More Inclusive Language Using TextExpander

01 Feb 2024 17:25 UTC-05:00

It's such a simple productivity hack, but for the last few years, I've been trying to stop saying just do X.

Plenty of articles discuss how the word just minimizes the effort you're putting in (here's one).

It's not About Me

The bigger reason to drop this word is that I also work with folks trying to make some of their first contributions to open-source.

I don't have many open-source contributions outside of projects I'm responsible for. My first few attempts at submitting a PR didn't go too well (and I've developed a lasting disdain for RST because of it).

There is a significant amount of effort put in by folks who have looked for good first issues, volunteered to tackle a problem, and then submitted the PR. Saying "Just add X" or "Just follow the steps in Y" magnifies any potential issue that arises.

Me: This was supposed to be easy. I'm not good at this.

Reality: The instructions may not have been clear to me, or I'm facing a language barrier, or some other unforeseen issue made this task harder than expected (I'm definitely guilty of that last one and apologize for the false hope I've given to folks).

On to the solution

I've used TextExpander for years. This snippet works by removing the word just (the word just followed by a space).

Text Expander Settings for "Just"

Now, I have to make a dedicated decision to use the word.

An interesting tidbit is that TextExpander will give analytics so over time (if I really wanted to), I could see how my usage of the word changed.

TextExpander Reporting on the word "Just"

Future ideas

I want to try this for a few days before doing the same with other phrases such as "easy" and "simply".