From the World of Conscious Language

Note: The authors’ viewpoints are not necessarily shared by Conscious Style Guide.


People Didn’t Used to Be “Consumers.” What Happened? | Grist

“The language of economics goads us into being more selfish than we would be otherwise, research shows.”

So Your Favorite Children’s Books Didn’t Age Well. Here’s What You Can Do About It. | HuffPost

“If you do encounter a questionable passage, pause to talk to your child about why it’s wrong and antiquated, how the world has changed, and what your family does to be an ally to others.” —Margret Aldrich, Little Free Library

The Words Journalists Use Often Reduce Humans to the Crimes They Commit. But That’s Changing. | Poynter

“By using humanizing language, journalists have the opportunity to more accurately depict those involved in the justice system and to portray them as complex individuals whose identities cannot be reduced to one-word labels.”

Why I Refuse to Use Cancer Metaphors About a “War,” “Fight,” or “Battle” | Self

“The issue is when those who have no direct experience with the disease impose this language indiscriminately on others when everyone’s experience of cancer is different.”

This Is the Year Hong Kong Began Speaking the Communist Party’s Authoritarian Language | Quartz

“Subtle changes in official rhetoric often go hand in hand with attempts to reshape people’s thoughts, using sleights of language to manipulate the space of public discourse.”

Is a Crash Ever an Accident? | Car and Driver

“By their very definition, accidents are not intentional, but choices are, and that is where the difference lies, safety advocates say.”

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Japan Airlines Switches to Gender-Neutral Greetings on All Flights | Travel + Leisure

In the English-language announcements, “inclusive terms like ‘all passengers’ and ‘everyone’ will be utilized. The Japanese-language equivalent was already gender neutral, so it will remain unchanged.”

Trevor Noah Asks Barack Obama to Clarify His “Defund the Police” Critique | Vanity Fair

“An activist, a movement leader is going to provide a prophetic voice and speak certain truths that somebody who is going to be elected into office will not be able to say.” —Barack Obama

Families of Yorkshire Ripper Victims Receive Police Apology for Language Used During Investigation | The Independent

“Media coverage and public outrage was coloured by the notion [Peter] Sutcliffe’s murder victims who were sex workers were more to blame than those who were not.”

Tula Skin Care Confronts “Anti-Aging” Terminology With New “Ageless” Category | Glossy

“The definition of ‘ageless’ introduces a contradiction to its usage as a positive, as it means ‘not aging or appearing to age,’ which is at odds with the industry’s attempts to jettison the phrase anti-aging.”

BAME Term Upsetting and Disrespectful Says Sporting Equals Study | The Voice

“We believe the term BAME [Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic] is too generic and allows organisations to hide behind this term to cover up underrepresentation and racial discrimination of specific ethnic groups.”

My Language Doesn’t Have the Terminology to Describe Who I Am | Vice

“As we explore and try to integrate the growing Western LGBTQ+ vocabulary into our societies, it cannot be done without understanding the history and wider cultural examples that have existed before.”

 CSG in the News

Going “Whole Whale” Into Children’s Literature: An Interview With Karen Yin | Northwest Editors Guild

“Helpers in any editorial capacity are crucial to creating a marketable draft.” Conscious Style Guide founder Karen Yin chats with Northwest Editors Guild’s Jen Grogan about writing Whole Whale, a picture book about making space for all.

15 Helpful Style Guides for Fiction Writers | The Book Mechanic

“As book editors, we continually strive to stay current with the seemingly liquid thing we call language.”

The Perfect Proposal Format: How to Create Engaging and Eye-Catching RFP Responses | RFP360

Read about inclusion and accessibility tools such as Conscious Style Guide for preparing proposals.

From the Archives

On Calling Little Girls “Princess” | Conscious Style Guide

“Princess has become a common term of endearment for young girls, but it’s a loaded one.”

In Case You Missed It

The Conscious Language Newsletter: November 2020

How to talk about autism without using ableist language, why Oxford dictionaries amended sexist definitions of woman, and why Jew isn’t a term to avoid.

Diversify Your Staff

The Editors of Color Database, a project of Conscious Style Guide, is a free service that connects employers and recruiters with editors, proofreaders, and sensitivity readers of color in the U.S. and Canada.It’s also free to submit job listings for distribution to our network of editorial pros. The Editors of Color website is home to the Database of Diverse Databases, now with over 75 resources featuring underrepresented communities!

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Follow @consciousstyleguide on Instagram for examples of how context can support sensitive content, with a focus on young-adult books and kidlit.

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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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