Some Recent Major Changes
to the AP Stylebook
It is not feasible to report all updates to the Stylebook here. However, some changes affect so many writers that they deserve to be mentioned.
For access to the most recent version of AP style, subscribe to APStylebook.com.
--Compiled by GG
The Muslim name for God. The word God should be used, unless the Arabic name is used in a quote written or spoken in English.
Acceptable for an American black person of African descent. Black is also acceptable. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable. People from Caribbean nations, for example, generally refer to themselves as Caribbean-American. Follow a person's preference.
The term "black" is acceptable for a person of the black race. (Use Negro only in names of organizations or in quotations.) Do not use colored as a synonym. See colored, nationalities and races, and race entries. (2/20/08)
Use figures for all ages, including those of animals and inanimate objects.
Bombay, Madras renamed
Sometimes used by Mexican-Americans in the Southwest. Not interchangeable with Mexican-American. Use only if a person's preference. See Hispanic, Latino, nationalities and races, and race entries. (2/20/08)
daylight saving time
European Union is abbreviated EU (without periods) (5/12/04)
Preferred term for playing games of chance. Avoid use of the term gaming except in quotations or proper names. (1/2/08)
gay preferred (3/13/06)
heart attack, heart failure, cardiac arrest
A heart attack (myocardial infarction) occurs when one or more arteries supplying blood to the heart becomes blocked. Heart failure is a chronic condition that occurs when a weakened heart can no longer effectively pump blood. Cardiac arrest, or sudden cardiac arrest, occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. It can be due to a heart attack, a heart rhythm problem, or as a result of electrocution or other trauma. (1/18/08)
A term used to refer to original inhabitants of a place. Aboriginal leaders welcomed a new era of indigenous relations in Australia. Bolivia's indigenous peoples represent some 62 percent of the population. See nationalities and races, and race entries. (2/20/08)
Internet terms in AP style
Often the preferred term for a person from -- or whose ancestors were from -- a Spanish-speaking land or culture or from Latin America. Latina is the feminine form. Follow the person's preference. Use a more specific identification when possible, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian or Mexican-American. See Hispanic, nationalities and races, and race entries.
Acceptable on first reference and all uses for the medical diagnostic procedure of magnetic resonance imaging.
nationalities and races
Capitalize the proper names of nationalities, peoples, races, tribes, etc.: Arab, Arabic, African, American, Caucasian, Cherokee, Chinese (both singular and plural), Eskimo (plural Eskimos), French Canadian, Japanese (singular and plural), Jew, Jewish, Nordic, Sioux, Swede, etc.
See race for guidelines on when racial identification is pertinent in a story.
Use derogatory terms only in direct quotes when essential to the story and flag the contents in an editor's note. (2/20/08)
Acceptable for those in the U.S. Follow the person's preference. Where possible, be precise and use the name of the tribe: He is a Navajo commissioner. In stories about American Indians, such words or terms as wampum, warpath, powwow, teepee, brave, squaw, etc., can be disparaging and offensive. See nationalities and races, and race entries. (2/20/08)
Do not use when referring to East Asian nations and their peoples. Asian is the acceptable term for an inhabitant of those regions. Oriental rug is standard. (3/5/08)
A revision of this lengthy entry "updates and tightens the polls and surveys entry throughout to expand guidance on online polling and likely voter samples, and change style to allow rounding of sampling error to the first decimal place." (10/4/07)
Sept. 11 and 9/11 are both acceptable
"sewage" in all senses (10/17/04)
telephone numbers: no parentheses. Use these forms:
U.N. now OK as a noun (5/17/04)
US and UN in Headlines
Periods are not needed in US and UN in headlines. (12/5/08)
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