Local author SUZANNE WERTHEIM will launch her new book The Inclusive Language Field Guide: 6 Simple Principles for Avoiding Painful Mistakes and Communicating Respectfully on Wednesday, October 4th at 7pm. Suzanne will read from, discuss, and sign copies of her book, which is written to help you avoid inadvertently offending or alienating anyone. As a no-nonsense linguistic anthropologist and business consultant, she's developed six straightforward communication guidelines that show you the way to inclusive language.
In today's fast-moving and combative culture, language can feel like a minefield. Terms around gender, disability, race, sexuality and more are constantly evolving. Words that used to be acceptable can now get you “cancelled.” People are afraid of making embarrassing mistakes, or sounding outdated or out of touch, or not being as respectful as they intended. But it’s not as complicated as it might seem.
Linguistic anthropologist Suzanne Wertheim offers six easy-to-understand principles to guide any communication—written or spoken—with anyone:
- Reflect reality
- Show respect
- Draw people in
- Incorporate other perspectives
- Prevent erasure
- Recognize pain points
This guide clarifies the challenges—and the solutions—to using "they/them," and demonstrates why "you guys" isn't as inclusive as many people think. If you follow the principles, you'll know not to ask a female coworker with a wedding ring about her husband—because she might be married to a woman. And you'll avoid writing things like "America was discovered in 1492," because that's just when Europeans found it.
Filled with real-world examples, high-impact word substitutions, and exercises that boost new skills, this book builds a foundational toolkit so people can evaluate what is and isn't inclusive language on their own.
SUZANNE WERTHEIM is CEO of Worthwhile Research & Consulting. After getting her PhD in Linguistics from Berkeley, she held faculty positions at Northwestern, University of Maryland, and UCLA. In 2011, she left the university system in order to apply her expertise to real-world problems. Her clients have included Google, Reddit, Charles Schwab, One Medical, News Nation, Salesforce, and Shondaland, among others. She is the creator of a LinkedIn Learning course called Inclusive Language at Work that has been taken by tens of thousands of learners.
THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is required. Registration ends at 4:30 pm on OCTOBER 4th.
BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.
DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.
WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.
WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.
PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.
OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.