is time for me to make peace with the word “hopefully.”
Let me start with the bare bones from The Associated Press Style book:
Hopefully means in a hopeful manner. Do not use it to mean it is hoped, let us hope or we hope.
Right: It is hoped that we will complete our work in June.
Right: We hope that we will complete our work in June.
Wrong: As a way to express the thought in the previous two sentences:
Hopefully, we will complete our work in June.
I am confident that these instructions mean something to knowledgeable people, but I think there might be a better way to express it.
I don’t use “hopefully” that much but I think I might use it more if I could understand these instruction completely.
(The AP Stylebook, however, has helped me make too many deadlines over the years for me to hold “hopefully” against it. It is written for reporters who are trying to be faithful to the accuracy of English under deadline pressure.)
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More from The AP Stylebook:
On the matter of “allude” and “refer”:
To “allude” to something is to speak of it without specifically mentioning it.
To “refer” is to mention it directly.
On the matter of “among” and “between”:
The maxim that “between” introduces two items and “among” introduces more than two covers most questions about how to use these words:
The funds were divided among Ford, Carter and McCarthy.
However, “between” is the correct word when expressing the relationships of three or more items considered one pair at a time: “Negotiations on a debate format are under way between the network and the Ford, Carter and McCarthy committees.”
As with all prepositions, any pronouns that follow these words must be in in the objective case: among us, between him and her. between you and me.
When writing about animals: Do not apply a personal pronoun to an animal unless its sex has been established or the animal has a name: The dog was scared; it barked. Rover was scared; he barked. The cat, which was scared, ran to its basket.
Susie the cat, who was scared, ran to her basket.
Concerning the word “another”:
“Another” is not a synonym for “additional’; it refers to an element that somehow
duplicates a previously stated quantity.
Right: Ten people took the test; another 10 refused.
Wrong: Ten people took the test; another 20 refused.
Concerning “anticipate” and “expect”:
“Anticipate” means to expect and prepare for something; “expect” does not include the notion of preparation:
They expect a record crowd. They have anticipated it by adding more seats to the auditorium.
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Iran is the nation formerly called Persia. It is not an Arab country.
The people are Iranians, not Persians or Irani.
For the language, use Persian, the language, the word widely accepted outside Iran. Inside Iran, the language is called Farsi.
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The Associated Press Stylebook has long been the standard for most newspapers.
Gillis Morgan is an associate professor emeritus of journalism at Auburn University and an award-winning columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org