Twitter may bring friends, celebrities and news headlines together, but sometimes there are those that take themselves way too seriously--like the the AP Stylebook tweets by the Associated Press. The Twitter feed provides an ongoing online guide to a proper stylistic tips for journalists. (Example: "Lowercase arthritis, leukemia, etc. Capitalize a name associated with a disease such as Alzheimer’s disease.")
Yeah, little known fact: professional journalists don't really know how to write. That's where the AP Stylebook comes in to tell us the correct way to spell things out and when to capitalize certain words.
So it was only a matter time before a group made a parody version. Meet the Fake AP Stylebook Twitter which always manages to bring a hilarious twist to seemingly serious notes on American journalism. (Example: Do not write that someone "sported a mad boner" unless you have sourced documentation of the madness of said boner.)
Attack of the Blog! recently caught up with the two founders of the Fake AP Stylebook, Mark Hale and Ken Lowery, to get the lowdown on their comedy project and their personal pet peeves.
(Our latest favorite Tweet: When writing front-page headlines, make sure they are clear, can be read while spinning and move the movie's plot forward.)
How did the Fake AP Style Book Twitter get started?
Mark: Ken showed me the real AP Stylebook's Twitter feed, since he knew I had a bit of a journalism background, and I checked it out and replied "I'm not sure if I'm sad or relieved that this isn't a joke feed," And off we went. He wrote a fake entry, I wrote a fake entry, he started a feed for it, and here we are, three weeks and 48,000 followers later.
Ken: We've done joke feeds like this before (@zombiehorde, @thisreallyhurts, @forevercon, and others), and mostly they were exercises in comedy, not unlike improv prompts. "Tell this kind of joke in this style. Now do a new one every day." For whatever reason, this is the one that blew up. Quite by accident, I'd like to add.