CSG in the News

Writing With Conscious Style | Sweet Tooth Communications

“I’m reading an article a week to help me learn about what I don’t know.” We were delighted to find this warm writeup on Conscious Style Guide by a regional adviser of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Thank you for spreading conscious language!

From the World of Conscious Language

Note: The authors’ viewpoints are not necessarily shared by Conscious Style Guide.

Actually, Gender-Neutral Pronouns Can Change a Culture | Wired

“What all this research suggests is that deferring to people’s preferred pronouns is more than mere ‘political correctness’ or social-media performance. It’s a way of giving people new, more inclusive ways of seeing the world.”

AP’s Transphobic Sam Smith Story Exposes Journalism’s Failings | Tampa Bay Times

“We are beyond debating the grammatical: leading dictionaries and style guides accept the use of the singular, gender-neutral ‘they’ and remind us that it has been used in the English language—from well-known authors to everyday people—for centuries.”

A Former Slur Is Reclaimed, and Listeners Have Mixed Feelings | NPR

“While time limits do not always allow for every newsroom decision to be explained in-depth on the air, NPR should wherever possible help the audience understand its intentional, thoughtful language decisions.”

How Not to Talk About a Film (Not) About Disability | Talkhouse

“I began to have the nagging sense that people did not want to screen the film because they didn’t know how to talk about it.”

A Century of “Shrill”: How Bias in Technology Has Hurt Women’s Voices | The New Yorker

“In the end, the word ‘shrill’ is not about the off-putting volume, pitch, or timbre of a woman’s voice—it’s an attempt to silence a voice.”

Names That Are Unfamiliar to You Aren’t “Hard,” They’re “Unpracticed” | Teen Vogue

“Describing a name as ‘hard’ is a general conclusion that dismisses responsibility for learning it at all…I would like to offer the term ‘unpracticed.’”

Don’t Say “Wheelchair-Bound,” Canadian Newspaper Reminds | iMediaEthics

Reader suggestion to say “person who uses a wheelchair” leads newspaper to update its style.


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Latino Representation in Hollywood Movies Is Abysmal. Here’s the Proof | Los Angeles Times

“At a time where Latinos in our country are facing intense concerns over their safety, we urgently need to see the Latino community authentically and accurately represented throughout entertainment.” —Stacy L. Smith, founder and director, Annenberg Inclusion Initiative

Does Hispanic Heritage Month Need a Rebrand? | The New York Times

The term “Hispanic” has connections to colonization, leaves some out of the conversation, and “erases important differences in race, culture, language and class.”

Swearing: Attempts to Ban It Are a Waste of Time—Wherever There Is Language, People Cuss | The Conversation

“When you use a word that the people you are talking to aren’t expecting, it causes them to sit up and listen.”

When Limiting Online Speech to Curb Violence, We Should Be Careful | Wired

“The power to stop someone you hate from speaking can be used to stop speech by someone you love, or your own speech.”

What Do You Call the “Anniversary” of a Disaster? | NPR

Considering the connotations of the words we use as we discuss significant, tragic occurrences in history.

Our Updated, Not-So-Secret List of “Banned” Words | Serious Eats

Serious Eats senior editor Miranda Kaplan shares insights behind its list of strongly discouraged terminology, including the outdated, overused, meaningless, and unbanned.

Do You Overstep When Editing Fiction? Three Easy Cures | CMOS Shop Talk

“Such editors aren’t necessarily misinformed. They’re just too eager to apply rules whether they improve the writing or not.”

From the Archives

Young People and Ageist Language | Conscious Style Guide

“Avoiding double standards in ageist language doesn’t mean treating children like adults, but it does mean treating children like individuals.”

In Case You Missed It

August 2019 Newsletter

The problematic erasure of Latinx people in news stories, strategies for accurately and inclusively covering mass shootings, and the movement away from the term “shooter” for “photojournalist” ― read these items and more in the August newsletter.

Looking for an Expert?

The Editors of Color Databasea project of Conscious Style Guide, is a free service that connects employers and recruiters with editors, proofreaders, and sensitivity readers of color in the U.S. and Canada. Also home to the Database of Diverse Databases, now with sixty resources!
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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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