At the core of the indoctrination into the field of journalism is the journalist’s Bible, the AP Stylebook — full name Associated Press Stylebook. In this hallowed book are the rules — the rules for how to write numbers, states, names of people, names of companies, composition titles, weather terms, military terms … and on and on.
The Associated Press makes the rules, we just follow them, and boy do we follow them. A journalist will fight till the death to follow an AP Style rule. These are our conventions, the foundation of our being, the ground upon which we stand. Journalism students are brainwashed from Day 1 of Journalism 101 to follow AP Style at all costs.
Others (that is non-journalism majors) don’t get it. They still think rules were made to be broken, to which I respond, “Maybe your rules were made to be broken but AP Style rules were made to be strictly adhered to.”
The addiction to AP Style is bad — bad enough that the Stylebook I used in college is one of my prized possessions. Bad enough that one of the souvenirs from my recent anniversary trip to Washington D.C. is an AP Stylebook from the Newseum. And bad enough that I crave the new AP Stylebook iPhone app if for no other reason than the self-satisfaction of having it. I mean I would totally use it, both at work and for leisure reading and/or random trivia, but part of me wants it just to have it.
The app costs $28.99, which is an insane amount of money to pay for an iPhone app, but the cost will not necessarily prevent me from getting the app (eventually). @APStylebook on Twitter was giving away a free app this week and asked people to tweet why they should be the one to win. Some people took a serious approach with tweets about being poor college students and this app would help them at school, or being a starving journalist and this app would benefit them in their career, or how the print guide is too heavy to lug around on assignments, etc. I took a humorous approach.
@APStylebook I want the AP Stylebook app so I can have one hand in my pocket and the other one looking up a stylebook question
I wanna win the @APStylebook app because I’m a cool 20-something wearing a T-shirt at get-togethers and getaways in Orlando, Fla. (demonstrating my AP Style skilz)
I want the new @APStylebook app because I love one-upping my co-workers (and perfect strangers too)
I’m dying to have the @APStylebook so I can doublecheck newspapers’ style wherever I am. (you know we all do it!)
I even mixed in some 50 Cent lyrics in one of my dire pleas (er, tweets)
No word yet on who won. I’m not betting on it being me but am pretty confident I’ll get the app one way or another.