Tue, May 7, 2013 3:05 PM EDT

Talking about the Midwest representing: the Chicago Tribune announced yesterday that, like its sister publication the Los Angeles Times, it’ll drop the i-word too!

This is their reasoning:

> While the nation continues to wrestle with the problem of illegal immigration, its major newspapers are solving the problem of “illegal immigrant” >

> The term is widely – though not universally – considered offensive. “ ‘Illegal’ should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally,” wrote Associated Press senior vice president and executive editor Kathleen Carroll last month in announcing a change to the wire-service’s highly regarded stylebook. >

> The revision tells writers that “acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission. Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented.” >

> “A person may have plenty of documents,” Carroll wrote, “just not the ones required for legal residence.” >

> Three weeks later, the Tribune made the same change in an all-staff memo and the New York Times directed reporters and editors to “consider alternatives” to the term that immigrants-right advocates consider nearly as demeaning and objectifying as “illegal alien,” a term abandoned long ago by those striving to strike a neutral tone when covering this divisive issue.

And the Tribune moved the conversation in an interesting direction:

> Now that we’re all being so enlightened, I hope America’s style and sensitivity police will issue a ban on the use of the offensive ethnic slur “Redskins,” including and particularly in reference to the NFL franchise of that name.


> “Washington” as in D.C., the home of the team, is only two letters longer and has the advantage of not being a fundamentally vile word.

Way to go, Chicago Tribune!