Copy editors gone wild
What would you do with this sentence?
"An additional $18 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 4.545 percent."
Would you make that was or were?
See the sometimes bare-knuckle brawl this has unleashed on the American Copy Editors Society's discussion board. Small things like this bring out the best -- and worst -- among us, including a surprising amount of vitriol. See what makes copy editors look like cats in a roomful of catnip. It isn't always pretty.
I just know that Peter Fisk, the Tampa editor who posted that innocent little question, also plays with matches in fireworks factories.
Meanwhile, over at a Capital Idea, Nicole has posted some things she'd like to see the AP give up on in its stylebook. I agree and will have more in my April Common Sense Journalism column's annual suggestion list as AP prepares to issue a new stylebook edition. Meanwhile, enjoy the other CSJ columns. February's is on the little problems "because" can cause us, and March's, to be up in a couple of days, will pose "Four questions for reporters."