Washington Secrets

Now they tell us: AP kills word 'sequestration'

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

It hasn't even happened yet, but the Associated Press style gurus are killing the word "sequestration."

"Killjoys," responded one follower. "Now they tell us," another tweeted.

Actually, the sequester won't happen until Friday night midnight when it will be the law of the land, no matter what AP calls it.

Sorry AP, but NPR tells us that the word has deep roots. Said NPR:

Washington's current favorite word -- sequester -- came from a 1985 budget act named, as many laws are, after its chief sponsors, Gramm-Rudman-Hollings. The term referred to a mechanism set up to cut spending automatically if deficit targets weren't reached.

The legal term "sequestration" was chosen at the time specifically because it sounded neutral, mainly because it hadn't been used before, says budget expert and consultant Stan Collender.

It didn't sound as bad as other contenders, such as "quarantine."

"They came up with 'sequester' because it had not taken on any particular baggage," Collender says.

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