WD World

Somewhere More Than The Rainbow

The AP Stylebook is a glimmering grammatical pillar that provides journalists with a mode of consistency. It’s the type of book we all love to hate — that one piece of informative literature that forever has a place on messy desks across the nation. There’s a sticky-note on the numbers section and a coffee stain on the state abbreviations page, but this gives it character. Plus, it shows you know your stuff when you can win an argument about the infamous Canada goose.

What happens when this pillar starts to crumble? How do we deal with the fact that “over” is now an acceptable replacement for “more than”? While it irks me to write that such an edit has been made, change is inevitable and the revolution of speech is upon us. (The AP has also approved the addition of swag and selfie which is totes cray cray, but that will be a subject for another time.)

The Stylebook ensures style norms, not a place that offers shortcuts. The AP made the choice to make more than and over interchangeable (as well as their counterparts, less than and under) because it “decided it could no longer stand athwart history, shouting ‘More than!’,” according to Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster lexicographer. “Everyday style simply uses the two words interchangeably, and the AP will now reflect the change.”

Nope. Sorry, this is all sorts of wrong. Have we learned nothing from the painful tragedy of the “figuratively will now mean both figuratively AND its complete opposite, literally” decision?  I’m all for adapting to culture and changing the rules based on how society evolves, but it’s a slippery slope and I refuse to tumble down wondering how I ended up buried under a pile of poorly formed sentences and grammatical blunders. Common doesn’t equal correct.

Picket session TBD.

 

 

*Image courtesy of FITSNews

 

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