Microsoft launches a 'woke' spelling tool feature for Word

Microsoft launches a 'woke' spelling tool feature for Word
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Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman


Published: 15/01/2022

- 15:50

Updated: 15/01/2022

- 20:11

The "inclusiveness checker" highlights phrases or words that the application feels may well cause offence to people based on their gender, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Microsoft has introduced an "inclusive" new feature on Word that suggests more politically-correct alternatives in place of commonly used phrases.

The "inclusiveness checker" highlights phrases or words that the application feels may well cause offence to people based on their gender, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation.


Suggestions on the application include changing Postman Pat to "Postal Worker Pat" as the former “may imply gender bias”.

In addition, users are advised to replace “mankind” in Neil Armstrong’s “one giant leap for mankind” to “humankind or “humanity”.

The new function has been rolled out by Microsoft in their new update for Microsoft Word in Office 365.

When switched on, spelling mistakes are underlined in red, grammatical errors are underlined in blue, and the new "inclusiveness checker" will underline issues in purple.

Digital strategist John Bull wrote on Twitter: “Your spellchecker will now help you to start overcoming your subconscious biases.

"It’s a brilliant feature. I wish they’d make more noise about it."

However, other uses have criticised Microsoft for "cowering to the woke brigade."

In a statement, Microsoft said: “Microsoft understands that not every Editor suggestion may be suitable for all users and all scenarios. That’s why we let users be in control of their final output. Editor is a completely optional tool that users can turn on or off at any point. Editor does not make any autocorrections.

“The user has control over which suggestions they choose to use, if any. They will be able to turn on and off each one of them individually.”

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