Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Style notes

The Washington Post is now hyphenating health care as a compound modifier. [Punctuational]

The Baltimore Sun does not clean up e-mail quotes: "Our practice in quoting texts is to present them as they were written, rather than correcting minor errors or making capitalization, abbreviations and other details conform to our house style." [You Don't Say]

The Virginian-Pilot's public editor has a column about the paper's style committee. Among the rules mentioned: Don't use prominent, as in prominent attorney or physician or citizen. In stories about civil suits, don't lead with the amount of money being sought. And then there's this puzzling rule:
Accident: Be careful about using this word. Its legal definition is an unforeseen event that occurs without anyone's fault or negligence. If the issue of fault or negligence is unknown, use 'crash' or 'wreck.'
That's not one I'll be following.


At 2:47 AM, March 29, 2006, Blogger aparker54 said...

Though I also don't take it seriously, I've seen the "accident" rule before, and recently. I think it was in a journalism textbook. Any citations out there?

At 6:48 AM, April 01, 2006, Blogger aparker54 said...

On hyphens:

The Post is a fool.

I was once crazed about using hyphens; the only reason the cake ordered by one of my papers on my departure didn't have a hyphen as its main art was for design reasons: The hyphen would have been hard to interpret, after all. So the cake art was a comma.

I finally learned that indiscriminate hyphens make hell for copy editors. You can't hyphenate "health care" in a one-column headline. I ultimately went with Chicago Manual of Style ideas.

At 9:53 AM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Bill said...

Did John really mean the Sun leaves intact all quotes obtained via e-mail, or just "texts"?


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