Inclusion: Inclusive writing I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 21, 2002: Issue 11

SIM STYLE: On inclusive writing
Last time, we talked about nonsexist writing. This time, let’s deal with inclusiveness in general.
Some areas where we may inadvertently make assumptions about readers are obvious, such as religion, marital status, or race. Choosing neutral terminology, when appropriate, is generally easy. For instance, instead of “set the Christmas table,” try “set the holiday table.” Your readers may celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanza. (What’s appropriate, of course, depends on your audience. Christmas Ideas readers expect Christmas stories. Decorating readers may not.)

Other assumptions, such as geographic location, age, and nationality, may be more easily overlooked. Not all readers have cold, snowy winters. Not all have kids at home. And not all live in the United States. Keep in mind that American styles and trends often extend to our Canadian neighbors. When we use phrases such as “in this country” or “our national pride,” we are unduly excluding them.

For more information, contact Doug for a copy of “Sense and Sensitivity,” a good handout on inclusive writing, or see Issue 33 and Issue 62.

GRAMMAR: As if we knew 
“As if” and “as though” may traditionally have had subtle differences in
meaning, but modern usage accepts them interchangeably. Either is correct.

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