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Associated Press No Longer "Sanctions" Term "Illegal Immigrant"

The double-think dictionary has been updated...

( "The Stylebook no longer sanctions the term “illegal immigrant” or the use of “illegal” to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that “illegal” should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally...

Is this the best way to describe someone in a country without permission? We believe that it is for now. We also believe more evolution is likely down the road.

Will the new guidance make it harder for writers? Perhaps just a bit at first. But while labels may be more facile, they are not accurate.

I suspect now we will hear from some language lovers who will find other labels in the AP Stylebook. We welcome that engagement. Get in touch at or, if you are an AP Stylebook Online subscriber, through the “Ask the Editor” page.

Change is a part of AP Style because the English language is constantly evolving, enriched by new words, phrases and uses. Our goal always is to use the most precise and accurate words so that the meaning is clear to any reader anywhere."

The Associated Press "stylebook" is exactly like the new-speak dictionary described in the futuristic book 1984.

"The state wanted to destroy every idea that conflicted with Ingsoc (English Socialism). The concepts of freedom, liberty, love, privacy, and democracy went against basic party principles, and therefore, had to be stamped out. And, since these concepts were becoming non-existent, there was no longer any need to have words to describe them. By destroying the words themselves, the state would be able to destroy the concepts they represented." (

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