Just when we think we grasp more AP Style than we’re confused by, the Associated Press goes and changes it.

Perhaps they’re just trying to make sure we’re paying attention?

The Associated Press made their annual announcement of changes to the 2016 AP Stylebook at the annual ACES conference. The changes include the adoption of 250 new or revised entries. The editors also redesigned the interior pages with new typography and navigation tabs, which I have to admit has me a bit nervous. I’m not so good with change, especially to my beloved Stylebook.


June marked the transition to new Stylebook rules, which includes 50 new and updated technology terms.

Here are some of the changes you’ll need to remember when you head back to campus, if not before:


The internet is no longer a formal place, therefore it’s lowercase.

The Stylebook called for Internet to be capitalized because it is one worldwide network of computers. However, critics of the capitalization argued that the word no longer is used in such a formal way. Therefore, it was changed.


Web also is lowercase. The entry was changed for the same reason of formality.


Media is recognized as singular or plural, depending on the context.


Voicemail is one word instead of two.


Dashcam is one word.


Spokesperson was added to the entry on spokesman and spokeswoman. This perhaps reflects a move toward more gender neutral terminology where the AP used to encourage the use of gender specific terms when possible.

disc jockey

I’m not sure we even use this term much anymore, but, if you do, you now can use DJ on first reference.


Apparently it’s acceptable to use the word accident or crash when referring to a car wreck. However, writers should remember that accident implies that there is not fault.


Do not use spree when describing a killing, only shopping.


When using IM as a verb, write IM’ing or IM’d. I bet this one is used a lot in student media.

ride booking

Use ride booking, not ride sharing, when writing about services like Uber or Lyft.

This list obviously doesn’t include 250 new entries or all of the changes that were made. We won’t know those until we get our new books. I’m beginning to wonder if I can wait for mine!

I also wonder if we’ll grasp these changes by the time the 2017 Stylebook is released.