"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Sunday, April 24, 2016

United Press International

Anyone with a background in journalism has spent an indefinite amount of time studying a stylebook such as the United Press International Stylebook.

Stylebooks are a fact of life for writers in mass media. Newspapers, magazines, advertising agencies, and public relations firms all conform to similar guidelines for copy (text).  If you've never studied any of them, they are an agreed upon list or manual of rules to be followed by writers with the ultimate goal of consistency.

In short, it's a set of rules for writers about word usage - common spellings, abbreviations, acronyms, and more.

I mention this today because these manuals offer valuable information for all writers, not just journalists. One of my favorite quotes comes from the United Press International Stylebook. In a description of its purpose, the book defines STYLE as the "intangible ingredient that distinguishes outstanding writing from mediocrity."

Have you ever studied UPI or a similar stylebook? What do you think distinguishes outstanding writing from mediocrity?

1 comment:

Yolanda Renée said...

I've studied it and used it especially when in college. I think I may need to brush up. A great resource, a necessary resource!