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AP Style: Not just a set of rules
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  • 1. Associated Press style
    Not just a set of rules
  • 2. What’s style, and why’s it so damn important to journalists?
  • 3. What’s style all about?
    • Spelling/punctuation/capitalization/ word usage
    • 4. Just information
    • 5. Help in avoiding stereotypes and unintentionally offensive language
  • The bottom line...
  • Your paper and the stylebook…
  • 9. So let’s look at some specifics of style
    {At the university, we call this a test}
  • 10. Style changes
    Use figures for all ages, including those of animals and inanimate objects. 
    Old way: A three-year-old bridge, a 10-year-old car, the law is eight years old
    New way: A 3-year-old bridge, a 10-year-old car, a 2-year-old dog, the law is 8 years old
    Gambling is preferred term for playing games of chance. Avoid use of the term gaming except in quotations or proper names.
    Sexual orientation: Gay preferred. Lesbian is OK for gay women. Use homosexual in clinical contexts or references to sexual activity. Mention sexual orientation only when relevant to the story. Avoid "sexual preference" or gay or alternative "lifestyle."
  • 11. Illegal immigrant preferred over illegal alien or undocumented worker.
    The Web and the Internet are capitalized. The World Wide Web can be called the Net in later references. Note that Web site is two words, with Web capitalized. But online is one word, no hyphen.
    Sewers backed up in your town? Use "sewage" in all senses. No longer use "sewerage.” Sewage now flows through the sewage system.
    Telephone numbers: no parentheses. Use these forms:
    • 850-229-1609
    • 12. 904-386-2610, ext. 14
    • 13. 800-328-7448
    U.S. and U.N. how OK as nouns or adjectives. Periods are not needed in US and UN in headlines.
  • 14. A great way to review AP style:
  • 15. And don’t forget to check out the Fake AP Stylebook on Twitter