Choose language intentionally

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References for Supporting diversity with a new approach to software

Who needs it the most? People who are constantly dealing with microagressions; people who understand language very literally.

Who else benefits? People who don’t want reinforce racist / sexist / ablist / etc. patterns of domination.

High-level recommendations

  • Ensure team members are familiar with the concept of microagression
  • Understand what people mean by terms like privilege, intersectionality, heteronormativity, cognitive diversity, structural racism (and structural sexism, ablism, ...)
  • Avoid using language with associations that are racist (e.g., "master/slave"), ablist ("lame"), sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ageist, ...
  • Use automated tools like Alex to complement code and documentation reviews in finding problematic language


University of Missouri handout on Microagressions in Everyday Life

libuv gendered pronouns

Django primary/replica

Replace ‘suicide’ as a verb, nodejs issue and discussion