Monday, February 02, 2004

Yet another reason for a local style guide:
The Gamecock, the University of South Carolina's campus paper, had this question for readers: Should USC retire basketball player B. J. McKie's number? The paper later ran one of the categories as "Who is B.J McKie?" Well, that's half right. The name is BJ McKie, no periods. The BJ does not stand for a first and middle name, but is a nickname. His real first name is Bjorn. I don't know whether the paper has a local style guide, but it's a worthwhile lesson for editors at all papers -- there are some quirky things in your community that should be written down. You can't rely on word of mouth to cover everything, even if your slot is a 35-year grizzled veteran (what if he or she gets sick?). And with today's internal networks, local style guides are easy to keep updated. If you want to see the University of South Carolina J-School's guide, go to this link and click on Local Style Guide under Resources.


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