Talking about the Midwest representing: the Chicago Tribune announced yesterday that, like its sister publication the Los Angeles Times, it'll drop the i-word too!
While the nation continues to wrestle with the problem of illegal immigration, its major newspapers are solving the problem of "illegal immigrant"
The term is widely -- though not universally -- considered offensive. "'Illegal' should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally," wrote Associated Press senior vice president and executive editor Kathleen Carroll last month in announcing a change to the wire-service's highly regarded stylebook.
The revision tells writers that "acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission. Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented."
"A person may have plenty of documents," Carroll wrote, "just not the ones required for legal residence."
Three weeks later, the Tribune made the same change in an all-staff memo and the New York Times directed reporters and editors to "consider alternatives" to the term that immigrants-right advocates consider nearly as demeaning and objectifying as "illegal alien," a term abandoned long ago by those striving to strike a neutral tone when covering this divisive issue.
And the Tribune moved the conversation in an interesting direction:
Now that we're all being so enlightened, I hope America's style and sensitivity police will issue a ban on the use of the offensive ethnic slur "Redskins," including and particularly in reference to the NFL franchise of that name.
"Washington" as in D.C., the home of the team, is only two letters longer and has the advantage of not being a fundamentally vile word.
Way to go, Chicago Tribune!