I’m entirely sympathetic toward the parties in this dispute. Both have well-reasoned philosophies and their arguments ring true, yet there is inherent contrariness endemic to situations their guidelines address. This animosity between styles, and their creators and followers, has to end and I hope it can be resolved peaceably in as swift a manner as possible.
Read the Onion article yourself to find out what the hubbub is about.
Refer to these books for the core issues surrounding the Onion article:
- The Associated Press Stylebook, 46th edition. Status: In process.
The Associated Press’ Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, 39th edition. Location: Reference Collection, 2nd Floor. Call Number: PN4783 .A83 2004
- The Chicago Manual of Style, 10th edition. Location: Reference Desk, 2nd Floor (Non-Circulating). Call Number: Z253 .U69 2010
Here at UW-Whitewater we have similar problems with APA, MLA (the same as was mentioned in the Onion article), and Turabian (a close relative of Chicago Manual) styles, although most of our conflicts arise regarding proper citation. Questions such as these are at the heart of the disagreement:
- Should an author’s last name/surname be before or after his/her given/first name?
- Should an author’s last name be used with just their first and middle initials, even if their full names are known?
Fisticuffs have been know to occur. Not to mention the stress and strain caused to individuals who attempt to placate the various parties by using one style for one project and another for a different one!
To view the sources of our local conundrum see:
- A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 7th edition. Location: Reference Desk, 2nd Floor (Non-Circulating). Call Number: LB2369 .T8 2007
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition. Locations: Reference Desk, 2nd Floor (Non-Circulating), Reference Collection, 2nd Floor, Main Collection, 3rd Floor. Call Number: LB2369 .G53 2009
- MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition. Location: Reference Desk, 2nd Floor (Non-Circulating). Call Number: PN147 .G444 2008
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Locations: Reference Desk, 2nd Floor (Non-Circulating), Reference Collection, 2nd Floor, Main Collection, 3rd Floor. Call Number: BF76.7 .P83 2010
We would love to hear your take on this, however, please respect the opinions of others at the same time. Feel free to disagree, but no “flames.”