Putting Language on a Meat-Free Diet | Conscious Style Guide

The battles for inclusive language often occur surrounding issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Seeking inclusivity in more spaces improves societies; how can making all people feel welcome be a bad thing? With this noble goal in mind, I’d like to further the discussion of linguistic inclusivity in terms of food.

Conscious Style Guide Founder Karen Yin Wins Robinson Prize | ACES: The Society for Editing

Karen Yin, founder of the Conscious Style Guide and AP vs. Chicago, was awarded the 2016 Robinson Prize during the Friday night banquet of ACES 2017 national conference in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Experts or Censors? The Debate Over Authors’ Use of Sensitivity Readers | NPR

“I’m not in the business of censoring people,” [sensitivity reader Dhonielle] Clayton says. “I’m in the business of checking to make sure what they’re doing does not have harm and repercussions for the people that they are writing about. Because people don’t realize the power of words and the power of bad representation—it can haunt people.”

Is My Novel Offensive? | Salon

The sensitivity reader is “one more line of defense against writers’ tone-deaf, unthinking mistakes.” The goal of sensitivity reading is “to create a layered and truthful portrait, whether or not it ruffles some sensibilities.”

Should White Authors Write Characters of Colour? | Cultured Vultures

“Writers, and readers, of colour have very legitimate concerns about white authors who write characters of colour, and this is something that needs to be understood and addressed; but is often dismissed.”

How “El Deafo” Empowers Kids Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing | School Library Journal

“Educators say that the book’s strongest message for kids who are deaf or HoH is about empowerment and self-advocacy. El Deafo’s heroine ‘has gone through what my kids have gone through,’ says [teacher Pamela Sperry].”

AP Style Change: Singular They Is Acceptable “in Limited Cases” | Poynter

“For the first time, The Associated Press now permits journalists to use ‘they’ as a singular pronoun.”

Illegal, Undocumented, Unauthorized: The Terms of Immigration Reporting | The New York Times

“‘Illegal immigrant.’ ‘Unauthorized immigrant’ ‘Undocumented immigrant.’ ‘Illegal alien.’ ‘Migrant.’ ‘Noncitizen.’ All of these terms, and some others, have been used in The New York Times to describe a person who has entered, lived in or worked in the United States without proper authorization—and each has been met with criticism.”

Sell By? Use By? Grocery Industry Moves to Simplify Labels | The New York Times

“Eliminating confusion for consumers by using common product date wording is a win-win because it means more products will be used instead of thrown away in error,” says Jack Jeffers, vice president for quality assurance at Dean Foods.

Gender-Inclusive Terms Extended to God, Mothers-to-Be | Baptist Press

“Divinity schools at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and Duke University in Durham, N.C., in 2016-2017 course catalogues encourage non-gendered language in reference to God…In the UK, the British Medical Association (BMA) suggests that the term ‘pregnant mother’ no longer be used to refer to expectant mothers. ‘Pregnant people’ is recommended instead.”

What to Say—and Not Say—to a Homeless Person | The Huffington Post

“Say ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ or try to acknowledge the person in some way. ‘It’s good to hear kindness,’ says Joe, who has been homeless in Portland, Ore., off and on for the past 16 years.”

Chatbot That Overturned 160,000 Parking Fines Now Helping Refugees Claim Asylum | The Guardian

“The chatbot works by asking the user a series of questions, in order to determine which application the refugee needs to fill out and whether a refugee is eligible for asylum protection under international law…[Creator Joshua] Browder says it was crucial the questions were in plain English. ‘The language in these forms can be quite complicated,’ he said.”

“Make America Big Again”? The Headache of Translating Trump Into Foreign Languages. | The Washington Post

Bérengère Viennot, a French translator, “is left with a dilemma: either translate Trump exactly as he speaks—and let French readers struggle with the content—or keep the content, but smooth out the style, ‘so that it is a little bit more intelligible, leading non-English speakers to believe that Trump is an ordinary politician who speaks properly.’”

FDR Called Them Concentration Camps: Why Terminology Matters | Angry Asian Man

“Why do some people say ‘internment’ or ‘relocation,’ while others say ‘incarceration’ and ‘forced removal’? Here are some of the most common points of confusion, and explanations of why many in the Japanese American community use and avoid specific terminology when talking about our history.”

Don’t Call Us Junkies or Addicts: People Who Use Illicit Drugs Say Lingo Matters | Calgary Herald

“Saying that someone has a substance-use disorder rather than calling them an addict is an example of understanding their struggles and needs.” As Ruth Derksen, a former English professor who specializes in the philosophy of language at the University of British Columbia, explains: “It’s like putting on another set of glasses and suddenly we see the world differently because the language has shifted.”

What Makes Someone a Native Speaker? | Paste

“It is possible for someone to have more than one native language. A child can learn any number of languages natively when exposed to them before the age of 6.”

We Added a Gender-Neutral Pronoun in 1934. Why Have So Few People Heard of It? | Merriam-Webster

“If you find that you have need of a third-person gender-neutral pronoun, why don’t you try using the words that we describe as ‘well established in speech and writing, even in literary and formal contexts.’ These words are familiar to us all: they, their, and them.”

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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