The office that audits government spending forces its employees to use "inclusive language"

An internal memo revealed that the GAO prohibits the use of certain words and seeks to "educate" its workers on the difference between sex and gender identity.

"Inclusive language allows us to support GAO's mission by appropriately addressing all members of society," an internal Governmental Accountability Office memo reads. That mission? To properly audit the government's spending. The document, published by the Daily Mail, was sent to the agency's employees in October of 2022.

Among several recommendations, the text says one should always consult personal preferences and says "we should not assume an individual's preference represents that of all members of a group." In addition, when citing sources that include "non-inclusive terms," it should be made clear with a footnote that the GAO disagrees.

The document recommends avoiding "gendered terminology." It also provides a list of examples with possible substitutions, such as: instead of saying "man-made," use the words "artificial," "synthetic" or "constructed."

It also warns about the difference between sex and gender identity:

When it is necessary to refer to sex or gender identity, be aware of the distinction and avoid equating the two. Sex is a classification of people into categories such as male, female, or intersex on the basis of biological characteristics. Gender identity is a person's innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both, or neither. Gender identity may align with the sex a person was assigned at birth (cisgender), another sex (transgender), or neither. A person whose gender identity does not align with their sex assigned at birth or with another sex may identify as nonbinary, agender, or gender fluid, among other identities.


The memo also devotes a section to immigration. "Alien," "illegal alien," "illegal immigrant" and "illegals" are terms to be avoided, it states. Again, a footnote should be used if citing a source that refers to people using any of these words.

Some of the permitted terms, however, are: "individuals without lawful/valid immigration status," "foreign nationals unlawfully present/residing in the U.S." and "migrants."