Latest AP Stylebook Updates Start Minor Twitter Skirmish

Jun 07 2016

Latest AP Stylebook Updates Start Minor Twitter Skirmish

For many of us in PR who have lived the reporter’s life, we know first-hand how important the AP Stylebook is to journalists.  Many a newsroom argument began with what is – and what isn’t – correct AP style.

And so it is with the recent release of the 2016 AP Stylebook.  According to an AP press release, the new guide has about 250 new or updated entries, including 36 updates to the food section, and 50 updates to the technology section.

AP decided to go further than the release and ran a live Twitter chat to answer questions about the additions – a brave move if there ever was one.  Of course, this served as catnip for many a journalist with strong opinions, or who just wanted to take the opportunity to have some fun.

A sample comment:

@APStylebook Tweet: Icing is used to describe sugar decorations applied to cookies; use frosting for cupcakes and cakes. #APStyleChat

Response: So that old “That’s the icing on the cake” cliche is wrong? #bummer #APStyleChat

Then there was this exchange:

What’s the rule on slashes between two words (for example: “and/or” vs. “and / or” vs. “and/ or”)? #apstylechat

@APStylebook our preferred style is and-or, no spaces before or after the hyphen. #APStyleChat

Response: A dash instead of a slash? I’ve been living a lie. #APStyleChat

Naturally, as PR professionals, we know how important AP style is.  By writing and formatting copy the way a publication would prefer, writers and editors are saved time from rewriting or reformatting the material, increasing the possibility of the client’s content being used in a story.

Those PR professionals that violate AP style also run the risk of losing the reporter’s trust in the information being presented.  And AP style is also good rule of thumb to use as a guide for any client content, such as blogs and infographics, to maintain consistency and clarity.

For our clients, the biggest change this year is that “internet of things” is now spelled without capitalization. Duly noted, @APStylebook.

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Sharon Sumrit