Regarding the use of “Latino,” I’d say that it is occasionally improperly used in the paper. But in most instances, it is the only reasonable term available. When you’re talking about all the different Spanish-speaking nationalities represented in the L.A. region, which is often the case in stories we do, then “Latino” is the only accurate term to describe them, certainly preferable to “Hispanic.”
When I write about Mexican immigrants, I use “Mexican immigrants.” When the story is broader, I use “Latino immigrants.” I’d guess most reporters do the same. I try to avoid “Latino community” for many reasons, not the least of which is that “community” has been transformed into such a sappy, mealy-mouthed word. Moreover, “community” has come to mean something — a group of people with common interests — that it really didn’t mean originally, i.e., a group of people with dissimilar interests.
“Nancy boy”? What, did you forget how to spell “faggot”? Is it really necessary to throw in a homophobic slur? Could this otherwise humorous rip on a cheesy movie have been written without deliberately offending that minority of us who are gay?
Yeah, it’s not “a big deal.” Kinda like Michael Richards’ rant about n*****s isn’t a big deal. But it is offensive and wasn’t necessary. You just slurred some of your readers for no purpose at all. Gee, thanks. That really started my day off great.
A Freudian slip? In our coverage of the best books of 2006 [“Staff Recommends,” Dec. 22–28], a simple transposition of letters created an interesting, but incorrect, title. Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma is about food, not men, and thus its correct subtitle is A Natural History of Four Meals (not males).