New Style Guides Are Coming


Things have been quite busy here recently, so the A, B, C Guide to Characterization will be back soon. In the meantime, here’s some news that will be of use to writers and editors. (And you’re seeing this mostly because the computer just ate two blog posts, including a much wittier version of what you will read below.)

Both the Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Stylebook will issue new editions later this year. These are THE manuals for writing, word usage, grammar rulings and more in the writing/publishing world. They dictate everything from how and when to italicize to when to add a hyphen in a word that starts with the letter “e” as in email, but e-commerce.

For writers, editors and those who make their living around the English language these changes can sometimes make like easier. Take, for instance, when the word style gurus (whoever they may be) decided that the singular “they” would be OK to use. This made copy much cleaner, if a little less precise.

For example:
If either Jack or Jane wants to go they can.
Nice, neat and simple, right? But consider how it would have been written before the use of the singular they:
If either Jack or Jane wants to go he or she can.
This is more clunky and takes up more space on a page, though it is a bit more precise. 

The Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition is expected out this fall and will include many changes that will trickle down to the books you write and read, and the copy you write. 

The AP Stylebook (officially The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law) is the the guide for reporters and the media. It will release the 2017 edition in mid-June and is expected to contain more than 200 new entries.

It’s always fun to see the things that change from one style guide to the next, which new words are included and what spelling has been changed. I remember how excited I’d get when I was working at a newspaper full time and the new style guides would arrive. I would take a few moments to peruse the new edition (a more thorough read came later) and share my excitement about the changes with my colleagues. (Truth be told, only one editor shared my enthusiasm and, hopefully, she knows who she is.)

I may not call out across the office to share the latest style changes anymore, but I’m still excited to see how language continues to evolve and how the word style gurus try to make our writing clearer.

So I’m wondering, if you could change any one thing in the word/grammar rule universe what would it be?

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