Last week I wrote about how the Associated Press stylebook sets a consistent tone in The Eagle and at Kansas.com for the words, phrases and descriptions we use. There is, however, a resource we turn to before it: The Eagle stylebook
Like the Associated Pressâ€™, our stylebook is a guide for members of the newsroom on whatâ€™s correct. Where weâ€™re different is ours is concerned specifically with this area and our readers.
Here, with some examples, is how we use it.
As a guide to local idiom:
Big Ditch A proper name to Eagle readers and descriptive shorthand for the Wichita-Valley Center Floodway. Big Ditch is acceptable in passing references. A story about the Big Ditch should explain what it is.
As a general reminder:
V8, V-8 V8 is the drink; a V-8 is a car engine. When he drank from his V-8, he burned his lips.
As a pronunciation guide:
Marais des Cygnes River, Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge Marais des Cygnes is "marsh of the swans" in French. In Kansan, it’s pronounced "MAIR-ree-duh-SEEN."
As a direction for usage:
irony Irony is defined as the incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result. Things said to be ironic rarely are; rather, they are usually just coincidental.
As a guide to local places and landmarks:
St. Mary’s Cathedral The seat of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, at Central and Broadway. St. Mary’s is the name most people recognize, and thus The Eagle prefers it, but the cathedral’s proper full name is Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and that should be noted in any story that mentions the cathedral more than just in passing.
The inscription above the cathedral’s portico is Sancta Maria Mater Dei Ora Pro Nobis, Latin for "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us," words from the Catholic prayer "Hail Mary."
As direction to erase overused metaphors:
Oz When writing, keep in mind that every "Wizard of Oz" metaphor possible has already been explored in The Eagle.
But if you can’t resist, remember that Kansas is not Oz. Oz is someplace unlike Kansas that makes you wish you were back here.
As I said above, itâ€™s the first place we turn for guidance. Thatâ€™s good, as some of our style points donâ€™t agree with the Associated Press’, but thatâ€™s a topic for another post.