The Power of Inclusive Language: Why Words Matter 4

This is the fourth article about inclusive language.

So how can we talk about race, power and decolonisation?

Here are some recommendations from Oxfam’s Inclusive Language Guide.


Terms to Avoid Preferred Terms
mixed race Biracial, Multiracial
black Black (capitalized), Black person
Indians, Eskimo, Aboriginal First Nations, First Nations people, Inuit, Métis (Canada)
the West Global Majority, Global Minority
third world, first world Global South, Global North
developed country, developing country, underdeveloped countries, third world high/middle/low-income country
the homeless homeless people, homeless person, people experiencing homelessness
Aboriginal indigenous peoples
slum, slum dwellers, shanty town informal settlements, informal housing, people who live in informal settlements
ethnic minority minority ethnic person, minoritised ethnic person, marginalised ethnic person
natural disasters natural shocks, natural hazards, human disasters
poor people, the poor, poorest people people experiencing poverty, people living with/in poverty, people living in extreme poverty
BAME, BME, mixed race, coloured people of colour, person of colour/ color (POC), Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC)
vulnerable people, vulnerable women, vulnerable men people facing social exclusion, political exclusion, economic exclusion, women/men who are in a vulnerable position
peasant smallholder, smallholder farmer, agricultural labourer, subsistence farmer
aid sector social justice movements, international social justice movements, non-government organizations (NGOs), international non-government organizations (INGOs), civil society organisations (CSOs)
Caucasian white person, white people
Take a closer look at the guide. Although it’s been criticised, I find it informative and engaging to read. 


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Foto Christine Sparks

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