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Industry Copy Editor–Economic Analyst Feud Comes to End with AP Style Book Change

Monday, April 01, 2019

Press release from the issuing company

Orlando, Fla., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y. — A recent blood feud between trade publication copy editors and industry analysts came to an end this week when the Associated Press announced that it has changed the AP Style Book—the widely acknowledged and largely ignored “bible” of periodical publishing—to allow the use of the “%” symbol in printed copy. Previous editions of the style book required the word “percent” to be written out.

“This will save me and my long-suffering colleagues a lot of time,” said Jessica Taylor, an editor of Printing News and Wide Format & Signage magazines. “The analysts who write for us, citing industry studies and data, inevitably use the % sign and I have to go in and change every single instance so that our print publications have some semblance of consistency. I mean, this is print, for crying out loud. It’s not like web publishing.”

“Ultimately, it’s about clear and effective communication rather than being manacled to a set of arbitrary stylistic conventions,” said Richard Romano, managing editor of WhatTheyThink. “Besides, the Chicago Manual of Style is far superior.”

Don’t even get Taylor started on the whole Oxford comma issue, which the AP Style Book prohibits, for reasons passing understanding. “I always have to take one of those %$#$^ commas out,” she said. “Some of these writers I want to have hanged, drawn, and quartered.”

“Darn,” she continued, “there’s another one.”



This special report is brought to you by WhatTheyThink's editoral team as part our on-going live April Fools Day coverage. Subscribe for your annual dose of breaking of the news.



By Julie Miller on Apr 01, 2019

what's more readable: % or percent? That's the goal of a style book.

As to Chicago Manual...yuck


By Noel Jeffrey on Apr 01, 2019

First time I use % lightning didn't strike. Since then, style books are like rules -- suggestions.


By Paul White on Apr 01, 2019

And, a hilarious, April the First post.!!!


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