Friday, November 06, 2009

"Fake AP Stylebook" may become a book

I've got two or three AP Stylebooks stuck in boxes around here. Not sure why I've kept them all these years. Probably should have paid more attention to them, looks like, cause now a couple of jakelegs have made up entries for a "Fake AP Stylebook" on Twitter that could become a book.

(Aside: What is an AP Stylebook? It's a book designed to answer questions about how to word stuff in a newspaper article. Reporters, in our experience, always have one handy but rarely refer to them, preferring to let editors change their copy "because that's why they're editors and that's what they're supposed to do.")

Anyway, Media Nation interviewed the founders of Fake AP Stylebook, if you want the full story.

What kind of journalistic style advice can you get from the Fake AP Stylebook?

Some examples:
* When referring to Lake Titicaca leave a lot of space afterwards for your readers to just laugh and laugh. (See also: "Ball State")

* For unnamed sources, agree on an attribution that gives the reader an idea of who it is. Ex.: "rhymes with President Bobama"

*Refer to him as "Infallible Supreme Leader of the United Smurflands" when he first appears in the article, then "Papa Smurf." afterwards.

*Always capitalize Satan. You don't want to get dead goats from those people.

* TIP: When covering City Council meetings, the Mayor is often the one wearing a large sash emblazoned with "MAYOR."

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