KIDS: Use 'children' unless you are talking about goats...

Salmagundi

April 20, 1992

KIDS: Use 'children' unless you are talking about goats." So instructs the Associated Press Stylebook, the bible of proper newspaper language used by thousands of journalists around the globe.

The rule does not apply to high school and college sports. In the past few years, players have come to be called not "boys" and "girls," "men" and "women," but "kids."

Coaches, TV announcers and commentators are particularly fond of "kids." Billy Packer must have used it a dozen times during the NCAA championship in Minneapolis. Coaches talk about how "our kids have got to work harder on the press," or, "I've never been prouder of a bunch of kids."

It's a plague of kids.

* * *

ON A SIGHTSEEING visit to the nation's capital recently, we unintentionally ventured into the maw of one of the largest marches to descend on Washington, D.C.: a pro-choice rally that drew an estimated half-million people and celebrities ranging from Jesse Jackson to Jane Fonda.

From our perspective, Washington's Metro and the Mall well accommodated the crush. Even though we never meant to get in the middle of that mess, we were hardly inconvenienced by the throngs -- until we returned home to Harford County. The line at Denny's off Interstate 95 in Edgewood was out the door, because the restaurant was busy feeding busloads of marchers who stopped on their way home to New England. If further proof was needed that the Baltimore and Washington markets are becoming one, how's that?

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