How to Ensure that Your Land Acknowledgment Doesn’t Perpetuate Oppression
Radical Copyeditor
by Alex Kapitan
8M ago
Full image description Okay, friends. Let’s talk about land acknowledgments. For those who are unfamiliar, a land acknowledgment is most often understood as a verbal or written recognition of the original Indigenous nations whose lands are being occupied by a person, group, event, school, or other organization. In recent years, land acknowledgments have become more and more common among people, groups, and organizations with a progressive or social justice-seeking orientation. You can find them written in website footers, displayed on physical plaques and signs, spoken at the start of everythi ..read more
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Conscious Communication and the Power of Language
Radical Copyeditor
by Alex Kapitan
1y ago
Full image description Last month I was honored to deliver the keynote address at the annual conference of the Publishing Professionals Network, a San Francisco Bay–area nonprofit that supports people working in the book publishing field. The theme of the conference was “Publishing in a Diverse World.” It was a wonderful gathering of folks invested in using books as a tool for positive change. Here’s what I shared with them, slightly edited for publication purposes. There are a few things that are important for you to know about me. The first is that I am a major word nerd. The second is tha ..read more
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The Power of Everyday Language to Cause Harm
Radical Copyeditor
by Alex Kapitan
2y ago
Full image description Anyone who has ever experienced bullying, harassment, or oppression knows that the age-old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is at best wishful thinking and at worst a lie. This adage has been passed down, generation to generation, as if it’s a shield that can ward off the impacts of hateful speech, but it’s no protection at all. Words, like arrows, cut through the falsehood that only physical assaults cause pain, debilitation, and death.  Violence takes infinitely variable forms. Death can occur from a single gunshot or fro ..read more
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What’s in a Word: Queer
Radical Copyeditor
by Alex Kapitan
2y ago
Full image description This quirky, mighty word carries so much meaning. Self-identity, umbrella term, academic discipline, political orientation, verb, and—yes—slur. Yet more than three decades after a fundamental shift in what this word communicates, the mainstream still resists acknowledging the fullness of what queer means. What’s this resistance to queer really about? And how should this complexity be navigated? Let’s start from the beginning. A brief history of queer Etymologists aren’t sure of the roots of the word queer. Some think it made its way into English via the German word quer ..read more
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Ask a Radical Copyeditor: What’s the Best Way to Refer to Everyone Who Isn’t Cis?
Radical Copyeditor
by Alex Kapitan
2y ago
Full image description A few months back I got a great question from some fellow trans writers who run a project that offers free support to other trans writers. They shared that they often struggle with what terms to use to let people know who can participate, and they asked if there is a single best term for everyone who isn’t cisgender. The short answer was a big fat nope, but a longer answer feels worthwhile, because the question of how to best refer to everyone whose identities don’t conform to mainstream gender expectations/norms is a super challenging and multilayered topic. Language ar ..read more
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Want More Radical Copyeditor in Your Life?
Radical Copyeditor
by Alex Kapitan
2y ago
Full image description Dear friends and followers, Four and a half years ago, I decided to launch a project on using language in anti-oppressive, liberatory ways. It’s been really gratifying to create content on all sorts of things I’ve thought about and practiced for years, and I’ve been so happy to hear that my work is helpful. I don’t post all that often because as a financially vulnerable freelancer it’s hard to prioritize unpaid work, but I want to change that! So I’m inviting you to support me, via my new Patreon page, in putting more content out in the world. In exchange, you’ll get an ..read more
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