As regular GetReligion readers know, I spent several years early in my career on the copy desk of a daily newspaper and I have remained rather obsessed with issue of Associated Press style ever since -- especially questions about (surprise) religion. So this little story from New Hampshire has really kicked my curiosity into overdrive.
Here is a chunk of the story from the New Hampshire Journal.
Let us attend:
The head of a pro-family political group in New Hampshire accused the New Hampshire Democratic Party of "religious intolerance" ... for criticizing a Christian state legislator for conducting what it called "a religious tirade" at a Christian gathering in September.
Democratic spokeswoman Harrell Kirstien accused Republican State Rep. David Bates of attempting to impose a "Bible belt social agenda" after video surfaced of Bates saying "the only hope for America" is to "turn from our wicked ways and ask god to heal our land" and "the problem we have here in this country and in all of our states is that we no longer fear god" at New England Solemn Assembly in Plymouth Massachusetts.
Now Kevin Smith, head of Cornerstone Policy Research, is calling on the Democratic Party to apologize for the attack.
Now, please ignore the verbiage that folks throw back and forth at one another. Focus on the actual form of the news copy.
Spot anything interesting? Unusual, even?
Perhaps this will help, from page 106 of the AP style guide that resides on my home desk:
gods and goddesses Capitalize God in references to the deity of all monotheistic religions. Capitalize all noun references to the deity: God the Father, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, etc. ... Lowercase gods and goddesses in references to the deities of polytheistic religions. ...
Note that the error was made twice in this passage. Has anyone else seen variations of this kind of mainstream media texts? Just asking.