In September, Conscious Style Guide founder Karen Yin delivered the keynote speech, “Conscious Editing: The Compassion Manifesto,” at Northwest Independent Editors Guild’s sold-out Red Pencil conference in Seattle. If you missed it, check out the Storify, the presentation slides, and Karen’s message of thanks.
CSG in the News
The Impact of Words Is Felt Beyond eLearning | Learning Solutions Magazine
“Language is an accessibility issue, and it is one that goes far beyond learners with disabilities or limited English or literacy skills.”
“When I accidentally write something with sexist connotations, it’s more than a mistake: It’s a linguistically-inherited artifact of inequality. And it’s an inequality that I’m responsible for.”
“Phrases like, ‘You’re dressed like a homeless person’ are offensive and perpetuate more negative ideas about homeless individuals.”
“‘Homeless’ as a simple description sounds harmless enough on its face, but has gained traction over the past decades as a slur as well as a political crowbar. Unsurprisingly, this has coincided with a rise in violent crime against the homeless.”
“We All Have a Place Here”: Canada’s Indigenous Voices in Publishing | Publishing Perspectives
“Working with indigenous manuscripts requires craft, skill, and respect. Know its characteristics and respect the way the story is told.” —Cherie Dimaline, award-winning author and editor, at the 2017 Editors/Réviseurs Canada conference
“The 100-page guide stresses the need to consult with Indigenous people when any story involves their community. It includes a primer on…how some tales might be bound by restrictions—some stories can only be told in certain seasons, by certain people or certain clans.”
How the Bestseller “The Vegetarian,” Translated From Han Kang’s Original, Caused an Uproar in South Korea | Los Angeles Times
“Critics have tended to focus on the mistakes, but a deeper issue is [Deborah Smith’s] stylistic alteration of the text. Even if Smith had corrected all the obvious errors, it still wouldn’t have changed that she ‘poeticized’ the novel.”
If a Blind Person Could Do It… | Where’s Your Dog?
“According to the typical inspirational framework, the ‘if a blind person can do it’ narrative depends upon disabled people being less-than: less capable, less talented, less accomplished.”
The non-compliment, wistful wishing, a disguised insult, silence, and three more of “the most commonly reported ways passive-aggressive character traits can show up in your life” (and how to cope with them).
When delivering bad news, “never choose a method that makes the communication one way.”
“It breaks my heart when I think about how many hurtful sexual experiences could be avoided if we taught young people about how to communicate about sex and take better care of each other.”
To avoid reinforcing gender stereotypes, “Girls” and “Boys” labels will no longer appear on John Lewis children’s clothing or product signs. New labels will say “Girls & Boys” or “Boys & Girls.”
“The current film rating system used by the Motion Picture Association of America doesn’t provide any warning for films that show drinking—even for movies targeted at the youngest viewers.”
“When your partner asks [how you’re doing], tell the truth. Even if you don’t have the adequate words to cover it all, acknowledging that you are not OK or not feeling like your usual self is a step in the right direction.” —E. Danielle Butler, author of “Thoughts & Prayers for the Postpartum Mom”
How a “Relationship Contract” Could Save Your Relationship—or Ruin It | Business Insider
“Ultimately, whether or not you choose to use something like a relationship contract, it all comes back to seeing love as a choice or action and taking responsibility for building and maintaining a relationship.”
Be Wary of Using These Psych Terms in Medical Research Reporting | Association of Health Care Journalists
An article by Scott Lilienfeld (of Emory University’s Department of Psychology in Atlanta) and colleagues lists terms that are inaccurate, misleading, frequently misused, and ambiguous, including oxymorons and pleonasms.
Dancing Around the Word “Racist” in Coverage of Trump | Columbia Journalism Review
“Racist” is “a loaded word and resistance to using it is understandable, but dancing around it with euphemisms like ‘racially charged’ does a disservice to the cause of reporting accurately in consideration of the full context of Trump’s words.”
Ways to responsibly cover mass shootings include avoiding superlatives (“deadliest,” “biggest,” “worst”) “in teasers, tweets and other formats where context is absent.”
Singular They | AMA Style
The next edition of the AMA Manual of Style will allow “the use of plural pronouns with singular indefinite antecedents (eg, Everyone allocates their time) in an effort to avoid sex-specific pronouns and awkward sentence structure.”
- Editors of Color: Facebook (support group) and Twitter“
- A Guide to Difficult Conversations about Israel and Palestine”
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 email@example.com.