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Inclusive Language in Writing

When we discuss inclusive language, we mean communication that avoids needlessly excluding others via the use of words, phrases, or assumptions. There has been a growing awareness over the last several decades of language that is gender exclusive. Whereas previous generations were trained to use the pronoun "he" as a default for a person, the second part of the 20th saw individuals are seeking to alternate between "he" and "she" or to rewrite to avoid identifying gender at all. Lately, there has been an increased understanding of the existence of a spectrum of gender identities and expressions.

However, an inclusive definition of language encompasses more than gender. We want inclusive language in order to communicate with individuals regardless of their gender, language, culture, religion, race, ability, family structure, marital status, sexual orientation, or origin.

Inclusive Language Usage

Have you ever been concerned that you're using terminology that is outdated to refer to individuals and groups? Are you worried that it will have an effect on your career and personal relationships? Keeping up with inclusive language may often seem like a never-ending hamster wheel. Fortunately, we've included some examples below to help you approach the issue with a clearer understanding of why word choices are so important to those connections.

Inclusive language, often derisively referred to as 'political correctness,' is an effort to remedy inconsistencies in written and spoken language. Rather than assuming that all members of your audience are the same, inclusive language enables you to actively welcome diversity and the intersection of identities, as well as to avoid making assumptions that may jeopardize relationships before they begin.

Through positive, truthful, and fair portrayal, inclusive language demonstrates sensitivity, respect, and open-mindedness toward people and groups.

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