This App Stops Women From Writing These Power-Stealing Words

Photo: Caiaimage/REX Shutterstock.
In case you haven't heard, some experts think that women have an issue with the language in their email. Others insist that it's society, not women, at issue. Either way, this new Chrome app is trying to offer a solution.

Slate reports that the new extension for Chrome users, Just Not Sorry, is trying to tackle the use of undermining language in emails sent by businesswomen. A variety of business experts have accused women of qualifying their opinions and coming across as weak by using terms like "just," "sorry," "I think," or "does that make sense."

The plug-in was created by Tami Reiss and the team at Cyrus Innovation, who see Just Not Sorry as a tool to even the playing field in the workplace and mitigate the "walk all over me" vibe that some women project with their colleagues. Reiss details how the idea first got sparked on Medium.

Once downloaded, Just Not Sorry highlights these terms with a pop-up window offering insight into why that "just" weakens your argument. It serves as a spellcheck of sorts for empowering words. More than 5,000 people have already added the extension.

One contrary argument that is coming up is this: Women don't need to be stressing over every single word they use in an email. Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti raised this point on Twitter following news of the app's release.

"Where's the app that stops people from judging the way women speak?," the feminist writer tweeted.

"I understand the push to get rid of 'sorry' & 'just' but I'm 100% sick of treating women's language tics as inherently disempowering," she added. "Because you know what happens when women stop being overly friendly in work emails and meetings? We're called rude bitches."

For those who'd like to experiment with this language-catching service, Just Not Sorry is available at the Chrome app store. And for those who see their writing style as simply that — their style — carry on.

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