Schwa: a matterof inclusiveness

There are those who support its use and those who categorically exclude it from the Italian language. One thing, however, is certain: schwa and its use in spoken and written language are peridiocally returning to the center of public debate.

The case of the use of schwa at maturity

The focus on gender neutrality and inclusivity in business and otherwise, through a new use of schwa, has emerged in recent decades, in parallel with increased awareness of gender issues and evolving discussions of gender equality in society.

In recent hours, however, bringing the issue of using schwa to ensure greater inclusivity back to the forefront was a student struggling with his high school graduation exams. The Roman student’s gesture of defiance did not go unnoticed: the boy chose to use schwa in the Italian essay (first test), with the aim of demonstrating that the use of more inclusive language is in all respects possible. Thus, bravely facing the risk of a failing grade, the student challenged the school system and society, completing his task in respect of inclusivity.

The use of schwa in an increasingly diverse society

Those in the public debate who support the adoption of schwa in the Italian language believe that it would be a solution that allows them to stay in step with the times, bringing numerous benefits to society:

Gender Inclusivity: The use of schwa is seen by some as a way to overcome the traditional gender dichotomy in the Italian language, allowing for a more neutral and inclusive form of representation.

Representation of nonbinary identities: The adoption of schwa is seen as a way to respect and acknowledge nonbinary or gender fluid identities. Allowing the use of schwa can provide a form of language that better reflects the diversity and self-determination of people who do not strictly identify as male or female.

Linguistic neutrality: The use of schwa can be seen as a way to promote greater linguistic neutrality by reducing the implicit gender attribution associated with many nouns and adjectives in the Italian language. This could help avoid gender stereotypes and promote a more inclusive use of language.