Skip to main content

Tone of voice

These guidelines will help you when writing as XR on social media, whether you're creating content or answering comments.

Remember that you are speaking as XR, not as yourself, so bypass your own ego and try to come from a place of humility and compassion. It can be very difficult sometimes as trolls can be a very frustrating species. Don't hesitate to seek some help before answering comments (if they are worth answering at all).

Our motivation is:

  • To recruit the Sympathetic
  • To make the Waverers more sympathetic
  • To make the Reluctant less reluctant
  • To pacify and inform the Angry
  • To shut down or remove the Trolls and Haters

At all times try to engage and open dialogue, but try to recognise where discussion will probably be fruitless.

Your XR Voice should be simple, kind and self deprecatory; direct yet friendly; informative and engaging, authoritative yet warm and delivered with humility.


  • Describe science with neutral, factual vocabulary
  • Use supporting stories, not just facts, when they assist
  • Use negative terms (e.g. apocalypse, emergency, crisis) with positive messaging (honour & duty, truth, meaning of life)
  • Appeal to a broad cultural spectrum, not just alternative and left-wing perspectives, the people we need to involve will come from all sides and backgrounds
  • Avoid sarcasm, cynicism and generally misplaced humour - our framing is pretty serious so stay serious, with a light touch
  • Stay clear and concise and avoid insider language, acronyms and emotive terms
  • Stay honest about the starkness of the emerging catastrophe, but don’t indulge in doomerism. Don’t predict dystopias.
  • When answering a depressed person’s comment, highlight the opportunities for potential, positive changes by joining XR. Keep a pessimistic head, but an optimistic heart.
  • Focus on the converging crises that we face rather than climate change alone.
  • Always think about who you are talking to and the language that might appeal to them. We don’t know their backstory, and a kind word can make a big difference. What are you trying to say? Could you say it in a different, more engaging way? What will your audience hear?
  • Don’t give official XR posts your individual voice - try to write like you are XR, not yourself. But occasionally, the stories we tell can include some personal testimony when appropriate, but can still avoid personal voice.

Form and Formality

When writing anything as XR, avoid all formal writing errors:

  • No spelling errors
  • No grammar mistakes
  • Write for a teenager for whom English is second language
  • Keep sentences short and use plain English, not academic terminology

Know the difference between:

  • Their, There and They’re
  • It’s and Its
  • Lose and Loose
  • To, Too and Two

Use apostrophes accurately or don’t use them at all.

Form and formality may not matter for some people, but for the rest, it is enough for them to abandon reading our posts. And for many it’s simply good manners.