What You Accept

I’m conflicted about “you guys.” Not about whether I should say it, but about how I should respond when others use “you guys” to refer to a group that is not all guys. Is it serious enough (and effective enough for me to nudge and nag the speaker to rethink their word choice? Or is this the wrong battle to fight? Should I follow the robustness principle?

Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others. — Jon Postel

Note that this was coined in 1980, when RFC’s were only 3 digits, before “liberal” and “conservative” were such divisive political words. Which brings me back around. Words carry baggage. And that baggage can change over time. Sometimes passively as technology changes the culture. But sometimes through repeatedly, deliberately, changing our own habits, nudging and nagging others to do the same.