“Minority” vs “Marginalized” group

Today, we were having a group discussion in my workplace. There was a part where we all were given a chance to explain how the recent election affected us. During my turn, I referred myself (Asian American) as a part of a “minority” group. Later, our supervisor encouraged the use of “marginalized” instead of “minority”. … Read more

Why is “disabled“ preferred over “handicapped”?

The question may be too opinion based and highly contentious. However, as a non native speaker with a serious disability, I have great trouble grasping why “disabled“ is supposed to be much better than “handicapped“. When I hear “handicapped“ I think of someone on the gym taking a position that makes the exercise harder and … Read more

What is a very general word to describe a country exercising control over a territory?

Countries that are not independent states are often called dependencies or territories as in “French Polynesia is a devolved parliamentary dependency”. In the context in which I am using the word, it would be inappropriate to use the word “colonizer” to refer to the country of which the dependency is a territory. I’m thus looking … Read more

Is “executive assistant” still much rarer than “secretary”?

According to Google NGrams, the term “executive assistant” is much less common than “secretary”. Even if I try prefixing both with “his”, to avoid meanings such as Secretary-General of the UN, the difference is still very large. Is the term “executive assistant” still much less common than “secretary”, when talking about someone who does administrative … Read more

Why have I not heard “radical muslim terrorism” on TV?

In the United States, on TV I have heard much about “radical islamic terrorism” during the republican debates and also in mainstream media. Nearly all these cases involve a male aggressor, or a muslim (the female form is muslima). May I please ask why the common term in media and during our debates is “radical … Read more

How would you say that a woman/spirit has big breasts in a politely/politically correct way? (Folk Story)

I’m writing my own version of a Salvadoran legend in English. However, I’m facing a challenge to express in a politically correct way that a woman/spirit has big breasts. This is a picture of the woman/spirit I’m referring too: I had a conversation with a native speaker from the UK and she recommended to say: … Read more

What is a gender-neutral word(s) for the word “maternity”?

The word maternity as in the sentence “the maternity wear is over there. If you’d like to follow me…” is typically the go-to language when describing, talking with, or about pregnant persons’ wear, but this is not inclusive towards people who are not women and or cis who can get pregnant (e.g. trans men). So, … Read more

Clarify an idiom in a political text

Please carefully read the text below: On 24 November, 1993, a meeting of Leftist intellectuals occurred in London under the auspices of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), which is a Labour-leaning think-tank. A short document was circulated in advance of the said meeting to clarify its purpose. Among other things, the document declared … Read more

Is it okay to use the word “Negro” in a historical context?

In a few days, I have to do a class presentation project about the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. I want to say that the movement’s original name was the “New Negro Movement,” but I’m not sure if that’s okay. I’m white, and I really don’t want to offend anybody in my class. Is it all right … Read more