Some of you might know I freelance as an editor (I’m working on a fantastic manuscript right now), which requires me to be familiar with The Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Stylebook. But I’ve recently added another style guide to my desk so I can laugh when I take breaks from wrestling with apostrophes and commas.
Write More Good is by the folks known on Twitter as @FakeAPStylebook but it isn’t just a compilation of their greatest hits. As Roger Ebert mentions in the “fancy foreword,” the authors actually wrote a book to go with their advice. Take it at your own risk, however, because the cover clearly warns, “If you use this, you will get fired!”
- Do not use emoticons in headlines or the body of your text. If for some reason your story is about actual emoticons, please kill yourself.
- Use apostrophes with care. Be aware of correct possession, as joint possession can get you a minimum five-year sentence in many states.
- Parenthetical aside — Additional and often personal information included in a sentence, which should never be used in a news story according to our (douchebag) copy editors.
- Shifting your point of view adds a sophisticated and avante-garde feeling to your writing: Us was walking down the street noticing that my shoes had become scuffed; you had been longtime companions, we five: my shoes, I feet and your mom.
- Canon/cannon — Canon is what is considered an official part of a work, such as the Bible or Star Wars. A cannon is what you want to shoot at people who won’t shut the f*ck up about canon.
- Verbs are the most important words ever. We will stab anyone who says otherwise. See? We couldn’t have written that threatening sentence without the verb “stab.”
- “Between” is used to refer to two items, “among” for three to ninety-nine, “centimong” for one hundred for more.
- IMHO — Used to identify yourself as a whore.
- Log/log in — Use “login” for the noun, “log in ” for the action, and “Loggins” when you’re footloose in the danger zone.
- Backslash — The back of an extremely hairy guitarist.
Happy Monday! Hope you’re Loggins with no backslash in sight!