What does the AP Style Guide say for a Pimped Out Accord?

Overhead lifters and some four barrel quads…wait, what?

Brooklyn teacher Amanda Pogany had her 1996 Honda Accord stolen three years ago. Recently, she had it returned by police during a chop-shop raid, and like the world’s longest episode of Overhaulin’ the plucky thieves had added a few optional extras: a Honda H22 VTEC engine and 5-speed transmission swap, for starters. The enterprising thieves also installed tinted windows, new wheels and tires, custom valve stem caps “shaped like bullet casings” (good for net gains of 5-7 horsepower, after drivetrain losses), Pep Boys headlamps, and a large Dominican flag and wooden cross on the back window, which must be an endless source of bemusement for Pogany, as she is Jewish.

And the New York Daily News (as well as the Associated Press, see below) picked up on the story with the sort of clumsy derring-do reminiscent of a fat kid reaching for a donut from atop a shopping cart, using the sort of youthful slang vernacular that your grandfather says when he tries to impress the neighbor’s kids after a few early-morning mimosas (emphasis is mine):

More than three years after a Brooklyn teacher’s car was stolen, she finally got her ride back – totally pimped out. Amanda Pogany’s once-humble white 1996 Honda Accord was returned to her drag-race ready, with a brand-new V-8 engine, tinted windows, oversized tires with special hubcaps – and custom valve stem caps shaped like bullet casings. “When I first saw under the hood I thought it looked like, you know in the movie ‘Grease?’ Like the ‘Grease Lightning’ car,” said Pogany, 31, who lives in Prospect Heights.

“Drag racing” is a better metaphor than NASCAR, right? While I wouldn’t expect an average copywriter to necessarily know his or her way around, say, a bored and stroked RB26DETT with sequential HKS T51 turbos putting down a thousand horsepower at the flywheel, I would have assumed (and you know what that makes me) that your typical newspaper editor would have had the dignity to put a kibosh on the hyperbole and actually, you know, check some facts. We certainly wouldn’t want people believing that a 1996 Accord makes a perfectly competent 8-cylinder bracket racer against a ’65 Chevelle gasser at the next Run What Ya Brung Day, right? And maybe stop using the word “pimped-out” in an attempt to seem hip—it’s up there on the newspaper awkwardness scale next to the Wall Street Journal trying to explain what a “LOLcat” is. [Huffington Post/AP News: Woman’s Stolen Car Found Completely “Pimped Out” (click through for video)]

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