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Whenever a reporter refers to people in a story as “locals,” I cringe.

That word carries an odor of unexamined condescension. And you do not have to be a coastal elitist doing parachute journalism at some burg in the interior. Any reporter, by definition a cosmopolitan sophisticate, feels free to use the term to identify the quaint folk whose preoccupations and doings they are recording.

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Then, too, one is aware of how frequently local has been made to rhyme with yokel, an echo that does not fade.

Someone who lives in a place is a resident, a nice little neutral term that is easy to spell.

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Use it.

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