If the Associated Press Stylebook is “the bible of the newspaper industry” (as it declares on the front cover), then Twitter’s @FakeAPStyleBook is the bible of comic relief for writers who count on the reference book for definitive answers on grammar and style questions. It is also RaceTalk’s pick this week for #FollowFriday.
With over 60,000 followers @FakeAPStyleBook tweets multiple times a day with satirical writing tips composed in the same style as the original AP Stylebook. For example:
@FakeAPStylebook: “Xerox” is a trademarked name. Use “butt duplicator.”
@FakeAPStylebook: When referring to someone with a Ph.D. as “doctor” immediately follow it with “but, you know, not a REAL doctor.”
@FakeAPStylebook: Use “grandfather” instead of “granddad” because you know better, son. Really.
@FakeAPStylebook: “Et al” is Latin for “those who know Al.” You can shorten long lists of names by leaving out friends of Al.
@FakeAPStylebook: Stories on the success of new media printed in traditional newspapers are no longer allowed out of respect for the dying.
As noted in a piece by John C. Abell for Wired, @FakeAPStylebook often tweets tips related to current events and trends. Abell writes, “The guide is very current, too. For example, be sure that you “Refer to him as ‘President Obama’ when he first appears in an article, ‘Soul Brother Number 1‘ in subsequent mentions.”
@FakeAPStylebook has found an adoring audience on Twitter and recently, a book deal. Lydia Dishman of Fast Company reported on Monday that agent Kate McKean of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency, Inc. has approached the Twitter handle creators, Mark Hale and Ken Lowery, about bringing their humor to book shelves.
Who knew a book deal was only 140 characters away?