Appreciation for the Spotlight

Part of our mission is to spotlight those who help bring the conversation about conscious language to the forefront. And when Conscious Style Guide is in the spotlight, we want to bring attention to those involved in making it happen.

We are honored to be mentioned alongside AP Stylebook, Government Publishing Office, and in a Federal Times article about the new content guide from 18F, a government agency that creates digital products. Thank you, 18F, for listing us as a main resource.

After my panel on LGBT terminology at the ACES conference in March, I was interviewed by Samantha Enslen, editor of Tracking Changes (published by the American Copy Editors Society for its members). Thanks to Sam and ACES, you can access “Creating a ‘Conscious Style Guide'” online.

Also, a big wave of gratitude to accessibility expert and editor Ashley Bischoff for tips on optimizing the newsletter for screen readers. So important! Thank you.

With appreciation,

Karen Yin


Key and Peele Wrote an Amazing Feminist Pirate Sea Shanty | Bitch Media

“Dressed as pirates (‘of the Caribbean’ style), Key and Peele lead a shanty that is the reverse of what you’d expect from a bunch of old timey pirates.”

“Cisgender” Has Been Added to the Oxford English Dictionary | The Independent

“According to the OED’s compilers, the word cisgender first arose in the late 1990s. The prefix ‘cis-‘ derives from Latin, meaning ‘on this side of’, and typically forms words in contrast to ‘trans’, usually with reference to geographic features such as ‘cisalpine’, it adds.”

Obama Is Right About the N-Word and Racism | The Washington Post

“It surely offended sensibilities. But sometimes you have to do that to move a conversation forward.”

How to Be a Christian Ally to LGBT People | Religious News Service

“Since the anti-LGBT argument is rooted in religion, those who are religious should be the first to stand up and combat that negative narrative.”

Google and Apple Alum Says Using This One Word Can Damage Your Credibility | Business Insider

“A few years back I noticed something: the frequency with which the word ‘just’ appeared in email and conversation from female co-workers and friends.”

Joseph Kimble—No, the Law Does Not (Normally) Require Legalese | Iva Cheung

“If a lawyer says that you have to use a particular bit of legalese, ask for a legal citation—the name of the code and the numbers—and find the original.”

NHS Staff Told to Say “I Am Sorry” to Patients for Medical Blunders | The Guardian

“Saying ‘I am sorry’ is intuitive. You want to avoid saying, for example, ‘my trust regrets’ or ‘the organisation that I work for regrets’. These could be seen by patients as slightly weasel words. They want a personal apology and for the doctor or the team to show genuine contrition.”—Professor and GMC chairman Terence Stephenson

Why the AP Isn’t Using the Term “Sexual Assault” on Its Bill Cosby Stories. Yet. | Poynter

“If a woman is sedated, she isn’t able to give consent. If sex with an unconscious person is sexual assault, is it ethical for reporters to write this sentence instead: ‘A man admitted that he gave sedatives to a woman in order to sexually assault her’? The Associated Press chose not to do that….”

How “Orange Is the New Black” Fails Its Asian Characters | Hyphen

“Lorna Morello (Yael Stone) makes a rude joke to transgender inmate Sophia (Laverne Cox), calling her a ‘lady-man.’ But instead of letting it slide, Sophia calls Morello out on the slur and stands up for herself and the population she implicitly represents. The Asian characters don’t have that same opportunity, to confront racist jokes as they happens, and instead are relegated to either putting up with it or not even knowing it’s happening, which is a much more insidious fate.”

Academic Versus Actual Definitions of Bisexuality, Part I | Conditionally Accepted

What does “bisexual” mean? How do academic definitions of bisexuality promote biphobia and misinformation?

Watch Your Language When Talking About Autism | The Conversation

“Many disabled people have argued vehemently against the use of ‘person-first’ language, instead preferring ‘disability-first’ language, such as he or she is an ‘autistic person.’ Nowhere is this issue more hotly debated than the field of autism.”

“OITNB” Star Matt McGorry Shuts Down People Who Use the Hashtag #AllLivesMatter | Mashable

“Some people think they are being more inclusive by saying #AllLivesMatter in response to #BlackLivesMatter but in reality, they’re (un)consciously undermining the purpose of the movement. Because this PARTICULAR movement is about SPECIFIC issues, as any decently effective movement is. You can’t just have a protest for ‘Make Everything In The World Better!'”—Matt McGorry

The First Thing Schools Often Get Wrong for English Language Learners Is Their Names | Chalkbeat

“[Neineh] Plo said what worries him is when teachers don’t ask their students about their real names and their meanings. After being called the wrong name for years, students start to lose a connection with the names they were given at birth.”

What’s With the “X” in “Xicanisma”? | Latino Rebels

Xicana vs. Chicana.

Stop Calling Women “Girls”. It’s Either Patronising or Sexually Suggestive | The Guardian

“I’ll be honest here and say I do think women calling other women girls get a free pass. I know people hate it when free passes exist, but it’s the way of things. I often swap a ‘girl, please’ with a close female friend, or even a ‘gurl’ as a sign of endearment, but it’s always said as a cheeky nod to solidarity. We know we’re women.”

Our Son’s Father Is a Donor, Not a Dad | Scary Mommy

“His olive skin comes from his donor, not his dad. And when the older lady in the store says ‘having a baby with a stranger is just weird,’ my heart lurches at the ignorance. I didn’t have a baby with a stranger. I had a baby with Sarah, my partner, my soul mate, my best friend.”

Why Phrases Like “Go Back to Where You Came From” Are More Dangerous than They Seem | Junkee

“Most second or even third generation immigrants are used to being asked where they ‘originally come from’—but being used to something divisive doesn’t make it innocuous.”

Watch Your Language: Mizzou Wants Inclusive Workplace Terminology | St. Louis Public Radio

“One of the things we emphasize in our training is that everything comes down to personal preference. There’s no perfect way to always use the right word, because two people who are in the exact same group could have very different preferences of language.”—Amber Cheek, director of accessibility at the University of Missouri-Columbia

Shades of Suffrage: -ette vs. -ist | Columbia Journalism Review

“Suffragette” vs. “suffragist.”

6 Tips for Covering People With Disabilities | Poynter

Communication tip: “If someone uses a translator, talk to them, not the translator. Do not talk about them in the third person.”

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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