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AP style and siblings

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smash Williams, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    I'm working on a long-ish feature about a local athlete who's sister recently died.

    The AP Stylebook (circa 2005) says if two people in the story share a last name, second reference should always be first and last name. But it looks so damn awkward (and adds so much length) to write Annie Athlete and Amy Athlete 50 times instead of just calling them Amy and Annie the rest of the story.

    Can I get away with just the first names, or do I have to add the last name every time?
  2. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I always just did first names through the rest of the story, as long as it was a feature and it's obvious.

    When I did NASCAR, I did Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch on every reference in gamers, but Kurt and Kyle if it was a feature on those two.
  3. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    I would go with first names only, especially with a long-form feature.

    I got around it once with a family of five, introducing them all early in the piece. After that, first names only.
  4. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I, too, would go with first names only (after first reference) in a feature. No sense in repeating "Smith" a thousand times when it's clear who you're referring to.
  5. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    I would think continuing to use the surnames creates more distance in the piece - kinda defeats the point of a feature-type story.
  6. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    Excellent. I have it all first names now, but as I was doing a final edit, I thought I might as well check.

    Thanks, guys.
  7. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    First and last names on all references.

    EDIT: Since it's a feature, I'd agree with the other folks who say first names only are fine as long as it's clear whom you're writing about. Otherwise, use first and last names on all references.
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