ImageNOTE: This item is not about interior design, though for the curious, we loves us some mid-century modern up here at Editorial Emergency HQ. If you're trying to unload an Eames lounge chair and ottoman (Santos Palisander finish preferred), by all means let us know.

One of the reasons we're so in love with our readers is that we can post a piece about the Oxford comma and actually get responses. For example, Tricia, from San Francisco, said: "I love the Oxford comma but the company I recently joined adheres to the AP guidelines, so they keep editing it out. And I continue to sneak it back in wherever possible. " Angeleno Kristen, on the other hand, commented: "I'm sorry to report that I have no use for the Oxford comma. I think the conjunction can (and should) stand alone. Can we still be friends?" Needless to say, she is now dead to us.

Actually, as some of our more observant subscribers noticed, though our guest contributor was unabashedly pro-Oxford comma, the contentious punctuation mark does not rear its little head in issues of Editorializing. This is more out of habit than anything else.

When I worked in reference publishing, my bible was "The Chicago Manual of Style." But when I became the publicity editor at Geffen Records, a position in which my target audience comprised members of the press, I was required to adopt the conventions of that "upstart group of riffraff calling itself the Associated Press." Thus I was forced to drop the Oxford comma, which, by the way, I've always known as the "serial" comma. Many months passed before I stopped reflexively using the comma. And I admit I stewed over it for at least those first few weeks (think Homer Simpson grumbling, "Stupid Associated Press").

Since we launched EE, not a single client has asked us to adhere to a house style guide. I think that's because none of them have house style guides.
By the time I co-founded Editorial Emergency, those years at Geffen and later at DreamWorks Records (compounded by Simon's tenure at the no-Oxford-comma-using HITS magazine) had pretty much drummed the Oxford comma right out of me. And overall, the EE house style hews closely to "The AP Stylebook." There are instances, however, in which I will break a rule in service to a higher calling — clarity (see "Rant[ene]: In a Lather Over Tangled Copy," above); I've been known to defy the AP and toss in an "extra" comma if it makes my meaning clearer.

Moreover, as the proud editor of (and chief contributor to) three client e-newsletters, in addition to my work on what you're currently reading, I'm increasingly less inclined to represent titles of works in italics when quotation marks will do very nicely. Those of you who work in HTML know well that ital requires code whereas quotation marks do not, and the less code the better as far as I'm concerned.

When I started at Geffen (back when the record industry was still a going concern), my boss, the VP of Media Relations, handed me the AP Stylebook. She took matters of style very seriously and was delighted when I took it upon myself to write the Geffen Records Style Guide, which was distributed to the freelancers I hired (no way I could crank out all those bios, press releases, corporate missives and website blurbs singlehandedly). But I fear she is one of a dying breed.

ImageSince we launched EE, in 2005, not a single client has asked us to adhere to a house style guide. I think that's because none of them have house style guides. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them don't even know what a house style guide is, which is just fine because that's the kind of thing they rely on us for.

Do you know what a house style guide is? If you do, have you ever had to adhere to one professionally, and if so, how did that make you feel? Have you ever longed for a house style guide? Why? And if you've ever written one, what sorts of rules did you establish? Even if your house style guide is for your house only and, for that matter, not written down anywhere, what kinds of editorial parameters have you set? We're always looking for ways to refine the EE stylebook, so if you have some pointers for us, please share: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .'; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text98013 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

As standards continue to become more, ahem, relaxed in this area, we want you to know that here at Editorializing, we like your style — and want to know how you arrived at it.