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 Post subject: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 2:35 pm 
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New York had 2,800 transit police officers protecting transit, primarily guarding the subways, he said. In addition to their presence, they will conduct station and train sweeps, while the city has hot lines for vigilant passengers to report anything suspicious.<p>***Every time I see "hot lines," I think of exposed wiring. Especially in a context such as this, I'm reminded of why I've always thought this was the silliest entry in the AP stylebook. I doubt you'll find anyone other than a journalist write anything but "hotline."***


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:00 pm 
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That's why I always change it to "Batphone."


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 11:08 pm 
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In-house style guides are great for such things. "Hotline" is one of ours. Amongst others that go counter to AP are "fundraising" and "fundraiser."<p>If the idea behind breaking up words or hyphenating them is truly to enhance understandability, then all three work. No one is going to think "WTF is a ho tline?" Nor, for that matter, a "fun draiser." I'm sure it's fun, but I doubt anyone knows what a draiser is.<p>If all else fails, I always go by the stress rule: If it's pronounced as two words, it's two words; if not, let's not fight the ocean.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 11:44 pm 
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Every time I see the word hotline I think Cold War politics. Thank God Breshnev did not have an apparatchik machine that intoned ''Thank you for your call. It is important to us. A comrade will be available to talk to you shortly. Please hold."<p>Because that's what happens in real life when you call most of these alleged hotlines.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 7:25 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Pete Hahnloser:
In-house style guides are great for such things. "Hotline" is one of ours. Amongst others that go counter to AP are "fundraising" and "fundraiser."<p>If the idea behind breaking up words or hyphenating them is truly to enhance understandability, then all three work. No one is going to think "WTF is a ho tline?" Nor, for that matter, a "fun draiser." I'm sure it's fun, but I doubt anyone knows what a draiser is.<hr></blockquote><p>Actually, I've always tripped over "fundraiser" as a solid word. It's not whether you can figure it out, it's what the eye sees and whether the brain hesitates.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:37 am 
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AP style provides some great guidelines. But I believe most of it serves one goal: to ensure uniformity in the copy AP gets from member papers.<p>A strong desk chief should fearlessly create a stylebook that uses common sense as its driving force.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:47 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by John_Newland:

A strong desk chief should fearlessly create a stylebook that uses common sense as its driving force.
<hr></blockquote><p>Stop it! You're killing me!


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:36 pm 
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Then there is this word, indubitably one word, unhyphenated, pure and honest, and it hits me wrong eight times out of 10:
Misled.
I keep reading it myzled, and come to think of it, that sound even more as if one were being pulled away from the path.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:52 pm 
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well, i wouldn't want THAT<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by blanp:
<p>Stop it! You're killing me!<hr></blockquote>


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:54 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by KfitzR:
Then there is this word, indubitably one word, unhyphenated, pure and honest, and it hits me wrong eight times out of 10:
Misled.
I keep reading it myzled, and come to think of it, that sound even more as if one were being pulled away from the path.
<hr></blockquote><p>You're right about that one. There's something about that word that trips people up all the time. I've heard several people (reading from printed material) say "myzled" and then get rather embarrassed. I've actually wondered before why that word has such an effect.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:57 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by KfitzR:
Then there is this word, indubitably one word, unhyphenated, pure and honest, and it hits me wrong eight times out of 10:
Misled.
I keep reading it myzled, and come to think of it, that sound even more as if one were being pulled away from the path.
<hr></blockquote><p>
Ah, the English language.<p>Misled = miss led <p>but <p>Chisled = chizzuld<p>And as we know, there are so many, many more "things" like this.<p>George Bernard Shaw once declared (and I'm not quoting him directly, but this was the general idea) about "ghoti" spelling the word "fish." That is, the "gh" is pronounced like in the word "cough," the "o" is pronounced like in the word "women" and the "ti" is pronounced like in the word "nation."<p> http://www.alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxwhat04.html<p>[ April 13, 2004: Message edited by: ***me*** ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 2:16 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by John_Newland:
AP style provides some great guidelines. But I believe most of it serves one goal: to ensure uniformity in the copy AP gets from member papers.<p>A strong desk chief should fearlessly create a stylebook that uses common sense as its driving force.<hr></blockquote><p>John, thank you. I'm posting your last sentence on my wall. Maybe the next person after me will be able to implement it.<p>[ April 13, 2004: Message edited by: majorbabs ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:23 pm 
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Hmmm. Did I leave out the part about no desk chief actually having time to do this?<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by majorbabs:
<p>John, thank you. I'm posting your last sentence on my wall. Maybe the next person after me will be able to implement it.<p>[ April 13, 2004: Message edited by: majorbabs ]<hr></blockquote>


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:11 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by John_Newland:
AP style provides some great guidelines. But I believe most of it serves one goal: to ensure uniformity in the copy AP gets from member papers.<hr></blockquote><p>If that were the case, the AP Stylebook wouldn't have so many pointless exceptions to Webster's ("work force," "cell phone") and goofy entries ("Formosa Strait"??) that all but ensure that the copy AP gets from member papers isn't uniform.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:23 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by John_Newland:
A strong desk chief should fearlessly create a stylebook that uses common sense as its driving force.<hr></blockquote><p>Years ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer's stylebook had two critical sentences on its opening page: 1) Use common sense. 2) Use your ear.<p>Words to live by. (Don't know if they've survived stylebook revisions; perhaps a current Inky editor will enlighten us.)<p>[ April 14, 2004: Message edited by: bluepencil ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:19 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by John_Newland:
AP style provides some great guidelines. But I believe most of it serves one goal: to ensure uniformity in the copy AP gets from member papers. <hr></blockquote><p>If that's the goal, then the folks at AP should buckle down, because much of it lacks ... uniformity.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:05 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Gary Kirchherr:
If that were the case, the AP Stylebook wouldn't have so many pointless exceptions to Webster's ("work force," "cell phone") <hr></blockquote>I want someone to explain why "cellphone" is OK and "sportscar" isn't.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:05 am 
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Aww, cm'on; where is there a stylebook that relies on "common sense"? It ain't possible. And even if you follow "common sense" -- as in "don't piss off people unnecessarily" -- the result isn't necessarily common sense. Consider this clarification:<p> In Sunday's Plain Dealer, a story about the funeral of Jerry Zovko, a civilian contractor killed in Iraq, said the service was conducted in the Serbo-Croatian language. Since Yugoslavia was dissolved in the mid-1990s, many Serbs, Croats and Bosnians contend that Serbo-Croatian no longer exists as a separate language. They contend that their variations of Serbo-Croatian are now separate languages. In deference to the preferences of native speakers, The Plain Dealer has adopted that style and will
refer in most cases to the languages as Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian. <p>(I am told that almost all the dozens of callers were Croats, actually. My query to a linguist has not been answered.)


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:25 am 
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I've struck similar difficulties with the concept of Macedonia. Any guidance?


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:47 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by bluepencil:
<p>Years ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer's stylebook had two critical sentences on its opening page: 1) Use common sense. 2) Use your ear.<p>Words to live by. (Don't know if they've survived stylebook revisions; perhaps a current Inky editor will enlighten us.)<p>[ April 14, 2004: Message edited by: bluepencil ]<hr></blockquote><p>
Our stylebook does still open with those words, and it contains other common-sense suggestions, such as this one from the entry on "sequence of tenses":
Adherence to the principle of sequence of tenses should not create a newspaper full of had beens, had saids and had dones. Often, the content of the sentence shows the order of events, and the past perfect tense is not needed. <p>Not that our stylebook is entirely sensible to begin with; for example, in reference to one of our local bodies of water, it proscribes the use of the term "Schuylkill River," on the grounds that "Schuylkill" is Dutch for "hidden river" and adding "River" would be redundant. (BTW, I dare non-Philadelphians to try to pronounce "Schuylkill.")


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:55 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by EMorse:

(BTW, I dare non-Philadelphians to try to pronounce "Schuylkill.")
<hr></blockquote>School-kill (or kull). Accent on the first syllable.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:41 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by EMorse:
(BTW, I dare non-Philadelphians to try to pronounce "Schuylkill.")<hr></blockquote> I see your Schuylkill and raise you a Passadumkeag.<p>At least PETA isn't trying to change it to "Schuylsave".<p>D.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:02 pm 
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Then there's LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLLGOGERYCHWYRNDROBWLLLLANTYSILIOGOGOGOCH which would boil down to Lano in Oz speak.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:34 pm 
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Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:07 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Paul Wiggins:
Then there's LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLLGOGERYCHWYRNDROBWLLLLANTYSILIOGOGOGOCH which would boil down to Lano in Oz speak.<hr></blockquote>Hey, thanks. I've seen refs to this one that never actually gave any sort of pronunciation.


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 2:33 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by SusanV:
School-kill (or kull). Accent on the first syllable.<hr></blockquote>
I've also heard Pennsylvanians who boil it down to "SKOO-k'l."


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 Post subject: Re: The third rail of AP style
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:11 am 
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Finn gets the prize.


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