AP Stylebook Updates – WikiLeaks, Bedbugs and Check-ins

Jun 20, 2011 admin

It seems with every flip through the Associated Press Stylebook there are entries for virtually every topic. Major news events (WikiLeaks and bedbugs) have spawned proper punctuation, technology evolution (email and smartphone) has birthed correct convention, and everyday items and actions (Post-it and hand-washing) require appropriate style. Whenever news breaks, headlines quickly move to style as the AP Stylebook provides the guidelines for journalists and PR people alike.

Reading through the most recent style guide, writers will find some fresh additions as AP ships its spiral-bound 2011 stylebook. The more than 450-page bible for journalists and communications professionals is stocked with new entries, including a Food Guidelines section of more than 400 food names and terms.

While the food entries serve as the centerpiece to AP Stylebook Serves Up New Entries for 2011, there are also a multitude of terms writers will need to know. Following are some of the more interesting new entries (aside from food listings):

  1. email, cellphone, smartphone. All one word, lowercase.

  2. Post-it. A trademark for small pieces of paper with an adhesive strip on the back that can attach to documents.

  3. WikiLeaks. Correct style of the international organization that publishes private, and often top secret, information from anonymous sources and news leaks.

  4. check-in, check in. Use check-in as a noun and adjective: Check-in was smooth; use check in as a verb: We check in on Foursquare.

  5. checkout, check out. Use checkout as noun and adjective: Checkout was easy; use check out as a verb: We check out at 5 p.m.

    Read full AP Style guidelines

  6. dwarf, midget. Dwarf is the preferred term for people with medical or genetic conditions resulting in short height. Midget is considered offensive when used to describe a person of short height.

  7. drive-thru. Use as noun and adjective: The drive-thru was busy.

  8. nonprofit. No hyphen.

  9. hand-washing. Correct style of cleansing hands.

  10. GPA. Acceptable in all references for grade point average.

  11. handheld, hand-held. Use handheld as a noun: I use my handheld for work; use hand-held as an adjective: I work on a hand-held device.

  12. bedbug. Correct style of the small insects that have infested major cities such as Boston and New York.

What are your favorite new entries, or perhaps, which ones do you despise? Regardless, be sure to stay AP stylish by reviewing Twelve Common Mistakes of AP Style.

// return to AP style guide updates

Topics: Media Relations, Journalism, PR

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