Inclusive Language in IT Services

Tags edi inclusion

All UWindsor IT staff are expected to utilize inclusive technical language in work-related conversations and documentation. Outlined below is a list of approved, commonly accepted alternative terms to replace oppressive and / or offensive terminology. Anyone looking to propose additional alternative terms or replace an oppressive and / or offensive phrases and words can submit a request at any time using the online feedback tool. New requests will be sent to and reviewed by IT Services and / or other departments as required.

Oppressive Term Inclusive Term(s)
Blackbox Closed box
Blackhat (hacker) Criminal, unethical hacker
Blacklist Block list, Deny list
Hit (button) Click
Digital Native Power User
Dummy Value Placeholder value, sample value
Female Socket, Jack, Receptacle 
Grandfathered Waived, Legacy, Pre-existing
Man hours Person hours, FTE Hours
Man Power Work Hours, Labour Hours, Staffing
Male (connector) Plug, Prong
Master/Slave Primary/replica, parent/child, active/passive, primary/secondary, trunk/branch, main (as a revision-control branch name)
Native (feature) Built-in, Platform-specific
Sanity Check Quick check, Confidence check, Consistency Check
Scrum Master Agile Lead
Tribal Knowledge Institutional Knowledge, Organizational Knowledge
Webmaster/web master Web product owner, Web Administrator
Whitebox Open box
Whitehat (hacker) Ethical hacker
Whitelist Allow list, approved list
Whitespace Empty space, blank

General Inclusive Language Principles

  • Put people first: Default to person-first constructions that put the person ahead of their characteristics, e.g., instead of “a blind man” or “a female engineer,” use “a man who is blind” or “a woman on our engineering team.”  Mention characteristics like gender, sexual orientation, religion, racial group or ability only when relevant to the discussion.
  • Avoid idioms, jargons, and acronyms: Jargon and acronyms can exclude people who may not have specialized knowledge of a particular subject and impede effective communication as a result
  • If you aren’t sure, ask. Strive to include language that reflects peoples’ choice and style in how they talk about themselves.

Resources for specific technical changes


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Article ID: 141931
Fri 3/4/22 9:24 PM
Wed 10/12/22 1:06 PM