This is just nuts.
The Associated Press sent out a tweet where they have come out to declare a new group of words professionally off-limits. The creators of the noted Stylebook that serves as the professional guardrails for journalists has come out with a new designation for scribes to follow. As the news syndicate now puts it, it is wrong and insensitive to use common terms which may reference mental disorders.
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
To be honest, this kind of virtue-signaling standards shift makes them sound looney. But this is hardly a surprising decision from the same outfit that had a curious bout of sensitivity this summer. In response to the social unrest erupting across the count the AP stylebook writers decreed that whenever you referenced the race of POC individuals you were to begin capitalizing with the term ”Black’’. Itself not a major dictum, but then they went full woke paradox merchants.
One month after the new standard they released a second ruling, now stating that when referring to caucasians you would NOT capitalize the term ”white’’, because of social mores, or some such idiocy. They managed to tie themselves up in a multicolored bow by trying to show deference to a race in the name of inclusiveness and then promptly excluded another race in the exact same fashion. Their spelling segregation was an embarrassment.
Now they have decided that terms frequently used are off limits to writers. The interesting side of it is in their example given. ”Don’t say that an awards show, for example, was schizophrenic.’’ There are a couple of problems here.
The first is that schizophrenic carries a commonly used definition: contradictory or antagonistic qualities or attitudes. This is not declaring a mental condition, it is describing a specific characteristic. Secondly, when referencing an awards show you are clearly not diagnosing with a clinical assessment. You are using the common-use of the term to describe an entity. Where is the derogatory behavior in correctly using a dictionary term in this fashion?
The unsettling aspect to this sensitive standard creep is that AP sounds more and more like the ministry of information. As they grow more woke the AP stylebook is going to become so homogenized that writing will lack all style.