Twenty Five Signs of Spring in Associated Press Style

Mar 14, 2012 admin

The days are getting warmer, the snow (that never came) may not ever come, graduations and weddings will soon consume our weekends, and the Boston Red Sox are returning to the baseball diamond. Aside from holding a box of tissues tending to allergies, all signs point to spring. Here’s how to write about it in Associated Press style.

Following are some spring-related terms from the AP Stylebook to keep your writing clean:

  1. alma mater

  2. alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae: Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school. Use alumna (alumnae) when referring to a woman who has attended a school. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women.

  3. April Fool’s Day: Correct style of the April 1 event—no joke.

  4. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science: A bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s is acceptable in any reference.

  5. bazaar, bizarre: Bazaar is a fair; bizarre means unusual.

  6. bride, bridegroom, bridesmaid: Bride is appropriate in wedding stories, but use wife or spouse in other circumstances.

  7. clean up (verb); cleanup (noun and adjective): We clean up the yard after winter. I hit cleanup in tonight’s game.

  8. daylight saving time: Not savings, and no hyphen.

  9. dean’s list: Lowercase in all uses. He is a dean’s list student. She made the spring dean’s list.

  10. Easter egg: A hidden “surprise” in a program, a website, a DVD or a TV show such as an extra level of a computer game or a message.

    Read full AP Style guidelines

  11. ERA: Acceptable in all references for baseball’s earned run average.

  12. Good Friday: The Friday before Easter.

  13. hit and run (verb); hit-and-run (noun; adjective): The coach told him to hit and run. He scored on a hit-and-run.

  14. Holy Week: The week before Easter.

  15. horse races: Capitalize their formal names: Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes, etc.

  16. knuckleball

  17. Little League, Little League Baseball

  18. May Day; mayday: May Day is May 1; mayday is the international distress signal meaning “help me.”

  19. Memorial Day: The federal legal holiday is the last Monday in May.

  20. seasons: Lowercase in all references. Her favorite season is spring. In spring 2011, the company will launch its new product.

  21. springtime

  22. temperatures: Use figures for all numbers except zero. It’s going to be 60 degrees today. Wednesday will see temperatures in the 70s (no apostrophe).

  23. T-shirt

  24. Twelve Apostles: Not 12 Apostles.

  25. waitlist (noun); wait-list (verb): Providence College put me on the waitlist. She is wait-listed at Harvard University.

For more writing tips, check out common mistakes of AP style, grammatical essentials and news-writing staples.

Topics: Public Relations, Writing, Journalism

To subscribe to the InkHouse Inklings blog, and for other thought leadership content just add your email address:



InkHouse has been recognized by:
  • TPTW_2019_grey
  • inc-bwp-2019-standard-logo
  • women-led-business-logo-1
  • PRNews_TopPlaces