Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Got The Associated Press Stylebook 2006 in the mail today. It's the 41st edition since 1977, but was actually first stapled together for in-house use in 1953. Why 41 editions in 29 years? AP CEO and president Tom Curley doesn't say, but he does point out that
Today, the 21st-century ["Lowercase, spelling out numbers less than 10; the first century, the 20th century"] Associated Press has become the essential global news network. And the AP Stylebook has become the essential tool for anyone who cares about good writing.
Yeah, sure. Anyway, this edition is huge, with, besides the A-Z style guide, sections on sports, business, media law, and punctuation(!).

Among the "new entries" this year: retarded ("do not use retard"); Rhodes scholar; Shiite; Taser; 20-something . . .

Deletions? Uh-oh. Unbelievably, the very first word listed is "blog." AP deleted the word blog from its stylebook! Nothing under "weblog" either. No explanation.

Of course, as a charter member of the MSM, AP has every reason to hate blogs. But eliminating the very word, as if to eliminate the concept itself? That's Orwellian*.

There could be a perfectly reasonable explanation, but rest assured that the D-blog I-Team will be on the story drunk and early tomorrow morning.

*Well, it is.

Update: "Drunk and early" line stolen from Groucho Marx. I forget which movie.

Update II: The next two words the Stylebook de-lists after "blog," by the way, are COBOL and FORTRAN. It's humilitatin', I tells ya.

Update III: Stylebook editor Norm Goldstein replies:

Thanks for your interest in AP style.

We deleted the term "blog" only because we thought it no longer necessary to include or explain. It is now a familiar term and needs no special entry. Use it at will.

Ummmmm. Okay. Is that why you eliminated COBOL and FORTRAN too, Norm? Answer me that! (Drunkablog runs away.)

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