Thursday, November 29, 2012

More words you cannot say in print, courtesy Associated Press

The AP has what is called a "Style Book' which is a guide on how to write correctly as a journalist.  It is the handbook for what to say, how to say it and what words to use, or not use.  It has always amazed me as to how AP continues to defy rational thought in coming up with reasons not to use a word or phrase.  I was taught that you called it as you saw it, it seems the people at AP learned instead to call it as it was meant to appear, as far from reality as that might be.

From (surprisingly not AP) Politico November 26 by Dylan Byers

AP nixes 'homophobia', 'ethnic cleansing'

The Associated Press has nixed "homophobia," "ethnic cleansing," and a number of other terms from its Style Book in recent months.

The online Style Book now says that "-phobia," "an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness" should not be used "in political or social contexts," including "homophobia" and "Islamophobia." It also calls "ethnic cleansing" a "euphemism," and says the AP "does not use 'ethnic cleansing' on its own. It must be enclosed in quotes, attributed and explained."

"Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for pretty violent activities, a phobia is a psychiatric or medical term for a severe mental disorder. Those terms have been used quite a bit in the past, and we don't feel that's quite accurate..."

Wait, what is not quite accurate when talking about, oh, I don't know,let's talk about Rwanda where the goal of one side is the total elimination of the other.  If that is not a perfect example of ethnic cleansing someone give me another useful adjective that describes the thinking behind the act.  

Read it all   

No comments: