Flipping the Script

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5 phrases I’ve changed.

Words mean things. But we so often speak out of habit, unaware that our choice of words could have an impact on someone else — large or small.

Here are 5 phrases I’ve changed in my speech.

  1. “You guys” to “You all” – I am not a guy, but I am constantly referred to as one. Using phrasing like “all” is non-gendered and inclusive to…well… all.
  2. “Deadline” to “Goaltime” – There is nothing more stress-inducing than a deadline. I mean, look at the word itself: dead line. As in, “If you don’t reach this you will die.” How uninspiring is that?! I’ve instead swapped to my newly invented term “goaltime.” As in, “My goal time is to complete this blog in three hours.” Much more uplifting.
  3. “Boyfriend/Girlfriend” to “Partner” – In the effort of acting more inclusively, I have taken to calling my boyfriend my partner. Gender-ambigious terms like “partner” helps with changing heterosexual norms, shows ally support, and starts relevant cultural conversations.
  4. “Social media” to “Social needia” – This fun one is a subtle reminder that social media is infultrating our lives. How often do you find yourself needing to check social media? Perhaps flipping the script can help curb the addiction.
  5. “Girls” to “Ladies” and “Boys” to “Men” –  It is time to grow up — literally. If you are over the age of 18, you are an adult in the US and not long a “boy” or “girl” – so let’s be more specific in those terms! “Girls’ Night” becomes “Ladies’ Night”, and the actions of men should no longer be justified by “boys will be boys.”

These are just a few of the phrases that I’m working to improve on. And, this list is my no means comprehensive or finalized. But I hope it inspires you to think just a little deeper about the underlying meaning of the things or phrases we just spout off. What are the racial, ethnic, gendered, societal, cultural, religious, or sexual meanings and implications? Rise and shine, it’s time to start waking up to the deeper meaning.

-TM

What phrases are/have you worked on changing? Let us know below.

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