The New York Times Style: Fine Distinctions beyond the Newsroom
Note: This article originally appeared in Copyediting newsletter, which explains the low word-to-humor ratio, and is reproduced with permission.
NYT style can be adapted as a supplement to AP style.Its dictionary of choice is Webster’s New World College Dictionary, also the official reference for The Associated Press Stylebook. Unlike AP style, though, NYT style is not restricted to symbols transmittable over wires. With its guidance on italics, brackets, accent marks, and bullets, NYT style can be adapted as a supplement to AP style when transmission is unimportant. In addition to weighing in on popular tech terms (e.g., it discourages Google, tweet, and friend as verbs), it takes a stand on some matters where AP style remains silent, such as avoiding inner city for being euphemistic and inaccurate. In fact, the rationale behind its decisions is the most valuable part of the guide. Copyeditors will delight in parsing its fine distinctions—due to and because of, about and nearly—and learn to communicate more effectively, regardless of audience or industry.