8/04/2011

Perhaps Mr. Rewrite can sell off his stylebooks


Rather than sitting idly by as his virtual 401k slides into the metaphorical toilet, Mr. Rewrite will channel misplaced anxiety toward the question of whether a selloff or sell-off heralded this sad state of affairs.

The Yahoo! blurb above goes with selloff, but the media, even prominent business news sources, vary in handling the term. Here's the toll on Google News. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have used both flavors in recent weeks. Even The Associated Press, the industry's true north because of its stylebook, has references to both sell-off and selloff. There's no AP Stylebook entry for selloff/sell-off, by the way.

The New York Times -- God bless the Gray Lady -- uses sell-off consistently.

Here's Mr. Rewrite's take, and he's going to sound like a broken record: The Webster's New World College Dictionary, to which AP defers on matters not covered in the stylebook, lists sell-off. That's good enough for Mr. Rewrite, and he's going with it.

Is it time for a stylebook addition, AP?

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