AP doesn’t impose style; house style reflects readers

The best written works contain clarity, consistency and elegance. These are the goals of style books.

My first AP Stylebook was a 1976 edition acquired in 1979 when I started high school. I read every entry. I didn’t memorize it, but I at least knew where to look up whatever question I had. Over time, my knowledge of the book diminished rather than increased, but nowadays my online subscription means searching is just as fast as it was when I was 15.

Jojo Malig, an editor in Manilla, Philippines, wrote a column for the Poynter Institute’s website in which he asked several editors about the necessity of multiple style books, such as the Chicago Manual of Style and house style guides. I suggested that local style guides are an important supplement to the AP Stylebook or whatever style book a publication uses as its main guide.

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Favorite resources for freelance editors

This list of links was presented as a handout at the “Freelancers Forum” session at the American Copy Editors Society conference in Phoenix in March 2011. It was compiled by Mark Allen, Kate Karp and Liz Smith. It’s not intended to be exhaustive, but it represents some of our favorite places to find help when we are editing at home.

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