7 examples of inclusive language • Yoast

Before we dive into the inclusive language examples, it’s good to know that there are roughly seven categories to pay attention to. They are: age, appearance, race, culture and ethnicity, disability and neurodiversity, gender, socioeconomic status, and lastly sexual and romantic orientation (yes, race, culture and ethnicity is one category). You can click on every category to learn more about it.

Good job, you! By reading this post, you’ve taken the first step into writing more inclusively. And while you might not get it right straight away, it’s good that you’re trying. So keep doing that! And don’t be afraid to ask people about their identities, and learn from them. Because inclusive language is here to stay. 

Here’s one way of writing the previous text more inclusively. We’ve bolded the changes we made:

First of all, you shouldn’t use a word like ‘oriental’, because it’s othering towards Asian people. What’s othering? In the simplest terms, it’s pointing a finger at someone and saying you are different. Which is obviously bad. And second, don’t use the word ‘third world’. You might not realize it, but it’s very derogatory.

Our company has some amazing benefits for its employees. And if it isn’t sorted, just say the word and we’ll fix it for you. Nothing won’t be addressed! And we support people with disabilities too. Because we want everyone to feel welcome!

So you want to write more inclusively? Great! That means more people will feel welcome when they read your content, and you won’t accidentally exclude them. But if that’s not enough reason, just think how many more people will engage with your content if you involve them and make your content relatable to them! So, what does inclusive language look like? We’re here to give you some examples.

Seven categories

When you write about topics that center around income, education, occupation, and social class, you might want to pay extra attention to what words you use. You don’t want to alienate or harm parts of your audience by being non-inclusive. The key is to try and be as specific as possible. 

Hubert was a truly remarkable man. He dedicated his life to helping others. As an ex-offender, he knew how bad life could get. That’s why he frequently organized fundraisers for the poor and homeless. In addition, he volunteered at soup kitchens and provided care packages for illegal immigrants.

If you want to travel around the world, we only have one thing to say: do it! It’s truly an amazing experience. We always recommend people to visit East Asia, because it’s a stunning region. If you decide to visit Japan, we highly recommend Tanaka’s curry house in Osaka. It’s run by a lovely Japanese couple. But don’t write off low-income countries! They are very gorgeous too.

Inclusive language example: disability and neurodiversity

Camille is content manager at Yoast. She writes and optimizes blog posts and enjoys creating content that helps people master SEO.

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My day was good! I actually got a new colleague who’s going to work on the renovation project with me. He’s a midget, and overall a really nice guy.

Now that we’ve gone over every category, you might feel a little overwhelmed. And we get it. It’s a lot to remember all at once. That’s why we’ve introduced the inclusive language analysis in Yoast SEO. How does it work? Simply write your text, and the analysis feature will assess your post. You’ll get valuable feedback to help you improve your content, so your posts and pages will appeal to a wider audience. Meaning: You don’t have to Google everything!

example of a check in the inclusive language analysis in Yoast SEO
The inclusive language analysis in Yoast SEO

Don’t be afraid to ask

If you’re looking for your next read, look no further. We’ve got an awesome list of books that everyone will love. These titles are truly some of humanity’s best novels. And as part of our inclusivity campaign, we also included books that center transgender people.

Inclusive language example: socioeconomic status

Let’s look at the same text but with inclusive words:

Do note that neurodiverse people and disabled people may prefer different approaches to how they want to be described. There are generally two: person-first language (PFL), and identity-first language (IFL). It’s the difference between ‘person with a disability’ or ‘disabled person’. You can learn more about PFL and IFL on our help page. And don’t hesitate to ask people what they prefer! 

Inclusive language example: gender

Before we move onto the next category, let’s do one more example. We’ve bolded the non-inclusive word:

Ah, the “m” word. It’s never been an official term to identify people with dwarfism. Rather, it’s been used to put people of short stature on display and nowadays, it’s considered a derogatory slur. So here’s the same text with an inclusive word instead:

I was just on my way to the grocery store when a group of older people decided to visit too. At first, I was worried I’d have to stand in line for ages. But as I walked in, I got to talking with one of the women. She was very lovely, and explained they were here to actually do some volunteering!

Read more: Does inclusive language help you rank? »