Corrections and Additions

Errors that will be Corrected in the next edition of Newsroom 101

(Nothing pending.)

Some Recent Changes to AP Style Worth Noting

“They” can sometimes be used in the singular.

For a good summary, see this report from the Poynter Institute: AP style change: Singular they is acceptable ‘in limited cases’.

AP changed its usage of “flyer.”  Use “flyer” now to refer to a handbill or a person flying on a plane. The term “flier” has been restricted to an unusual phrase for taking a risk.

There are now sections clarifying terms related to gender, immigration, and cyberattacks. The usage get complicated and is worth looking up.

The terms web and internet should be used lowercase.

3D is written without a hyphen.

homepage, smartphone, smartwatch, grassroots, livestream, livestreaming, microgreens, eggshell, dashcam, heatstroke, backstage, doughnut, landline, womenswear, takeout, wineglass – all are one word —

— but not egg roll, jerry-built, oil field, cross-dresser, car wash, cross-country, all-star, drop-down, dog walker, ride-hailing, seat belt, drive-by, first aid, face-lift, flash mob, man-made, voice track, voice-over, sound bite, tie-dye, year-round, e-book, zip line.

IM is the abbreviation for instant message (acceptable on second reference). Its verb forms are IM’ing and IM’d.

Fractions. Spell out fractions less than one: one-half, two-thirds. If greater than one, us a space after the whole number, like this: 1 1/2, 6 2/3. Do not use fractions in percent: 2.5 percent. (Spell out “percent.”)

Adding a bit of confusion, media can sometimes take a singular verb when it refers to the industry as a whole.

Refer to services like Uber and Lyft as “ride-hailing” or “ride-booking,” not as “ride-sharing.”

Spelling: sheikh; seat belt, safety belt, car wash (two words), a drive-by shooting (note hyphen); ID, LGBT; dashcam, onboard (one word); dis / dissing / dissed; and blue cheese (not bleu).

Walmart is spelled as one word.

Use cross-dresser instead of transvestite.

The AP has dropped its special use of collide. Previously, two objects could collide only if both were in motion. Starting in 2018, a moving object may collide with a stationary object in AP style: The car collided with the tree.

AP has dropped its insistence that persuade and convince have different meanings. They are now interchangeable.

Old rule: the witness’ seat. New rule: the witness’s seat. Use apostrophe-s to form the possessive of singular common nouns ending in -ss, even if the following word begins with s. 

Don’t start a sentence with a numeral except for: 

  • the year — “1968 was a turbulent year for many countries.”
  • a number-letter combination, such as 3D.