Who Gives A Crap About A.P. Style Anyway?

March 28, 2014

ap-stylebookI was a news reporter and editor for over fifteen years.

I love the movies All The President’s Men and The Paper.

I have a Bachelor of arts in Journalism, and even earned the title Adjunct Professor at the Univ. of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Minneapolis, MN.

In Fall 2014, I joined the Board of Directors for the “Minnesota Daily” college newspaper.

So you’d think I might care about A.P. Style.

But I don’t.

Yes, there was a big blow up 8 days ago when AP decided it’s okay to use ‘over’ when really you should be saying “more than.” As in: “C.N.N. has done over 1250 stories about flight 370 in the past 2 weeks.”

Here’s the Tweet that AP issued at 2:34 PM on Mar. 20th that started the big controversy:


A bunch of Old-School copy editors became indignant. They were all like, “Is nothing sacred”? To them, the thing with over versus “more than” is like 1 of the 10 Commandments or a cherished Sonnet from Wm. Shakespeare or something.

You’ve got to remember, though, that these old timers are ornery to begin with. Their severance packages run out in 2 weeks and their next job is going be at the WalMart or C.V.S. out on highway 5.

Seriously, get over it already. I’m sure over 90% of people don’t give a rip about whether someone writes over or “more than”.

So to all of you who are complaining about how The Assoc. Press keeps changing the style, here’s what I have to say:

Grab a kleenex, hop in your old Honda civic that gets 32 miles-per-gallon as long as you don’t go over 50 m.p.h., drive out to that dive bar on the Western edge of town (the one on E. Washington Rd., I think), order up some cheap scotch whiskey and drink yourself way past the .08 Blood-Alcohol-Content limit.