Monday, February 15, 2010

It's time for the AP to listen

Daniel Hunt has penned an open letter on the American Copy Editors Society site to AP and its numerous style changes.

I don't get quite so lathered up about it (explanation follows), but I will repeat what I have said many times -- AP needs to start listening more formally to editors and desks. I'm hoping the appearance of the stylebook editors at the upcoming Philadelphia conference is a good first step.

Anyhow, my reaction to Daniel's open letter (that I also posted there):

While I have long agitated for AP to get together a users' panel, I simply can't get so agitated at these things. I think it's AP trying to respond to an era that has become so pell-mell that some order is needed and much quicker than yearly. I don't have a problem with "Great Recession," but then having spent 18 years with the AP, I may read the book a little differently. I see AP saying that, OK, if you must use it, cap it and here's the period covered. As Teresa notes, however, feel free not to use it. And the food, well, food has become so much of our modern media culture that I'm willing to give AP a pass there, too. But I agree with Luke, too. [Luke Morris' comment that AP needs to deal with things like "Web site."] There are much more substantive issues AP needs to address in discussions with editors - things like Web site/website, under way/underway, work force/workforce, gantlet/gauntlet, over/more than and a host of other usage issues that have tilted against AP. Those probably should be a yearly thing because they get to long-held practices and shibboloeths (think of the ill-conceived and thankfully short-lived change to bifurcate some ages between figures and spelled out). But AP needs to get some feedback channel, and ACES would be the best way.

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1 Comments:

At 4/6/10, 4:13 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

I think I hit the wrong button and mistakenly deleted a comment, so I am reposting. Sorry about that:


Becki" has left a new comment on your post "It's time for the AP to listen":

Please tell me you didn't send this without proofing it. "Can't" and "much more quickly"???

While I have long agitated for AP to get together a users' panel, I simply can' get so agitated at these things. I think it's AP trying to respond to an era that has become so pell-mell that some order is needed and much quicker than yearly.

My response: Thanks for the catch on can't. Such things happen when you don't have an editor (or apparently even when you have a flock of them, as evidenced by the number of dropped letters and words in the papers I read daily).

As for much quicker, vs. much more quickly, I'm sorry, but that's being a pedant, not an editor.

 

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