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Subject: Re: [boost] [OFF] Inclusive language (Was: [review][beast] Review of Beast starts today : July 1 - July 10)
From: Paul A. Bristow (pbristow_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-07-19 11:55:59

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Boost [mailto:boost-bounces_at_[hidden]] On Behalf Of David Sankel via Boost
> Sent: 17 July 2017 11:31
> To: boost_at_[hidden]
> Cc: David Sankel
> Subject: Re: [boost] [OFF] Inclusive language (Was: [review][beast] Review of Beast starts today : July 1 - July 10)
> On Sat, Jul 8, 2017 at 1:26 PM, Vinícius dos Santos Oliveira via Boost <
> boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> > 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.

I agree with David's thoughtful summary.

Silent tolerance is the least-worst policy, even in the face of wilful misinterpretation of the word "man".

But, for the record, aggressive insistence on so-called 'non-inclusive language' is also very offensive to me.

Boost is, and should continue to be, entirely inclusive, gender-blind and, most of all, tolerant .


Paul A. Bristow
Prizet Farmhouse
Kendal UK LA8 8AB
+44 (0) 1539 561830

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