Roughly two weeks ago, the Chronicle ran an editorial by reader rep James Campbell describing the paper’s policy on the language of immigration:
The Chronicle’s stylebook takes its instruction from minority journalist groups. We never use the term “alien” except in quoted matter, and we don’t use “illegals” as a noun, even in headlines.
One major problem that results from professional writers trying to make their styleguide conform with the whims of professional sensitives instead of with the dictates of reality is that the language becomes debased. A related problem is that it becomes very difficult at a practical level to keep track of those whims, which undoubtedly explains Nick Anderson’s use of the label “illegals” in one of his recent cartoons that focused on the immigration debate.
The Pulitzer-winning cartoonist did not respond to Matt Bramanti‘s comment on the blog about the apparent disregard of the Chron styleguide.