There are only so many places one person can be in the summer, but technology at least allows us to keep tabs on other people’s adventures. There are three conferences this month that I will be attending vicariously through the Web and Twitter, as much as those mediums and the good nature of conference attendees will allow.
The newest edition of the Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Lawcame out this week, a cause for celebration among aficionados and a headache for budget-strapped newsrooms whose books are perpetually several editions old.
All entries in a dictionary are crowdsourced, and they have been for centuries. The words we use rise and fall on popular whim; dictionaries listen to what the crowd is saying and alter definitions and spellings and add or subtract words accordingly.
With the 30th annual Tom Fairley Award, Canadian editors take time to applaud our colleagues; to acknowledge the heavy lifting, the diligent wordsmithing, the hand-holding, and the polishing of prose both literary and functional. For, editors work on all kinds of words.
Just before Canadian copyeditors get together for a national conference in Toronto in a few weeks, two major copyediting professional organizations announced a partnership that will offer their members more chances for training and networking.
I love paper books (I have several), but I confess I am not the kind of person to pull a heavy reference off the shelf and thumb through to the answer for my question. I keep my reference books online and word-searchable: AP Stylebook, Garner’s, Chicago Manual, many dictionaries.
A highlight of the national conference of the American Copy Editors Society has been the AP Stylebook sessions, featuring Darrell Christian and David Minthorn, two of the three Stylebook editors. Both are understated fellows who treat every Stylebook change as no big deal before Twitter erupts in glee or consternation over website as a single word, hyphenless email, or over as a perfectly fine synonym for more than.
When the Associated Press Stylebook editors decided to stop abbreviating state names in stories, they soon succumbed to backlash and reversed course. Four years later, they’ve reintroduced this change.
We can love it or hate it, but the change has logic and simplicity behind it. We don’t have to adopt it—it’s just style—but we probably should.