2019 AP Style Changes

Humans are creatures of habit; we don’t like change. As much as this is true, it doesn’t bode well for communications professionals to fight the system and refuse change. We have to be on top of our game at all times, and this includes our knowledge of AP style.

Here are a few recent changes to the Stylebook you should be aware of when writing your next press release:


If you hyphenate double-e combinations with prefixes pre- and re-, you are no longer following AP style. Due to common usage and dictionary preferences, it's now preelection, preeminent, preexisting, reemphasize and reenact. Additionally, it’s no longer protocol to hyphen dual heritage terms such as African American, Asian American and Filipino American.


In early April, AP officially gave writers permission to use the percentage sign (%) with one caveat: it must follow a number. Did we ask for this change? Absolutely not. But, on the bright side, it takes less time to write the symbol than the word.


According to recent changes to the AP Stylebook, communicators should avoid using ambiguous terms such as “racially charged and “racially motivated” to describe incidents. The stylebook suggests not tip-toeing around the issue; if something is racist, call it racist.

Professional development is important, not only for your personal growth, but for your organization’s growth as well. Don’t feel guilty about taking 30 minutes out of your day to brush up on new or existing AP style rules. It pays, literally, to keep your head in the communications game.

Follow the AP Stylebook on Twitter or download a digital version of the stylebook here. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

Let our talented team worry about following AP Style and writing your communications. Contact us today to learn how we can help your organization.

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