We want to ensure that our content is accessible and welcoming to everyone who uses it. Inclusive language helps us to be more accurate and build trust with our users.

This guidance is influenced by the Conscious Style Guide, A Progressive’s Style Guide and the Diversity Style Guide, all of which are good sources of more detail on inclusive language.

Ability and disability

Every person is a whole person — no matter how they interact with the world. Focus on what they need to do, what tools they use, and avoid making assumptions.

Avoid terms that contribute to stigmas around disability or mental illness: crazy, dumb, lame, insane, psycho, schizophrenic, or stupid.

Avoid terms that contribute to stigmas around sensory disabilities: blind spot or tone deaf.


Avoid referring to someone’s age, unless it’s relevant to what you’re writing about.

Don’t use women or older relatives as substitute for novice or beginner. For example, don’t say something is so simple your mother can use it.

We prefer older person to elderly.

Gender and sexuality

Make content gender neutral wherever possible, and strive to write in a gender-fair way. If you’re writing about a hypothetical person or if you’re unsure of the person’s pronouns, use they or them instead of he/she.

Avoid words and phrases that indicate gender bias, such as irrelevant descriptions of appearance.

Use descriptors of gender identity or sexual orientation as modifiers, not as nouns (for example, transgender person, or lesbian woman). Avoid guessing sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

We support using they or their as singular pronouns.

Be consistent about how you address people. People in authority are more likely to be referred to by their surname if they are a man, and by their first name if they are a woman. Avoid this by always using someone’s full name on the first mention and then their surname after that.


Try to avoid grouping people by nationality or making generalisations about people from a particular country. If you need to, use an adjective with “people”, so “German people”, “Russian people” rather than “the Germans” or “the Russians”.

Don’t conflate a country’s government with its people:

The Japanese government blocked the plan.

Japan blocked the plan.

How you refer to the public is largely dependent on context. Feel free to choose from any of these words: people, the public or users.

Race, ethnicity, and religion

Avoid using words, images, or situations that reinforce racial, ethnic, or religious stereotypes (even stereotypes that may appear to be positive). Avoid the term non-white, or other terms that treat whiteness as a default.

Don’t make assumptions: ask how people identify themselves, and be aware of complexities within racial, ethnic, and religious identities. For example, not all Arabs are Muslim, and many nationalities and ethnicities include various religious practices and traditions.

When referring to a person’s race or ethnicity, use adjectives, not nouns (for example, a Hispanic person, not a Hispanic).