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Of This
And That...


01/07/15--Voices In My Head Unhinged! Earth's Rotation Slowing!?

11/05/14--Wait— What!? The Elections Happened Already!?

09/29/14--Voices In My Head Spooked! Trouble Not Brewing In the Republic!?

08/29/14--Killer Cop Goes Free! Republic Braces For Riots!

10/24/13--Heeled Republicans Insist They Get Democracy Now

10/05/13--Republicans To Fight Emancipation Proclamation Next

07/15/13--Pope Francis Changes Rules For Heaven and Hell: Muslim Paradise Gets Bump

01/05/13--Boulder Cop (Taxidermist) Shoots (Bags) Crazed Killer (Old and Feeble) Elk (Trophy)
































































The Stylebook

(Of the Narrative of Humanity)


General Editor
Otis H. Keyes


January 5, 2015

• • •


“It’s a damn poor mind that can only
think of one way to spell a word.”*

                                                                        — Mark Twain









Five or six thousand years ago, when some detail-oriented smarty-pants Sumerian no doubt decided the then-current and fashionable pictograph for “head” was awkward and confusing and sent mixed messages and needed to be tilted back and gazing upward to properly signify the alive and well head it was meant to represent, the first de facto stylebook was unwittingly established and the slow but steady march toward a more perfect cuneiform was joined.

In the years since, everyone from Plato and Dante to Noam Chomsky and the Associated Press* have chimed in with their views about what shall and shan’t be in spelling, pronunciation, syntax and usage. And, of course, meaning.

Many changes have been gradual, i.e., the Great Vowel Shift (1400 to 1600), but had earth-shaking linguistic implications.

Other changes were sudden, as with the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary* in 1928, but with the authority of that which is set in stone and strength of voice heard round the world.

None, however, have been without controversy and drama. Nor joy. For I can tell you it was a joyous day indeed when a sound and sensible policy on the use of serial semi-colons was adopted in the publication stylebook with which I was entrusted as a young copy editor just starting out.

The codifying of the symbols of communication for a group or community or culture or civilization is not something to be taken lightly. Ultimately, nothing less than the narrative of humanity is at stake.

Mindful of the gravitas of the calling to be a guardian in space and time of the story of us, and with the same pioneering spirit as the struggle for a more perfect cuneiform was taken up by our ancestors, The Stylebook (Of the Narrative of Humanity), Otis H. Keyes, General Editor, is hereby ordered and ordained.




A Note About Organization…


It’s oft said of the U.S. Constitution that’s it genius is its simple nature. It allows authority to adapt and remain relevant and thus sacred, one likes to think, forevermore. In the same spirit of simplicity and adaptive authority, The Stylebook is organized alphabetically by issue, rule or word, with copious cross-referencing and alternative entry links. In the event of questions or issues with a particular spelling, usage, construction or any other issue in any of the writings covered hereby, the As Stands decision shall apply and Consistency rule reign. If the issue persists but with an inconsistent element, kindness and understanding are called for; remember the admonishment of Mark Twain: “It’s a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.” If the issue persists still yet, the Fix This Sh!t rule applies and an adjustment or entry in The Stylebook requested. It is, after all, incumbent on us all to remain ever vigilant as we marshal language through the intolerable impreciseness and maddening vagaries of our uncertain existence, linguistic and otherwise.

Finally, The Stylebook invites linguistic and semiotic commentary and/or entry proposals from all good souls who want to share in The Stylebook’s quest to form a more perfect communion between good souls who hold increasingly ancient symbols still and finally in such reverence. The Stylebook requests commentary and/or stylebook entry proposals be under 100 words, and only one per email. Contribute HERE.




A Note About the Use of Red Typeface…


As instructed in The Good Commission by the voice in the dark in both no uncertain and purposefully vague terms, when the gravitas of utterance shall warrant, red typeface shall be used in the narrative of humanity to signify direct communication from the aforementioned voice in the dark, and for occasional flourishes of decoration. Sole responsibility for determining the weight of utterance and worthiness of red typeface rests with the editorial staff of the narrative of humanity, made up of somewhat trained but highly interested voices in my head, and finally and ultimately, myself, Otis H. Keyes, General Editor.





Table of Contents



A Note About Organization

A Note About the Use of Red Typeface

The Stylebook


Keyword Index