Whether you’re still in school or you’re just starting your career, it’s important to be able to share your thoughts and ideas in a clear manner. With so much communication happening digitally, tone and word choice matter more than anything.

At Lenovo, we need to communicate in a clear, effective manner with a range of people from different age groups, backgrounds, and countries. Here are some of tips we use that can help make your writing more inclusive.  

  

Practices to follow:

  • DO Use gender-neutral language. For example: use “chair” instead of “chairman”
  • DO Check people’s pronouns when referring to them. If you’re not sure of pronouns, use “they” instead of “he” and “she”.
  • DO Use people-first descriptions. For example: “He uses a wheelchair” versus “a wheelchair-bound man.”
  • DO Use “disabled” rather than “differently abled,” which can seem like a euphemism.

  

Practices to avoid:

  • DON’T employ stereotypes or make broad assumptions about groups of people.
  • DON’T pity or patronize when talking about someone with a disability. For example: Discussing accomplishments from someone who has a disability as “inspirational”.
  • DON’T trivialize disabilities by referring to them casually and incorrectly. For example: Using “OCD” when you mean to convey someone is detail-oriented.
     

Want to learn more?

Interested in learning more about how an international brand like Lenovo addresses tone of voice and writing? Check out the Lenovo Brand World site.

Share your tips in the comments.

Anonymous
  • It's curious to note that many of these tips have been in the ether for decades. It's a study in how long change can take.

  • "Is it true, is it kind, is it necessary". Those are the three rules I try to follow in anything.

  • This is an excellent reminder to be mindful with your words in order to treat everyone with respect.

  • These tips are very helpful. As a grad student, I tend to follow these guidelines, but it is always good to get a reminder.

  • I've mantored men at local for over 40 years. The culture of the language is important and displayed in many ways. I've found one should start with basics of postive language, respectful language, and empathy language.