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AP Stylebook draws snarky backlash after listing more off-limits ‘derogatory terms’

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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.

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)

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