New AP Stylebook Rules You Should Know – Part Two


Meghan Locke
Published on January 31, 2017
By Meghan Locke

Last May, I wrote a post about new and old AP Stylebook rules just days before the new 2016 edition was released. Somehow, seven months later, I still find myself proactively thinking about lowercasing the “i” in internet and the “w” in web. Who’s with me? 

Man writing with crumpled balls of paper on his desk.

Change can be hard. However, when it comes to AP Style, we, as PR professionals, need to make sure we’re up to speed on the latest changes and implement them in our work on a consistent basis.

With that in mind, here are some additional new rules that weren’t covered in my previous post that you should note, if you haven’t already:

  • “Spokesperson” was added to the entry on spokesman and spokeswoman as an option for a gender-neutral term.
  • Depending on the context and meaning, “media” is now recognized as singular or plural.
  • Avoid the use of the word “claimed” because it suggests doubt. Use “said” instead.
  • Use the phrase “exponential growth” when referring to progressively larger, not just fast growth.
  • “Notorious” is not synonymous with the word “famous” and should be used in clear context.
  • Use the word “illegal” only to mean a violation of the law and not a violation of a contract or rule.
  • And finally, 50 electronic terms were updated or added, including “emoji” (plural is “emojis”), “emoticon” and “metadata.”

For more tips, both new and old, be sure to follow @APStylebook. Or if you’d prefer updates via email, sign up on the AP Stylebook website for free, monthly newsletters to help keep you current.

And, if you have an idea for new AP Stylebook rule, the editors are accepting suggestions for the 2017 edition. You can submit them here. The editors will pick their favorite suggestion, and the winner will receive a free year’s subscription to AP Stylebook online.

The 2017 edition of the AP Stylebook is slated to publish in May, which gives us all another four months to master last year’s edition. Until then… happy proofreading!


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