Watch Your Language: Self-Proclaimed

Posted By Debbie on July 2, 2018

I ran across this in my LinkedIn feed one day:

I don’t know who any of these people are. Don’t know who Maggy London is and I don’t know who Danielle is. But I DO know that when I see “self-proclaimed,” it tells me that SHE thinks she’s this but nobody really agrees.

Whether they meant “self-described” or “self-proclaimed,” both would weaken what they are saying here. Plus this is a fact-checkable thing. If she is in fact a serial entrepreneur, then you just call her that without the “self-proclaimed.”

Merriam Webster weighs in.

The Merriam Webster dictionary now goes beyond just defining words to really trying to explain them to people who might be learning English. Look at how they describe “self-proclaimed.”

You can declare yourself to be something but “self-proclaimed” implies that there is no reason or proof anybody would agree with you.

Watch your language.

Especially since this is an article about an “amazing” woman “fighting to change the world,” we don’t use language that makes it sound like we don’t really believe she is who she says she is. The article has no credit so I don’t know who wrote it.

Even though the interview series is about amazing women, it appears to be a dress shop letting you shop this woman’s look. Still… calling her “self-proclaimed” is sloppy at best and disrespectful at worst.