A small feather perches on half an eggshell resting on a wooden slat.

Are “Fetus” and “Unborn Child” Interchangeable? | Conscious Style Guide

Journalists play real roles in how we view reproductive rights, and in this highly political climate, language leaders have renewed the focus on journalists’ word choices when discussing pregnancy.

In the 2018 edition of The Associated Press Stylebook, the editors created a new entry for embryo, fetus, unborn baby, unborn child. The previous entries for fetus and embryo focused on the medical distinction between the two, entries that AP Stylebook editor Paula Froke called “extremely minimal.” Read more

CSG in the News

New Questions and Answers | The Chicago Manual of Style Online

Screenshot of a Chicago Manual of Style Online Q&A that directs readers to Conscious Style Guide for advice on writing with sensitivity.

Thanks for the mention, Chicago Manual of Style! You can find the latest CMOS Q&A at chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/latest.html.

The Mistake I Made With My Grieving Friend | The Huffington Post

“Shift responses” turn the focus back to yourself. “Support responses” encourage the grieving friend to continue their story. Celeste Headlee gives examples of each in this article.

Best Practices for Covering Suicide Responsibly | Poynter

When reporting on suicide, “choose the passive voice or indirect actors. Although we usually avoid this in good writing, in this case it reduces the agency of the actor. ‘A note was found.’ ‘Investigators believe the cause of death was X.’”

Coverage of Kate Spade’s Death Reveals Need for Media Diversity | Columbia Journalism Review

“The issue here is a dissonance between the exclusionary sense-of-belonging cues and the broad news audience the Times has…. If news aims to be part of the commons, we can’t keep norming coverage to a privileged class, comprised primarily of white Americans.”

If You Say This During an Apology, You’re Doing It Wrong | The Huffington Post

“We asked therapists to share the phrases you should avoid when trying to apologize to a friend, family member, significant other or pretty much anyone, for that matter. Here’s what they had to say.”

How to Cope When You’re Being Bullied at Work | Time

“Please don’t talk to me that way,” “Let’s try to get this conversation to a place where it can be productive,” and more ways to deal with a bully at work.

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We’re on Instagram! Join us on Instagram as we share and explore positive examples of conscious language, with a focus on young-adult books and kidlit.


“Every Guy Checks Himself a Little”: New York Comedy Clubs Adjust to #MeToo | The Hollywood Reporter

“Comics are changing their jokes, adapting to new audience sensitivities and trying to figure out how to behave with one another.”

Queer Dictionary for Irish Language Launched Translating Words Like Transgender, Bigender and Genderqueer | Irish Examiner

“We believe that everyone should be able to recognise themselves in any language, and that they would be able to describe themselves in any language.” —Michael Kerrigan, Union of Students in Ireland president

Wisden Purges “Offensive” Chinaman Terminology for Slow Left-Arm Wrist-Spin Bowlers From 2018 Edition | Daily Mail

“For decades, cricket’s bible has used the abbreviation SLC—slow left-arm chinaman—in bowling averages. This has been altered to SLW, standing for slow left-arm wrist-spin.”

Why the Art Gallery of Ontario Removed “Indian” From the Name of This Emily Carr Painting | CBC Radio

“We are not at all interested in hiding the history…. We made a very deliberate point in including all this information in the label beside it.”

It’s a Knockout: How the English Language Is Rife With Boxing Metaphors | Post Magazine

“Everyday speech abounds with pugilistic expressions, and their significance continues to evolve in light of recent political events.”

Still from the video with the words "It's time to talk about rape culture in popular movies."

I’m Not Quoting Enough Women | The New York Times

“I made a simple rule: No newsletter can cite the work of only one gender.”

7 Mistakes Parents Make With Teens | The Washington Post

“Do you speak to your teens as if they are still little kids? Parenting must change if you wish to keep your relationships strong.” Kathryn Streeter has some good advice for parents of teens.

Why Every Style Book Needs a “Dog Terms” Entry | The Washington Post

Writing an exposé on “puppy mills” and “dog rescuers” at dog auctions “was like being inside a wormhole of warped semantics. And the experience made me realize that every news organization needs a stylebook entry for dog-industry terms.”

If Americans Don’t Like the Word “Inequality”, Would “Fairness” Be Better? | Economic Hardship Reporting Project

“We could use more common-sense phrases to diagnose our broad-based societal ailment, like ‘fair share’ or ‘honest pay.’ We could also refer to our increasing lack of ‘security.’…. If that word doesn’t work, how about ‘stability’?”

To Decolonize Our Minds, Start With Words | Yes! Magazine

“We ought to translate traditional cultural and spiritual concepts from our Original Nation languages into English. Those meanings and teachings contain thousands of years of ancestral, cultural, and spiritual imagery that the Western mindset does not naturally contain.”

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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