Ten things that college journalists mess up that drive me BSC (Yes, it involves a bat)

APStyleThere are some things that college journalists do that drive me crazy. And not just regular crazy, but eyes rolling back in my head, bat scat fever crazy.

I was going to do this with just stylebook issues, but let’s see where my rant takes us.

Join me after the jump for all the stuff you guys are doing to kill your clips.

Advisor: According to the Associated Press Stylebook, it is spelled with an E, not an O. This happens all the time and drives me nuts. I plugged this post on Facebook tonight and one college newspaper editor changed the masthead because she saw that. You all have one (or should), so at least get this right.

TDP: This is another one that is either not being taught or not being learned and makes me want to run screaming into the street and face a mandatory hold. Time before Date before Place. Please. Brad Hamilton said it best in Fast Times at Ridgemont High: “Learn it. Know it. Live it.”

Today/Tonight: This one can put one of my former editors into convulsions. I don’t care if you are a daily, weekly, monthly or a shopper for adult hookups of a questionable nature. Here is what the Journalist’s Bible says: “Use only in direct quotations and in phrases that do not refer to a specific day: Customs today are different from those a century ago. Use the day of the week in copy, not today or tonight.

Times: I just absolutely lose my lunch when I see something like this: The luncheon will be at 12 noon in the XXXX Room of the XXXXX Center. Can’t ya just say noon? It’s right there in the book that teacher made you buy and tried to drum into your head. I have also seen: 9 a.m. this morning and other constructions.

Titled/Entitled: Here is another one that makes me nuts. Someone is entitled to something. A work of art, literature, or other expression has a title. His book, titled Catcher in the Rye, changed my life. The other: I believe everyone is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Titles: While we are close to this one, I hate it when I see this: Governor Jay Nixon…. Formal titles are capitalized and abbreviated when used before a name both inside and outside quotation marks.  It should be: Gov. Jay Nixon…

Academic departments: This one is always a mess. Here is what the AP Stylebook says: Use lowercase, except for the words that are proper nouns or adjectives: the department of history, the department of English, the English department, or when department is part of the official and formal name: University of Connecticut Department of Economics.

Sports Style Pet Peeves

College newsrooms are stressed to the limit just like any other news outlet. I get that. But have a sports writer or at least a sports fan look over the things that are written by non-sportos. Headlines and cutlines, especially. Here are a few of the most frequently botched.

Look, I am no Joe Gisondi, but I know how to access the sports section of the AP Stylebook when I don’t know something.

Postseason/Preseason: There is no hyphen. Last week, former students of mine hyphenated the shit out of this one. It took my wife an hour to calm me down.

Baseball: Home run is two words. Left field is two words when the ball is hit into left field, but leftfiielder is one word. And when it is an adjective, it is “hit into the left-field corner.”

All-America/All-American: An individual is an All-American. The team selected by the AP is the All-America team. There is not an All-American football team. There are plenty of All-American football players.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: