AP Stylebook draws snarky backlash after listing more off-limits ‘derogatory terms’
Chalk it up perhaps to 2020 being a wacky year, but the politically correct word police in charge of the Associated Press Stylebook — consisting of guidelines that provide an industry standard for news writers and others — have essentially put an entire category of words off-limits because they could be potentially offensive.
In a tweet, AP issued this stipulation for the journalistic community: “Do not use derogatory terms, such as insane, crazy/crazed, nuts or deranged, unless they are part of a quotation that is essential to the story. Avoid using mental health terms to describe unrelated issues. Don’t say that an awards show, for example, was schizophrenic.”
In response, some social media users have concluded that the AP may have lost its collective mind.
AP is the same organization that recently cautioned against using the standard definition of “riot” in favor of the word “unrest.” AP also frowns upon the use of the term “illegal immigrant.” Upon this announcement, ex-Tonight Show host Jay Leno quipped that “undocumented Democrat” was a more appropriate term.
The organization now refers to man-made climate change skeptics as “doubters” based on the premise that skepticism should be reserved for scientists.
Do not use derogatory terms, such as insane, crazy/crazed, nuts or deranged, unless they are part of a quotation that is essential to the story.
Avoid using mental health terms to describe unrelated issues. Don’t say that an awards show, for example, was schizophrenic.
— APStylebook (@APStylebook) November 10, 2020
It’s reasonable for those in the media to consider refraining from language that would disparage people unfairly depending on the circumstances. Mental health, in particular, is nothing to be trifled with.
On the other hand, scribes used to champion free speech before journalism became a primarily woke profession with Orwellian tendencies.
Although the latest AP decision won some support on liberal Twitter, others profoundly disagreed. Here is a sample of the huge reaction: (** Language warning)
It’s nuts and deranged that the crazy folks at AP think they control language.
— Karri Neves (@Karri_kln1671) November 10, 2020
This is insane and nuts!
— Gad Saad (@GadSaad) November 10, 2020
AP Stylebook guidelines: “Don’t use words. Words can be offensive. We’d recommend miming, but nobody likes that. It would perhaps be best if everyone just confined themselves to “if, and, or, but,” and we apologize to agoraphobes and the incarcerated for the use of “confined”.
— American ?? Purrl (@AmericanPurrl) November 10, 2020
If insane means doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results, wouldn’t trusting @AP be technically and proverbially “insane”? Asking for 71M friends.
— ryan jenkins (@ryanjenkins11) November 10, 2020
I’ll say exactly what I please. Thanks for the advice though.
— Enheduanna (@Enheduanna16) November 10, 2020
where are we on “batshit”?
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) November 10, 2020
This so crazy, nuts, deranged, and insane. Speech police.
— Chris Tsotsoros (@ctsotsoros) November 10, 2020
Thats some crazy talk right there
(I’m autistic and have mental illness’ im saying crazy and EVERYONE can)
— Ⓥ Athena ? (@Athena_Bambina) November 11, 2020
Come again? pic.twitter.com/aPML5VXw4A
— Argo Nerd (@argonerd) November 10, 2020
Please use “Tide Pod connoisseur,” “paint chip aficionado,” or “mainstream news believer” in lieu of these other less politically correct terms.
— Aldous Huxley’s Ghost™ (@AF632) November 10, 2020
Does this preachy tone ever actually work? Every time I see someone getting preachy and telling me what normally inconsequential words I shouldn’t use, I immediately want to do the opposite. Even if they aren’t words I would normally use.
— Misguided Misanthrope (@TheChainedMan) November 11, 2020
Do not use words at all pls
anyone will always feel offended, so stop communicating completely
— Sky ඞ (@SkyOnOsu) November 11, 2020
Crazy has a lot more acceptable meanings than just mental illness. It can mean extremely annoyed, foolish, very enthusiastic. And crazy is usually used to refer to a temporary state of mind. Not a permanent mental disability. This is overkill.
— Alex Only (@Alex4Only) November 10, 2020
What if I’m a licensed psychiatrist and I’ve had an opportunity to evaluate the awards show as part of a court-ordered competency hearing?
— Devilish Ledoux (@Devilishlydo) November 10, 2020