Microsoft Office will also underline words allegedly offensive to individuals depending on their age, sexual orientation, ethnicity & socioeconomic status.
Winston’s Comment – Will It Start Reporting or Censoring “Offenders” Too?
In 2021, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates raised eyebrows when he gave a $1 million grant to an organisation called Equitable Math, which aims to “dismantle racism in mathematics” as well as help Black, Latinx, and multilingual students thrive in school.
Microsoft has introduced a language checker to promote inclusiveness and fight biases, The Sun has reported, citing its sources. Besides checking spelling, its latest edition of Microsoft Office will also underline words that are allegedly offensive to individuals depending on their age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
Should a user make a “mistake” the checker will suggest a “more inclusive” alternative. According to The Sun, users are told that when writing about the late UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher it is better to use Ms Thatcher instead of Mrs Thatcher as the latter may imply gender bias.
Neil Armstrong would have found himself in hot water had he said his legendary remark about the Moon landing today. The programme deems that “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” lacks inclusivity and the astronaut should have said “humankind” or “humanity”.
Postman Pat, a character in British books and television programmes, seems to offend gender neutral individuals, with the checker suggesting calling him “mail carrier” or “postal worker”.
Other “inclusive” alternatives include: principal instead of headmaster, workforce instead of manpower, lover instead of mistress, house cleaner instead of maid, and hero instead of heroine. The checker can be turned on and off in a menu called Grammar & Refinements.
The news has caused angry reactions on social media, with users accusing Microsoft of going woke.
Might as well call it ‘Microsoft Woke’
— ☁️ Tom Blamire ☁️ (@Salesforce_Tom) January 13, 2022
— El_Squatcho (@Flyboy22898) January 13, 2022
Others made sarcastic comments and called for a boycott of the tech company.sticks and stones may break my bones but words will definitely hurt me.
— bunnyhead (@MissaXD) January 14, 2022