Wick Communications

Email me on your cellphone

In journalism on 25 Mar 2011 at 8:30 am

Only in the sometimes-arcane world of newspaper copyediting would this seem like a really big deal. On Friday, the Associated Press issued the following alert to its members:

The Associated Press is changing its style on e-mail to email, cell phone to cellphone and smart phone to smartphone to reflect increasingly common usage. It is also adopting Kolkata as its style for the Indian city formerly known as Calcutta.

The alert said the change would take place at 3 a.m. EDT Saturday, March 19. (God help you, if you started using “email” Friday night!)

The release, issued appropriately enough at the 2011 meeting of the American Copy Editors Society, says the change is already evident in the online version of the stylebook and will be reflected in the next printed book. As if to show how cool the change is, AP editors use the following entry for “smartphone:”

smartphone An advanced cellphone that allows for email, Web browsing and downloadable applications. (Look how they use all three new words in a single sentence!)

Seriously, I think it’s important to follow AP style. If you deviate you should have a reason other than sloth. It’s OK to have your own local style if you are consistent. But following AP style allows you to follow consistent style without having to get your hands dirty with the details of whether it should be “cell phone” or “cellphone.” …

I suggest you jot the changes in your handy AP Stylebook and begin using them immediately. … It might even make your hyphen key and space bar last longer.



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