A matter of style at Computerworld


Filed under Mainstream coverage, Musings;
2 comments.

The longest I've ever stayed at one job was six years at Computerworld, during which time I saw the publication's transition from a magazine with a Web site to a Web site with a magazine. Through it all, we had copyeditors to ensure the continued quality of all our content, checking articles for clarity and consistency issues that may've escaped the news editors who worked directly with reporters on assignments and story structure.

As with most publications, Computerworld maintained a style guide — a shared document that all copyeditors referenced to verify whether the magazine presented quotations are in the past tense or present, if it was "Web site" or "website", and other common questions. My own first need to consult this guide came in March 2008 when contributing to the anthology, "Tales from the crypt: Our first computers". I was unsure if I should write my model of Apple as IIGS, IIgs, or something else.

This is what the style guide had to say on the matter:

Computerworld style guide

Ancient microcomputers from Apple?!
Click to enlarge.

As Computerworld's resident Apple II fanboy expert, I long wondered if this style guide entry was not written with me in mind as a sort of gentle ribbing. Although most of my co-workers had been in the industry long enough to remember and appreciate the elegance of the Apple II — heck, one of my colleagues was none other than the former editor-in-chief of inCider/A+, Dan Muse — it is nonetheless difficult to explain why one would carry that torch into the 21st century. Easier to poke fun at it, right?

It was only when researching this blog post that I confirmed this particular entry in the style guide well predates my tenure at Computerworld. It figures that a publication that had been around since 1967 would've addressed this issue long before my arrival. I should've checked my ego at the door!

Computerworld was a great source for Apple II news during my time there, and they continue to entertain the topic with coverage such as video profiles of KansasFest 2013 attendees. Given this support, readers should be glad to know the Apple II has earned a place at Computerworld, both behind the scenes and on the front page.

(Screenshot used with permission.)


  1. Martin Haye says:

    That was an enjoyable trip down Computerworld's memory lane. What does the Juiced.GS style guide say about "IIgs" vs "IIGS"? How about "][+" vs "II Plus"? I ought to remember but I don't.

  2. Martin: Juiced.GS has its own internal style guide which advises using "IIGS", with 'GS' in a smaller font size; and "II Plus".