Friday, December 16, 2005

Fun with agate

Here's my calendar pet peeve of the day:

When a play (or some other event, but it's almost always a play) is repeating for more than one weekend, try to tell readers the times and dates in English. I'd much rather read that it will continue Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. through Jan. 1 than read each date and time in confusing consecutive order.

Bad:

Lakeside Community Theater presents A Dickens Christmas Carol: A Traveling Travesty in Two Tumultuous Acts at 8 tonight at the Lakeside Arts Center, 6301-B Main St., The Colony. The comedy is a spoof of the Charles Dickens holiday classic and continues at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Dec. 23-24 and 3 p.m. Dec. 24. Tickets are $10.
Better:
Lakeside Community Theater presents A Dickens Christmas Carol: A Traveling Travesty in Two Tumultuous Acts at 8 tonight at the Lakeside Arts Center, 6301-B Main St., The Colony. The comedy is a spoof of the Charles Dickens holiday classic and continues at 8 p.m. Fridays and 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 24. Tickets are $10.

Bad:
Operation Kindness will feature pet photos with Santa from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Dec. 23 and 30. The facility is at 3201 Earhart Drive in Carrollton.
Better:
Operation Kindness will feature pet photos with Santa from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Dec. 30. The facility is at 3201 Earhart Drive in Carrollton.

1 Comments:

At 3:31 PM, December 18, 2005, Anonymous longwords said...

The paper where I work publishes a lot of calendar items as filler on certain pages, where the item stands alone. The text is prepared to include the day and the date, and then one or the other is edited out when the item runs in order to follow AP style.

Several editors have argued, unsuccessfully, that it is more of a service to readers to include both the day and the date. As one editor explained, if someone asks you if you can come to dinner next Thursday, you may say yes until they mention the date, and then you remember it is your father-in-law's birthday. People keep track of some things by day of the week and others by date.

Editing calendar entries as you specify is a start. Stand-alone announcements of programs that aren't in a calendar listing segregated by day and date should list both instead of worrying about saving space. This is one area where I have a serious disagreement with AP style. The text should serve the reader, not require readers to meet some editor's expectation about knowing which day falls on a particular date.

 

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