GrammarPhile Blog

8 Updates to the Associated Press Stylebook

Posted by Sara Richmond   Sep 9, 2021 10:30:00 AM

When I was 8 years old, I thought all the songs on the radio were being performed live. Whitney Houston sure did sing a lot. I assumed the drummers from my older brother’s favorite “alternative rock” bands probably had to brace their arms in slings during commercial breaks, for all the playing they did. That was how musical artists earned the big money — performing several dozen times a day. It had to be exhausting being in the Top 20.

I don’t remember the moment I realized the songs were all recordings, but I do know that knowledge felt like a bit of a letdown. Just because it made more sense didn’t mean I was eager to adjust my perspective.

There’s a lesson in that. People are generally averse to change even if it’s for the sake of a broadened understanding and a more well-rounded view. We sometimes cling to the past, a perspective, and even the nonsensical simply because it’s our normal. And normal is comfortable. But there’s a way to marry the dependable with developments, specifically when it comes to writing.

You may remember our advice on style guide updates. To summarize: Toss out the old and swaddle the new. It’s whatany reputable style guide does, including AP, which is used by nearly a gazillion people worldwide. (A “gazillion” is hyperbole, a beefed-up form of exaggeration, and frowned upon by AP because it consists of statements that cannot be supported by facts. This clarification adheres to the most recent AP guidance on misinformation.)

If you’re one of those gazillion, check out this brief list of recent updates straight from the AP horse’s mouth*:

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Topics: AP style, Style Guides, Popular Style Guides

Style Guides: The Summer 2021 Fashionable Grammar Line

Posted by Sara Richmond   Jun 24, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Good business is the perpetual pursuit of consistency. Consistent quality, service, transparency, work culture, branding, and…grammar.

If you’ve worked in the corporate world for longer than three seconds (or with more than one other person for more than 17.358 days), you know consistency can seem like an unachievable dream, akin to walking on the moon in the year 1523.

Enter the venerable style guide. While it can’t make up for everything an erratic work culture lacks or propel you to the moon, we guarantee using one will preserve your sanity and make your life significantly better.* uses a variety of style guides to standardize our approach to your business documents. In this way, the rules that guide our proofreading are clear and dependable, for all types of submissions. Your expectations and our process are both defined and harmonious. Win-win.

There are three fundamental aspects to our style guide usage:

1. The Norm: Our baseline is the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. For every document submitted to us without an in-house style guide, we’ll apply this manual, by default. This practice ensures there are no distractions like wonky punctuation or a smattering of compound words without hyphens that will make readers grow extra eyebrow hair in consternation. So if clients specifically abhor this manual, either for its grammatical prescriptions or an aversion to its namesake city (probably because of the wind, which makes it difficult to read and write), a heads up is appreciated.

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Topics: Style Guides, Popular Style Guides

10 Things Popular Style Guides Don't Always Agree On

Posted by Kelly Creighton   Apr 26, 2019 7:30:00 AM

We can all agree on lots of things when it comes to writing. For example, everyone knows that grammar is important, and that proper spelling makes for good readability. Capitalizing proper nouns and lowercasing most other words make things clear for your readers. And most punctuation is pretty standard. Generally, if you’re sloppy in these areas, people will just put your text down, or worse, throw it away. But there are many things editors and publishers don’t agree on, simply because they’re following different style guides. For example, a psychology researcher will follow a style guide that is very different from the style guide a marketer who is writing web copy for a business will follow. The end result is their published works can look quite different.

Style guides exist to establish a set of standards for the writing and design of written works, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization, or industry. And due to this, they don’t always have the same set of standards, as different style guides exist to address the needs of different sets of readers and writers.

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Topics: Style Guides, Popular Style Guides

QUIZ: Match Each Entry to Its Style Guide

Posted by Kelly Creighton   Feb 22, 2018 7:30:00 AM

We’ve recently shared posts about different style guides and when they should be used. Now it’s time to test your knowledge, to see how well you know some of the most common style guides used. Match the entries to their respective style guides.

Have fun and let us know how you did in the comments section.

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Topics: Style Guides, Oxford Style Manual, The Elements of Style, Popular Style Guides, Modern Language Association Style Manual

Popular Style Guides and What You Need to Know About Each - Part 2

Posted by Kelly Creighton   Feb 8, 2018 7:30:00 AM

As promised last week, here are some popular style guides listed by industry.

By Industry

American Medical Association Style Guide (AMA)

The AMA style was developed by the American Medical Association for the purpose of writing medical research papers. Many scientists use this style too.

American Psychological Association Style (APA)

The APA style guide is the style manual of choice for writers, editors, students, and educators in the social and behavioral sciences. It provides vital direction on all aspects of the writing process, from the ethics of authorship to what words writers should choose to best reduce bias in language. And it offers guidance on choosing the headings, tables, figures, and tone that will result in strong, direct, and sophisticated scientific communication.

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Topics: Chicago Manual of Style, Style Guides, Popular Style Guides

Popular Style Guides and What You Need to Know About Each - Part 1

Posted by Kelly Creighton   Feb 1, 2018 7:30:00 AM

research booksMany grammar aficionados will fiercely debate writing rules and techniques among themselves and with others until they run out of breath. But sometimes their quibbles may prove to be entirely pointless. And that’s not because there are no grammar rules worth knowing or following, but because these self-proclaimed grammar aficionados are from different industries and have developed their writing skills with very different schools of thought and practice. Or it’s because they’ve simply had different professors or teachers who encouraged them to follow very different style guides for very different purposes.

It’s important to consider how you have come to understand grammar and writing techniques as a writer, editor, or proofreader, and where the rules and techniques you follow come from, because you could unwittingly be making grave errors. Or you could be confounding your readers, and that’s never good to do.

At the very least, you should know and designate a style guide for everything you write that will be published or somehow shared with others, especially in professional settings. After you review the list below, you might discover a style guide that better suits your needs or the needs of your organization.

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Topics: Style Guides, Oxford Style Manual, The Elements of Style, Popular Style Guides, Modern Language Association Style Manual

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