Watch your (gendered) language

Next time you share a story with friends about your visit to a restaurant, try eliminating the words “hostess” and “waitress” from your vocabulary. It may seem more inclusive to use those words than to default to their masculine forms, but research indicates that people who speak a language with occupational descriptions that vary by gender (such as “waiter” and “waitress”) are more likely to internalize gender stereotypes.

A screenshot of a message from Stylebot on Slack that reads: "Use terms such as "actor," "host," "waiter," etc., for all genders: "She worked as an actor for 10 years." Sometimes, you can opt for a gender-neutral option such as "server," instead of "waiter": "All the servers were scheduled to work eight-hour shifts.""

As you can see, there are often gender-neutral options that work just fine. In our restaurant example, you could use “server.” Frankly, we’d rather see some of these gendered terms on this banned words list instead of, um, “amazing” 👀 Are there any words you’re trying to stop using in 2023?

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