How to Avoid the Stigma of a Retracted Paper? Don’t Call It a Retraction | Science

New terms for retractions “would make it easier for researchers, universities, and journals to admit errors.”

De-jargonizing Program Helps Decode Science Speak | Phys.org

The De-Jargonizer, hosted at scienceandpublic.com, “is designed to help scientists and science communication instructors improve and adapt vocabulary use when communicating with non-experts. Also, professionals in medicine could use it to evaluate text level for communication with patients.”

What Journalists Can Do Better to Cover the Disability Beat | Columbia Journalism Review

“For every well-reported piece of journalism tackling real issues within the disability community, there are many more articles that offer little more than inspiration porn.”

Study: Female Doctors Less Likely to Be Referred to by Title | ASU Now

“Female introducers of male speakers used professional titles roughly 95 percent of the time, while male introducers of female speakers used professional titles roughly 49 percent of the time.”

How to Be Truly Inclusive of Non-binary Genders at Work | BBC

“I don’t think pronouns are the be-all and end-all of trans inclusion, but they are a basic courtesy.”—writer, drag artist, and radio host Ray Filar

Why We Need to Confront Bias in Dance Criticism | Dance

“Artists of color endure reviews that are often reductive or dismissive, especially when the work is ‘foreign’ to the critic.”

Don’t Make Violence and Abuse Just Another Plot Device in Your Novel | Literary Hub

“How can we can approach violence in a way that is authentic and real, that exists within the world of the victim? To start with, we must imagine our characters as real people.”

Thinking Outside the Bin: Why Labeling Books by Reading Level Disempowers Young Readers | School Library Journal

Levels have become “labels that restrict our readers and tell them that their reading identity needs to be based on an outside influence—the teacher—and not their own intuition,” says Pernille Ripp, author of “Passionate Learners: How to Engage and Empower Your Students”

What Does It Mean When Your Teacher Changes Your Name? | Rethinking Schools

“When she was in 5th grade, her teacher told her that her name wasn’t ‘American’ enough…The message was clear. Her identity, her Mexican heritage, her mother’s last name: None of these were welcome in a classroom in the United States.”

A NYT Tweet on Books by Women “Didn’t Play Well.” Here’s Why. | Columbia Journalism Review

“The core complaint: Asking women to invest time, energy, and links is no substitute for doing your own work.”

This Dad Calling Out Sexist Supermarket Sign Is Another Win for All Parents | A Plus

“While changing signs, reexamining our biases and the language we use, and raising awareness about sexist practices are certainly beneficial for dads, being more inclusive can also make a huge impact for moms, too.”

What Chipotle Can Teach Companies About Honesty With Customers | Fortune

“As access to online information proliferates, customers are getting smarter. Today, honesty can be its own marketing strategy. In fact, transparency can actually be a more effective marketing strategy than spin.”

Where the Word Gweilo Comes From, and Other Names East Asians Have for Foreigners | South China Morning Post

“Words such as ‘angmoh’ [red hair] and ‘gweilo’ [ghost man] have shifted in meaning to become less polemic, at least in certain contexts. In particular, ‘gweilos’ themselves have increasingly taken ownership of the term, reappropriating it as a more lighthearted, endearing self-identification.”

Stop Misusing the Word “Equivocate” | Columbia Journalism Review

“Though ‘equivalence’ and ‘equivocation’ are etymological cousins, they are separate and unequal.”

How Journalists Should Handle Racist Words, Images and Violence in Charlottesville | Poynter

“Precision is critical. Be wary of subjective adjectives and unclear labels, like far-right or alt-right. Instead, describe what protesters were doing, what they were saying and what they were demanding.”

Trying to Decide If You Should Publish That Dirty Word? Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide | Poynter

“Over the last year, editors have faced several important cases in which public figures—including President Trump—have used sexual words, insults, and epithets.” Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark offers a method for helping writers and editors think through the use of swear words in print.

What to Tell People to Get Them to Evacuate Before a Hurricane Hits | The Washington Post

“Messages that identify certain geographic areas, such as flood zones or evacuation zones, can help encourage residents to leave those areas while reducing evacuation among those who live outside those areas…. To be effective, messages must use wording that helps people recognize whether the message applies to them.”

 

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