Monday, January 21, 2013

And the angels sing

I'm prepared to take back a fairly large proportion -- OK, at least a few -- of the less-than-polite things I've said about AP style in recent years, because the AP has finally given the definitive answer that applies in nearly all cases of frantic questions about the split-verb superstition and its friends:

Q. In this sentence, "Federal enhancement grant funds soon will help..." or "will soon help" works better?
A:
Flip a coin. I think the second is closer to conversational speech.

Everybody got it? Next time somebody gets the old undergarments in a wad about where the adverb goes, you say "flip a coin."

There are cases in which it really, really does matter. But they only make sense in light of the 95 percent of cases in which you really could flip a coin.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Brian B said...

I've found that "flip a coin and get on with your life" is the proper approach to most of the editor-undie-bunching questions.

12:50 PM, January 22, 2013  
Anonymous raYb said...

The return of the Silver Stylebook.

3:13 PM, January 22, 2013  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

"There are cases in which [where the adverb goes] really, really does matter." But this is just your general rule about adverbs. They modify what they're next to. Put them there. Move on.

7:30 PM, January 22, 2013  

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