Good Copy, Bad Copy

Another report from ASBPE Kansas City's recent Magazine Boot Camp:

Ron Johnson, an assistant journalism professor at Kansas State University, took on the role of bad cop, grilling attendees with a grammar and style quiz. Johnson led the Boot Camp session “Brushing up on AP style and advanced editing techniques.”

Johnson inventoried some of his style pet peeves:
  • The words major, unique, reaction and impact -- all are overused.
  • Using parentheses inside quotes -- for three reasons:
    • The parenthetical detracts from the accuracy of quotes.
    • It’s weak writing.
    • It makes the source appear stupid.
He also recommended his favorite dictionary and gave advice to copy editors on working with writers.

For more on Johnson's session, see "Catch bad copy" from the ASBPE Kansas City blog.

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