June 20, 2019
/ by Rocky Parker
See the original post on Beyond Bylines.
The 2019 edition of The Associated Press Stylebook was released this month. Combined with the ACES 2019 conference in March, there have been several important AP Style rule changes and reminders in recent weeks.
These are a few of the announcements that stood out.
For even more rule clarifications, check out past editions of our AP Stylebook recaps.
On March 13 and April 16, @APStylebook held very popular chats covering commonly mixed-up words. You know the ones -- they make writers’ eyes twitch when they see the wrong one being used.
There were so many good reminders, it was difficult to choose a few to highlight here. These are some of my favorites:
An addition to the online edition of the 2016 Stylebook, darknet is written as one word, no hyphen.
On second reference, e-cigarette is acceptable for the battery-operated device. E-cig should not be used. They also can be referred to as vaping devices.
Juul and Juuling should not be used as verbs.
In my years as a proofreader, this was one of the most common mistakes I came across. AP Style had a few helpful reminders on how years should be written.
On National Doughnut Day, AP Style posted a reminder that the preferred spelling is doughnut, although donut is acceptable as an informal spelling according to Webster's New World College Dictionary.
Frosting and icing are both acceptable to describe topping on doughnuts and other sweets.
When writing for a general audience, use singular verbs and pronouns with the word data: The data is sound.
Plural verbs and pronouns are preferred in scientific and academic writing.
Database and databank are one word; data processing and data center are two words.
Since many readers don’t know what it means, AP Stylebook advises against using (sic) to indicate incorrect spelling or grammar in a direct quote.
Paraphrasing is generally the best option.
If the quote is necessary, don’t include (sic) or alter the speaker’s words, even if they don’t follow AP Style.
Islam is the world’s second-largest religion. Let’s review some of the key terms associated with it.
Italics generally are not used in AP Style. Titles of books, movies, songs, works of art, etc. should be placed in quote marks.
Those with a subscription to AP Stylebook Online can view the composition titles entry for more detail.
A big change announced at ACES 2019, percentage symbols are now acceptable to use with numerals in most cases.
No space is needed between the figure and percentage symbol.
If you’re referencing a range, “to,” “and” and a dash are all acceptable options.
You can review a recap of the additional changes on the AP Stylebook blog.
Login (one word) is a noun and does not need a hyphen. Logon and logoff also do not require a hyphen.
Log in (two words) is a verb.
For example, a username and password make up a person’s login, which are used to log in to their computer.
Due to common usage and dictionary preferences, hyphens are no longer required for double-e combinations with pre- and re- prefixes.
This includes words like preeminent, preexisting, reemerge, and reenact.
Another regular fix I made as a proofreader was punctuation in and around quotation marks.
Per AP Style, commas and periods always should be placed inside the quotation marks.
Other punctuation - like dashes, question marks, and exclamation points - will go inside the quotation marks if they apply to the quoted text. If they apply to the full sentence, they should be placed outside the quotation marks.
AP Stylebook made recent changes to how these terms should be used.
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