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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:02 PM

AP nixes 'homophobia', 'ethnic cleansing'

AP nixes 'homophobia', 'ethnic cleansing'

The Associated Press has nixed "homophobia," "ethnic cleansing," and a number of other terms from its Style Book in recent months.

The online Style Book now says that "-phobia," "an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness" should not be used "in political or social contexts," including "homophobia" and "Islamophobia." It also calls "ethnic cleansing" a "euphemism," and says the AP "does not use 'ethnic cleansing' on its own. It must be enclosed in quotes, attributed and explained."

"Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for pretty violent activities, a phobia is a psychiatric or medical term for a severe mental disorder. Those terms have been used quite a bit in the past, and we don't feel that's quite accurate," AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn told POLITICO.

"When you break down 'ethnic cleansing,' it's a cover for terrible violent activities. It's a term we certainly don't want to propgate," Minthorn continued. "Homophobia especially -- it's just off the mark. It's ascribing a mental disability to someone, and suggests a knowledge that we don't have. It seems inaccurate. Instead, we would use something more neutral: anti-gay, or some such, if we had reason to believe that was the case."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/11/ap-nixes-homophobia-ethnic-cleansing-150315.html

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