Style Guides

Last week, someone asked me which style guide I used. For my work as a software technical writer, I’ve been asked to adhere to Microsoft Manual of Style and Chicago Manual of Style.  But, the question got me thinking about other style guides, and what the differences are. After googling style guides, I found a few others. So, over the next couple of days I’ll be posting about some of them.

Elements of Style: “First published in 1918, William Strunk, Jr., believed that one must first know the rules to break them. This classic reference book is a must-have for any student and conscientious writer. Intended for use in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature, it gives in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style and concentrates attention on the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.”  It was last updated in 1999, and is found online. I wanted to see if there was any mention of websites or software, and neither term appears in the online text.

2010 AP Stylebook: “The AP Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, a style manual produced by the world’s leading news agency, is an essential handbook for all writers, editors, students and public relations specialists. The 2010 edition provides fundamental guidelines on spelling, grammar, punctuation and usage, with special sections on social media, reporting business and sports. Included is an updated guide to media law.” Cost is $10.49 at Amazon.com.  Again, probably not the style of choice for tech writers, but used in many fields.

More next time…

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