Terminology, Power and Offensive Language

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Last updated 2019-09-12 (latest revision 2019-03-11)
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This document argues for and describes alternatives that shift specific language conventions used by RFC Authors and RFC Editors to avoid offensive terminology in the technical documentation of the RFC series. Specifically, this document details two sets of terms that are normalised on the technical level but offensive on a societal level. First, arguments are presented for why any offensive terms should be avoided by the IETF/IRTF. Second, problem statements for both sets of terms are presented and alternatives are referenced and proposed. There is a third section on additional considerations and general action points to address the RFC series, past and future. Lastly, a summary of recommendations is presented.


Mallory Knodel (mallory@article19.org)
Niels ten Oever (mail@nielstenoever.net)

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)