AP Style Blog


With the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in the news, members of the public, TV commentators and politicians are commonly referring to the program’s beneficiaries as “Dreamers.” This is a framing that tends to elicit positive feelings for the young beneficiaries and their quest for legal protection to live in the United States. AP policy is to use “Dreamers” only in direct quotes or with quote marks for the purpose of explaining the term, such as, “They are commonly referred to as ‘Dreamers,’ based [more...]


UPDATED Aug. 16: We are adding “anti-Semitism” to the definition of “alt-right”; noting that the antifa movement that has been recently in the news actually has antecedents back to the 1930s; and adding some guidance on spelling and punctuation on the recently coined term “alt-left.” The post below includes these updates. The events in Charlottesville are an opportunity to take another look at our terminology around “alt-right” and the way that we describe the various racist, neo-Nazi, white nationalist and white [more...]


With a new data journalism chapter in the 2017 AP Stylebook, journalists across all beats are able to obtain guidance on acquiring, evaluating, reproducing and reporting on data. Interactive Newsroom Technology Editor Troy Thibodeaux, who oversaw the chapter, explains why data skills are essential for every reporter. Interactive Newsroom Technology Editor Troy Thibodeaux. (AP Photo) What is the role of data journalism today? How has it evolved? Data journalism has evolved from a rarefied skill set that only [more...]


During a panel at the American Copy Editors Society national conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Friday, it was announced that the 2017 AP Stylebook will include guidance on the limited use of “they” as a singular pronoun. The addition is immediately available to AP Stylebook Online subscribers and will be included in the new print edition of the Stylebook when it is published on May 31. Key passages from the new entry include: They, them, their — In most cases, a plural pronoun should agree in number with the [more...]


Recent developments have put the so-called “alt-right” movement in the news. They highlight the need for clarity around use of the term and around some related terms, such as “white nationalism” and “white supremacism.” Let’s tackle them. The “alt-right” or “alternative right” is a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology, which emphasizes preserving and protecting the white race in the United States in addition to, or over, other traditional [more...]


During a panel at the American Copy Editors Society national conference in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, it was announced that the 2016 AP Stylebook will lowercase the words ‘internet’ and ‘web.’ The changes will take effect when the new print edition of the Stylebook is published on June 1. Previewing the new edition at the ACES conference, Standards Editor Thomas Kent highlighted a few of the added entries, including the shortest Stylebook item, ‘L,’ now acceptable when referring to the Chicago Transit Authority [more...]


The AP Stylebook editors today informed AP staff about a change to the entry on global warming. In addition, they described what goes into keeping the Stylebook up-to-date, including their outreach to experts. AP science writer Seth Borenstein was among those who provided guidance during the discussion that resulted in today’s change, which adds two sentences to the global warming entry. Here is the staff memo from Stylebook editors Sally Jacobsen, Dave Minthorn and Paula Froke: We have reviewed our entry on global [more...]


As food editor, J.M. Hirsch keeps The Associated Press’ global coverage of cooking and eating relevant, accessible and authoritative. He’s also the expert behind the popular food chapter of the AP Stylebook. Here, he explains what coverage AP served up to Lifestyles subscribers for the holidays and what to watch for in the new year. What are the highlights of AP’s holiday coverage? For AP’s food team, the holidays start in July. That’s when we start dreaming up delicious things for an entire season of holidays. From [more...]


The Associated Press will henceforth use Pvt. Chelsea E. Manning and female pronouns for the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, in accordance with her wishes to live as a woman. Manning announced her wishes last Thursday after being sentenced to 35 years in Fort Leavenworth military prison and a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Army for revealing U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks, the anti-establishment website. Manning’s statement was reiterated, with additional detail, in a blog posting ( [more...]


The AP Stylebook today is making some changes in how we describe people living in a country illegally. Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll explains the thinking behind the decision: The Stylebook no longer sanctions the term 「illegal immigrant」 or the use of 「illegal」 to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that 「illegal」 should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally. Why did we make the change? The discussions on this topic have been [more...]

Featured Tip


From the Pronunciation Guide

Dana Boente

BEN'-tay

FBI general counsel, former federal prosecutor in Virginia

View all

From the Topical Guides

March Madness 2018 Topical Guide

The Associated Press compiled a list of essential basketball words, phrases and definitions for coverage of the NCAA Tournament for U.S. college men and women from mid-March through early April....


View all

Back to Top