Sunday, March 11, 2007

AP style updates

For the record, some recent AP style updates that should appear in the new stylebook (presented here in no particular order):
  • airstrike: one word, not two.
  • day care: two words in all uses, including adjective (a deviance from Webster's).
  • female: the preferred adjective form over "woman."
  • carry-on (was this ever a question?).
  • farmers market: addressing that nagging question of whether it gets an apostrophe (and corresponding to how the folks at USDA do it.
  • GPS - now acceptable in all uses for Global Positioning System - more evidence of how quickly such shortened references make it into the language these days.
  • intefadeh: if you were checking your spelling of the Palestenian uprising against Israel.
  • Cuban missile crisis (I guess so you don't capitalize all of it).
  • N-word (and F-word, etc., in case you were concerned about the capitalization and punctuation).
  • Merger: A good, lengthy entry that begins thus: Few business combinations are truly a merger of equals, so be precise and sparing in the use of the word merger. It is not a synonym for acquisition or takeover, which should be the preferred descriptive in most stories. It goes on to provide a good set of tests to see if something meets the merger idea.
There will also be an extended entry on Mexico, explaining there are 31 states and how its government is set up, recognition, I suspect, of the greater prominence that country is playing in the news.

AP also adds details on two Islamic holy days, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr, to go with the previous entry on Ramadan.

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