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
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
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
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
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
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