[Ads-l] FW: "pregnant people"

Charles C Rice charles.rice at LOUISIANA.EDU
Mon Sep 27 13:53:51 EDT 2021


I tried to copy the tweet for those who can't access Twitter.

this is exclusionary wording that alienates your nonbinary and trans staff. I know you've worked really hard to be inclusive, so may I suggest that "people" is such an easy word to use here instead. cc

The University post is in a jpeg, which I can't post to the list. The tweeter has highlighted the phrase in bold:

If you are 28 weeks pregnant and beyond, or if you are pregnant and have an underlying condition that puts you at a greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19 at any gestation, you should take a more precautionary approach. This may require working flexibly from home or working in a different capacity. These arrangements should be based on the risk assessment which is required for all pregnant females who have informed their manager/employer. Where adjustments to the work environment and role are not possible and alternative work cannot be found, you should be suspended on paid leave.

Clai Rice

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>> on behalf of Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU<mailto:laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>>
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2021 7:00 PM
Subject: Re: "pregnant people"

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of UL Lafayette. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.

> On Sep 23, 2021, at 1:12 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM<mailto:wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>> wrote:
> I've heard "pregnant people" on cable news (not, I think, from a
> journalist).
> Some writers now replace "men" and "women" with "people," whenever
> possible.
> JL

Since the {women/people} doesn't really add much, we could solve this problem by substantivization:  "The pregnant remain at high risk"; "Far too many pregnants remain at high risk...";

The plural version might take a while to catch on...


> On Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 1:05 PM Stanton McCandlish <smccandlish at gmail.com<mailto:smccandlish at gmail.com>>
> wrote:
>> Trans-related language-change activism seems to be making inroads into
>> major newsrooms.  From today's *Washington Post*: "Far too many pregnant
>> people remain at high risk of covid-19. It didn't have to be this way."
>> https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/21/far-too-many-pregnant-people-remain-high-risk-covid-19-it-didnt-have-be-this-way/
>> I think this will continue at left-leaning publishers, because lots of
>> trans activists are strongly motivated to complain any time they see
>> "pregnant women", but hardly anyone is motivated enough to write a letter,
>> even an electronic one, if they encounter "pregnant people".  Many probably
>> don't even recognize it as socio-politically charged activism.  They'll
>> just think it's poor writing, which the news is increasingly full of, as
>> editorial review decreases the more pressure there is to get material out
>> faster and faster via as many channels as possible. (I think most of us by
>> now are used to the average major-newspaper article having multiple typos
>> in it.)
>> For an "interesting" time, check out recurrent internal debates at
>> Wikipedia as well, about using language like "persons with prostate
>> glands", "people who menstruate", etc., at medical articles.
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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