7/26/2011

AP can no longer let this issue slide

A domain-renewal bill from Go Daddy reminded Mr. Rewrite that he still has this blog. And did you know that www.irewrite.com forwards to www.irewrite.net? Mr. Rewrite grabbed the former domain a couple years ago and forgot to do anything with it besides pay for the rights.

So anyway, since this blog just cost him another $22.99 plus tax over the next two years Mr. Rewrite figures he should post something. Fortunately, this issue came up today ...

The Associated Press Stylebook needs to help poor editing worker bees like Mr. Rewrite and add an entry codifying its preference for slide show over slideshow -- or codifying it the other way. Just please make a call. Despite how old that classic Kodak Carousel looks in the graphic above, there are more and more reasons to use slide show or slideshow these days as people use PowerPoint slides and post online slide shows/slideshows. As you'd expect, media usage of this term is nothing short of a dog's breakfast.

When AP lacks a stylebook entry, it tells poor editing worker bees like Mr. Rewrite to open the Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition. But while that dictionary has an entry for peep show it lacks anything on slide show or slideshow. In fact, none of Mr. Rewrite's more expensive reference books addresses the subject. 

All of this suggests to Mr. Rewrite that he should go with slide show, but he sees via Google News too many people paid to know better making their own assumptions. The New York Times uses slide show consistently. The Washington Post is inconsistent. The AP wire today has an advisory highlighting an "audio slideshow." References on Google News run 3-1 in favor of slideshow, though more news outlets Mr. Rewrite trusts, including the Orange County Register, appear high in the queue for slide show.

Mr. Rewrite finally resolved this usage conundrum by thinking to check the Ask the Editor archive on the online AP Stylebook (a great, great buy at $25 a year, by the way). In response to a question in 2007, an editor said AP goes with slide show, two words.

Mr. Rewrite plans to tweet this post to AP, his former employer, in hopes that the stylebook editors will provide the great service of resolving this issue. 

2 comments:

Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com said...

So you'll go with a years-old decision from the decidedly technophobic AP, rather than accept the term of art as it exists in the world? I cast my vote for "slideshow."

Mr. Rewrite said...

In a heartbeat. All Mr. Rewrite wants is to be told what to do.