Lapsing into a Comma : A Curmudgeon's Guide to the Many Things That Can Go Wrong in Print--and how to Avoid Them

Overview

No writer's or editor's desk is complete without a battered, page-bent copy of the AP Stylebook. However, this not-so-easy-to-use reference of journalistic style is often not up-to-date and leaves reporters and copyeditors unsatisfied. Bill Walsh, copy chief for the Washington Post's business desk, addresses these shortcomings in Lapsing into a Comma. In an opinionated, humorous, and yes, curmudgeonly way, he shows how to apply the basic rules to unique, modern grammar issues. Walsh explains how to deal with ...

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Overview

No writer's or editor's desk is complete without a battered, page-bent copy of the AP Stylebook. However, this not-so-easy-to-use reference of journalistic style is often not up-to-date and leaves reporters and copyeditors unsatisfied. Bill Walsh, copy chief for the Washington Post's business desk, addresses these shortcomings in Lapsing into a Comma. In an opinionated, humorous, and yes, curmudgeonly way, he shows how to apply the basic rules to unique, modern grammar issues. Walsh explains how to deal with perplexing situations such as trendy words, foreign terms, and web speak.

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Editorial Reviews

Contemporary Books
An extraordinarily useful guide for any writer. Bill Walsh is a stylist with a sense of humor, a rare commodity these days." —Frank Mankiewicz, Former President, National Public Radio

1590616480

Library Journal
This style manual is meant to serve as a companion to the Associated Press style manual. And what Walsh, copy desk chief at Washington Post, adds to Style is style--the element that the ever precise and dry traditional manuals often lack. Walsh's acerbic tone adds humor to the dry distinctions between "there, their, and they're," which never hurts and may, in fact, contribute to permanent retention. Taking on the web's contributions to slang, such as the prefix "e-" before mail and business, Walsh strikes frequent compromises between traditional style and contemporary usage and concisely explains correct pronunciations and proper definitions of words frequently used incorrectly. A few of the examples of common incorrect usage apply primarily to news reportage, but most have broader application. Those who like curmudgeonly humor find Walsh's writing method rather amusing. A good title for public and college libraries, especially those with the AP style manual.--Robert Moore, Raytheon, Sudbury, MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809225354
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/1/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 293,199
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Walsh is the copy chief for the Washington Post's business desk. He also runs a website, www.theslot.com, where he answers questions about style and grammar.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Beyond Search and Replace: Using Your Head as Well as Your Stylebook 1
2 You Could Look It Up!: How to Use a Dictionary With Style 5
3 Holding the (Virtual) Fort: Disturbing Trends in the Information Age 13
4 Literally Speaking: Write What You Mean, Mean What You Write 31
5 Giving 110 Percent: Why You Needed Those Math Classes After All 37
6 Matters of Sensitivity: Correctness, Political and Otherwise 41
7 He Said, She Said: Quotations in the News 49
8 The Big Type: Headlines and Captions 65
9 Dash It All, Period: The Finer Points of Punctuation 71
10 The Curmudgeon's Stylebook: Details, Details 95
Index 229
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