Inclusive Language | Public Relations | Mississippi College
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Inclusive Language

Use nonsexist language and follow these recommendations:

Don't say “he” when referring to an unspecified person. Instead, recast the sentence into the plural, or avoid the use of pronouns altogether.

  • (Incorrect) Each student is expected to turn in his paper by the deadline.
  • (Correct) Students are expected to turn in their papers by the deadline.

If it’s impossible to solve the problem using these approaches, remember that “he or she” is preferable to “he/she.”

Avoid gender-specific titles or terms, such as:

Instead of

Use

chairman

chair

businessman

business executive, manager

coed

female student

congressman

representative, senator

to man

to staff, to run, to operate

mankind

people, humanity

manpower

workforce, employees

 

Exception:
For organizations outside the University, use the language in their official title.

  • Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke or Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board

Latin Suffixes

  • alumnus/alumni (male graduate/plural; also plural for a group consisting of male and female graduates)
  • alumna/alumnae (female graduate/plural)
  • emerita/emeritae (retired faculty woman who keeps her rank or title/plural)
  • emeritus/emeriti (retired faculty man who keeps his rank or title/plural; also plural for a group consisting of male and female retirees)