From The Publisher's Desk

Oct 31, 2014

From the start, our paper has tried to adhere to the Associated Press style when writing. It is the standard among newspapers and each of our reporters was provided the 2013 edition of The Associated Press Stylebook. Toni and I often refer to that book while editing.

In our short publication history, I’ve received my share of punctuation and capitalization challenges similar to the one posed last week. A reader from Florida who picked up the SEMO TIMES while visiting asked, “Why did you put quotes around Gone Girl in your Oct 16 edition when it should have been italicized?” I informed the questioner that according to AP, movie titles are in quotes and book titles are italicized. Here the AP is at odds with most English style guides which have both types of titles italicized. [Yes, I did go back and verify that each of the “Gone Girl” uses were referring to the movie.]

For those still reading (e.g. my mother and possibly the likes of former publisher of the Daily American Republic and family friend, John Stanard), we hope to have finally conquered the vacillating capitalization issue of “city council” within our pages and posts:

Whether it includes the city’s name in front of it or not, if we are referring to a singular city’s council then it will be capitalized, otherwise, when used in the generic sense or when using “the council” or “council” it will not be capitalized.

Whew! ikr? Toni and I are both pedantic when it comes to writing and continue to perfect our eye in hopes of printing that ever-elusive “error-free edition.” [Wait, should that be in quotes?]


Brian Becker