Inclusive language


We all have to pitch in to help our brothers in Queensland recover from this horrific tragedy.

Effect on reader

Terms such as ‘our’, ‘us’, and ‘we’ are often used to make the reader feel like part of a group or inspired to take collective action. This can be empowering for the reader, as they are not left as a bystander with no stake in the issue, and are therefore encouraged to take action. In addition to feeling encouraged through inclusion in the group, they may be given a sense of responsibility. Being made part of a group may allow the reader to feel that they are being held responsible to the recommended action or belief of the writer.

It is important to note that the use of words like ‘our’, ‘us’ and ‘we’ is not always inclusive, as they can be used to refer to a group to which the reader does not belong. For example, the RSPCA slogan “help us stop animal cruelty” is not inclusive as the ‘us’ refers to the organisation rather than collaborative action with the reader.