9/07/2011

Once upon a time teenagers were teen-agers

Here's an AP story about folks in Iran getting upset about spelling errors in copies of the Quran printed in China. Enjoy.

Checking the accuracy of Quran made Mr. Rewrite feel a bit like a dinosaur. When he was in college, there was no AP style on Internet or World Wide Web because those wouldn't become household words until years later. Teenager was still teen-ager in the AP Stylebook. And the most common terms associated with Islam, according to AP style, were Koran and Moslem/s.

AP style has since changed to Quran for the holy book and Muslim/s for those of the faith. Mr. Rewrite's glad to have someone tell him how to handle terms coming from another language, but he's also grateful that AP style evolves in the interest of greater accuracy and, sometimes, sensitivity (someday Mr. Rewrite will discuss AP's evolution on handling matters of race, for example).

Some media organizations still go with Koran. Mr. Rewrite recently read a column by the Los Angeles Times' reader advocate explaining that the K is a more accurate translation, for example. That's just fine with Mr. Rewrite as long as an organization is consistent. If you're bound by AP style, however, know and follow the entries on Quran and Muslim/s.

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