Thursday, June 10, 2010
I get giddy over grammar. So I when I heard that The Associated Press (AP) was releasing a new stylebook, I put in an order as soon as it was available. It arrived at the office yesterday--woo hoo!
Finally, "Web site" becomes "website." "E-mail" is still hyphenated but this is progress. And, there are social media guidelines! Wonder what Norm Goldstein would have said about "LOL" and "C U Later."
My first real job out of college was working for AP Broadcast in Washington, D.C. At the time, it was the radio and TV arm of AP. I worked in the customer service department helping news organizations with their AP software issues. And when I was accepted to NYU, I transferred to AP headquarters at 50 Rock to work for Norm Goldstein, head of the Newsfeatures division who was editor of the AP Stylebook. I was Norm's assistant.
I didn't have much input into the stylebook, but I worked with Norm for three years and saw the time and care it took to put the book together. I don't think there's a journalism school that doesn't require it for their classes. I use it religiously at my day job; it is simply the best usage guide out there.
Norm and I lost touch, but I hope he has retired after more than 30 years with AP. What a legacy to pass on to a generation of writers and editors who care about everyday language.