I am working on:
my next AP style blog post.
Aug 19, 2011, 11:31 CDT
- Member Type(s): Expert
- Title:Senior Account Executive
- Area of Expertise:Writing, Grammar, Journalism, PR
To become a ProfNet premium member and receive requests from reporters looking for expert sources, click here.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 1:07 PM
Writing has always been a passion of mine — from scribbling pretend news stories when I was a child to penning blog posts and bylines as a communications professional. As in sports or music, practice makes perfect.
But we’re all human, so mistakes can certainly occur, especially in this digital age when it seems our keyboards are moving faster than the news cycles. The race to quickly publish is heated, but before distributing, writing needs thorough proofreading. After all, content is currency in public relations, and any grammar flops can disgrace circulated content almost faster than pushing it live.
The Associated Press Stylebook provides a right-hand guide for all writers and answers many questions about proper prose. Following are some common blunders in written content, with the AP Stylebook’s rules to help keep them straight.
- Compound modifiers. A compound modifier is when two or more words that express a single concept precede a noun. Use a hyphen to link all the words in the compound, except the adverb very and all adverbs ending in –ly. The high-performing dashboard displays results instantaneously. The happy-go-lucky boy did what he wanted this afternoon. The first-of-its-kind technology creates easy-to-use solutions.
Monday, August 13, 2012, 1:50 PM
In a few short weeks, students across the country will settle into classrooms for another hopefully productive school year. While they might sport the latest fashion and technology trends to stay hip in the halls, here are some back-to-school-related terms from the Associated Press Stylebook to help us writers make the grade:
- academic departments: Lowercase except for words that are proper nouns or adjectives. The marketing department; the department of English.
To read more, visit www.inkhouse.net/fifteen-ap-style-rules-....
Friday, July 20, 2012, 12:18 PM
As the world casts its eyes on London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, writers can go for the gold in their prose.
The Associated Press (AP) has published its editorial style guide for the Summer Games, compiling essential terms, spellings and definitions for the XXX Olympiad. Opening Friday, July 27, the London Games will feature 26 sports and 39 disciplines with about 10,500 athletes vying for a total of 2,100 gold, silver and bronze medals.
When watching U.S. swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte’s aquatic quests or Team USA’s vaults in gymnastics, writers can follow AP’s Olympic terms and usage:
- Olympics or Olympic Games: Always capitalized. There are Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics, or Summer Games and Winter Games.
To read more, visit www.inkhouse.net/sixteen-ap-style-tips-f....
Friday, June 15, 2012, 1:10 PM
Words, when cobbled into descriptive sentences, can create some of the most striking works of art. These verses wield the power to convey detailed messages, paint vivid images and absorb all readers—while informing audiences.
Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications (the leading publisher of corporate communications, public relations and leadership development), recently hosted a writing webinar that discussed how communicators can sharpen their prose. At the heart of communications is storytelling, and in order to successfully express narratives, clear writing is the vehicle that turns tangled thoughts into dramatic tales.
Unblemished writing has never been so important during the digital age as newsrooms dwindle and blogs flourish. As a result, brand journalism has spawned, enabling companies to act as media outlets, report their stories and generate engaging content that they can propagate across the Web.
Before putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard, Ragan offered the following seven tips for crisp writing:
- Clarity—above all. Simple, clear language delivers stories best. Writers must say what they mean and birth narratives that not only convey personalization, but do so in a conversational tone.
To read more, visit www.inkhouse.net/seven-ingredients-for-c....
Friday, June 8, 2012, 1:03 PM
The 2012 Associated Press Stylebook has arrived, containing more than 270 new and updated entries in fashion, broadcast and social media that will help writers perfect their prose.
Before thumbing through the nearly 500-page news writing guide, here are five important updates to the revised edition:
- Hopefully. At the center of debate is AP’s updated definition of “hopefully.” The news service no longer objects to using hopefully as a floating sentence adverb, as in Hopefully, the Boston Celtics will advance to the NBA Finals, allowing the modern usage meaning of it is hoped. Linguists, however, argue that hopefully is one word that waters down writing. They say it’s insignificant and doesn’t strengthen script, while other critics say “it’s a free-floating modifier that isn’t attached to the verb of the sentence, but rather describes a speaker’s attitudes.” Other floating modifiers—sadly, mercifully, thankfully, or frankly—are common in English grammar and haven’t sparked discussion.
To read more, visit www.inkhouse.net/five-updates-to-the-201....
Thursday, April 26, 2012, 12:27 PM
I’ve been obsessed with words since elementary school. I would constantly write thank-you notes to my grandmother for her homemade cooking, news stories about pretend robbers vandalizing my neighborhood and book reports for English class. My mother wasn’t surprised in the least when I turned my love of writing into a communications career.
When Beth posted about signs of working in public relations, I thought there must be some common threads for us word nerds—individuals who are extremely passionate about grammar and writing. As InkHouse’s resident grammarian, I enjoy perfectly punctuated prose not only because my sixth-grade English teacher stopped awarding me extra-credit points after finding too many “edits for credit,” but because written communication is the heart of PR.
Here’s my map of the DNA of a word nerd. If you answer yes to at least three of these characteristics, welcome to the Word Nerd Club.
- You eat, breathe and sleep Associated Press style—and text and tweet it.
To read the rest of this post, visit www.inkhouse.net/twenty-signs-you-might-....
Thursday, March 15, 2012, 1:52 PM
The days are getting warmer, the snow (that never came) may not ever come, graduations and weddings will soon consume our weekends, and the Boston Red Sox are returning to the baseball diamond. Aside from holding a box of tissues tending to allergies, all signs point to spring. Here’s how to write about it in Associated Press style.
Following are some spring-related terms from the AP Stylebook to keep your writing clean:
- alma mater
To read the rest of this post, visit www.inkhouse.net/twenty-five-signs-of-sp....
Thursday, February 23, 2012, 3:51 PM
While Facebook received press for filing its initial public offering last week, it also generated an update in the Associated Press Stylebook.
The social networking site’s new Timeline feature, according to AP, should be written as one word and capitalized. For social-media mavens and writing enthusiasts, Facebook is written as Facebook, though often portrayed as facebook or FaceBook. Twitter also has been stylized, with retweet and unfollow securing individual entries.
In addition to social media, economics is also in the news. AP has compiled a list of key financial terms, especially as European Union leaders continue to discuss and propose reforms for the eurozone crisis.
Some interesting listings from the AP style guide:
- bailout: Financial aid for a company or nation unable to meet debt obligations.
To read the rest of this post, visit www.inkhouse.net/ap-adds-facebook-timeli...
Friday, January 6, 2012, 10:44 AM
Gone are the days of thumbing through pages of the Associated Press Stylebook, feverishly searching to verify grammar, spelling and style as deadline approaches faster than a clock’s stroke.
The de facto guide to news writing has unveiled AP StyleGuard, new software integrated with Microsoft Word that proofreads documents against AP style for language, punctuation and journalistic fashion. As documents are composed, the software highlights proposed corrections and displays corresponding AP style rules.
AP says StyleGuard is designed to polish writing, expediting style confirmation and even displaying possible errors writers may not think to check. Because AP style is always changing (a la e-mail to email, Web site to website), StyleGuard will help keep writers updated about amended entries.
To read more, visit www.inkhouse.net/ap-unveils-styleguard-c....
Monday, November 21, 2011, 10:57 AM
‘Tis the season for writing in style.
The holiday season kicks off this week—time for festivities, family, shopping, gift wrapping, greeting cards and inclement weather—and with it comes plenty of opportunities to communicate in Associated Press fashion.
Following are some holiday-related terms from the AP Stylebook to keep your writing as polished and bright as Rudolph’s red nose:
- Black Friday. Capitalize with no quotations for the day-after-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza.
To read the rest of this post, visit www.inkhouse.net/fifteen-ways-to-stay-ap...