There’s no such place as Plano, TX

For that matter, there’s no such place as Scranton, Pa., or Fort Myers, Fl. At least according to the Associated Press Stylebook (and that is our bible for jurnalistic style.) The U.S. Postal Service accepts FL, PA and TX (when all caps are used), but nobody else should. Pennsylvania is ‘Penn.’, Florida is ‘Fla.,’ and Texas is one of eight states that are never abbreviated. Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Main, Ohio and Utah are the others that are cited on page 231 of the 42nd edition of the book just published this year. We used ‘Pa.’ on a headline on page 6: “Pa.: Give Illinois Future Gen,” a headline that is even more confusing given the jumbled punctuation. On Tuesday, we put ‘Wis.’ in a headline. While it is abbreviated properly, we need to avoid abbreviating states (and most anything else) in headlines.

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