Data points: Faith vs. WF 12/23/10

The NYT sticks to its style sheet, even when that means altering material in quotes. This is especially true of the way it treats initialisms: though its actual practice is not entirely consistent, the paper tries to insist on using periods in initialisms. (Most recent discussion on this blog here.) So in the Magazine on December 19, we get this report on “futures markets in everything”: is the first place to go on election night for the results; it’s way ahead of the evening news. But how about conditional futures markets, like comparing the price of “2014 G.D.P. if a Republican wins” versus “2014 G.D.P. if Obama is re-elected”?

G.D.P., with periods, looked distinctly odd to me, but then this is the Times, with its period fetish. I went to the Intrade site, and of course it has nothing but period-free GDP on it. The Times is printing, not what’s on the site (that would be Faithfulness, Faith for short), but how the material would go if it were in open, non-quoted text in the paper (that’s Well-Formedness, WF for short).


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