Ann Moore reports:
"Writers show respect for all readers by writing objectively and avoiding the perpetuation of stereotypes. Word choice can indicate an author's bias. Biased language can cause a reader to focus on how a writer says something rather than what the writer says. Careful writing is inoffensive and sounds natural, not contrived...To write objectively, avoid words with negative connotations. Do not use condescending or derogatory terms when referring to anyone or any group of people. Using slang terms...is demeaning. Be respectful of gender, age, ethnic, religious, occupational, socioeconomic and political groups. When writing about a particular group of people, use the term that the group uses to refer to themselves. Some terms that used to be acceptable may now be considered offensive...Do not assume that all members of a group share certain characteristics...Avoid adding superfluous information to perpetuate a stereotype...Do not point out someone's race or ethnicity unless it is relevant to the context in which it is used. For example, pointing out how many Muslim or Japanese people have moved into an area will be perceived as prejudice against them. However, the following sentence is acceptable because the reference is appropriate to the context of the sentence: Because Honda has built a new automobile factory in Florence, several Japanese families have moved into our area...To encourage more civility in political discourse, avoid the emotionally-charged language that is often prevalent in politics. Instead of referring to a person as a 'right-wing fanatic' or a 'far left loon,' use plain, straightforward language...[S]ome writers use 'he or she,' 'him or [her,'] or 'his/her.' This construction can become awkward and annoying if overused. An alternative is to use a plural antecedent so that the pronoun 'they' can be used correctly. Also, try rewording the sentence to take out the pronouns...When referring to both genders, avoid using words that end in 'men' or 'man,' such as firemen, chairman, mailman and policemen; instead, write about the firefighters, chair, letter carrier and police officers."
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