"Gay" vs. "Homosexual": bad search-and-replace move

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Mon Jun 30 19:17:46 UTC 2008

To go with the various stories about thoughtless
search-and-replace foibles, e.g. the "African-American" for
"black" (mentioned briefly here
by Ben Zimmer).

Jesse Sheidlower


American Family Association reverses course on 'Gays'


by PageOneQ

Is the American Family Association anti-gay... and anti-'Gay'?

OneNewsNow, the "Christian news service" covertly owned by the AFA,
receives syndicated content from providers like the Associated Press
and edits instances of the word "gay" to read "homosexual." Although
the site is registered to the conservative, anti-gay organization, the
fact is not disclosed anywhere on the site.

An article posted Sunday night about Olympic track and field star
Tyson Gay was no exception.

"Tyson Homosexual easily won his semifinal for the 100 meters at the
U.S. Olympic track and field trials," the article read, "and seemed to
save something for the final later Sunday." The headline read
"Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic events."

"On Saturday," it went on, "Homosexual misjudged the finish in his
opening heat and had to scramble to finish fourth, then in his
quarterfinal a couple of hours later, ran 9.77 to break the American
record that had stood since 1999."

"Asked how he felt, Homosexual said: 'A little fatigued.'"

This morning, OneNewsNow changed its stance on 'Gays' (but not 'gays')
and changed the article back to the way the AP had first written it.
As late as 9:45am ET today, the online version below referenced the
runner as "Tyson Homosexual"; by 10:06am ET the headline and story
text had been edited to reunite Gay with his original name.

AP spokesman Jack Spokes said he could not comment without first
reviewing the information first brought to him by PageOneQ. Cindy
Roberts of the American Family Association said she would "take a
look" at the news post. A follow-up message seeking comment on why the
ownership of OneNewsNow is not disclosed on the site has not been

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