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The Global Press Style Guide

Search: S

seasons

Rule:

Refer to seasons according to the geography of a story’s dateline.

Rationale:

Seasons are determined by geography.

sex worker

Rule:

Use the term sex worker to describe someone who performs sex acts in a transactional exchange for goods, services, power or money. Do not use hooker, whore or other labels that convey moral judgment, unless a sex worker self-identifies as such. Add local legal context when relevant.

Rationale:

Precision is required when referring to controversial or potentially illegal scenarios to ensure source safety and dignity.

Sinhala/Sinhalese

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Use Sinhala to refer to one of Sri Lanka’s formal languages, which is spoken by people of various ancestral backgrounds. The word Sinhalese refers to the people who make up the largest portion of the Sri Lankan population. The terms are not interchangeable.

Do not use Sinhalese as a general descriptor or as a synonym for Sri Lankan people in general.

Rationale:

In the Sinhala language, the word for both the people and the language is the same. The English language requires a grammatical distinction between the two terms.

Recent anti-Muslim and anti-Tamil sentiments throughout Sri Lanka have prompted the use of the term Sinhalese as a synonym for Sri Lankan. Sri Lanka is home to people of several ancestral origins, each of which must be referred to precisely to ensure reader clarity and source dignity.

slum/slumlord

Rule:

Do not use the word slum to describe an area, except when in quotes or as part of a proper noun. Instead, use words and phrases that precisely describe the conditions of the location.

Do not use slumlord to describe a person who leases or otherwise profits from a property considered to be low-quality.

Rationale:

Using words that do not have precise or consistent usage forces readers to make assumptions and can also deprive sources of dignity.

soldier

Spanish names

spokesman/spokeswoman/spokesperson

street children

Rule:

Do not use the phrase street children or other common variations to describe children who live or work in vulnerable situations. The phrase may be used if it is part of a formal name, such as a policy or an organization.

Rationale:

This phrase is imprecise and forces readers to make assumptions. Precise descriptions are necessary for reader clarity and source dignity.

survivor

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Do not use the word survivor to describe a person. Instead, use specific context and descriptions to refer to actions or situations.

Rationale:

This word is a general label that lacks precision and forces readers to make assumptions. Use of specific descriptions prioritizes source dignity.