Friday, May 12, 2006

Voices from the future

As threatened at one point or another, some thoughts from the future of copyediting, as embodied in 4400/3. These are from essays* in response to the topic "If I were king (or queen) of the stylebook":

From now on, "blonde" is always spelled with an "e." To have a separate spelling for male and female blondeness is outdated, mildly sexist and French.

The new rule for adding dateline cities is that if they've hosted the Olympics, they're in the club. There's no reason to coddle readers who haven't mastered eighth-grade geography.

The AP Stylebook would henceforth be called "The Outlaw Bible of Newspaper Editing: Replacing creative license with political correctness one copy at a time."

[AP's position on semicolons] "is awful and should be changed immediately. Semicolons are the pinnacle of English grammar; they should be used as much as possible."

More in store after grades** are done.

* The alternative for this assignment is to recite a poem to the class. A useful reminder that every now and then, the words are actually in the right order when we get 'em.
** Yes, even as we speak.***
*** No, you can't.

1 Comments:

Blogger Niko Dugan said...

You know, I really do like the Olympic-city-dateline-city concept.

And what's wrong with being a bit French every now and then? The problem with the "blond, blonde" entry isn't that it's sexist because it calls for an "e" when using it as a noun for a women; the problem is that "blond" isn't used as a noun for a male. The entry should simply read that a woman be referred to as blond-haired, not "the blonde."

8:39 PM, June 14, 2006  

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