APStylebook.com Help Center topics



What's new in the 55th edition?

This edition of the Stylebook contains more than 200 new and modified entries.

That includes 100 added or revised entries related to technology in our daily lives. For example: internet privacy; digital wallet/mobile wallet; smart devices; lidar.

A new entry recommends gender-neutral language when possible. We also say: “Balance these aims with common sense, respect for the language, and an understanding that gender-neutral or gender-inclusive language is evolving and in some cases is challenging to achieve.”

We changed our guidance to say: Don’t use the archaic and sexist term mistress.

Sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct is a new entry that expands on the previous sexual harassment, sexual misconduct entry. It begins: “Proceed with care when using these terms, along with others such as rape, molestation, unwanted sex, sexual relationship, etc. Authorities, people making accusations and people who stand accused use a variety of language and terminology to cover a wide spectrum of actions or behavior. Interpretations can vary widely. Do not simply repeat those terms.”

A new entry discusses coronaviruses and COVID-19. Other additions include homelessness, first responders and PFAS. We also added a number of education-related entries, and we clarified the pre- and re- entries.

We updated our guidance on Digital Security for Journalists, now in a separate chapter. Food and Fashion are no longer chapters; some terms are in the a-to-z section and others are only on Stylebook Online.

A revised climate change entry says: “Do not use terms like climate change deniers, climate change skeptics or climate change doubters. Be specific about an individual or group of people’s beliefs.” It also says: “The terms climate crisis and climate emergency are used by some scientists, policymakers and others, and are acceptable.”

New guidance says older adult(s), older person/people are the preferred terms over senior citizens, seniors or elderly as a general description when appropriate and relevant.

We now say the + symbol is acceptable when it is pronounced as part of a company, brand or event name. Otherwise, use the word plus.

We revised our guidance on some weapons terms. The preferred term for a rifle that fires each time the trigger is pulled is a semi-automatic rifle. Avoid the terms assault rifle, assault weapon, military-style rifle and modern sporting rifle.

The gender umbrella entry is now gender and sexuality, covering a broader range of terms that previously had been listed separately.

We revised guidance on spelling and use of the terms Vodou and Voodoo for the religion, and we say to avoid using either term as shorthand for magical or superstitious beliefs.

We changed guidance on midnight: Avoid using the word if it would create ambiguity about what day something is taking place, since some users’ understandings may vary.

We now say preheat is OK.