Hi friends! Things continue to be overwhelming over here. Nicole and I have signed a lease for a new place to live so we will be moving over the next few weeks. Moving is going to be terrible but I will love having moved. Our new place has much more light and a bigger kitchen and Mom will have her own room and bathroom. I will be maintaining my P.O. Box (address at the bottom of this newsletter) for snail mail.
This week for resource week I’m going to share some resources that I use both personally and professionally.
The words that we use when communicating, whether they be via written words or verbally, help shape the way that we view the world around us. Likewise, the words we use for ourselves inform folks on how we want to be seen. I am incredibly deliberate about my word choices, as writers tend to be, and I do my best to use inclusive language. I recognize that language is dynamic. Language not only evolves but variables like time, place, and context are also relevant in what descriptors are used in any given situation. Because of this, terminology that was acceptable in the past may not necessarily be acceptable in the present or the future. It is important to cultivate a desire to learn and be flexible with language. I frequently update the terms I use, for example, I now shy away from saying, “underrepresented minorities” and instead say, “historically excluded groups” or something similar. This shift in language indicates where the power imbalance (and responsibility) lies. Likewise, using “enslaved people” instead of “slaves” and “people experiencing incarceration” instead of “prisoners.”
It is both overwhelming and impossible to aim for perfection in inclusive language because of the dynamism of language but that doesn’t mean that I don’t try to be the best I can be. In order to do that, I rely on a number of inclusive style guides and resources:
The Conscious Style Guide has been around for a long time in internet-years and creator Karen Yin does a great job on supplying information so that we can all make our own informed decisions rather than a prescriptive approach. One of my favorite parts is actually The Conscious Style Guide Newsletter.
The California State University Style Guide cites its sources, which I always appreciate.
Likewise, here is the style guide from the Trans Journalists Association.
The Diversity Style Guide was initially a project of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism at San Francisco State University.
Not quite a style guide but helpful nonetheless: a list of ableist terms to avoid from Lydia X. Z. Brown.
Here are another couple of more extensive style guide roundups beyond those above which I personally frequent:
Feel free to bookmark this free issue of my newsletter. I’ll also link it in my Linktree so you can always find it easily alongside my other popular resource roundups.
That’s it for this week! You can shop any books I’ve mentioned in this newsletter at my affiliate shop, The Infophile’s Bookshop, and support independent bookstores. If you want to send me some snail mail, you can find me at P.O. Box 21481, Oakland, CA 94620-1481. If you are a subscriber and would like for me to send you some happy mail, feel free to give me your address.
If you enjoy this newsletter, here are ways to show your support for my writing and resource curation (other than spreading the word, of course!):