(Sam Baker, Daily Mail) Microsoft has included a new function in the latest version of its Word software that acts as a checker for inclusivity and offers PC alternatives to phrases which could upset others.
Traditionally, Microsoft Word has offered tools to its 250million users such as checking software for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
But now, the tech giant has added an additional feature which reads through a user’s work and examines whether the language used may offend an individual.
The Sun reports it does this by highlighting phrases focusing on gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity of ‘socioeconomic status’.
The function, which produces a purple line beneath words or phrases it deems to be potentially problematic, can be turned on and off in Word’s settings.
Microsoft Word also used red lines to point out spelling mistakes and green lines for grammatical errors.
After highlighting the inclusivity issue, Word’s new functionality will suggest more acceptable alternatives – which includes changing Postman Pat to ‘mail carrier’ or ‘postal worker’.
The software also suggested altering astronaut Neil Armstrong’s famous quote from ‘one giant leap for mankind’, to ‘humankind’ or ‘humanity’ instead.
Back in 2020, Microsoft also released an update for Word which highlighted a double space as an error.
Current versions of the software highlights the mistaken double space with a blue line, highlighting a grammatical error.
Popular use of double-spacing is a hangover from the days of typewriting, when the equal-width characters of ‘monospaced’ fonts called for clearer sentence endings.
The introduction of proportional-spacing typewriters in 1944, however, began the process of rendering the extra space unnecessary for ensuring easy readability.
Nevertheless, the tradition of double-spacing continued — and is often found among those individuals who were first taught to type on a typewriter.
The news comes after last month, when a poll found the Microsoft ranked as one of the most trusted big tech companies in the US, with 43 per cent of poll participants suggesting they trust the company ‘a great deal/a good amount’.
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