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Standards Spotlight

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ANSI shines a spotlight on Standards in action as they support safety, efficiency and well-being in interesting aspects of everyday life.


During National Novel Writing Month, Standards to Help You Write Your Bestselling Novel


If you’ve been shelving an idea for a page-turner, now might be the time to finally sit down and hammer it out. November is National Novel Writing Month, and whether you’re writing a novel or sitting down to read one, the combination of the colder weather and shorter days makes literature a perfectly cozy indoor activity. If you are sitting down and writing your grand masterpiece, here are some standards that might help you get the job done.

For those who prefer writing with a pen and paper, there are so many options that selecting your writing instruments can sometimes be overwhelming. From choosing the ease at which the pen glides on paper to choosing the liquidity of your pen’s ink, everyone has their own personal preferences. What doesn’t change, however, is your pen’s ability to get the job done, and this is thanks to a standard. ISO 12757-1:2017, Ball Point Pens And Refills - Part 1: General Use, establishes minimum quality requirements for ball point pens (refillable or non-refillable) and refills for general use. The standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 10, Technical product documentation. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to ISO TC 10.

Maybe, you prefer writing on a computer. Have you ever wondered why your keyboard isn’t  in alphabetical order? There’s a standard for that too. ISO/IEC 9995-9:2016, Information Technology - Keyboard Layouts For Text And Office Systems - Part 9: Multi-Lingual, Multiscript Keyboard Layouts, defines the allocation on a keyboard of a set of graphic characters which, when used in combination with an existing national version keyboard layout. This standard is intended to address all characters needed to write all contemporary languages using the Latin script, but it does address characters of some other scripts (Greek, Cyrillic, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew) to the same extent. The standard was developed by ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1, Information Technology, Subcommittee (SC) 35, User interfaces. The U.S. plays a leading role in JTC 1, with ANSI holding the secretariat and Phil Wennblom of Intel serving as chair.

As you’re powering through your novel, whether staying up later at night or waking up earlier to write, you might find yourself needing a boost of energy. With Black Friday right around the corner, it might be time to scour the sales for that coffeemaker you’ve been eying. With so many coffeemakers on the market each with a varying set of features, the American National Standard, ANSI/AHAM CM-1-2007, Household Electric Coffee Makers, establishes a uniform, repeatable procedure or standard method for measuring specified product characteristics of household electric coffee makers. Developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer AHAM, the standard methods provide a means to compare and evaluate different brands and models of household electric coffee makers regarding characteristics significant to product use.

Of course, the ultimate goal of any author is for their novel to be published and to find its home on bookshelves and libraries around the world. ISO 14416, Information and documentation — Requirements for binding of books, periodicals, serials and other paper documents for archive and library use — Methods and materials, applies to the binding of books, periodicals, and archive documents that have special requirements for durability and permanence. The standard is maintained by ISO TC 46, Information and documentation. NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, administers the ANSI-accredited U.S. (TAG) to ISO TC 46, Information and documentation.

Writing a novel is a brave and arduous journey to embark on, but the feeling of accomplishment in having a finished manuscript is unmatched. However a novel is written, whether by hand or by computer, standards help support the creative process every step of the way.