Style Books have always played an important role in publishing. Among the mass media, newspapers and magazines in particular constantly rely on a uniform style. The world ‘Style’ is even derived from the Latin for ‘pen’ and in a way, it’s an attempt to impose a little bit of order to what can be a bunch of unruly words.
However just like fashion, writing styles can change and media Style Books are constantly being adapted and updated to keep up with the times.
It’s not hard to see why some people think Style Books belong to a different era. Nearly everyone texts, shortening or abbreviating words as they go. Social networking services like Twitter even take things a step further, imposing a 140 character on every post.
But even texts or tweets have their own style rules like OMG, BTW, LOL, FB, DM and TMB.
Really it comes down to this. Effective communication requires people to comprehend and the only way to maximize that is if everyone knows the rules.
Styles aren’t fixed – it’s not like spelling and grammar – it’s more like a temporary consensus everyone agrees to follow because in the end it makes life easier.
Even for individual companies, having a corporate style is very worthwhile. For every time you communicate you’ll be in doing it in a clear and concise way.
Be original and quirky by all means but it’s good to remember that while fashions change, style is always timeless.
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