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New AP Stylebook Cuts the 'Malarkey,' Brings in the 'WMD'

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New AP Stylebook Cuts the 'Malarkey,' Brings in the 'WMD'

Article excerpt

The newest version of the Associated Press Stylebook is available, and if you follow it, "WMD," "iPhone" and "anti-virus" are in, while "barmaid," "blue blood" and "malarkey" are out.

Those are just some of the changes to its rules for certain often-used phrases and words. There are also new acceptable forms of describing the Sept. 11 attacks, and a different rule for use for "African-American."

"Updates and additions in the Stylebook, the standard reference tool in newsrooms and many professional offices across the country, reflect changes in word usage and in society," AP officials said in a statement.

Among the differences for the 2008 print edition of the popular style guide:

* More than 200 new entries, ranging from "anti-virus" to "iPhone" and "WMD."

* Other new entries include anti-spyware, high-definition, outsourcing, podcast, text messaging, social networking, snail mail and Wikipedia, with new sports terms such as minicamp and wild card.

* Among the entries eliminated for the new Stylebook are milquetoast, Photostat, riffraff and WAC, "which is no longer used by the U.S. military but may describe a woman who served in what had been the Women's Army Corps," according to the AP.

Also changing is the rule for use of "African-American," which previously indicated that the "preferred term is black." Now, the African-American entry states: "Acceptable for an American black person of African descent. …

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