Journo-nerds rejoice: the AP Stylebook has been updated! It's the Bible of all that is considered acceptable in middle American newsrooms, and, like middle America itself, is consistently several years behind the times. So what changes can you look forward to in tomorrow's edition of the Mattoon Journal Gazette? More text messaging, less malarkey, and no more retarded people!
Other new entries include anti-spyware, high-definition, outsourcing, podcast, text messaging, social networking, snail mail and Wikipedia and such sports terms as minicamp and wild card.
Among the outdated words gone from the new spiral-bound Stylebook are barmaid, blue blood, malarkey, milquetoast, Photostat, riffraff and WAC, which is no longer used by the U.S. military but may describe a woman who served in what had been the Women's Army Corps.
Other changes in the A to Z update include the entry for "African-American," which previously indicated that the "preferred term is black." Now, the African-American entry states: "Acceptable for an American black person of African descent. Black is also acceptable. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable."
In another significant revision, "mentally retarded" is no longer the preferred term, replaced by "mentally disabled."
Is "wild card" really a new term? And I still say "riffraff" several times per week. Also missing: Nilla.