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  • Writer's pictureNadine Hegmanns

Introducing the colon

Language is power. I’ve known that ever since I’ve started to learn English as a first foreign language. But my mother tongue German has its powers, too.

German, like many other languages, genders words. This can be, and often is, perceived as biased language, since the masculine plural form of a noun is used to address all.

I have now adopted gender inclusive terminology for the German language version of my website. While I have always used gender neutral versions of a noun wherever possible both in English and in German (e.g. chairperson instead of chairman), I have recently adopted the now common spelling with a colon to enable the use of both the feminine and male ending and to indicate neutrality in German: Teilnehmer:in (participant). Because diversity matters.

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