Today's Post column on Iggy and the oilsands is here. A commentator has already derailed another entry to rebut my parenthetical observation that "tar sands" have been the universal technical term for all that goop over the past hundred years:
Oilsands is now the accepted word for the resource NOT tarsands. Yes that was not always the case but terms change—just as rapeseed is now canola and mentally challenged has replaced retarded and imbecile.
The first sentence here is, simply, a naked lie. What he really means to say is that a particular group has decided not to accept the existing term. Not explained: why anyone should give a crap, considering that we have a standing history of educated usage to guide us. Arguments from authority don't carry much weight in disputes over language, especially when, as it is here, that authority is invisible or imaginary.