As a first thought on diplomatic language, there are some phrases that convey the right kind of idea yet the language is problematic because of the way our brains function. Puns and double meanings are all "pinged" when phrases are said and can impact brain chemistry - and thus impact behaviour, emotions and emotional intelligence.

As an example, we can look at the old English phrase regarding, "being willing to break the china." It is intended as a reassurance that even traditions that are held sacred will be re-examined, looked at and changed if they are counter to the objective of attaining inclusion and a welcoming environment for all. However, the words are problematic. Let us see why.

"Breaking china" will ping at the subconscious or conscious levels (depending on cultural sensitivities) "Breaking China." As diplomats this is very problematic on two important levels. Firstly, nobody should ever want to break another nation, especially one as large as China. Our goal is always peace, to see the real and important needs of the other, to come to the table as equals who all wish to build an equitable world together. From such times as the opium trade onwards China has had legitimate difficulties with the "west" that are rarely acknowledged with the seriousness they deserve. The second point is a more domestic yet equally worth of note.

"China" will also bring to mind Chinese people (nationally and ethnically), both at home and globally, thus the phrase has a racist effect (promotes emotional indifference and potentially cruel attitudes) and is likely to increase subconscious racial bias. It is possible to push such things in the opposite direction with more attention to linguistics - dropping, acquiring or inventing new phrases as appropriate. For when we combine mindful use of language with the good intentions that are obviously there, great things can come with greater ease - and that saves lives internationally.