Bringing Style Up To Speed

Back in April (link here), I breathed a sigh of relief as the AP announced it was now permissible to write website, instead of web site. I am back to tell you that the 2010 AP Stylebook Online (link here) is now out in all its glory, with more help for other modern terms. Some history on the Stylebook:

The Stylebook was first produced in 1953 as a stapled collection of rules totaling 60 pages, and has grown to a publication of more than 450 pages today. The book’s creation was prompted in part by a technical change in the way the AP transmitted news as well as a need for consistency among a worldwide editorial staff that produced stories for newspapers with a variety of style preferences. There have been major periodic revisions over the past few decades, the last in 2008, and the print edition is now updated annually.

The new guidelines include many entries pertaining to social media usage. Many will come as no surprise (new ways to use the terms “fan”, “friend”, “trending”, “retweet”, “unfriend” and “follow”). Others make me scratch my head a bit (separating out smartphone into smart phone and hyphenating e-reader). Thankfully, the AP guidelines discuss some common sense rules for journalists as to how to use (and not use) social media in their research and reporting. As well as a healthy dose of acronyms generated by the texting generation. Go figure. From the site:

The new Social Media Guidelines section includes information and policies on using tools like Facebook and Twitter, how journalists can apply them to their work and how to verify sources found through them. Also included are 42 separate entries on such terms as app, blogs, click-throughs, friend and unfriend, metadata, RSS, search engine optimization, smart phone, trending, widget and wiki.

Just so you know, Web is capitalized when it is used as the shortened form of World Wide Web and e-mail is still hyphenated. You can buy the Stylebook here (link).

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