Every other year, the AP updates its Stylebook, a sort of dictionary-meets-rulebook for journalists. New rules in the latest edition are an attempt to redefine the world.
“Don’t use the term ‘mistress,’” says the AP, “for a woman in a long-term sexual relationship with, and financially supported by, a man who is married to someone else. Instead, use an alternative like companion, friend or lover.”
There’s a reason the apostle James tells us that our words can start fires. The AP isn’t trying to update spellcheck here, it’s trying to change the way we think. Their not-so-subtle suggestion isn’t to talk more softly about adulterers, but to remove all stigma from the practice altogether.
And yet, the best attempts to redefine morality or reality, whether by the AP or anyone else, can not change anything. Right and wrong remain.
After all, the AP Stylebook is no Bible.
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