12 November 2007

Styling English

David Marsh writes in today's Guardian about the latest edition of the newspaper's style book, which has been updated and published anew.

I remember when the Guardian's style guide was first published on its website - as a writer and editor, as well as loyal Graun reader (and these days occasional freelance for it too), I found it fascinating reading. Many of the paper's styling decisions back then made perfect sense, while some seemed rather unusual. I used to regularly consult the online version when working abroad as it kept me up to speed with current usage back home and was thus an invaluable reference work.

These days, I seem rarely to look at it as much of the stuff I copy-edit either comes with a style guide attached or I use NODWE and Hart for guidance. I've also written a fair number of style guides myself over the last decade.

The Guardian's new style book modernises common usage yet again. It's good to see they are finally ditching honorifics after first mention, for example, a practice I have pursued for several years already. Another for one my bookshelf, I think, as it's always handy to have several to consult (and funnily enough, despite the hours I spend on the net, these days I'm more likely to consult a print edition than hunt around on the web when I need styling answers fast).

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