Inclusive Language | Public Relations | Mississippi College
Skip to main content

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





business executive, manager


female student


representative, senator

to man

to staff, to run, to operate


people, humanity


workforce, employees


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)