Each language has its own history. Every language carries prejudiced words and expressions that are used daily, helping to spread prejudice, often without realising it. The Portuguese language, for example, has more than 300 racist, homophobic, xenophobic and sexist words and expressions that, unfortunately, are still widespread.
To show that in the fight against prejudice words also matter, the advertising agency Leo Burnett Tailor Made created - in partnership with publishing house Globo Condè Nast, owner of the magazines Vogue, Glamor, GQ and Vogue Living - the Anti Prejudice Keyboard. A keyboard for the Android system that identifies hundreds of prejudiced words used daily and suggests more appropriate synonyms whenever one of those words is typed.
For example, every time someone writes 'Gyp', which has a prejudiced nature related to Romani people, the keyboard will suggest the synonym 'cheat'. When the typed word is 'uppity', a pejorative term, the keyboard will suggest 'arrogant'. As well as changing 'wife beater' to 'sleeveless t-shirt'.
Entitled 'Words matter', the campaign will be released on the digital channels of Vogue, GQ, Glamour and Vogue Living. It shows that prejudice is impregnated in speech and brings a sensitive look to a series of discrimination situations that are originated or aggravated by phrases, expressions, words or adjectives used daily, without reflection. The film is from Barry Company producer and invites us to understand the power of words and show that to change behaviour, words matter.
The initiative, led by the Globo Condé Nast diversity committee, is part of the publisher's efforts to have a more relevant role in promoting diversity.
The project has been under development for over one year by the production company Savoir, with the advice of linguist Tomas Finbow, doctor of the Department of Linguistics at USP.
The Anti-Prejudice Keyboard is available for Android and it has versions in Portuguese, English and Spanish with specific vocabularies for those languages. All information and conversations entered are kept confidential, respecting the privacy of users. It can be downloaded from the Play Store.