Intentional Language Takeaways

As researchers, instructors, and community members it is important for us to use language around identities responsibly. Please consider the following questions and resources as a guide for intentional language for referring to larger populations.

Start with questions of purpose

  • Who are you talking about?
  • Why are you talking about them?
  • Who are you talking to?
  • What are you trying to say?
  • Is it even necessary to use identity signifiers?

Follow-up with questions of power

  • What is the history behind this word?
  • In what context is this word often used?
  • Why do you want to use this word?
  • What might this word perpetuate?
  • What other words might fit and why aren’t you using them?