GroundFloor Media & CenterTable Blog

With journalists trying to hang on to their craft given the massive layoffs, shrinking newsrooms and closures of newspapers and magazines, does AP Style still remain relevant today?

If you’re not sure what it is, the AP Stylebook is widely used and accepted as a writing and editing reference for newsrooms, classrooms and business offices worldwide. It provides guidelines for grammar, spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style. 

If you’re an English-speaking journalist, writer or work in public relations and marketing communications, most still follow AP style and have a well-worn style book close at hand.

Each year a new “book” is published with the traditional and new rules. More convenient than the printed book is AP Stylebook online, a fee-based online- resource that also includes an Ask the Editor feature with extensive archives, a pronunciation guide with phonetic spellings, and topical style guides about news events. Users can add their own entries, make notes and get notifications throughout the year when AP’s editors add or update listings.

Some of the more notable, new entries to the AP Stylebook include:

  • STEM is acceptable on first reference for science, technology, engineering and math, but spell out the full phrase shortly thereafter. 
  • No hyphen in 3D, and you can start a sentence with this number-and-letter combination. The only other instance where you can start a sentence with a numeral is for the year: 2020 is looking to be one of the most crowded Democratic presidential fields ever.
  • No hyphen in breastfeed, breastfeeding, breastfed.
  • Smartwatch is one word in the smartphone entry.
  • AR is acceptable on second reference for augmented reality.
  • The stylebook also expanded its guidance on the terms Dreamer and chain migration. It says “chain migration” should be avoided.
  • In the political parties and philosophies entry, the AP Stylebook now says to avoid the term progressive.
  • A new marijuana and medical marijuana entry adds more terminology and usage details. 
  • There are also new entries for coworking, gig economy, timeshare, storm names and fire names.
  • There’s a new entry on sexual harassment and sexual misconduct in describing the kinds of behavior being alleged or admitted.

For more information, you can follow AP Style on Twitter or Facebook, Pinterest and there’s a LinkedIn group you can join.

Related Posts

The New Era of Creative Storytelling (Part 2 of 2)

In the Modern Age bigger isn’t better, but effectiveness is. And we have the means to measure effectiveness down to the penny. We need to stop trying to “go viral” or somehow duplicate the Super Bowl Oreo tweet and spend that time creating content aimed at cultivating specific, high-quality audiences instead.