Thursday, October 6, 2011

Embracing a chatty style

A friend sent me a cartoon yesterday that perfectly captured this stage of my writing career. It was a sketch of an old dog saying “I think it’s time to learn some new tricks.” My new boss, friend and fellow blogger, Lindsay Sparks, asked me to give up my former newspaper-reporter-writing style for this blog, including abandoning some rules in my beloved Associated Press Stylebook. “I’m destroying your world, aren’t I?” Lindsay asked me yesterday. I’m quoting her because it’s also time to give up quotes, according to Lindsay. “According to” is also something you won’t be seeing again on this blog.

One thing keeps echoing in my head, one sentence in “The Elements of Style”, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B.White, which I had to memorize as a senior in high school. “Do not affect a chatty style.” But another sentence is echoing even more loudly, and it’s from the old dog: “It’s time learn something new.” After all, I don’t want the next cartoon e-mailed to me to be a sketch of a dinosaur – remember what happened to them?


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