Inclusive language: Other
The inclusive language analysis in Yoast SEO assesses your posts and pages in several categories: age, appearance, race, culture and ethnicity, disability and neurodiversity, gender, sexual and romantic orientation, and socioeconomic status. There are some non-inclusive terms that don’t fit into one of these categories. So, in this article, we’ll go into these terms and their more inclusive alternatives.
The word minorities is often used as a synonym for social groups that are marginalized or disadvantaged. This usage is inaccurate because there are many social groups that are in the minority, but are not marginalized. For example, the privileged group of billionaires. Using minorities this way can perpetuate the false idea that every minority group is marginalized, or that being a minority naturally leads to marginalization.
To avoid overgeneralizing, it is good to be as specific as you can about the group(s) you are referring to. For example: members of the LGBTQ+ community, Indigenous peoples, employees from underrepresented groups, disabled students, people from marginalized groups. Being specific also helps you to be more intentional and clear about who exactly you are referring to. This makes it easier to avoid lumping together groups of people who shouldn’t be lumped together in a given context.
If an alternative phrase is not available, another option may be to specify the type of minority, for example religious minorities or ethnic minorities. However, it is still better to be careful when using the word minorities. Some people perceive this word as not only potentially overgeneralizing, but also derogatory, because it can imply insignificance.
- Non-inclusive: minorities
- Inclusive: being more specific, e.g. members of the LGBTQ+ community, people from marginalized groups, or specifying the type of minority, e.g. religious minorities
Avoid describing people or their behavior as normal or abnormal. These words often carry a lot of stigma and judgment. They are also quite vague and subjective in meaning – what’s “abnormal” to one person or in one culture, can be “normal” to someone else or in a different culture. Instead of using the words “normal” or “abnormal”, it is more inclusive to describe the specific trait or behavior that you are referring to. Alternatively, the words typical or atypical can be inclusive alternatives if you want to describe how common or uncommon a specific experience is.
- Non-inclusive: disabled people and normal people; transgender people and normal people
- Inclusive: disabled people and non-disabled people; transgender people and cisgender people
- Non-inclusive: a normal person needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep
- Inclusive: a typical person needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep
Do you want to read more about these terms and why it matters to choose inclusive alternatives? Check out the following articles: