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Changes: An Ode to the AP Stylebook

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Oh, AP Stylebook. How we love to hate you, and hate to love you.
Not only are you one of the most complicated pieces of writing to understand because of your constantly changing entries, but you are arguably also the most important book in the journalism world.

You’re the piece of literature about which we argue most, especially with other AP Stylebook aficionados. Sometimes referred to as the journalist’s Bible, you’re always in the back of our minds.

It is this significance that inspired us to cover a few of the book’s major changes for 2016.


Accident vs. crash

Accident is OK to use, but should be used with care until negligence is claimed or proven. Crash is the preferred term.



Now the preferred term over Garbanzo bean.


dashcam, voicemail

Both now one word.



DJ is now OK to use on a first reference.


emoji, emoticon, metadata

All of these are new tech-related words added to the Stylebook, and are all lowercase. Additionally, there is a new chapter on emoticons.


global warming

There is a new section for global warming terms.


IM’ing or IM’d

Use of apostrophe is specified.



This is possibly the most-anticipated change of the year. As of June 1, 2016, it is no longer Internet, rather internet. This change is so new that even as we write this, our spellcheck says it’s wrong!


Kombucha, PB&J, microgreens, Greek salad

A few of the 36 new food words added for 2016.


live streaming

The AP Stylebook jury is still out on live streaming vs. livestreaming, however, many news outlets use live streaming.


Mason jar

New for 2016. Capitalize Mason.



New for 2016.



New for 2016 and is used to describe a fashion combining “normal” and “hardcore.”


ride booking

When talking about services such as Uber, the correct term is ride booking, not ride sharing.


said vs. claim

Said is still the preferred wording, however, claim may be used when necessary to imply doubt on behalf of a reporter or writer.



The acceptable term for a photo or typed message sent in Snapchat. Post is still applicable when talking about Facebook and Instagram.



This term is now acceptable in lieu of spokesman or spokeswoman.



This term should only be used when talking about shopping or revelry, never “killing spree.”


zoot suit

The zoot suit is officially removed from the printed AP Stylebook (as it should be from every wardrobe by now) to make room for additions such as Tommy Hilfiger, Betsey Johnson and normcore.


BONUS NOTE: If you prefer the physical copy of the AP Stylebook, it has a new design, easier-to-read typography and now includes navigation tabs.

Carry on #grammarnerds!


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