Saying Goodbye to "Illegal Immigrants"

Friday, April 05, 2013


On Tuesday the Associated Press eliminated the phrases "illegal immigrantand "undocumented" from its stylebook. Previous OTM guest Jose Antonio Vargas has been campaigning for this change for months on the grounds that “actions are illegal – not people.” The AP has conceded this point of view, but it’s not because of political correctness. Bob talks to AP editor Tom Kent, who explains that the change is part of a broader overhaul of the AP stylebook.


William Tyler - We Can't Go Home Again


Tom Kent

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Bob Garfield

Comments [5]

Tari Hartman Squire from Los Angeles, CA

Thanks to Tom Kent, Deputy Managing Editor of the AP STYLEBOOK for articulating the legacy of former AP STYLEBOOK Editor Norm Goldstein who worked with several disability organizations, including the former President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and who authorized the initial disability-savvy changes 20 years ago.

For example: "People use wheelchairs for independent mobility. Do not use confined to a wheelchair or wheelchair bound. If a wheelchair is needed, say why." That was a major victory.

WE should all be vigilant about reminding reporters, copy editors and other journalists of the AP Stylebook's disability-savvy -that is the semantics bible of the industry.

Thanks AP! Thanks Mr. Kent! Thanks Norm for getting the ball rolling many years ago. Even though you are retired, you are still greatly appreciated. You honored that people with disabilities have the right to name themselves.

Thanks for that respect!

Lead On!

Apr. 10 2013 01:48 AM
Stacy Harris from Nashville, TN

Reminds me of reference to the "unborn" as an adjective. A baby exists only at birth and thereafter. Not before.

As to the viability of life in various stages of development as it evolves from conception to birth, that is a more nuanced discussion respectfully engaged in from many different perspectives.

The immigration issue is clearcut: Those acting in an illegal manner who feel stigmatized by their choice should have chosen differently.

Stacy Harris
Publisher/Executive Editor/Media Critic
Stacy's Music Row Report

Apr. 08 2013 02:15 AM

Jay Leno's writing staff gave him the line of the week, regarding the AP:

"...They will now use the term 'Undocumented Democrat...'"

Apr. 07 2013 02:51 PM

The efforts of the AP is really returning to the "cases" of classical languages (Latin/Attic Greek) (and by way of the linguists, Russian.)

These languages uses conjunction of the word to provide the "action" within the sentence, e.g. the nominative, accusative, dative, instrumental, gentative (think possessive), locative, ablative.

The English equivalent becomes prepositional phrases

Apr. 07 2013 12:20 PM
Ramesh from NY

'Illigal alien', 'Legal alien', and 'Permanent Resident Alien' are official terms.

I would have began pondering 'alien', then move on to 'illigal'. As you can aee 'alien' stands out when compared to 'illigal'

Apr. 06 2013 11:24 PM

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