For any writer or reporter, the arrival of the AP Stylebook each year brings a certain amount of excitement. Seriously!
Many in the communication business have come to rely on the AP Stylebook and the folks over at Associated Press keep things interesting by making some changes each year. Many of those changes are a reflection of changes in communication and changes in society.
- Gender denotes a person’s social identity, while sex is defined as a person’s biological characteristics.
- The term fake news may be used in quotes or as shorthand for the modern phenomenon of deliberate falsehoods or fiction masked as news circulating on the internet.
- The AP Stylebook now says it’s acceptable to use they as a singular pronoun when crafting the sentence as plural would be too clumsy or awkward.
- Don’t use the term driverless vehicle unless there is no person in the vehicle who can take control in an emergency. The preferred term is now autonomous vehicles.
Of course, there are a number of other changes in the newest AP Stylebook, which will keep me going back to it as my most used reference book. And I have no doubt that there will be many additional changes in the 2018 edition as language and communication styles continue to change.