TheFrom the World of Conscious Language

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

“Wuhan Coronavirus” and the Racist Art of Naming a Virus | Salon

Why is it “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome” and “Wuhan coronavirus” but “Mad Cow Disease” instead of “British Prion Disease”?

Dear Hollywood Execs: Stop Saying These Six Things to Latinx Writers—Like, Immediately. Thanks. | Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

“White Hollywood executives really, desperately need for those they see as Other to behave in exotic and pitiable ways, because what is the point of having Others at all if they just, you know, do regular life stuff like you do?”

Newsrooms Rethink a Crime Reporting Staple: The Mugshot | The Marshall Project

“Publishing mugshots can disproportionately impact people of color by feeding into negative stereotypes and undermining the presumption of innocence, said Johnny Perez, a formerly incarcerated New Yorker who is currently director of U.S. prison programs for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.”

Use of “Rescues” by Mexican Migration Officials Criticized | The Washington Post

“Defenders of migrants’ rights say rescues typically don’t involve spraying those being rescued with pepper spray. Those requiring rescue usually don’t run away from their rescuers. But such euphemisms have become the language of immigration policy and not just in Mexico.”

“Troops” Is an Unethical Euphemism | The Atlantic

“I propose we use the words ‘soldier,’ ‘sailor,’ or ‘Marine’ when describing members of the armed forces. A soldier is a person; a troop is something from the game of Risk.”

“Killing” or “Assassination”? | NPR

“[The word ‘assassination’] is indeed inflammatory, to some…But the relevant principle in the newsroom should be something else: Is it accurate?”


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New Sections on Conscious Style Guide!

Two new sections have been added to Conscious Style Guide: Socioeconomic Status and Teaching Children.
All guides can be found on

No, You Shouldn’t Call Someone “Crazy.” But Do We Have to Ban the Word Entirely? | Self

A nuanced examination of “crazy” by people with mental illnesses and mental health experts.

Best Practices for Avoiding Ableist Terminology | Nevada Today

Is it better to use person-first or identity-first language? Be prepared to “switch from one to the other if you realize that the one you are using is not desired” by the person or group being addressed.

Trans 101 for Churches: Ways to Make a Difference for Transgender Persons | Baptist News Global

“Have a statement of inclusion that mentions gender identity and expression and is included each week in the bulletin and on the church’s website.”

More Games Need Gender Neutral Pronouns | TheGamer

“Video games are a way of bringing people together, especially as the presence of online modes is now almost the default, and inclusivity is something that too should be a default, and never an exception.”

Why Labeling Antonio Banderas a “Person of Color” Triggers Such a Backlash | NPR

“Confusion around labels can lead people to assume that someone identifies as Latinx or as a person of color simply because Spanish is their mother tongue, according to sociologist Jennifer Jones at the University of Illinois.”

It’s Not Just About Sex: How to Talk to Young Kids About Consent, and Why It Matters | The Washington Post

“A foundation of empowerment, respect and thoughtfulness for others needs to be put in place early so kids’ intuition can guide them.”

CSG in the News

Gut Check: Working With a Sensitivity Reader | The Open Notebook

“The practice of sensitivity reading originated with fiction writing, and it’s still relatively rare in journalism. But working with a sensitivity reader can be an important step to crafting richer and more accurate stories.” Thanks for including Conscious Style Guide and the Editors of Color Database!

How to Use & Promote Inclusive Language at Your Organization | HubSpot

“Inclusive language is about widening your message and allowing it to resonate with as many people as possible, so it’s critical for your business’s bottom-line that you do everything you can to communicate more inclusively every day.” Thanks, HubSpot, for including Conscious Style Guide!

How to Do Diversity and Inclusive Content Marketing That Matters | Content Marketing Institute

Thanks for featuring Conscious Style Guide as a one-stop resource for inclusive and diversity-conscious marketing!

Editing Matters: 10 Practical Tips to Improve Your Editorial Process | Forbes

“The hyphen looks small but can pack a punch.” Thanks, Cameron Conaway, for linking to CSG adviser Henry Fuhrmann’s influential article “Drop the Hyphen in ‘Asian American’”!

From the Archives

Doctor He, She, or They? Changing Gender, and Language, in “Doctor Who” | Conscious Style Guide

“[Jodie] Whittaker’s casting…exposes and challenges the ways in which we think about, and discuss, both the character and our larger preconceptions about gender identity.”

In Case You Missed It

The Conscious Language Newsletter: January 2020

Why the Los Angeles Times stopped italicizing “foreign” foods, Merriam-Webster is reviewing an entry in its dictionary, and compliments can be racist.

Need an Editor or Sensitivity Reader?

The Editors of Color Databasea 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. Also home to the Database of Diverse Databases, now with 70 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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