Two of the three editors of the AP Stylebook are here announcing changes to AP style, which become official for AP at 2 a.m. CDT tomorrow. I didn’t take comprehensive notes, but a few of the more salient changes:
- email (not e-mail)
- cellphone and smartphone (no spaces)
- Kolkata (not Calcutta)
- CPR (even on first reference)
Also, AP has officially abandoned a proposal to spell out state names in datelines — which disappoints me, actually.
I’ll reiterate a point I’ve made before, in class, and in another forum: If you don’t like these changes, don’t make them. AP style isn’t law. It’s the style the AP uses to keep its own copy consistent. Newspapers tend to adopt AP style as the path of least resistance for themselves, so they don’t have to re-edit wire copy too extensively. But any news organization that has copy editors and that finds itself editing AP copy anyway (for length, or because it’s not well-enough edited for their taste), can ditch AP style for their own house style. Most of the news organizations I’ve worked for have had extensive house style rules, tailored to their own readership. We probably won’t resist at the Missourian — there’s too much value in having our graduates know standard AP style, given that most news organizations will use it — but more power to you if you do.