Inclusive IT Language: Replacement Terms

Language, jargon and terminology traditionally used in certain fields or disciplines may be unintentionally offensive. Here are suggested replacement terms for language and terminology often found in information technology.

General

Master: As noted in this guide, use “master” for an academic accreditation (i.e., mastery of a concept, master’s degree). Don’t use it when it can connote a power differential or positions of authority and subservience involving individuals.

Using colours to describe things is often rooted in racial or ethnic origins or in metaphors that connote differences among and between people. Offensive practices include labelling white as good, black as bad, red as attackers or yellow as not-inclusive third parties.

Information on this page was provided by the U of G Office of the Chief Information Officer. 

Non-Inclusive TermSuggested Replacement
  • Blackbox testing
  • Closed-box testing
  • Whitebox testing
  • Open-box testing
  • Blackhat (hacker)
  • Hacker
  • Whitehat (hacker)
  • Ethical hacker
  • Blacklist
  • Block list
  • Whitelist
  • Allow list
  • Greylist
  • Suspicious list
  • Master/Slave
  • Primary/secondary
  • Disable
  • Deactivate
  • Enable
  • Activate
  • Dummy value
  • Placeholder value
  • Dummy variable
  • Placeholder variable
  • Scrum master
  • Scrum coach
  • or Team facilitator
  • Webmaster
  • Website administrator
  • Ticket master
  • Ticket leader
  • Red team
  • Ethical hacking team
  • White paper
  • Expert paper
  • War room
  • Situation room
  • White space
  • Empty space
  • Native feature
  • Built-in feature