A style tip, a juice box, a writing bot and more

March 15 to March 28



The elements in our list above provide the main theme of reading picks in this, our fourth issue.  As motley as they are, the style update to a much-referenced newspaper stylebook, the markings on boxes of a certain orange juice brand, and a computer program called Quakebot that “wrote” and sent news of an earthquake to news desks in Los Angeles recently, seem to be heralding changes — in word usage, people’s attitudes to grammar, and the business and practice of journalism. Read on:

  •  When the Associated Press, in a recent congress of the American Copy Editors Society, announced that it had updated its Stylebook to accept “over” to mean “more than,” it seemed to bring on a battle royale between pros and cons. The update to the AP Stylebook brought on a hail of comments, including: “More than my dead body!”


  • Albert, a 15-year-old schoolboy in the UK, was quite irked with something ungrammatical on an orange juice box that he asked the juice manufacturer to make corrections.  Largely ignored by the company, he then turned to the press. The incident inspired a Guardian piece on “why grammar isn’t cool” and why some change (for the better) can be expected.



  • The quality and impact of an editorial professional’s work may be hard to measure but it’s still possible. And people do care about quality and meaningful work.


  • A new job title in the media world is that of social media editor.  But what does it really mean to be one?


  • So you want to be a freelance editor or online journalist.  Here are some tips on how to handle the business of editing as well as how to find funding if you don’t want to deal with advertising but also don’t want to give out your writing for free.



  • Now for some bit of weekend fun.  Twitter turned eight this year and to celebrate this milestone, it created this app that allows anyone to check on anyone’s first tweet ever. And here’s a list of 21 famous first tweets.



Ditto is a fortnightly selection of stories on publishing, media, communications, and topics that concern editorial professionals from the most credible sources on the Web. We hope to educate young professional writers and editors about industry standards, breakthroughs, and trends, among other things. Usually, you’ll find news and commentaries in here, but from time to time, we also feature tweets, visuals, games, freebies, and other fun but useful stuff that caught our eye. For feedback, comments, suggestions, or contributions, contact the editors by clicking here


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