Work on this Stylebook began in mid-1975. The orders were: Make clear and simple rules, permit few exceptions to the rules, and rely heavily on the chosen dictionary as the arbiter of conflicts.
As work progressed, we became convinced that while style would remain the chief purpose, there were many factual references we should include to make things a bit easier for busy editors.
So we have a Stylebook, but also a reference work.
As for the “style” itself, we thought at the outset that it wouldn’t be possible to please everyone. Of course, we were right.
Journalists approach these style questions with varying degrees of passion.
Some don’t think it is really important. Some agree that basically there should be uniformity for reading ease if nothing else. Still others are prepared to duel over a wayward lowercase.
We encountered all three of these types and, in their special ways, all were helpful.
It is customary at this place to thank those whose aid and counsel produced the volume that follows.
That list is long. It ranges from the staff of The Associated Press to editors and writers on member newspapers, to other individuals and groups with special interests in some subjects. In particular we sought and received many member views on a variety of difficult questions so that this book could reflect what members wanted.
We are particularly grateful to those newspaper editors who agreed to review the final draft and give us their comments as well as those of their staffs.
The completed book incorporates many of their suggestions.
We have tried to make the Stylebook current and trust it will be a lasting work. But language changes, and we will review entries annually, making necessary changes by wire notes during the review period.
Each new printing of the stylebook will incorporate the changes that have been announced on the wires.
LOUIS D. BOCCARDI
Chief Executive Officer