Red Pencil 6: Tracking Changes in Editing | #EdsGuild2017 | September 23 in Seattle |

Conscious Editing for 2017 and Beyond

This September, Conscious Style Guide founder Karen Yin will be delivering the keynote speech at the Northwest Independent Editors Guild’s sixth biennial Red Pencil conference. Join over 200 freelance and in-house editors in Seattle for a day of presentations, discussions, and workshops led by some of our favorite editors, including Copyediting‘s Laura Poole and the Chicago Manual of Style‘s Carol F. Saller. For more information, visit the Red Pencil 6 site and follow the social-media hashtag #EdsGuild2017. Hope to see you there!

Southern Baptists Embrace Gender-Inclusive Language in the BibleThe Atlantic

The Christian Standard Bible “now translates the term ‘anthropos,’ a Greek word for ‘man,’ in a gender-neutral form 151 times, rendering it ‘human,’ ‘people,’ and ‘ones.’ ….The CSB translates the term ‘adelphoi,’ a Greek word for ‘brother,’ in a gender-neutral form 106 times, often adding ‘sister.’ ‘Brotherly love’ is translated ‘love as brothers and sisters.’ The gender-neutralizing pattern is also present in its translation of the Old Testament.”

Don’t Inject Your Religious Beliefs Into My GriefPatheos

“It’s OK to say nothing. You can even say, ‘I realize there is nothing I can say.’ That is profoundly more helpful, honest and comforting than the empty, ‘God has a reason for everything.’”

Talking to Boys the Way We Talk to GirlsThe New York Times

“Fathers also sing and smile more to their daughters, and they use language that is more ‘analytical’ and that acknowledges their sadness far more than they do with their sons. The words they use with sons are more focused on achievement—such as ‘win’ and ‘proud.’”

This Baby Is Believed to Be World’s First to Not Be Assigned a Gender at BirthThe Huffington Post

“By identifying Searyl as ‘U’ [undetermined or unassigned] on the health document, Doty is leaving it up to the child ‘to decide how they identify, when they are old enough to develop their own gender identity.’”

A New Rating for TV and Movies Tries to Combat Gender StereotypesThe New York Times

On the Common Sense Media website, “a symbol with the phrase ‘positive gender representations’ will appear with a film or TV show, meaning that reviewers judged it to prompt boys and girls to think beyond traditional gender roles.”

Why “Him” on Juice Pack: 9-Year-Old Girl Puts Dabur in Spot Over Gender EqualityHindustan Times

“A nine-year-old girl’s refusal to drink fruit juice because it was meant for ‘him’—and not her—has prompted government intervention to ensure gender neutrality in written contents on food or juice packets.”

Normalization of the N-Word; Nobody Gets a PassThe Huffington Post

“The n-word has a long history of hate, murder, violence, oppression and terror associated with it. People forget that even in the not-so-distant past, it was used to delegitimize an entire group and deny them voting rights, fair housing, jobs, access to upward mobility and so much more. Today, it is still being used to target, harm and attack folks no matter how successful or famous they are.”

Jerrod Carmichael: Why I Wanted to Say the N-Word on Broadcast TVThe Hollywood Reporter

“I just don’t want us to be controlled by a word. I don’t want it to be used as a weapon.”

David Bouhadana Has a Problem, and We Need to Talk About ItEater

The fake Asian accent “has been weaponized to humiliate and vilify Asian and Asian-American people since at least the early 1900s.”

The Slants Win Supreme Court Battle Over Band NameAngry Asian Man

“The Slants have maintained that they chose their band name precisely because it is seen as offensive, in an effort to reclaim and reappropriate the slur into something positive and empowering.”

“Dykes on Bikes” Supported Asian-American Band’s Fight to Reclaim Racial SlurThe Huffington Post

“[Lead attorney Brooke Oliver] said that the decision actually has the power to help marginalized groups and nonprofits, since these organizations will be able to trademark traditionally offensive names and ‘take the sting out of them,’ while also keeping others from commercially exploiting the monikers.”

Did You Know Your Choice of Emoji Can Have Legal Consequences? Picture of Chipmunk Is Worth Thousand Words—and About $2,000The National Law Review

Before sending an emoji, remember that “reasonable people can interpret things differently from how you intend…. Emojis take this concept to another level entirely. In this case, the judge thought the use of a chipmunk was optimistic.”

Facebook Tweaks Its News Feed to Take Another Swipe at ClickbaitPoynter

“The latest change penalizes two signals—exaggeration and omission—to serve up stories that users find more satisfying.”

Words Matter When Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness | The Dallas Morning News

“As people become more educated and less mystified about mental illness, the language has become more respectful. We try to use the best language that carries the least stigma.”—Dr. Lynda Frost, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Infographic: Why Words Matter When We’re Talking About Mental IllnessesFeminism in India

“It is important for all of us to pay attention to the real usage of these words because casually throwing them around trivialises the mental illness they refer to.”

Zappos Created a Disability Line Without Talking to Actual Disabled PeopleExtra Newsfeed

Liz Jackson noticed some concerning language choices in the launch video for Zappos’s new disability line (“special needs, differently abled, issues, challenges and so much more”). Following up with the person running the line, she found that Zappos sought out and prioritized “the voice of parents and charities over actual disabled voices.”

Public Editor: Does an Idiom Have a “Best Before” Date?The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail style guide “says phrases such as ‘turned a deaf ear’ are marginally acceptable in copy but not so in headlines. In the absence of context, it says, such a phrase as ‘fell on deaf ears’ could be taken to equate deafness with stubbornness or intransigence. I would recommend toughening up the style guide to say such phrases as ‘deaf ears’ are not ‘marginally acceptable’ and should be avoided.”

Whoops, Sex Toy User Manuals Are Really AbleistAutostraddle

Dear writers of sex toy user manuals: “Make [users with disabilities] part of the conversation if there’s something specific we should know. Devote even just half a page to how we can adapt the toy and use it safely. Give us better guidance than ‘don’t use this, it’s not for you.’ Make sure we know you see us.”

The Washington Post Just Illustrated the Biggest Flaw in Disability CoveragePoynter

“This is an article on the subject of disability aid that does not name any of the programs supplying that aid or explain how they work. This would appear to be a giant hole in the reporting, enough that the article becomes misleading.”

How Disfigured Villains Like “Wonder Woman’s” Dr. Poison Perpetuate StigmaTeen Vogue

“Dr. Poison falls into the easy trope that suggests disability…means that a character is evil.”

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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