Recently the Associated Press Stylebook announced it would recognize “over” as a synonym for “more than.” As a former editor, my heart stopped when I read that. It started right back up — my heart, that is — but I was shocked.
It’s probably hard to understand if you haven’t worked in journalism, but the AP Stylebook has been the tome of editors forever. Along with Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style, the AP Stylebook established the rules for proper usage.
I keep 40-year-old versions of each in my office and while I use the computer when I have most style and spelling questions, it’s reassuring to know the original tablets are right there beside me.
For years I’ve taught kids and colleagues that you went over or under a bridge and you had more than or less than in dollars, cents . . . numbers.
But that has all changed and I’ve got to accept it. I’d say get over it, but that might confuse us even more.
I am tempted to say that the change will be accepted “More than my dead body,” but I’ve always maintained that change is inevitable and you’ve got to go with it. So here we go.
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