[UPDATED] Arizona Republic Style Committee mocks AP’s style changes

The Arizona Republic Style Committee sent this note to staff on Thursday – with the images attached.

When AP announced that it was going to stop abbreviating state names this month, reverberations were felt from North Carolina to California to West Virginia to Washington to South Dakota to … pretty much everywhere but Iowa, Ohio and Utah.

The editors of the AP Stylebook tell us this change is being made in the name of consistency. Which is why they are doing it across the board.style
Well … with the exception of political affiliations. And datelines. And agate. And lists. And tabular material. And editor’s notes. And credit lines.

Oh, and they would also like everybody to stop abbreviating state names in headlines.

Although it’s an inconvenience to conflict with AP style, especially on something this sweeping, we’ve deemed it the lesser of two evils. So we will continue to use state abbreviations as we always have.

What are the chances we’ll reconsider and adopt AP’s new style? Um, probably like one in a million.

Having trouble calculating those odds? Let’s count it off: One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi …

Just when we thought AP couldn’t possibly be any dumber, they rule that “underway” in the arcane nautical sense should now apply to every use of the word … AND TOTALLY REDEEM THEMSELVES!

* Earlier: McClatchy-Tribune News Service won’t follow AP’s state names style (jimromenesko.com)

Update: The Style Committee received this note from a member a week earlier, when AP announced the change:

Date: April 23, 2014 at 4:43:28 PM MST
To: Phx IC Style
Subject: M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I … better start practicing!

I try not be such a hater or a conspiracy theorist, and I love the idea of conforming to the AP Stylebook to keep our lives simple, but …

* I don’t think AP uses good logic or justification for its decisions and changes.
* I don’t think they prioritize effectively. Looking to them for guidance on Molly or the latest LGBT terminology? Maybe in 10 years … they’re too busy rewriting the rules for “under way” and state abbreviations.
* I think it’s pretty obvious they have an aggressive quota of changes to make every year to keep themselves in the news and, more importantly, force everybody to buy updated versions of their stylebook.