Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Style changes

Hi:  My name is Stacy and I'm confused about style.

Am I alone?

Huffington Post reported that the Associated Press changed its style. The AP Style Guide is a journalist's bible. I continue to refer to my style book.

For the most part, the style guide makes sense. During my newspaper days, I learned the style evolved as a way to shorten dates, etc. to make it easier to set type — when they set type. For example, using Feb. 14 uses less space and time than spelling out February 14.

I'm not old enough to remember setting up type days, but I do remember how we cut out rows of copy and then pasted them onto pages.

I remember an old machine used to type headlines, but you couldn't see what you were typing.

I remember the bulky, room-sized machines used to make half tones of photographs.

I remember trying to figure out what name I would use after my marriage based on what would fit into a regular news column. Well, there were other factors, but how it looked in the news column was a major consideration.

Now, all of this is done with a computer and software. It still takes skill, but the process is streamlined.

"Language evolves" the AP noted in its Tweet about the style change.

The AP decided to remove the hyphen from e-mail. Now, journalists will be typing email.

The article also gave details about a previous change back in 2010 — one that I missed. The AP discontinued using Web site. Now, the official style is website.

I'm not going back through my blogs to correct it. My spellings will serve as another reminder of "I remember when ...."


  1. Yes, our style and spelling memories date us. I think I'm older than you, because I remember my teacher saying that 'Typing was the future'!
    Script handwriting (which I pester my boys to perfect their signature... you ALWAYS need to sign something fast and legibly), Liquid Paper, Correction Tape, and ...
    remember when we prefaced everything by "The World Wide Web"? !;)

  2. It is funny Pamela how things change quickly. I can't imagine yet how the world will look when my son is in school — elementary, middle, high school and college.


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