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.