EverydayCommentary’s Style Guide for EDC: How to Avoid Offensive Terms

NOTE: This is obviously a tongue and cheek roasting. But it is important to note that despite the silliness of the Stanford post, language really matters. As a fan of Wittgenstein I am reminded that language sets the boundries of thought and how we share our thoughts with each others. Being cognizant of the origins of offensive language that has been normalized is exceedingly important important. Additionally, some words are so offensive they don’t merit use in common discourse.

That said, the Stanford list, while full of important inclusions, went overboard and absolutely decimates the intention of making communication more inclusive. The list was vastly more harmful than helpful, trivializing the excavation of language with offensive origins. Just a bit of perspective would have helped considerably, instead of making the effort nothing but the butt of jokes. But I like jokes and so here we go.

In this age of increased sensitivity, I thought it would be useful to help content producers in the EDC space use less offensive language. The inspiration for this effort comes from Stanford’s IT Department.

Current Term: American Made

Suggested Term: Produce in the United States by US Citizens

Like Stanford pointed out, there are 42 countries in the Americas, so calling something “American” is offensive and exclusionary (despite the fact that NO OTHER country in the Western Hemisphere is includes the word “America” in their name). As a result, American Made is imprecise and exclusionary, so we opt for the more lenghty, less clear, and virtually meaningless replacement.

I hadn’t yet seen this when I wrote my “Words” post, but I am in complete agreement with Mr. Sculimbrene with regards to the importance of language.

Politics aside, it is a wonderfully written post.

Read the whole thing at EverydayCommentary.