Undoing a Spell (Without Magic)

READ AT NYTIMES.COM »

As someone who uses The Times’s stylebook frequently enough to have installed it in the upper-right-hand search window in Firefox — it’s my second search-engine option, after Google — I’ve been interested in the ways that words are continually evolving at The Times. A couple of days ago, editors at the paper updated the stylebook’s guidelines on the use of “illegal immigrant”; a little more than a week before that, Margaret Sullivan, The Times’s public editor, argued that more attention should be paid to the way the paper uses the terms “torture” and “targeted killings.”

Another term (albeit less loaded) that generates some debate is “Voodoo,” … Continue reading at nytimes.com

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