We're proud to debut a new feature: inclusive language suggestions. In this article, we'll cover what these suggestions are, why they matter, and how to use them to improve your writing.
Why Inclusive Language Matters
Inclusive language is language that addresses diversity of all types, like racial diversity, neurodiversity, and gender diversity. Inclusive language promotes equality between different groups of people and conveys respect to all. Effective writing uses inclusive language so that all audiences receive appropriate acknowledgement and regard.
Using inclusive language in your writing means actively choosing terms that acknowledge diversity and don't cause unintended harm. Many common words and phrases have a complicated history or exclusionary undertones. By prioritizing inclusive language, you make sure your audience feels seen and appreciated.
Many of us aren't familiar with the controversial origins of common words or phrases. We might be unintentionally offensive or divisive with our language when we don't mean to be. That's why we've added inclusive language checks to our Style report: so you can feel confident that your writing is respectful of all types of people.
Inclusive Language Suggestions: What They Are and How to Find Them
We have introduced inclusive language suggestions into the Style Report. You can access them by using realtime editing or running the Style Report.
When you're using realtime editing, inclusive language suggestions will show up underlined in yellow, as shown in the screenshot below.
When you hover over the suggestion, you'll see a message that explains the highlight, as well as suggestions for how to improve your work.
If you prefer not to use realtime editing, you can also find inclusive language suggestions by running the Style Report. You'll find the inclusive language suggestions highlighted in your text alongside other suggested edits from the check.
Types of Inclusive Language Suggestions
Currently, our inclusive language suggestions highlight places where you may want to use more gender inclusive language. Examples of these types of suggestions include:
- Using "server" instead of "waitress"
- Using "chair" instead of "chairman"
- Using "flight attendant" instead of "stewardess"
We are working to add more inclusive language suggestions surrouding race, neurodiversity, and other categories.
How to Use ProWritingAid's Inclusive Language Suggestions
As with all of ProWritingAid's suggestions, using inclusive language is a suggestion, not a rule. You know your audience best: if, for instance, you're using a gender-specific term and it makes sense in context, then you can leave that in.
Our suggestions are to give you more information about your writing and to highlight areas where you might be accidentally excluding a group you did not mean to. Ultimately, you have the ability to decide whether or not you implement a suggestion.
If you don't want to include a specific suggestion, you can hit "Ignore" to ignore that rule one time. If you don't ever want to see that specific suggestion again, you can hit "Disable Rule" to turn that rule off entirely. Disabling a rule is permanent across all documents in your account. Please proceed with caution.
Note: hitting "Disable Rule" only disables a specific rule pattern, not inclusive language suggestions entirely. You'll need to disable each individual suggestion as they appear. If you need help with disabling a rule (or if you've disabled a rule and want it turned back on), send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and our support team will help you out.
Inclusive Language: Final Thoughts
We are proud to show our support and respect for diverse communities through our editing tool. We hope you find our inclusive language suggestions as useful and illuminating as we do.