First, let me say I’m a fan of the AP Stylebook. And that’s not merely nostalgia on my part, having been educated on AP and “The Elements of Style.” Despite some people’s criticism, I love how AP is continually updating its entries to reflect modern usage, context and events. (An example: The update I received on how to spell “bedbugs” just in time for a trip I was taking that required a hotel stay.) AP style has long tamed the chaos that can result from writers making their own decisions over specific word choices.
But I’m pretty intrigued by Yahoo’s new style guide. I’m intrigued because it’s interesting to watch as Internet or browser search companies become media companies (witness AOL’s Patch and HuffPost acquisitions and Google’s new Think Quarterly, in addition to Yahoo). I’m intrigued, too, because the guide really does seem to tackle head-on writing for the web. In addition to mechanics, it offers advice on writing for a world-wide audience, shaping text for a mobile device, and making your site accessible, among many other things.
I suspect it’s not going to replace my AP guide on my bookshelf (or on my smart phone, for that matter). But it just may earn a place between AP and “The Elements of Style.”