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The truth behind the Word controversy “Economically disadvantaged” vs “poor”

A minor social media storm over another suggested word change by Microsoft Word. The word ‘poor instead of  ‘economically disadvantaged’. Which has some people complaining about Microsoft forcing changes in what we write.

On Tiktok, the user @itschicabtw posted a video noting a wording suggestion made by Microsoft Word. It proposes that ‘economically disadvantaged’ be replaced by ‘poor’.

“So I’m writing a paper right now and it’s saying I had to put ‘economically disadvantaged’ because that’s how the category is called,” 

@itschicabtw on TikTok

Yet again, Office Watch is put in the unusual position of defending Microsoft against accusations of forcing people to change their text.

See Has Microsoft Word gone ‘woke’ and politically correct? for more examples of Microsoft supposedly forcing a change in wording.

The change is just a suggestion, designed to help. You’re not required to alter the text.

As the suggestion says, it’s based on ‘clarity’ or using simpler language.

Sometimes Word’s suggestions aren’t exactly right for the situation. There’s a subtle difference in meaning between ‘economically disadvantaged’ and ‘poor’ depending on the context, writers intention and the readers interpretation.

Don’t like it? Ignore once or Stop

In the Editor pane there are options to:

Ignore once

Stop checking for this – disables that specific Editor check entirely.

Of course, you can also just ignore Microsoft Word and Editor suggestions entirely.  It’s up to you.

Has Microsoft Word gone ‘woke’ and politically correct?

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