Using Inclusive Language | Marketing Practices
Inclusive language acknowledges diverse experiences and affirms equal opportunity. Care in the words you use can make Pacific a more welcoming community.
CONNECTION | For the university’s editorial standards, see pacificu.edu/MarCom.
Observe the following guidelines.
- Use person-centered language.
People can be lost to their label. Person-centered language acknowledges the human first and their status second. For example, “person with autism” over “autistic person”; “transgender people” over “the transgendered.”
- Use broad words to encompass varied groups or configurations.
For example, "family newsletter" includes grandparents serving as guardians and so is better than “parents newsletter,” which is better than “newsletter for dads and moms.” Avoid language that only applies to a narrow group. For example, gender-neutral terms (firefighter, flight attendant) include individuals that are not men.
- Ask your subject how they want to be described.
For example, if a student uses “queer” instead of “lesbian” or “blind” instead of “person with low sight,” honor their choice. The goal is not to use “correct” language, per se, but to respect and care for the student.
Words to Use
The following are helpful words that are acceptable to use upon request. If any person prefers different words than the below, defer to the person. These words should be provided as an option in forms.
- They (as a singular pronoun)
The Associated Press and Oxford English Dictionary, among others, have endorsed the use of they as a singular pronoun. “The student forgot their homework.”
Gender-neutral alternative for Latina/o. Use unless the subject has self-described as Latina/o. Also, Chicanx.