Some Rules Really Aren't Made to Be Broken

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One reason for the necessity of AP Style procedures is uniformity.  After all, we can't have one journalist writing the date as November, 1, and another writing it as Nov. 1....That would obviously lead to mass confusion.  I can see where it would look better if each paper followed the same form, but I do think as writers we sometimes get a little crazy attentive.  Regardless of my opinion, the blog must go on, so I'll just give you an example of a rule that I found logical.

Use quotations when you want to communicate the emotions of your readers.  When you want to communicate facts, paraphrase.  There does seem to be a more resounding ring of authority on a phrase that is printed sans quotation marks.  Why is that?  Because as journalists, as writers, we are the voice of the story; we're the authority on the subject we're discussing.  We even surpass the person we're interviewing.  For example, if a man commented on his red shirt, but as the reporter you included a sentence after his quote that said he was actually wearing a blue shirt, your word will be taken over the man's.  Other more practical reasons for this rule include the concept that facts need to be printed plainly, without being cluttered with the emotions or unnecessary words of the speaker.  Things should remain concise and crisp, in true journalistic form.

3 Comments

Derek Tickle said:

I love your introduction sentence. AP style is the same as MLA and APA because they kept different areas in uniform.

WOW! I never thought about how the reporter's word would be taken first in an article. You example about the red shirt and blue shirt makes complete sense. Newspapers need to have one style, which they do, because it keeps everything in order. When we, English writers, compose an academic paper, then we use MLA. If we all used a different format, then the professor would never be able to see what was wrong and grade it. Good Job!

Aja Hannah said:

Some papers see that they are supposed to be realy attentive to every detail in AP to stay consistent, but then others create their own rules so they are consistent within their paper. This is beneficial because the community recognizes it (and for those not in journalism) they don't know its "wrong" and the journlists don't have to worry about all those other rules.

Josie Rush said:

Ah, good point Aja, I never really thought of that, but it makes sense.

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