The most frequently encountered terms used in internal discourse to categorize Mormons are "active" and "less active" (the updated form of "inactive"). However, these terms aren't generally recognized or understood by non-LDS and so aren't very useful for journalists. So what terms do journalists use to convey to readers the level of participation of a Mormon subject? And are there other or better terms we might use inside the Church?
Get Religion regularly posts criticisms of how Christians are categorized in media stories, the latest decrying the misuse of the term "devout" to describe (or fail to properly describe) certain Catholics. Similar posts criticize the use of the term "fundamentalist," a somewhat demeaning term often used by journalists to describe any conservative Protestant. Both terms seem out of place for Mormons, with "fundamentalist Mormon" being particularly misleading given the general practice of referring to practicing Mormon polygamists as "Mormon fundamentalists." Perhaps in general media stories it is simply understood that the term "Mormon" implies the person is conservative in doctrine and practice without need of further qualification.
Within the Church, I think we need some additional terms to distinguish between those who are truly less active (they attend church a few times each year, for example) and those who never attend or don't even self-identify as LDS. How about "ROM" (for record-only Mormon). Someone who yells at you if you show up on their doorstep would, by extension, be an UNROM (Unfriendly ROM).
Other terms or category markers do appear in LDS conversation. For example, I have run across the term "temple Mormon" more frequently the last few years, which seems to refer to the person having an active temple recommend and therefore able to gain admission to LDS temples. Other markers sometimes relied on but without handy adjectives in common use include having served an LDS mission, having been married in an LDS temple, and serving or having served in certain positions within local leadership. Then there are undefined terms floating around online discussion groups, such as New Order Mormon or Liberal Mormon (different from a Mormon liberal).
Any other terms you can think of that we use or new ones that we need? Or is it simply wrong and counterproductive to use such qualifiers?