John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to jemcintyre@gmail.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mock the AP Stylebook

This is fishing with dynamite.

On Twitter, @APStylebook, which previously solicited adoration for its latest edition, rather as if buying it compared to getting free Springsteen tickets, now wants its users to tweet about why they are thankful for it.

I am not making this up: Tell us why you are thankful for your AP Stylebook by Thanksgiving and you will have a chance to win a subscription to Stylebook Online.*

This is just sad. The Chicago Manual of Style doesn’t have to make pathetic public appeals for admiration. Sadder still, people are beginning to respond to @APStylebook’s invitation, describing the brilliance that this flawed reference book brings into their drab little lives.

Someone should draw the curtain on this painful scene.



*My retweet, Because it lends itself so beautifully to mockery, will not, I think, win the prize.

10 comments:

  1. I'd rather win a copy of the forthcoming book from the guys over at @FakeAPStylebook!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Retweet? Retweet?

    Ugh. Thanks, I am now officially part of the (*the*) out-group.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't tweet, but how about, "Because it's not APA 6.1"?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Begging for attention is mockable, yes, but other than that why do you hate the AP Stylebook?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Why? Have a look here:

    http://johnemcintyre.blogspot.com/2009/06/damn-you-ap-stylebook.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. I get the sense that asking McIntyre why he hates the AP style book would be like asking him why he hates wikipedia. Don't get him started...

    ReplyDelete
  7. A little effort with the search function on this blog and the previous one will provide ample documentation about the AP Stylebook and Wikipedia without my having to type another word.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm thankful that I use a real style guide and not AP.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've decided the AP -- with its frequent updates and additions to its style -- has decided to turn the stylebook into a profit center, between the dead-trees edition and the subscriptions newspapers pay for the online access to the stylebook. It's quite unseemly and further evidence of the continuing decay of that once-essential resource.

    ReplyDelete