5 Recent AP Style Guide Updates You Need to Know

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It’s 2024, and the ways we communicate both in writing and in person are ever changing. Luckily, the language professionals at who compile and edit the AP Stylebook have their finger on the pulse to ensure that the words we use are keeping pace with the ever-evolving world around us. These recent updates to AP Style will help ensure your copy is up-to-date.

Changing Climate Language

The AP climate change entry is now expanded to include not only new style guidance on capitalization and punctuation, but also on overall writing approach when discussing these topics. For example, climate change more broadly refers to long-term trends in weather and temperature, while global warming should only be used when talking about increasing temperatures worldwide.

These changes are particularly relevant for companies working in related oil, gas, infrastructure, or green technology industries, as well as businesses who discuss climate change and its related terms within their corporate values statements.

Get Smart on AI

As conversations surrounding artificial intelligence (and the technology behind it) become increasingly mainstream, the AP Stylebook now outlines specific terminology and guidance on how to discuss these sometimes-challenging topics. Among the newly added terms are “generative artificial intelligence,” “training data,” and “algorithmic bias.” Writers talking about large language models like ChatGPT should avoid phrasing that gives the tools human traits or characteristics.

Increasingly Inclusive

Our 2020 AP Style updates post addressed issues of the plus sign, but recent updates surrounding the punctuation mark are now related to inclusivity when writing about members of the LGTBQ+ community. When referring to the community as a whole, the “+” is a new addition — but other variations of the acronym can still be used when referencing groups who opt for different letters or punctuation. For writers and editors monitoring their company’s AP Style adherence, we recommend reviewing any company culture web pages or HR documentation for potential updates. 

A Non-Update on Numbers

You might recall from our 2020 update on AP style guidelines that the hotly anticipated updates to the treatment of numerals was delayed. As of early 2024, writers and editors are still on the edge of their seats awaiting these updates. It sounds like we’re going have to be patient, since AP Stylebook editor Paula Froke said last year they likely won’t come soon.

How to Talk Twitter — Sorry, We Mean X

It goes without saying, last year was weird for Twitter. The AP didn’t miss a beat in updating their style guidance to ensure everyone remains on the same page about what exactly X is — it’s “the platform formerly known as Twitter,” which should always be clarified on first mention. (You can still say “Tweets,” though.) When new updates are announced later this year, we’ll keep an eye on whether this guidance changes as readers become increasingly familiar with the name.

Is Your Content in Style?

We’re always keeping an eye on changing trends in communication and content — and we’re looking forward to this year’s AP Style changes. We’ll be here with the latest guidance on how to keep your content up to date.

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