Subject: Re: [boost] [OFF] Inclusive language (Was: [review][beast] Review of Beast starts today : July 1 - July 10)
From: David Sankel (camior_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-07-17 10:31:07
On Sat, Jul 8, 2017 at 1:26 PM, VinÃcius dos Santos Oliveira via Boost <
> 2017-07-01 21:54 GMT+02:00 Vinnie Falco via Boost <boost_at_[hidden]>:
> > Such language is non-inclusive and diminishes the stature of the list
> > (in my opinion).
> So what? What's the problem of non inclusive languages?
I've learned a lot about inclusive language issues in the past year. In a
technical talk I was discussing "The Mythical Man Month" and,
unintentionally, repeatedly used the word "man" in the sense of "a human
individual" instead of something more-specific and less-loaded, like
"developer". This stirred up a lot of controversy and I received both
well-intentioned feedback noting the issue and mean-spirited attacks. While
I dislike being attacked, the part I was most disappointed in was that, for
many, the content of the talk was overshadowed by the political controversy.
My interested is in communicating technical opinion, and, without judging
positively or negatively those with sensitivities, I acknowledge that
communication is more effective when it isn't sidetracked by discussions of
how offensive the wording is. I try my best these days to avoid using
language that ignites distractions, although I still fail occasionally.
Similarly, when I'm offended by the way some things are said by others, I
find the best approach to be silent, tolerant, and acknowledge there are
many different backgrounds. This way, the communication channels stay open.
Of course, if I'm close with someone and I know the feedback will be
well-received, I would gladly help them with their communication by letting
them know privately that something-or-other may ignite sensitivities.
This is just my approach and make no claims that it's either the right or
best technique for all situations.
-- David Sankel
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