I Knew It Would Come to This...

Sunni's picture

4 Copy Editors Killed in Ongoing AP Style, Chicago Manual Gang Violence.

The only reason the American Psychological Association style gang wasn’t involved is because it’s on deadline for its next round of arbitrary changes made simply to artificially boost sales of its style manual.


I will remember this the next time I tear my hair out over writers who put a hyphen in "nonprofit." It can be a dangerous enterprise!

Hyphens are the bane of my work at present

Especially for compound words used as adjectives, e.g., climate change. Many a news report labels a group as “climate change deniers”, but they aren’t denying “climate” nor “change”; hence it should read “climate-change deniers”.

In fact, I’m going around and around with a client right now; only some of my edits to an article were accepted, so some usages similar to the above are correct, while others aren’t. Ugh.

Very funny

Strangely enough, the longer I live and the more I write, the less I worry about any of it. If people can understand me, that's all I really care about. If they don't, then I need to try harder - or quit, one or the other.

I suppose it is ironic for

I suppose it is ironic for an alleged believer in liberty to obsess over adherence to a strict set of rules - especially when those rules demand, for example, that the word advisor be spelled "adviser." And yet the words send a subliminal message - how many times do people jump on wrong or inconsistent grammar or spelling as a reason to dismiss the message?

Convenient excuse

"how many times do people jump on wrong or inconsistent grammar or spelling as a reason to dismiss the message?"

Yes indeed... but since I've done my best to communicate, and will engage in any needed discussion to clarify, such dismissal is actually unimportant to me. I will not accept responsibility for their failure/refusal to understand.

I no longer obscess over "rules" of any kind that do not involve prohibition of aggression. Grammar, spelling and the like are truly more a matter of convenience and style, and they do change all the time. Interpretation is still in the eyes of the beholder. :)