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AP Stylebook marks 60th anniversary with new print edition


The AP Stylebook is marking its 60th anniversary with the 2013 print edition, which includes more than 90 new or updated entries  and broadens the guidelines on social media.

At about 500 pages, the AP Stylebook is widely used in newsrooms, classrooms and corporate offices worldwide. More than a dozen of the new entries are in the sections on food (such as Benedictine and Grand Marnier, madeleine and upside-down cake)  and fashion (chichi and froufrou).

The numerals entries have been updated and consolidated for easier understanding and searching. The four-page section adopts numerals as the preferred usage for all distances and dimensions and provides, alphabetically by topic, almost 200 examples of when to use figures and when to spell them out.

The new entry on mental illness gives guidelines on when references are relevant, particularly in stories involving violent crime, and how they should be reported.  The entry on illegal immigration, widely reported when it was announced in April, prohibits use of the term illegal immigrant, except in direct quotations essential to a story. Use of the word illegal is limited to an  action, not a person.

The section on social media has been expanded with additional terms and definitions, including  circles, flash mob and Google Hangout. Also broadened is information on how to secure, authenticate, attribute and reference user-generated content for text, photo captions and video scripts.

The weapons section spells out differences between assault rifle and assault weapon, magazine and clip, and pistol and revolver, and adds entries on bolt-action and lever-action rifles.

Among other new and revised entries are: Advent, Alaska Native, Asperger’s syndrome, athletic trainers in Sports Guidelines, disabled/handicapped, doughnut, dumpster, ethnic cleansing, homicide/murder/manslaughter, moped, populist, rack/wrack, red carpet, swag, underway, wacky and wildfires.

The 2013 edition consolidates a number of changes  made since the 2012 volume was published. Stylebook Online is updated throughout the year, as AP editors make additions or changes.

The AP Stylebook editors will answer your questions about the new book today at 2:30 p.m. EDT in a Twitter chat, using the hashtag #APStyleChat. They also plan a Google Hangout on the AP profile, at 2 p.m. EDT June 12. The AP Stylebook is available in print, online and on mobile.

New this year is a package of AP style quizzes compiled by David Minthorn, one of the editors of the AP Stylebook. The quizzes feature automated scoring and information on the relevant style rules. AP Style Quizzes will sell for $6.95 for one year of access, or $3.95 when purchased with any other Stylebook product on

Also new are two special offers for book customers: When you buy the 2013 Stylebook, you can get Stylebook Online at half price; and when you sign up for automatic delivery of the new book each spring, you save 20 percent off the list price. The subscription-based Stylebook Online includes all Stylebook listings, plus an Ask the Editor feature with more than twice as many entries as the Stylebook itself, a pronunciation guide with phonetic spellings and audio pronouncers, and topical style guides about news events such as the papal succession and  U.S. elections. Users can add their own entries, make notes and get notifications throughout the year when AP’s editors add or update listings. Stylebook Online’s website uses responsive design to automatically adapt to the user’s computer, tablet or smartphone screen size.

Stylebook Mobile contains all the content from the spiral-bound Stylebook, with the ability to search, add personalized listings or notes and mark your favorite listings for easy reference. The universal iOS app is optimized for iPhone and iPad. The 2013 Stylebook Mobile app is expected to be available shortly after the book, in mid June.

The new print edition and online subscriptions can be ordered online at Stylebook Mobile is sold via iTunes.

The new spiral-bound Stylebook costs $16.75 for member news organizations and college bookstores and $20.95 retail. Stylebook Online prices are $26 for individual subscribers for one year and $16 for news organizations that are AP members. Prices for Stylebook Online site licenses are based on the number of users.


None of the Stylebook product prices have increased this year.

AP works with two technology companies to provide electronic checking of AP style, and both products are being updated to reflect the latest guidance in the 2013 edition. Tansa offers an AP Stylebook module for its proofing tools, which work with newsroom production systems. StyleGuard, powered by Equiom Linguistic Labs, is a plug-in for Microsoft Word that reviews documents for AP style. StyleGuard works on both Mac and PC versions of Word.

Updated regularly since its initial publication in 1953, the AP Stylebook is a must-have reference for writers, editors, students and professionals. It provides fundamental guidelines for spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style. It is the definitive resource for journalists.

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Erin Madigan White
Media Relations Manager
The Associated Press

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