CSG in the News

Amanda Chan, Bustle managing editor, “sees developing a style guide as a ‘constant and collaborative process,’ and says they often look to writers who have lived experience as arbiters of what language is and is not appropriate. Having writers with diverse identities is crucial if editors want to stay ahead of language as it evolves.”

“Rather than feel overwhelmed by the diversity, the best thing you can do is seek out the knowledge to understand what these terms represent.”


Bilingual Authors Are Challenging the Practice of Italicizing Non-English Words | Quartzy

The practice of italicizing non-English words “reinforces a monolinguistic culture of othering, some writers believe, and it simply doesn’t sound natural.”

Passive, Poor and White? What People Keep Getting Wrong About Appalachia | Economic Hardship Reporting Project

An image search for “Appalachian photography” produces “an overabundance of stark black and white portraits—a stylistic choice often made by photographers to signal that we are of the past and lost to progress—and images of white people experiencing extreme poverty and suffering because of it.”​​​​​​​

Alphabetical Name Ordering Is Discriminatory and Harmful to Collaborations | LSE Impact Blog

Listing contributing authors’ names alphabetically “discriminates against authors whose names appear late in the alphabet, and has real implications for the number of collaborations they are inclined to enter into.”​​​​

Mental Illness and the Editorial Profession: Erasing the Stigma | Fostered Creativity

“Exhibiting attention to detail and being precise with language are not synonymous with having OCD.”

How to Write an Apology Letter to a Client | Copyediting

“Apologize sincerely…While we might state that we want to apologize, we shouldn’t skip the apology itself.”

Q&A: Melissa Gira Grant on How Sex Workers Changed the Stormy Daniels, SESTA Narratives | Columbia Journalism Review

“You wouldn’t do a story about a transgender woman murdered in an act of anti-trans violence without reaching out to one of the national organizations that does work to end that violence…But when it comes to sex workers, there isn’t that institutional knowledge or mandate, or even awareness.”

WHO Publishes ICD-11—and No End In Sight for Pathologisation of Intersex People | OII Europe

“Trans identities were finally removed from the mental health chapter. However, despite intersex experts working with WHO in the process, people with variations of sex characteristics are being pathologized and called disordered.”​​​​​​​

How to Fix Big Tech? We Need the Right Language to Describe It First | The Guardian

“We need new metaphors, new discourse, a new set of symbols to illustrate how these companies are rewiring our world, and how we as a democracy can respond.”

Here Is Fresh Evidence That Journalists May Misunderstand the Public | Poynter

Some big differences emerged when the public was asked about their familiarity with an assortment of key journalistic terms.

How Alexandra Bell Is Disrupting Racism in Journalism | The New Yorker

“What you give space to and what you allow people to see says a lot.” —Artist and journalist Alexandra Bell in “Rewriting Racist Headlines” (video) about her #Counternarratives series

Just Say It’s Racist | The Atlantic

“The media have developed a ludicrous and expanding menu of complex euphemisms for describing racist behavior.”

After 50 Years of “Asian American,” Advocates Say the Term Is “More Essential Than Ever” | NBC

“The term ‘Asian American’…signaled a shared and interconnected history of immigration, labor exploitation and racism, as well as a common political agenda. It was also a pushback against the pejorative word ‘Oriental.’”

It’s Not Always Clear What Constitutes Sexual Harassment. Use This Tool to Navigate the Gray Areas. | Harvard Business Review

Kathleen Kelley Reardon, an expert in “politics, persuasion, and negotiation,” created a tool that “can be used to halt gender-based offenses; some are suited to lesser offenses and to people with styles that are not direct. Others get right to the point.”

Be More Assertive With This Tech Trick | Zapier

Associate data scientist Kristie Wirth explains how she uses a text expander app to flag, delete, or replace unassertive language in her business communication.

Why the C-Word Is So Taboo, and Why Some Women Want to Reclaim It | The Washington Post

“For years, many writers, feminists, gender studies scholars and others have argued that women should reclaim the c-word, assigning it a meaning that empowers women…[But] why is the c-word so much more taboo than other foul and forbidden words?”

Gender-Bending, Time-Traveling Pronouns: A History | Associated Press

“Gender-neutral pronouns are more than just a new wave of political correctness. They’re the focus of debate that stretches back hundreds of years.”

How to Write Across Difference | Literary Hub

“Was I reinforcing stereotypes, or combatting them? And was I stealing attention from first-hand narratives, or shedding light on them? The first question was a matter of good writing—something I had control over. The second was stickier.”

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 love@consciousstyleguide.com.

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