December 27, 2018
/ by Rocky Parker
See the original post on Beyond Bylines.
We know journalists are busy, and it can be difficult to keep up with recent AP Stylebook changes. So we’ve done the work for you, rounding up a few of the recent significant -- and just plain interesting -- updates to the AP Stylebook.
With the year coming to a close, we wanted to recap some of AP Stylebook's recent chats, updates, and reminders.
The last few months have been a whirlwind. So, topics ranged from summer to winter weather, the midterm elections, and a popular chat on comma style.
Let's dig in.
Guest experts and Associated Press journalists David Scott and Jerry Schwartz joined @APStylebook on Oct. 15 to discuss style questions for politics and polling.
Here are a few of the top responses:
A winter weather chat on Dec. 2 with Paula Froke offered some helpful reminders:
Coworking, no hyphen, refers to people sharing a workspace and amenities, who are not working for the same employer. This applies to individuals who are self-employed or working remote.
Co-worker, on the other hand, is used for a colleague within the same company.
Want to learn more? Check out Harvard Business Review’s Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces to learn more about this concept that’s growing in popularity with freelancers and remote workers.
HIPAA, the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, generally should be avoided.
@APStylebook recommends referring instead to “privacy laws or the federal law restricting release of medical information.”
Make sure to explain HIPAA if it’s used.
During the U.S. Open, AP Stylebook tweeted reminders of common tennis terms, including double-fault, double-faulted, Love, deuce, advantage, and tiebreaker.
The U.S. Tennis Association also has a handy Tennis 101 terms list.
“Hurricane” should be capitalized when used with the storm’s assigned name, like Hurricane Florence.
Using just the name is OK if the context is obvious. For example, Florence Death Toll Rises To 23 As Rivers Continue To Flood In N.C. And S.C.
Based on the intensity of sustained winds, storms are ranked 1 to 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Categories 3, 4, and 5 are considered major.
Fun fact: The Saffir–Simpson scale is used only to describe hurricanes forming in the Atlantic Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line. Different scales are used in other areas, and storms may be referred to as “cyclones” or “typhoons.”
Read more: Meteorologists to newsrooms: Hurricane impacts defy categorization.
According to @APStylebook, “The term superfoods refers to foods thought to be nutritionally dense. Mostly plant-based, they also include some fish and dairy.”
Examples: acai, quinoa, chia, and spinach.
Deciding whether to use a number or Roman numeral?
According to AP Style, Roman numerals should be used in the personal sequences of people and animals (World War I) as well as some legislative acts (Title IX).
However, Roman numerals should be avoided when discussing the Super Bowl (1969 Super Bowl, for example, rather than Super Bowl III).
If you aren’t sure of the correct Roman numeral, here’s a handy conversion tool: https://www.romannumerals.org/converter.
@APStylebook held a Twitter chat on Oct. 1 with editor Paula Froke to answer questions on comma use.
The agreement’s full name is preferred for the first mention, and it should be followed by a brief description. USMCA is acceptable for subsequent references.
USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.
Check out Vox’s 500-word USMCA explainer for quick reference.
On Columbus Day, Oct. 8, @APStylebook posted a few reminders about federal legal holidays.
With the holidays approaching, AP Stylebook held an expert chat about holiday food style on Nov. 13. Guest expert Shelley Acoca shared the following reminders:
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