Words to Avoid

This list of words to avoid using is a start­ing point for using more inclu­sive lan­guage in our day-to-day inter­ac­tions with Hudlies, cus­tomers, exter­nal part­ners and in our per­son­al lives. It’s not the end all, be all of lists — this page can, and should, be updat­ed con­tin­u­ous­ly. Please help us by send­ing us your change requests.

Of course no one is per­fect, but we can strive to cre­ate the most wel­com­ing, open and inclu­sive envi­ron­ment pos­si­ble through our choice of words.

To many English speak­ers, female” sounds like a sci­en­tif­ic des­ig­na­tion one would use for ani­mals or plants. There’s also less room to maneu­ver — female” and male” are the only options for sex.” Gender iden­ti­fi­ca­tions like woman” are more inclu­sive. Better yet, leave out gen­der iden­ti­fiers when they’re not absolute­ly necessary.

Better options: women, woman

The BreakThrough Summit featured strong women leaders in sport.

This refers to the prac­tice of exempt­ing some peo­ple from a change because of con­di­tions that exist­ed before the change (e.g., We grand­fa­thered users who already had an unlim­it­ed data plan.”). Historically, the term grand­fa­ther clause” was used in the American South in the 1890s as a way to defy the 15th Amendment and pre­vent black Americans from voting.

Better options: lega­cy, exception

We've added a legacy policy for teams that qualify.

The uni­ver­sal male” (i.e., using guys” to mean peo­ple”) assumes that the nor­mal, default human being is male. Although he” and man” are said to be neu­tral, numer­ous stud­ies show that these words cause peo­ple specif­i­cal­ly to think of males.

Better options: team, y’all, friends, folks, every­body, everyone

Thanks for joining us everyone.

This is an exam­ple of how gen­der non-con­form­ing peo­ple deal with mis­gen­der­ing on a dai­ly basis. Opt for a more gen­der inclu­sive phrase.

Better options: dis­tin­guished guests

Distinguished guests, thank you for joining us today.

This phrase refers to top-notch ser­vice. However, this term is unclear to begin with, and more impor­tant­ly, it has ties to racist min­strel shows.

Better options: top-notch care, best-in-class, pre­mi­um, VIP 

Our team aims to provide top-notch care to all of our customers.

These terms re-enforce white is good” and black is bad.” We don’t want to per­pet­u­ate this paradigm. 

Better options: (verbs) trust, allow, deny; (nouns) allowed list, unblocked list, denied list, blocked list

To give a team access to their school's Hudl Focus camera, they need to be added to the allowed list.

Last Updated: 21 Dec 2020 at 10:54am CST