Monday, February 11, 2013

Something's Off

It's "off-season" on pg. 183...
... but it's "offseason" 115 pages later.
"The Associated Press Stylebook," which is chock full of information on grammar, punctuation, word usage and everything else a writer needs, is my bible. I refer to it often. When I can't recall the past participle of lie, I refer to my AP Stylebook. When I need to know the plural of runner-up, I head directly for my AP Stylebook. When I'm unsure if I should use continual or continuous, I crack open my AP Stylebook. You get the idea.

So, imagine my surprise when, years ago, I found an error in the edition published in 2002. On page 183, in the "off-, -off" entry, the stylebook lists "some commonly used combinations with a hyphen," including off-season. Flip ahead to the Sports Guidelines on page 298, however, and you'll notice the following entry: "offseason (no hyphen)."


That error is the source of continuous, er, continual amusement.

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