I read with great disappointment the Portland Press Herald’s story regarding the decision of nurse Kaci Hickox to move to southern Maine (“Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox moving to southern Maine,” Nov. 10).

My disappointment stems from the decision of the Press Herald online staff to refer to Ms. Hickox in the headline as “Ebola nurse.”

There are very strong feelings on all sides of this situation, but the Press Herald does a profound disservice to its readers and Ms. Hickox by using that pejorative and inaccurate term.

Not once has she tested positive for Ebola or presented any symptoms. Yet, time after time, the Press Herald has used this erroneous (and libelous?) term to describe someone who would better be described as “Ebola-free nurse” Kaci Hickox.

I understand that headline real estate is precious. However, that is no excuse for taking linguistic shortcuts that convey inaccurate information. It is lazy and wrong.

The Press Herald owes Ms. Hickox an apology. That apology should be in the print edition and prominently placed in all MaineToday newspapers in which the story ran, as you have had no problem finding such space when you used the term. Burying it as a correction on Page A2 is an insult and is inconsistent with the standards to which you hold others.

Whether or not one agrees with her actions, we should all agree that fairness dictates accuracy. This is not a one-off, as you have done it over and over. It is disappointing. It is disparaging. It fails to meet the standards we expect from the Press Herald.

Linguistic accuracy should not be sacrificed on the altar of linguistic economy. Shame on the Press Herald.

Gregory Howard

Brunswick