Wednesday, November 22, 2006

AP will stick with Web site

Some notes from Norm Goldstein's Ask the Editor column on the AP Stylebook site: AP will stick with Web site for the coming year's edition.

"We consider this question with every revision of the Stylebook, but have decided to stay with Web site for the 2007 edition," is what Goldstein writes.

So we can have another year of haggling over this one. Cool.

Goldstein says AP is considering dropping its pupil/student entry (it's not in the online version). The current guidline is "pupil" for students up to eighth grade, "student" or "pupil" in high school (grades nine-12) and student for college. That' unnecessarily complicated, and comon sense nudged on by common usage (in other words, the entry is widely ignored) appears to have prevailed.

AP also is taking the periods out of RSVP.

And Goldstein says AP is reconsidering its style requiring the repetition of percent after each number (as in 10 percent to 20 percent). Probably a good thing.At some point we also probably all need to consider %, as the Wall Street Journal now does.

I do have to disagree slightly with him on one answer:
Q - If someone pleads guilty, is it acceptable to say they were "convicted"?
A - No. Conviction is the judicial process of being found or proven guilty. A plea pre-empts that process.

In most court systems, once the plea is entered, the judge then finds the defendant guilty as pleaded. At that point, the person is convicted, and so it is not incorrect to write, for instance, "convicted killer." However, I do agree with him to the extent that "convicted" carries with it connotations of some kind of hearing or trial and decision, so whenever possible it's better to say the person pleaded (not pled-a colloqualism) guilty. But if it means twisting your writing into a pretzel, use "convicted."

(And a usage note -- not to pick, but the preferred verb form is that the person is proved -- not proven -- guilty. Most usage guides still advise leaving "proven" for the adjective.)

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At 12/10/06, 12:03 AM, Anonymous kpaul said...

i vote for 'website' and i wanna keep 'Internet' with the cap I... ;)



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