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Discussion on: 9 ways to be kinder to trans people

sylwiavargas profile image
Sylwia Vargas

Sure — but you see that I’ve given you plenty examples (and these are only from the top of my head) that did start with the top-down approach. Sure, they were later accepted by the wider public but there was always a significant pushback. People in general feel a level of stress when it comes to changes that pertain to their identity and a change in how we speak is one of them. Of course there will be a pushback but history has shown that oftentimes, a normative approach to changes in language result in these changes being widely used and accepted, contrary to your strong stance (“has never”, “factually”). I’m focusing on this part because phrasing your argument this way may come across as downplaying the DEI efforts in different companies and countries, even though there’s plenty evidence that l language policies and legislations contribute to making culture more inclusive in the long run.

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lifelongthinker profile image
Sebastian

As I stated, I am not objecting to any DEI efforts or goals, I see these as essential. But I am objecting to normative language regulation in general (no matter who proposes it).

"history has shown that oftentimes, a normative approach to changes in language result in these changes being widely used and accepted" -- certainly, in some cases it does. But I believe those where the cases where people were made aware of problems and then chose to adapt.

As you said yourself, such an approach can take decades or generations. I don't think we want (or can afford) to wait for so long. Hence, instead of proposing a normative language use, I believe the better way to go about this is to make people aware and convince them why language is important. Let the speakers figure out the "how" themselves, let's make them a part of this to mitigate such "pushbacks".

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