Although I sometimes write journalistic pieces, I’m not a journalist. Nonetheless, sometimes style questions arise for me.
The other day I wrote “David vs. Goliath” in a proposal. When I returned to that phrase during my final edit and proofread, I wondered if it was correct. More specifically, I wondered if “vs.” or “versus” was the correct usage.
I tried my luck with an online search, but since I don’t have an online subscription to the AP Stylebook (or any other stylebook) I wasn’t confident about finding a reliable answer to my query.
So I headed to my basement. That was the last place I remembered seeing my old AP Stylebook, the one with the faded red cover that I threw in a box when I moved my office back home in April.
There it was! I leafed to the V’s and found my answer: “abbreviate as vs. in all uses.”
So, to answer my own question, yes, stylebooks are still in style for me.
I don’t subscribe to an online version, $25 per year for the current AP Stylebook. (I probably would if I were a full-time journalist rather than a marketing and PR writer, blogger and occasional journalist.)
I’ve found that AP style doesn’t change dramatically. Sure, there are new updates every year, but for my occasional queries about things such as vs., capitalization and the correct usage of numbers and numerals, my relatively ancient late 20th century edition provides the answers I need.