The English language has been evolving centuries, if not millennia. Conversations the Middle Ages would be almost unrecognisable today. In particular, the use and meaning vocabulary is in constant flux. The British charity Oxfam has issued a guide that further pushes changes how the language is used, especially charity workers. Oxfam wants to "decolonise" English, which it considers to be, "the language a colonising nation". It said English needs to change " order to decolonise our ways of working and shift power". Oxfam has issued a 92-page "Inclusive Language Guide" to advise employees the use of language "to support everyone to feel empowered to be inclusive in their work".
Oxfam was founded 1942 to help alleviate global poverty. It now operates more than 80 countries worldwide. Its new guide recognises the reality that English is the dominant language used charity workers in former British colonies. Oxfam said: "This guide aims to support people who have to work and communicate the English language as part this colonial legacy." The guide focuses inclusivity for the disabled, the LGBTQIA+ community, migrants, refugees, and others. Suggested language changes include avoiding "colonial" phrases "headquarters" and "mankind". It said the latter word could be viewed as being patriarchal as "it is often misunderstood as only referring men".