Tuesday, January 6, 2009

An Indispensable Resource for Writers

I’ve always been spelling and grammar challenged so I’ve had a stylebook near my computer for the past twenty years. Over the holidays I finally decided it was time to upgrade to a newer version. Thanks to a gift card I received, The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law was one of my gift selections. The book arrived at my home earlier this week and I am most pleased with this resource. My old stylebook has now been placed into retirement on the nearby bookshelf.

The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law is a 420-page reference containing more than 3,000 A to Z entries dealing with the AP’s rules on grammar, spelling, punctuation, abbreviation, capitalization and word and numeral usage. When do you spell out numerals? Is it “a historical event” or “an historical event?” Is it “people” or “persons?” Is it “20th century” or “20th Century?” The list can go on and on. Entries are alphabetized making information easy to find.

Also included with this wonderful reference are a guide to punctuation and a 40-page section entitled Briefing on Media Law including copyright information (such as what is copyrightable and what is fair use). Other sections include information about writing photo captions and a reference for editing marks.

As a few sections of the book are probably more used by professional and student journalists and editors, the vast majority of the book is a superb resource for anyone who writes – from a newsletter editor to a blogger, this book is a valuable resource to keep close by the keyboard.

The Associated Press,The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law. 42 ed. Norm Goldstein. New York: Basic Books, 2007.
ISBN-10: 046500489X
ISBN-13: 978-0465004898


1 comment:

Miriam Robbins said...

I've got an older edition of this that I don't use often enough. It was given to me by a fellow member of my genealogical society who used to write the genealogical column for the local paper (sadly, the column no longer is run).