Posts Tagged Language

Drop the i-word

Colorlines has just launched this really important campaign to get folks to stop calling people, and particularly immigrants, “illegal.” I wrote not too long ago about how the AP style book promotes this language.

Watch the video (transcript after the jump) and you’ll be convinced. Then go sign the pledge and do what you can to eliminate anti-immigrant sentiment.

Feministing has signed the pledge. Will you?

Colorlines has just launched this really important campaign to get folks to stop calling people, and particularly immigrants, “illegal.” I wrote not too long ago about how the AP style book promotes this language.

Watch the video ...

Hey AP Style Book: Immigrants aren’t “illegal”


Screw you AP Style Book.
The AP Style Book is a resource for journalists on language, spelling, pronunciation and proper word usage. I’m not clear how the AP Style Book makes decisions, but it is widely regarded and highly used by journalists.
This explains why most of the mainstream media still uses the term “illegal immigrant.” I find the term offensive and disrespectful, as do most immigration activists. People are not illegal, actions are. The advocate community uses the term “undocumented immigrant” which the Stylebook clearly disagrees with.
Thankfully, they don’t advocate using the term “alien.” But illegal needs to go.
If you want to contact the AP Style Book and lobby them to ...


Screw you AP Style Book.
The AP Style Book is a resource for journalists on language, spelling, pronunciation and proper word usage. I’m not clear how the AP Style Book makes decisions, ...

CA school district bans the dictionary. Seriously.

Uh oh, I see the word ‘vagina’  *faints*

I know we covered this in yesterday’s What We Missed, but I just had to give it a bit more ink.  The Menifee, California school district has pulled all copies of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary because it contains definitions for “oral sex.”

And now, the school district is forming a committee to decide whether dictionaries that contain sexual terms should be permanently banned from classrooms.

The decision was made without consultation with the district’s school board and has raised concerns among First Amendment experts and some parents.

Other parents and Menifee residents, though, have praised the district’s decision, saying a collegiate-level dictionary is inappropriate for younger children.

A memo from the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum ...

Uh oh, I see the word ‘vagina’  *faints*

I know we covered this in yesterday’s What We Missed, but I just had to give it a bit more ink.  The Menifee, California school district has pulled all ...

A new script for talking about abortion

When a friend is sick, you bring her soup. When she loses a loved one, you bring her flowers. But what do you do when she has an abortion?
Last week, one of my good friends announced to me that she was two and a half months pregnant, and had booked an appointment for an abortion that weekend. I offered to come with her, an offer she refused, saying she preferred to be alone.
Saturday morning came and went, and she had her abortion. She wasn’t emotional about it; she had only recently discovered that she was pregnant, and felt no attachment to the fetus. She wasn’t nervous or afraid; it wasn’t her first abortion, and she knew what to ...

When a friend is sick, you bring her soup. When she loses a loved one, you bring her flowers. But what do you do when she has an abortion?
Last week, one of my good friends announced ...

Feminist vs. Humanist

I was visiting a couple of friends that I’ve known since childhood this week and my feminist identity came up. My friend’s husband, a small business owner, generally pretty conservative guy, asked me how I defined feminism. When I explained (“genuine equality, educated choice, and authenticity”) he was a bit stunned. “By that definition, I’m a feminist,” he said, incredulously.
“Yup,” I said, smiling.
“But if feminism has such bad connotations in the mainstream media and in so many parts of the country, why do you use it? Doesn’t that just alienate you from people that you’re trying to influence?” he asked next.
It’s, of course, not something that every feminist who cares about being effective hasn’t thought about. I ...

I was visiting a couple of friends that I’ve known since childhood this week and my feminist identity came up. My friend’s husband, a small business owner, generally pretty conservative guy, asked me how I defined feminism. ...

Spanish spoken at White House briefing for the first time

Add this one to the list of firsts under the Obama Administration. From HuffPo:

The White House made history on Monday. And it wasn’t just by loosening travel and remittance restrictions for individuals looking to reach out to family members in Cuba.
When Dan Restrepo, President Barack Obama’s senior adviser on Latin America, addressed the Spanish-language media in their native tongues, he is believed to have been the first person to speak a language other than English during a White House briefing.

I wrote about the new changes to Cuba policy a few weeks ago, so you can see my thoughts on that post.
I appreciate that the White House’s interaction with the press corp is beginning to reflect the ...

Add this one to the list of firsts under the Obama Administration. From HuffPo:

The White House made history on Monday. And it wasn’t just by loosening travel and remittance restrictions for individuals looking to reach out ...

Notes from a bitch…

Let’s talk a bit about taking back words.
If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me about one of my nicknames this bitch would be damn near debt free (wink). I’ve had the nickname Shark-Fu…or some variation on that theme…since I was a wee bitch of five. And the ABB nickname was the inspiration of readers of my blog AngryBlackBitch.com. The interesting thing is that both my nickname and the name of my blog are the result of my deliberate claiming of language and words previously used against me.
Shall we?
I became the victim of a bully the first day of kindergarten and remained a steady target throughout my grade school career. ...

Let’s talk a bit about taking back words.
If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me about one of my nicknames this bitch would be damn near debt free (wink). I’ve had ...

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