I also think sometimes about terms like whitelist and blacklist. The problem isn't that they refer to race. The problem is that "white" and "black" refer to race. White and black are basic colors, and assigning meaning to colors is natural and unavoidable. However "white people" aren't "white", and "black people" aren't "black".
So IMHO the focus should be on dropping racial connotations from colors. If we're fine with not calling Asians "yellow" and Native Americans "red", we should be fine with that too.
Imagine if we couldn't have yellow and red traffic lights, because it'd be offensive to a race.
I think the idea is that you test your documentation just like you do your code. I found a couple linters for this:
I don't think this is a good comparison; the controversy of the "blacklist" term is a complex and polarising topic that depends heavily on context; I don't think it makes sense to look for an analogy here. For anyone looking for a summary, I like how wikipedia  describes the context and the current state.
Colors are just colors. They're not emotionally charged. We do that through cultural context and association.
All of them are artifacts of White racism, “Black” has been widely (but not universally, and many prefer other terms) adopted by the people it targets , as (perhaps less surprisingly) has “White” , the rest mainly have not. That’s pretty much the defining difference—the others are “viewed as offensive” because they are, in fact, broadly offensive to the people to whom the label is applied.
 largely, at least in the US, as a label of shared identity grounded in experience of White racism.
 among non-racists, its often not so much a strong identity (narrower ethnic identities often take that role) as acknowledgement as insofar as race os a thing, that’s a fine name for theirs.
> Colors are just colors.
The use of colors aa names of races (and the way some are also associated with subracial groups) is pretty arbitrary rather than descriptive, “red” Indians, “brown” latin@s, and “yellow" asian/pacific islanders aren’t particular different in skin color in any way that maps to the color names.
Of course there are, e.g. the ones who wrote the Baidu Baike article on "yellow people": https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E9%BB%84%E8%89%B2%E4%BA%BA%E7%... But a term that groups them with Japanese, Mongolians and Indonesians doesn't have much relevance for most Chinese people anyway.
Can we get more context on this?
If you want a more objective source and can read Chinese, there's a Baidu Baike (think Chinese wiktionary) page for the term (黄种人):
(But it's definitely not the most common expression)
This can be trivially implemented in CI for code and docs and have links to this doc. No need to remember it.
The low-hanging fruit is when there is a banned word with a defined replacement. For instance, in this Google style guide, all instances of "auto-scaling" should be replaced with "autoscaling."
But if you want to go much deeper than that, it gets very tricky very quickly.
For instance, how would you programmatically detect and correct text so it conforms to this style guide's Anthropomorphism guidelines? https://developers.google.com/style/anthropomorphism
Computer communication protocols closely resemble other systems (including human and animal communication). Objects are literally modeled after how ecosystems and social structures work.
Personal opinion of a copy-editor of 15 years: the popular understanding of race is so pervaded by racism that it is difficult to use race-based terms without either reinforcing some racist idea or another on the one hand or risk being seen as "too PC" on the other. Social scientists do need race-based concepts, but outside contexts with scholarly norms, they have many foot-gun affordances.
Do they? There are places like France where the whole concept of race doesn't apply to humans. Race terminology is for things like dog breeds. Humans don't really have races in that sense.
This is exemplified by the fact that someone with a black and a white parents is said to be black, because of their skin color. Even if you are for example 1/8th black descent you are said to be of "race" black because of the resulting skin color. It doesn't make any sense as a scientific concept. Other countries have different classification, like South Africa.
We are one species with various ethnicities, usually mixed.
The effects of race-justified practices were so far reaching that they can be said to shape our societies, just as decades after the abolition of Apartheid, most South Africans know exactly how they would have been classified. At this point, for social scientists to abandon race would mean we would live in a society with features that neo-fascists have ready explanations for and no systematic standard of evidence against which their claims could be exposed for the fantasies they really are. You need to have the concept of race before you can see why the reality does not support the claims of the racists.
In fact, I would argue that disagreements and ambiguities as to what makes a person "white" or "black" are astronomically more frequent than difficulties in understanding what is meant by the words "whitelist" or "blacklist".
Neither should be used to refer to people. “White” and “Black”, capitalized as proper nouns and proper adjectives are in English, to refer to particular identity groups and association with those identity groups are, OTOH, a different story.
"Whitelist" and "blacklist" are abstract terms which are useful because they have general and non-specific meanings which can be adapted to many contexts. Artificially prescribed alternatives, introduced only to satisfy the current American cultural Zeitgeist, are not.
It dismays me to see programmers arguing loudly and stubbornly for bad terminology, when a key skill for designing a good API is to choose good names.
Is it? Two years ago if someone told me they think of certain races every time they hear about whitelists or black holes I'd find them a bit silly.
That is 100% an anglo-saxon world problem since most European languages either differentiate between words for skin color and color name, or using the color name to describe skin color isn't considered racist at all.
I would stretch it even to mark it as an US-only problem.
Every couple of years they release a statement that causes a flurry of changes in the documentation of a few projects I've worked on. Always in really curious ways too, exchanging words that are common to French people in our industry with words uncommon to everyone.
I kind of appreciate the quirkiness of the whole thing.
> covid (or some variant on that) to be feminine.
And here I was hoping that I was being too pessamistic.
It's mostly due to the pronunciation and spelling of the word ending. Although in this case, the Académie Française decided feminine because COVID is an acronym, and the last word of that acronym is disease, and disease is a feminine word (la Maladie) because of how it is spelled.
So, let me introduce you to my ‘waiguoren’ friend here in LA. Right, the local is the foreigner.
And since it is a place and not a race there are plenty of white Africans out there, same as there are plenty of black Europeans out there. Calling people who have never been to Africa "African American" just because they skin is dark is just plain racism. They are dark skinned Americans and has nothing to do with Africa.
If you think it is wrong for white Africans to call themselves Africans then how can white Americans call themselves Americans? Similarly when I talk to dark skinned people in Europe they call themselves Europeans and not Africans. When they talk about their "race" they say they are black or brown, because that is the only thing separating them from the other people.
Dark skinned people from Europe are Europeans for all means and purposes, just as white Africans are Africans for all purposes. The "race" that you mention is a very recent development, and is an American export that is mostly confined to Europe alone (and mostly Western Europe). The Africans I've met and worked with often fumed at the whole colour-based distinction. They would rather be identified by nationality, and then language-based ethnicity (Zulu, Xhosa, Amheri, etc). And no, it's not that "anyone can see that they have dark skin", there are pretty clear racial distinctions based on skintone too (light-brown vs dark brown, which was part of the basis for the Rwandan genocide).
Color identifies are generally bullshit. For example, what the heck is a white person? Are the Irish white? A 19th century WASP wouldn't think so. In fact, most Europeans who lived in their own ethnic communities in the US weren't white until about the mid-20th century. Incidentally, this is when the Great Migration began and these communities began to disintegrate. The WASPs began to feel threatened (though this is hardly unique to WASPs; cf. the Soviets, the Nazis, the CCP, etc), and so they engaged in bit of social engineering, identity theft, and deracinization. You were no longer Irish or German or Polish or Swedish or Lithuanian or whatever. You were now bland old generic "white". But wait a second. What is "white identity" and "white culture"? Do the Whites speak White? Of course not. This is what identity theft and imposed artificial identities are about. You are robbed of your identity and then told what your identity is by a ruling class that controls that identity. So you need to look to the ruling class to "know" who you are because they're no way to know or determine what whiteness is beyond what they make it mean. If you want to know what "whiteness" means, look no further than the organs and estates of power in this country. This is social engineering and control.
> Imagine if we couldn't have yellow and red traffic lights, because it'd be offensive to a race.
Exactly. Frankly, I don't think people associate "whitelist" with whiteness and "blacklist" with blackness. I don't, and people aren't monomaniacally stupid like that and that's not how we work. We can speak of the gorgeous black ebony of a piano or a raven-haired or a doe-eyed/black eyed beauty, or how handsome a shiny black tuxedo looks or how sleek a black Ferrari might look. Black tie formals appreciate the elegance that stark contrasts can have. We can also speak of someone looking pale as a ghost and sickly, whitewashing the truth, and so on. So it is patent nonsense that people think in these term. Maybe those people who believe this is the case are guilty of some kind of truly bizarre obsession where everything is racialized. Poor them. We judge things according to some normative understanding of what something ought or can be, not in abstraction.
(Some may allude to the historical use of dark colors to depict evil and white to depict good. This is, again, a highly selective reading and betrays the same inability to contextualize. The night is dark, darkness means inability to see, obscurity, concealment. Light reveals, makes things known. Is nature therefore racist? Should we accuse the sun, or light itself, of being racist? How parochial. Again, nobody of sound mind thinks this way and it is nothing less than the paranoia of insane academic bubble chamber ideologues.)
Also people with darker skin due to lots of UV exposure are at LOWER risk of vitamin D deficiency than your average pale skinned person.
So it comes down to genetics. Like it or not. Facts of life.
To say there's "no such thing" as race is incredibly, you know, post-factual. Might as well decide there's "no such thing as sex", just half of humanity is inexplicably infertile.
In medicine you don't get everyone's legs preventively amputated because maybe some people have problems with their legs. In the same way we can't just amputate our dictionary and minds of useful concepts and knowledge like the idea of race, just because some people have problematic interpretations of race.
Also, I don't know what point you're trying to make by implying different base conditions. A "black" person who likes to sunbathe in their garden is also at lower risk of vitamin D deficiency than a "white" person who never leaves their basement. So what? And surely you're aware that at higher latitudes "white" people with darker skin are at greater risk than lighter-skinned "white" people? And "black" people with lighter skin are at lower risk than "black" people with darker skin?
Of course it's down to genetics—at no point have I implied otherwise. The variance in baseline melanin is of course genetic! But, like it or not, "a characteristic is genetic" does not mean "races are real". I suggest you catch up on the subject of human population genetics.
There is no such thing as human race in the biological consensus. Rather, it is an arbitrary social construct present mostly in Western and especially American society, which doesn't even have consistent interpretations across regions or populations.
There is. There is however no clear way to create a line saying "here one race ends and the other race begins", there is a continuous spectrum between Europeans and Africans and Asians. So the way USA tries to put you in discrete bins like "White", "Black", "Latino", "Asian" is unscientific, but the concept that humans whose ancestors came from different parts of the world are different enough for them to be considered separate races is not.
Technically there are more races of humans in Africa than outside Africa since it is so diverse, but USA still groups all of them as "black", its just pure nonsense what they are doing.
I mean, that's literally the definition of a race: "a population within a species that is distinct in some way, especially a subspecies".
I'm not sure arguing whether a concept is real or not real makes sense. If a concept can be clearly defined, it's "real".
I think that sounds like a very good solution, but it's opposite of the solution being touted by the current progressive regime.
They seem to think that to combat racial discrimination, to combat thinking in black and white, we first have to make everything black and white. They then assign different treatments/rights to the different segregations, to correct for some historical wrong-doing, to ensure everyone now gets treated, on overall, "equalish".
From my understanding this principle is even being taught in schools, and also applied to other areas in society (gender-equality, LGBTQ)? If so, we do have quite some way to go.
All these terrible things starts with someone making a comment like this, and then someone for whatever reason taking it seriously.
I'm not going to take it for granted that someone is not going to cause a hissy fit over this sometime in the future.
When the problem is separate treatment of different races, then the problem statement has to talk about race.
It's what Yuri Bezmenov refereed to as useful idiots. Divide and conquer has been used by those in power to rule over the constituents for centuries. They realized that the best way to prevent people from looking at the real enemy (establishment) was to keep them infighting and the best way to do that is to divide people into as many oppressor oppressed buckets as possible and let them fight each other. So now we have people not just fighting about rich vs poor, now it's based on race, sex, sexual preference, ethnicity etc. While we keep fighting each other, the corporations and establishment elites keep getting richer and more powerful, meanwhile our lives keep getting more and more miserable. This identity politics is also used by corporations and politicians to prevent and deflect blame. Want your $2000 stimulus? Want a minimum wage? Want wall Street, Robinhood accountability? Want universal health care? Want an end to forever wars? You won't get any of that and if you question it, you are being sexist for attacking the first secretary of the treasury (paid off by Wall Street and $800G by Robinhood hedge fund), first black secretary of defence (Raytheon board seat), first trans health minister (took out her own mother while forcing covid patients into nursing homes). It is evil yet genius identity politics and people are too afraid to speak up.
"Racism is not dead. But it is on life-support, kept alive mainly by the people who use it for an excuse or to keep minority communities fearful or resentful enough to turn out as a voting bloc on election day." - Thomas Sowell
Obligatory mention for relevant Ryan Long comedy skit:
Apologies for derailing the interesting ideas, but my reaction to this was: Who? What? Surely this is the concept due to Lenin.
Wikipedia-depth research says this is probably a myth; that it likely originates from early Cold War journalism.
As with most things Google does this will set some kind of precedent that a non-trivial subset may follow on with. Where does this stop though? Human -> Huperson? What do we rename the `kill` command to? How will that affect scripts that use it? The result of that is to then have a shim to `kill` anyway so the net result is a tonne of stuff breaks and `kill` is still present?
I'm all for improving our use of language but a lot of these kinds of changes are virtue signals that don't enact any meaningful change at all . There are lots of words taken out of context purposefully for instance, "my process is hung" has nothing to do with hanging of human beings.
I can understand trying to remove some stigmatisations, like blacklist for bad and whitelist for good, even though they are hard as they are very commonly used. But maybe that is part of the problem, that our western culture has the colour encoding of white == good and black == bad.
Even in an ideal world, where people don't notice the skin color anymore, I can see how a person with a black skin might feel hurt about that encoding in general, so maybe it is good moving step by step away from that, despite that it causes inconvenience.
I find it especially hard to think of good/bad or even race when using the term blacklist or whitelist tho.
There is some good reason to change black-/whitelists naming, but supposed racism is not one of them, because it is only due to some people feeling offended by a technical term. If you change words because some might feel offended, it will never stop. In the end you still have words to denote some characteristic and it will be taken as offensive if it is used at all (or by people of the "wrong" characteristic).
Well, since we are evolving our culture our changing of words hopefully never stops. Languge is an ongoing process and much of our language was shaped in a patriarchal, racist and sexist environment, that existed for centuries if not millenias.
Now I might say, we advanced from that, so there are necessary language changes happening.
That much energy is wasted in that regard, I very much agree. And I'd like some sanity back in the debate.
I am also not sure about the black/white thing.
(ah btw. some racist indeed favor the blond over black haired people, which gave ways to a antinazi joke:
The Arier: Blond like Hitler, thin like Göring and tall like Himmler.)
But I am "white", so I am not sure if I can judge about about a black skinned persons feelings about the matter or just ignore them.
But that the very color linked to race scheme is stupid in the first place and that this should be the thing fighting against, I would agree.
There was a south park episode about that, Cartman hit the black kid (just out of being an asshole with anger problems). And the school was about to punish him as usual, but no, because he was black it was a hate crime and the higher institutions got involved, with big fuss and lots of saying black.
So I think Stan in the end said: if you treat people different because of their skin color, it means they are different. So it reinforces the race thinking.
So I do agree: when I see a blacklist, I never would associate that with a person.
I just try to be a bit sensitive of people who do. Which yes, it is hard to draw the line.
In that ideal world, that person would be as likely to feel hurt as a person with black hair... that is, if you can even find a person with truly black skin.
Haha, that's good one, I love it! :-)
(Although 'human' comes from Latin and has nothing to do with Germanic 'man', but these details are never part of such a discussion, so let's ignore them.)
When do people realise that 'homo sapiens' is sexist (and maybe offensive to LGBT* people!!)? It must be renamed to 'persona sapiens'!
> guys, you guys: When referring to a group of people use non-gendered language, such as everyone or folks.
Isn't the plural form "guys" already explicitly inclusive?
If I had to try to nail down when it is and isn't inclusive, I would say that when it is used in the second-person, where a speaker is directly addressing a group, it is the most likely to be gender-neutral: "Do you guys like this idea? Can I get you guys anything?"
When it is used in a first- or third-person perspective, it's less likely to be used in a gender-neutral way. "I know some guys who work there" tends to be used only if you're talking about men. If you're talking about women only or a mixed group, it's more common to say, "I know some women who work there" or "I know some people who work there."
People assuming how they use language, is right, assumes that there is one language, eg, one english, not many.
Very 'centre of the universe' thinking.
I grew up in Toronto, Canada where "guys" was widely used as a gender-neutral term in most contexts (admittedly there are some phrases where a gender is heavily implied). However when I was working at a tech company in Dublin, Ireland I noticed that if I addressed a room with "guys" women in the room would often feel excluded. This is not unreasonable given the different dialects and the minority of women in this setting. So sure, we could say that she is wrong for feeling excluded but when many minorities already feel excluded it seems wrong to use language that reaffirms that nagging feeling constantly whispering to them from the back of their mind.
And avoiding the term "guys" is a simple case even though "Y'all" and "folks" sound really odd to me, I agree that there is a huge spectrum here and the line of what is reasonable and what isn't is incredibly fuzzy.
In some cases, I found it the opposite. I've discussed this with a woman or two, as I was curious, and didn't want to offend. And they felt it includes them. Nothing is changed because they are there, they're just "one of the guys". Not a woman, or a man. Just another person in the group.
You cite Dublin, and that's valid. And yet, that was me point. Here was have a world spanning company, Google, which should be as "metropolitan' as they come, blathering on about setting world-wide language policy, from the viewpoint of a small little US state.
Seems very, very colloquial to me.
If you're going to work in a world-spanning company, thinking your culture, in your little, tiny corner of the world, is "right" all the time is absurd.
Yes, there are are colloquial uses where it is gender neutral, but those are not universal internationally.
This seems like a completely made up problem.
> This seems like a completely made up problem.
Only because it doesn't impact you. Consider developing more empathy. Surely you know some folks who gave challenges in their lives that others callously dismiss as not a big deal.
> Surely you know some folks who gave challenges in their lives that others callously dismiss as not a big deal.
Sure do. And they recognised that those problems were their own that they needed to overcome. Not insist that everyone else change to accommodate them.
So for some people guys has a touch of the ladies not being explicitly asked for feedback to questions like "hi guys, where should we go today". Now this is not universal but language rarely is and context matters a whole lot.
Well yes, which undermines your example. When I see women use the term 'hey guys', they are normally addressing a mixed group, with no precedence implied or inferred. In a 1-on-1 conversation, I would find it weird asking someone their dating history if I didn't know what their sexual orientation was. Different context, different connotations.
This one got me. You can’t just replace “MITM” with “PITM” and expect anyone to know what you’re talking about. I know what MITM means. I have no idea what PITM means at first glance. I suspect that nobody does.
So my main question is, who wrote that? Because I can’t imagine any technical person seriously suggesting that replacement.
I am really disapointed...
1. "Cancel culture" a new shibboleth of an old non-violent tactic that already had a name: boycotts. A set of people who utilize boycotts is ξ
Yeah, its interesting how “girl” went from meaning child to meaning female child while “boy” went from meaning “male servant” (which is the origin of its use for “employee" in several compounds that are less outdated, like “pool boy”, and which is also the origin of its use as a racial slur) to meaning “male child”.
But yea, changing terms like that is not very helpful, unless everyone is onboard
Just wanted to point this out as an interesting thing I noticed.
But historically this has been a complicated topic.
Basically about a hundred years ago the genus and sexus of words started to get separated.
Thanks to that you can say "Katze" to both male and female cats.
Historically you had to say "Kater" to a male cat.
But of course there were people in the 90s (it started earlier than that) who considered the generic masculinum uninclusive for women, since why is the male genus allowed to be the generic form of the language? Everything had to be gendered explicitly again! Awesome! /s
Instead of rolling back the split of genus and sexus of the past decades, they instead opted for just sticking the already existing, but less popular -in suffix to everything and anything.
A generic word like "Student" now had it's proper sexus again as "Student und Studentin".
But as you might already know that's uninclusive for nonbinary people and thus we're now at a point where we say "Studierende" or "Studentx" or "Student:in" instead, which linguistically really doesn’t make much sense at all anymore. Awesome! /s
One step forward, two steps backwards.
But again, as explained above, the "Kleidermacher" can be of any genus, because...
Genus and sexus are two different things in German.
But yeah basically "Kleidermacher" was historically a genderless term for quite a long time (potentially always) and was then gendered again, by people who seemingly misunderstood the generic masculinum. The people who made this worse misunderstood that sexus and genus are two different things.
As I explained before, this is quite ironic given that the -in suffix is now being said to be not inclusive.
White/light/warm/day = good, Black/dark/cold/night = bad is pretty universal association that only the truly sheltered and privleged could miss.
uhhhh, is this gaslighting?
it is considered privileged to never have introspection on these universal associations
Assuming that was intentional, perhaps there is a better word. Assuming it was not intentional, then its just odd.
> fat client : don't use fat
> the process is hanging : don't use hang/hung
> dummy variable : don't use dumb
> we treat this client as a first-class citizen : don't use first-class citizen
> DMZ : use a more precise term like perimeter network.
> DLQ : use unprocessed messages queue
> whitelist/blacklist : use deny list or allow list
> blackbox : use opaque-box
> sanity check : use coherence check
> kebab case : use dash case
I feel enlightened.
Blackbox is just insane — sorry I mean incoherent. Sanity check? Dummy variable? Writing documentation without these words would make it hard to read.
1) some religious groups may be sensitive to this word since Jesus was nailed to the cross
2) some might interpret it as a sexual innuendo
Also I certainly hope there was no frame, because some ethnic groups have been framed for crimes in the past.
In fact, if your painting builds on the heritage of colonial culture, it is inherently racist and problematic.
The only progressive option, really, is to tear down the wall.
> the process is hanging
So are my clothes and the bells in the tower, but I haven't heard a complaint about those.
Interestingly nobody seems to bat an eye when yet another video or article talks about vantablack("the blackest black"), white noise or a whitepaper.
It's so hard for me to support such attempts to choose better words when it always comes with other additions that simply do not make any sense.
Note my example was not about bleached paper but the actual term white paper used in business and other contexts.
> but those aren't related to computing.
Skin color isn't related to computing either, but here we are.
Also e.g. "white" isn't seen as positive because of skin color, it's more a cleanliness/innocence thing. In my native language we have a phrase roughly meaning "wearing a white shirt" which indicates someone doesn't figuratively have blood on their hands/clothes. You could associate this word with white teeth or clouds just as much as with skin color.
That's the problem with this whole debate: people pushing for changes with the same precision as word filters failing at "Scunthorpe", without care for context or details. Sure, it's easier that way. But also harder to justify.
Edit: my joke is not not endorsed as an official mandatory non-negotiable community code of conduct by my employer (who happens to be pictured in TFA), pinky swear!
I have your canned criticism and responses ready for you if you need them.
> The term hamburger originally derives from Hamburg,
> Germany's second-largest city. Hamburger in German is
> the demonym of Hamburg, similar to frankfurter and wiener,
> names for other meat-based foods and demonyms of the cities
> of Frankfurt and Vienna (in German Wien) respectively.
I'm tired of virtue signallers telling others what to be offended about and what not to be offended about.
It is probably on there because "dash case" will be more easily understood by more people.
After all, it’s just one word. /s
Can you explain your perspective here? I’m genuinely confused and curious about your point of view.
Say we're talking about someone's leg. If we use words like "muscles" and "flesh" to refer to their leg, then that's different than using the words "steak" or "meat", because those last two words are used to legitimize eating the leg in question.
If a friend of yours referred to your skin as "bacon", perhaps you'd laugh because it's an absurd idea that your friend would want to fry and eat your skin for breakfast. But sometimes we use the word "bacon" for real about eating someone's skin, mostly if they're a pig. Those, who don't view it as ethical to commit violence towards others and then eat their bodies, would therefore avoid talking about the skin of others as "bacon" and their muscles as "meat" (unless they were joking, perhaps).
I wouldn't consider "egg" is an oppressive word as such, because it doesn't imply eating per-se. Vegans would still say that a chicken is laying eggs. But "fishing", even though it's just the noun "fish" turned into a verb, is violent because it means "to hunt fish, often for eating". Imagine if the verb "dogging" was used for hunting and killing dogs? "Childing"? "Womaning"?
Sometimes this carnistic language bias is hidden for us. If you're more curious, please check out Melanie Joy's video, The Secret Reason We Eat Meat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao2GL3NAWQU
what kebab case is:
what kebab case should actually have been:
It's sad that this happens in the first place, but also in the same breath as change proposals in the name of fighting racism and other discrimination.
I don't want to sound insensitive, but people who struggle with encountering terms like "fat" or "sanity" in their everyday life could achieve a significantly better quality of life by improving themselves. I know that from first-hand experience and from professionals who actually have patients with fear of flying and all kinds of other ailments, and I think being so accomodating actually hurts the affected people more in the long term than it helps.
For example I don't know why most try to push "denylist" instead of the more obvious "blocklist".
Slang exists for a reason, and going the opposite way just makes everything harder.
From that perspective; allowlist and denylist are three syllables each; blacklist, blocklist and whitelist are two - so my experience suggests that in the end the latter will be used instead of the former whenever possible.
So you can't say a process has "hung" or "hanged".
You can't say you've "killed" a process.
Can't say "Sanity check". That isn't allowed. Can't even say "Sane".
Can't use "Dummy variable".
Can't say "Manpower", "Manned", "Manmade". You also can't use "Male/Female Adapter".
Can't say "Dumb down".
Secondly, "This guide contains guidelines, not rules. Depart from it when doing so improves your content."
In Russian you’d say “mom-dad” adapter. I mean, the principle it refers to is universal.
I also think this is the first step towards aggressively policing the language, even though it starts as a guideline.
Language changes over time, as easy as that. Sometimes change comes in gradually over decades or centuries, sometimes change comes revolutionary (e.g. rap music lingo establishing itself in mainstream culture).
Especially in the example case of music, "policing" has been a constant reality (e.g. "bleeping out" of words or outright refusal to air content on TV/radio or parents forbidding their children to listen to rap or metal music because of "satanism" fears), yet no one complained there while now there is constant complaining about replacing of actually racially charged words?!
Ummm. Did you somehow grow to adulthood without being a teenager? Did you grow up somewhere other than the United States? The notion that nobody has ever complained about censorship in music is so hilariously wrong, it makes me want to send you CAPTCHAs to see how well the bots are doing nowadays.
Seriously, go listen to every top selling rap album from the first twenty years. The majority of them complain about censorship.
Well, what Wikipedia calls the “Golden Age” as opposed to “Old School” period, sure; anything just after the PMRC decided sex, drugs, and the occult in music were problems requiring government action in the absence of industry self-censorship.
I constantly complain about Eminem’s music videos cutting the words out.
> replacing actually racially charged words
You said it yourself, language changes. Just don’t charge the words, simple as that. Words are sound waves, or pixels on the screen. And it’s people who give them meaning. It seems to me that the ideas behind the words won’t get anywhere if you just ban words.
How much economic damage will it cause to deliberately muddy the waters of terminology?
Asserting that all PC is nonsense is just the kind of violation of the curious-not-dogmatic ethos that prevails here that will attract downvotes. If you have difficulties understanding why some might consider the GP post on the edge, you maybe don't understand this culture and should perhaps spend some time reading dang's moderation comments.
I dunno. I don't care about any of the other terms, but describing plugs and receptacles in terms of penetrative heterosexual intercourse has always made me a little uncomfortable.
If this wasn't HN, I would have posted some super obscene comment on how absolutely "slowed, invalid and insensible" some of these political ones are.
Are we going to change traffic lights from yellow and red to something else too now? How long before terminal commands need to be renamed from kill, man, fat32 to something else?
To be consistent with Material Design, use all-caps, no periods, and a space before.
Recommended: 9:00 AM
I'm gonna be snarky and say to just use 24h time in developer documentation.
- APIs; not API's
This isn't a style decision. It's basic grammar
- authN, authZ
Don't use. Instead, use authentication or authorization.
But i18n and a11y is fine it seems?
-manmade, man made
Avoid using gendered terms. Instead use a word like artificial, manufactured, or synthetic.
"Man" refers to a person, or specifically an individual of the human species in this context.
Use with caution. Never use in conjunction with slave.
Finally, a rational decision.
I have all my devices set to British English, since I can't deal with broken Croatian translations, but I'm trying to get away from these ass-backwards formats that only 4% of the world's population uses. Sadly, that 4% is responsible for almost all of the media and core software we consume, so I guess we're stuck with it.
Did you mean to write MM/DD/YYYY?
I do wonder if America will _ever_ make the switch to the metric system. The French managed it in 1799; backwards Britain had mostly managed it by 1972; and yet working with US engineers means that I occasionally find myself converting units like slugs or "circular mils" into SI units for FEM modelling. Wolfram alpha is a godsend. I just really, really hate the US unit system with a passion!
I understand some people don't like change, but if changing "man" to "person" upsets someone then it rather feels like they don't like sharing.
Everyone already knows that "manmade" is an inclusive term, if women or children makes something it is still "manmade" so there is no need to update the term. If you say that wording matters, then you also should be against the term "toxic masculinity" since it is a very aggravating term, there are so many less aggravating terms that could be used for that phenomena.
Edit: If you don't understand how expensive these things are try to think about why USA still uses AM/PM and the imperial measuring systems. It is trivial to switch on all new products, right? Well, of course that isn't true, changing language is as I said super expensive which is why it isn't done often.
There's a huge overlap there.
What bothers me is how much this is an VERY regional issue, specifically, USA-based, yet it's being imported wholesale across the entire Western world, when it doesn't make any sense.
It's sad seeing locals making BLM protests when we have <10 black people in the entire country, or German bloggers who suddenly find themselves questioning if noun articles are the cause of toxic patriarchy.
The empire defines the rules, the provinces follow. I find it positive because it makes these relationships very obvious, nothing is hidden.
What we are upset about is that this is being "forced" on people (Soon, watch. Probably already happening in schools, though). And likewise, that it's being done under the guise of some sort of greater-good when it seems rather petty and won't really change the day to day issues facing women and black people.
We're also upset that this is effectively taking a step in the opposite direction to real equality.
Additionally, I could care less that we stop using "man" and "white" etc. What does bother me is that there is this nagging feeling that this is being done purposefully to upset certain groups (which we can then turn around and say "look, see, they don't like their white/male power being dismantled, they are race/sex-ist and look how much we're defeating sex/race-ism!").
For the bits that want to be culture war flashpoints, I mean yeah, it’s dumb, but I’m just so tired of this.
Can we just put all the speech police in a corner so they can argue with each other about the most perfectly inoffensive way to say things while everyone else does real work?
I assume this is for writing documentation/code for Google products, so if internal only, then I guess everyone is on-board and would get used to it. If it is
for external consumption as well, then it potentially just make things harder to grok.
A "full-featured client" is not the same as a "fat client" to me. "opaque-box" when reading would make me stop, think 'oh, do I need to look that up?' then realise it just means that it is blackbox and I should just not bother with it.
Reminds me of those people who like to use much longer and fancy words for something that does not need it.
On the other side, what megacorps such as Google or Facebook adopt influences everyone else. While some of the terms on this list tend to be a bit nit-picky, it's not a bad thing to replace stuff such as master/slave or blacklist/whitelist... and having big-name influencers commit to that is a huge step forward.
From a political view: ideally this whole debate should have been done in the open, in democratic discourse, but unfortunately Congress has been gridlocked for the most part of the last decades, and mass media these days more serves to outrage and click-baiting (for the sake of ad money) instead of hosting civilized debate.
"megacorps such as Google or Facebook adopt influences everyone else" I don't really agree with this, they try and push their own agenda, but ultimately the community decides what it wants to do
As for the ones that hacker news by and large seems to think are controversial, I agree with the style guide, there are only historical arguments for keeping gendered/race based language. Why not remove it. Language is dynamic, it can evolve.
Ultimately, the positive impact is totally unproven. I think it ought to be up to advocates of these changes to prove that they provide any benefits to minorities. I've heard as much talk from members of minority groups saying that they find it infantilizing and performative as I have from those who approve of the change.
The idea with this guide is to give a comprehensive look at clean language that people should be investing a bit of thought to
Even things like the delayed gratification experiment fall under a more intense scrutiny.
It definitely succeeds at imitating real change.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphemism#Euphemism_treadmill
You suggest there is no point in changing your own communication if you cant force the whole to change in the same way. I disagree.
It is quite common to have company policy for communication. That does not mean you want to change how everybody else in the world communicates.
If that's the goal, they should use estabilished terms of art.
>It is quite common to have company policy for communication. That does not mean you want to change how everybody else in the world communicates.
Yeah, so I don't get why what I proposed is any different from that.
Man, USA is such a weird place to live. I’m happy color is just a color where I’m from.
(The logic is that uses where "black" has a negative connotation and "white" has a positive connotation are to be avoided, regardless of etymology. But I guess I'm telling you something you already know, there).
> Don't use. Instead, use a precise term like platform-independent.
Oh, FFS. I've been agnostic for half of my life and I don't know a single one agnostic that would want that.
In fact, I feel more offended that it's on this novlang manual.
Are they going to go through the whole dictionary to eliminate all those non-double-plus-good words that are not efficient enough?
Don't you feel that it's just getting ridiculous at this point?
I get the impression that most of the people who are complaining in the comments here are really getting worked up about some inferred political bias, rather than because they actually disagree with the substance of the style guide.
“Oh, you’re actually agnostic? Well, you still can’t say that word because another agnostic person may find it offensive.”
The phrase 'connection handshake was cancelled' doesn't work because it implies that the client always canceled the handshake intentionally which is not always accurate. The phrase 'connection handshake was ended' also doesn't work; some people might read it wrong thinking that it completed successfully.
The phrase 'connection handshake was aborted' is perfect because it could be the server's fault, could be the client's fault or could be a network issue. And it's clear in any case that the handshake did not finish correctly.
I read that the word 'abort' was commonly used in aviation when discussing take off and landing so it seemed like a good parallel.
It's like that scene in x-men (x-people now?) first class when magneto tells mystique that if she's using half her energy to be someone else all the time, she'll never be at her full potential. If you're constantly screening your code, writing, and speech for increasingly obscure ways that people could get offended, you're not working at your full potential.
While it makes a lot of sense for Google, I have no reason to use it if I'm not a Googler (and even then).
Not at all. If I could find three lists:
- common imprecise language used by developers, and how to improve it.
- common grammar errors among developers.
- San Fransisco deep-left political preferences wrt to code documentation.
I would know which two which would be of use to me, and which one I should absolutely ignore.
I personally agree with ~95% of the list, and the other 5% seems too trivial to be worth arguing over. I couldn't care less about the motivation behind the rules (political or otherwise) as long as they don't sacrifice clarity, and I think that's basically true for everything in here.
This is pedantic and not right and is also prescriptive.
The combined continents are “The Americas”, else the individual continents are South America and North America. There exists no single continent, either America or the Americas, but is rather a word used when talking about these two continents as a unit --which isn't a unit anyway.
Virtually no one refers to inhabitants of the continents as “Americans”. American(s)is reserved for people from the US (including in South America) Just as Asians doesn’t refer to everyone who lives in the continent of Asia.
The demonym "American" stands for a person from the USA. Just as Mexican refers to a person from the USM (United States of Mexico as translated from Spanish).
The way to split the continents is cultural. For example look at the Olympic games logo. The rings represent the five continents, also the ones I learned at school: Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australia.
I think that depends on the person. I mostly hear, so and so "es Americano" to refer to Americans. There has NEVER been a case where "Americano" means someone from either SAm or NAm. It's just not used that way.
With regards to the Olympics, it's just a logo. You obviously know there is no geographical continent of Europe or Asia but rather Eurasia. The Western Hemisphere is the opposite, there there are two continents North America and South America, there is no continent of The Americas. There are two distinct landmasses.
Besides, colloquial and in general speech American refers to people from the US. Only prescriptivists (who typically are anti prescriptivists elsewhere) insists that it refers to people from two different continents.
I've heard "norte Americano" to refer to both people from what they sometimes call "Anglo-saxon America" (US and Canada) which seems to map as the opposite of Latin American. It usually excludes Mexicans who are referred to as Mexicano and not as norte americano because they are considered part of LatAm.
It's not possible to say "this was denylisted" for example.
That's the point of the change -- it's clearer about what happened.
> Not recommended: To denylist an IP address, add it to the dos.yaml file.
This practice is what used to be known as the activity formerly called sometimes referred to as best effort.
It’s a free country, Google are free to publish their own dictionary if that is how they choose to spend their time on Earth. I am also free to ignore them.
If you live under a rock, maybe. Google has disproportionate influence.
If a picture is hung on the wall, that is not violent!
> When possible, avoid the use of figurative language that can be interpreted as violent, such as hang and hit. Although there may also be nonviolent interpretations for these terms, avoiding their use prevents unintentional harm that might be caused by the violent interpretations.
regex - Don't use. Instead, use regular expression
PCRE even stands for Perl compatible regular expressions.
> Perl had a huge influence on the flavors of regular expressions used in most modern engines today. This is why modern regular expressions are often called Perl-style. The differences in features across regex engines are considerable, so in my view speaking of Perl-style regular expressions only makes sense when one wants to make it clear one is not talking about the ivory tower brand of mathematically-correct expressions.
> But if you really want to avoid ambiguity, just say regex, as that is one word that white-coat computer scientists are not claiming.
Your own source says "This is why a small minority of people today (most of whom have email addresses ending with .edu) will maintain that what we call regex are not regular expressions. For the rest of us… Regex and regular expressions? Same-same."
You're not allowed to say that :D
Can't mention 'Black Hat USA' anywhere even related to security, because Google says it is in their list of 'banned' words. /s
We will now start the process of dismantling Black Hat USA because it is now 'offensive'.
Maybe the actual problem is that companies like Google are forcing people to see almost everything in anything as racial and everyone copying them are constantly taking it all out of context just 'because FAAMNG is doing it'.
> Don't use to refer to a person. Instead, use a term such as expert. OK to use in reference to companies, tools, software packages, and other entities that use the term in their names.
>> OK or okay; not ok or Okay
Now that's borderline silly ?
that's a style rule, many of these other rules are social rules. It is silly to mix the two.
on edit: just to note I was agreeing with you it's a silly rule, but it is silly in the context that they have all these social and moral requirements and then they blithely mix in something that is at a different level of concern. I feel these guidelines were written by a Junior Dev on the English Language project.
There's often so much assumption that readers are in the US (see the comments here for several examples).
> user base; not userbase
> username; not user name
It highlight how arbitrary some of these rules are.
userbase is just a rare spelling, and also the name of some software products.
There’s a reason for covering URI things larger than media.
> Don't use. Instead, use a genderless word like plug.
> man hours, manhours, man-hours
> Avoid using gendered terms. Instead use terms like person hours.
> man-in-the-middle (MITM)
> Avoid using gendered terms. Instead use terms like on-path attacker, person-in-the-middle (PITM).
Seriously? What kind of non-sense is this?
> Don't use.
Oh shut up.
It used to be one of their competitor in France about 20 years ago. Perhaps they just want their developers to not use it because of that.
If your mission is to avoid offence and confusion and you're an international company, you should ban this one as its more offensive/emotive than 99.9% of the things on this list in UK English. But nope, it's OK apparently
It would be nice if their IDE linter would help this along though, compliance would be tricky for developers.
A good title might be "Developer documentation style guide: Word List" (composed from the headings) or the current title above, which a mod took from the opening paragraph.
1. that language can be controlled via a top-down process, that a fiat issued from those with the power to determine things will create a language of greater moral stature than before.
2. that there is a sort of slippery slope of meaning that humanity follows when imprinted with language, and thus man meaning a man and not a woman and man meaning humanity will cause people to go around thinking that women aren't human. It is true that much of misogyny assumes that women aren't human, but there is a huge inductive gap from noticing this to jumping to the conclusion that the structure of our language is responsible.
That said of #2 I think there is a weak function of this, but the moral crusaders always act like it is as strong as iron and must be broken or the world will never improve. Hence #1.
It's naive at best.
No, they believe that a relatively easy, cheap change can help them promote a more diverse environment which, hopefully, will be removing a small pebble from a giant wall. Remove enough of the pebbles, and the wall will eventually give away.
Doesn’t that verb supposed to be in a singular form like in “To make the token persists ...”?
>Don't use. Instead, use mobile phone or phone.
Do they follow it?
Does anyone complain if they don't?
There will most definitely be some useless people in there that don't have anything better to do than police this in the name of "diversity and inclusion" so yes.
It is (almost) literally a minefield to work with these people. I'm here just for the green card and the huge bonus I'm getting.
If you can, avoid this company.
I can picture the "committee" that produced this. It has some good points, but is good material for parody and ridicule, too.
Looks like Google backed golang needs to change their library: https://golang.org/pkg/flag/