The False Divide Between “Well Educated” and “Less Educated” | Conscious Style Guide

“Perhaps one of the reasons we’re experiencing societal polarization is because we’re not using inclusive language more. People catch on to euphemisms, and calling folks ‘less educated’ is akin to calling them stupider than another group.”

On “Person-First Language”: It’s Time to Actually Put the Person First | Radical Copyeditor

“These are the things that person-first language set out to accomplish: don’t demean, dehumanize, or stigmatize people by way of the language you use to describe them. It’s time to go back to that worthy goal, and not let a language tip that should never have become a hard-and-fast rule in the first place get in the way of treating each other with respect and care.”

What Is Identity-First Language, and Should You Use It? | Bustle

“A growing number of people in the disabled community are using identity-first language, and this is how to figure out if you should be using it, too.”

“Enslaved People,” Not “Slaves” at Stagville State Historic Site | The Herald-Sun

“Michelle Lanier, executive director of the N.C. African American Heritage Commission, says these words emphasize the humanity of people living under bondage. They reinforce that enslaved people had skills, craftsmanship, families and dreams.”

What to Say When You’re Asian American and Someone Calls You “Exotic” | Public Radio International

“My understanding of the word ‘exotic’ is that it means ‘rare’ and ‘unique.’ The most populous people on this planet are, in fact, Asian.”—Paula Williams Madison, retired TV executive

Combatting Stereotypes About Appalachian Dialects | The Conversation

“Media representations rarely put in the effort to get the complex patterns of Appalachian dialects right. Instead, they’ll use clothing and one or two dialect features…to create a broadly sketched, stereotypical portrait.”

Why Planned Parenthood Is Ditching the “Pro-Choice” Label, According to Cecile Richards | Bustle

“Planned Parenthood has been evolving its expression of long-standing ideals on reproductive rights to suit the times, in part because of young peoples’ resistance to such black-and-white labels.”

Picture Overload Hinders Children’s Word Learning From Storybooks | Science Daily

“While publishers look to produce ever more colourful and exciting texts to entice buyers, University of Sussex psychologists have shown that having more than one illustration per page results in poorer word learning among pre-schoolers.”

Want to Get More People to Eat Their Veggies? Make Them Sound Like They’re Bad for You. | The Washington Post

“It will not surprise you to learn that the more unhealthy the vegetables sounded, the more likely people were to eat them.”

Doctors Must Be Honest About Their Own Biases When Treating People in Pain | Stat

“We seem most likely to use these phrases when we are overwhelmed, behind schedule, or can’t find a unifying diagnosis…. But they also reflect our tendency to use language that separates us from them.”

Dear Media: When You Cover Death by Suicide, Do It Thoughtfully | Los Angeles Times

Reminders on how to write sensitively about suicide, including’s cautions to use less sensational language and to avoid using “epidemic,” “skyrocketing,” and other strong terms.

Top 10 Things Never to Say to Your Female Pastor | Patheos

“If you’re thinking of saying something about your female pastor’s appearance—stop, and ask yourself—would I say the same thing if this were a male pastor?”

London Tube Ditches “Ladies and Gentlemen” Greetings in the Name of Gender Inclusion | Mashable

“Good morning, everyone”—the London Tube is now using gender-inclusive language for announcements.

Banning Sexist Ads | AJ+

The Advertising Standards Authority (UK) is cracking down on sexist ads. Starting in 2018, ad scripts that perpetuate gender stereotypes or make sexist claims will be banned.

Ms. Matters: How a Feminist Language Innovator Radically Changed How We Refer to Each Other | The Toronto Star

Sheila Michaels “help[ed] repurpose Ms. as a generic descriptor for all women—like Mr. for men—who had been segregated into Miss and Mrs. depending on marital status.”

Why Emojis May Be the Best Thing to Happen to Language in the Digital Age | USA Today

“Emojis might be improving our ability to express ourselves, but like any form of human communication, there is always the possibility of misunderstanding.”

Strong Language: Swearing Makes You Stronger, Psychologists Confirm | The Guardian

“Repeating profanities during tasks including cycling and a hand-grip test boosted performance, researchers say.”

Talk Like a Human: 8 Phrases to Avoid Saying to Your Customers | Zapier

Taking care of customers means going beyond “I will” and “No problem.”

Copyediting’s Guide to Bias-Free Language | Copyediting

“Biases can be a moving target…so smart copyeditors build a library of resources they can refer to for their work.”

The Conscious Style Guide newsletter rounds up the best news and blog posts from the world of kind, compassionate, mindful, empowering, respectful, and inclusive language. Note: Spotlighting an opinion is not intended as an endorsement. Please send news tips to

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