The words we use
affect the way we
and value people and things —
As well as the way others
and value us!
In short —
A Message About Trailblazer English from Justy
“Trailblazer” is what I call new or reclaimed vocabulary and orthography in any language introduced in order to HAIL people — i.e., to Honor All In Language. I use Trailblazer English in my writing and in my daily life.
Some of the terms you’ll find on these glossary links I have coined myself. Others I’ve discovered on the Internet or elsewhere along my life’s path, and I am delighted to share them with you here!
Time for Linguistic Change
What has became clear to us about the 21st Century is that we are living at a time of great social change — some might even say “upheaval.” I prefer to think of it as “Accelerated Social Evolution”! Whatever we choose to call it, the energy of this Age is calling us to question every aspect of our dealings with one another. This includes reevaluating the language each of us uses not only to express ourself, but also to forward our identity and to claim our rightful place in Society.
Some of us are committed to linguistic change and welcome its potential to forward greater respect, inclusion, and justice for all. Some resist it. Thus it is and has always been. Thus it will probably always be. But progress is made when those who take a stand for justice press on, ignoring the jeers and ridicule of naysayers and the unenlightened.
A Success Story from the 1970s: Ms.
Although still a child at the time, I can remember when Feminists fought for the adoption of the honorific “Ms.” back in the 1970s.
They asked, “Why should there be two titles for us — ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs.’ — so that men can know whether we are singular or married when we can’t glean the same information about them from their one title, ‘Mr.’?”
Introducing the honorific “Ms.” was a perfectly logical solution to this inequity, but, Oh! how the opponents of “Ms.” — of both polar sexes — ridiculed those who wanted to level that playing field!
However, the champions of “Ms.” did not back down. They continued to use “Ms.” Fast forward 50 years, and today it is simply accepted as a standard honorific!
The campaign for “Ms.” back in the 1970s stands as a shining example to all People of Good Will no matter what their gex (i.e., gender/sex combination) of what can be accomplished by having a vision, dedication, and persistence.
Criteria for Introducing a Trailblazer Word
Trailblazer language focuses on the words used for people. I ask myself four questions when deciding if a Conventional English word should be replaced by a Trailblazer term:
- Is the etymology of the word respectful? — I consider where the word came from and what message the original meaning of its root was trying to convey about a person or group of people;
- Is the word in line with Sound Science? — We are fortunate to live in an age in which science has shown Evolution to have been the origin of all species of life upon Earth, including our own. Does the word align with our evolutionary reality?;
- Is the word sexist in its etymology, meaning, and/or spelling? — If “Yes” in its etymology or meaning, it must be replaced. If the problem is one of spelling, the orthography must be modified.
- Is it the case that no word for a particular type of person in a specific kind of relationship exists all in the language? — If not, I’ll look first to Proto-Indo-European to find an acceptable historical root on which to base a new word.
Three Trailblazer English Lexicons
On the drop-down menu of this Overview, you’ll find the major terms for three Trailblazer English lexicons:
- Feminal Lexicon seeks to replace disrespectful words and spellings for persons of the femele gender with respectful ones;
- GN/GI (Gender Neutral/Gender-Inclusive) Lexicon seeks to replace androcentric terms and spellings with all-inclusive ones; and
- The Gen Ren (Gender Renegade) Lexicon seeks to render gender-variant people linguistically visible to Mainstream Western Society by providing words for them, especially, in their relationships to their extended family.
Change Starts with a Word
I hope you’ll decide to adopt some Trailblazer words into your own working vocabulary.
Change is possible and starts with individuals believing that it’s the right thing to do. Give yourself permission to say the words, first to yourself and then to those whom you trust. Encourage them to do the same. That’s how a movement gains momentum.
“Ms.” became a linguistic reality in the 1970s
before the Internet and social media existed.
Imagine what can be accomplished in the 21st Century by those who are willing to share with friends AND post to the world their commitment to Honor All In Language!
The time is right for linguistic change.
Be a Trailblazer!
Peace & Siblinghood,
Note: These Trailblazer English Lexicons are also included and used on my Naturalistic Spirituality website: http://www.theperitheisticpagan.com.