New AP Rule and Other Tips For Clunkier Writing

Associated Press editors — that is, people who produce the Associated Press Stylebook — say that reporters — that is, people who write news stories — should no longer describe illegal immigrants as such. Rather, they should be described as people who immigrate illegally. I think I got that right. Here’s the release:

The Stylebook no longer sanctions the term “illegal immigrant” or the use…

  1. Percival

    The term for one who has done an illegal thing is “criminal.”

    I’m only too happy to help out the AP in their quest for a more accurate vocabulary.

    By the way, since the AP doesn’t actually “print” anything, how do they justify the term “press” in their name?

  2. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    Percival: The term for one who has done an illegal thing is “criminal.”

    How about we call illegal immigrants or people who immigrate illegally or whatever “crimigrants”?

  3. Pseudodionysius

    Is it Associated Press or Those Who Are Associated with The Press?

  4. Jeff

    The correct legal term is ‘illegal alien’. That is the actual name for the status-at-law of persons who entered the country illegally.

  5. dittoheadadt
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    Percival: The term for one who has done an illegal thing is “criminal.”

    How about we call illegal immigrants or people who immigrate illegally or whatever “crimigrants”?

    It’s either Mark Levin or Jay Severin (I think Jay) who coined the correct term:  criminalien.

  6. Vance Richards

    Should we use that logic across the board, or is it just for illegal immigrants? Can we say that there are no more criminals in the world, just people who commit crimes? No more wiseguy commenters, just guys who make wise comments?

  7. Trace

    Jay Leno had the best line: “And in a groundbreaking move, the Associated Press, the largest news gathering outlet in the world, will no longer use the term ‘illegal immigrant.’ That is out. No longer ‘illegal immigrant.’ They will now use the phrase ‘undocumented Democrat.’

  8. Dave Carter
    C

    Oh good. That means that the thief in the truck stop the other night, was just a person shopping illegally.

  9. tabula rasa
    Pseudodionysius: Is it Associated Press or Those Who Are Associated with The Press? · 37 minutes ago

    Totally aside from the idiotic political correctness of this change, Pseudo had demonstrated another result:  you take a completely clear two-word phrase and transform it into an incomprehensible seven-word blob of ambiguity.

    Makes you wonder why we call these people “progressives.”  

  10. Pseudodionysius
    Dave Carter: Oh good. That means that the thief in the truck stop the other night, was just a person shopping illegally. · in 0 minutes

    A Man In Need Of A Hug:

    AMINOAH.

  11. Leigh
    Vance Richards: Should we use that logic across the board, or is it just for illegal immigrants? Can we say that there are no more criminals in the world, just people who commit crimes? No more wiseguy commenters, just guys who make wise comments? · 0 minutes ago

    I’m not sure and not interested in researching, but Ithink they might have a grammatical point about the word “illegal” describing an act not a person.  Do we use the phrase “illegal drivers” for someone driving without a license or intoxicated?  But since we could always use the term “criminal” I don’t think that’s their point…

    To be honest, I’m not shocked by this only because I sort of thought it had happened a long time ago and that AP-NYT usage was already “undocumented.”

    I love the “more evolution is down the road” part. I mean, I know language changes, but the mainstream left has been a little too open about “evolving” lately.  We know what you mean, folks.

  12. Orovillan
    Jeff: The correct legal term is ‘illegal alien’. That is the actual name for the status-at-law of persons who entered the country illegally. · 51 minutes ago

    “Alien” in US immigration law, is the term used to describe someone who is not a citizen of the US.  There are only “US Citizens” and “Aliens.”  “Illegal Alien” is someone who has entered or is “present” in the US without authorization or has overstayed the terms of their admission.  “Illegal Alien” is a non US Citizen illegally present in the US.  “Alien” is also a biblical term used to describe people who were in a land that was not their homeland.

    Also, at seaports, airports and Land border ports of entry (the only places that you may legally apply for and be admitted to the US) there are only “Intending Immigrants” and “Non Immigrants”.  “Non Immigrants” are those who wish to enter the US for business or pleasure. “Intending Immigrants” are those who wish to immigrate to the US under various classifications to reside permanently at first as a permanent resident, then if they choose to do so, apply for US citizenship after a period of time. Cont…

  13. Paul Dougherty

    I just deleted my original quip about what AP might have reported about a recent comment by Rep. Don Young (R-Ak). It might have been funny, but I refrain.

  14. Orovillan
    Orovillan

    Also, at seaports, airports and Land border ports of entry (the only places that you may legally apply for and be admitted to the US) there are only “Intending Immigrants” and “Non Immigrants”. 

    All applicants who apply for entry are “Intending Immigrants” until they prove that they are not, by showing that they are a US Citizen or permanent resident, or, by utilizing documents and verbal answers to an (Customs and Border Protection {CBPO}) Officer’s questions regarding their intent.

  15. Pencilvania

    About a year ago I wrote a letter to the editor of my local paper wherein I mentioned Tea Partiers.  When they printed the letter,  it became ‘tea partyers.’  I wrote him again and asked if he was trying to make me look uneducated with that spelling, and removing my caps.  He responded, no, they just follow the AP Stylebook.

    In the same paper, as I’m sure you’ve all seen elsewhere, ‘occupiers’ was capitalized.

  16. Dietlbomb

    I was confused by this story. Hasn’t the term “illegal immigrant” been banished from mainstream publication for years already? I thought we were calling them “undocumented immigrants”. Mark Steyn has been jokingly calling himself “America’s undocumented anchorman” on the Rush Limbaugh show for years.

  17. Macsen
    Jeff: The correct legal term is ‘illegal alien’. That is the actual name for the status-at-law of persons who entered the country illegally. · 11 hours ago

    I thought it was “invader.”

  18. Dietlbomb
    Macsen

    Jeff: The correct legal term is ‘illegal alien’. That is the actual name for the status-at-law of persons who entered the country illegally. · 11 hours ago

    I thought it was “invader.” · 1 hour ago

    I hear the Israelis use the term “infiltrator” to describe their illegal aliens. Sounds apposite.

  19. Orovillan
    James Lileks:  This is a novel term.  · 3 hours ago

    There needs to be a “dumb” or “stupid” button.  “Like” doesn’t leave me with enough options…

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