8/04/2010

iHate errors in gadget names


Mr. Rewrite probably seems a little "old school," but he's actually a gadget geek. He loves his iPod (don't ask where he was writing if you see "Sent from my iPod" in an e-mail). And he's getting an iPad with which to spit virtual venom on the long rail and bus ride home.

So don't be surprised that he gets testy when writers botch gadget names. Before the school year begins, let's settle all matters tech:

iPad, iPod, iPhone: iWill go batty upon seeking I-Pod, ipad, IPhone, etc. The AP Stylebook has these, but this comes down to attention to proper nouns.

website: AP recently changed this style from Web site, conforming with webmaster, webcast and webcam. Yet AP still calls for Web page. Mr. Rewrite can't explain that one. Other AP style: World Wide Web and the Web.

Internet: Not internet, per AP style.

e-mail: Much of the world seems to have moved on, going with email, but AP is holding on to this construction much as it held on to teen-ager before changing to teenager.

cell phone: Two words, per AP style. Not cellphone.

smart phone: Not smartphone, Smart phone or Smart Phone, per AP style.

Bluetooth: Not bluetooth, per AP style and observance of the trade name.

BlackBerry, BlackBerrys: Not Blackberry or BlackBerries, per AP style and observance of the trade name. Avoid using blackberry as a generic reference to a smart phone.

tweet, tweeted: Verbs for the actions of Twitter users, per AP. Also: retweet, hashtag.

app: Short for an application that runs inside another device. Not capitalized, per AP.

typewriter: Not type writer or TypeWriter. Just kidding.

Other than observing proper nouns, members of the Community of Concern probably disagree with one or more of these. But somebody has to make the call in the name of consistency, and Mr. Rewrite is grateful that AP is willing to do it.

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