June 1, 2016

Today’s the day we officially stop capitalizing internet and web, according to the April announcement from the Associated Press.

It’s also the day that the 2016 Associated Press Stylebook comes out. Some additions and updates (which double as a great guidebook for extraterrestrials, should any ever need help figuring us out):

claim This verb implies doubt, and its use in stories — Smith claimed — can imply the reporter does not believe something. Generally, said is a better term. Claim is most appropriate when an assertion is open to question and the story presents an alternative point of view: Pro-government forces claimed they seized the town, but rebels denied it.

emoji A symbol, such as a cartoon face, hand gesture, animal or other object, that might be used instead of a word or as an illustration in text messages or on social media. Plural: emojis.

jerry-built To be made poorly, or of cheap material: flimsy houses were jerry-built on the hillside. Sometimes confused with jury-rig, which means to be set up for temporary or emergency use: a courtroom jury-rigged in a corner of the factory.

kombucha A fermented, slightly effervescent tea beverage. Kombucha can contain trace amounts of alcohol.

media Generally takes a plural verb, especially when the reference is to individual outlets: Media are lining up for and against the proposal. The word is often preceded by “the.” Sometimes used with a singular verb when referring to media as a monolithic group: The media plays a major role in political campaigns.

normcore A fashion trend that combines “normal” and “hardcore” and is characterized by unpretentious, unisex, average dressing.

spree This term is usually applied to shopping or revelry. Do not use in other circumstances: killing spree.

“Nickel back” has been added to football terms and phrases, and there’s a lengthy entry for data journalism.

The 2016 stylebook has about 250 new or updated entries, including 36 updates to the food section, according to a press release, and 50 updates to the technology section.

At 2:30 ET on Wednesday, AP Stylebook editors will answer questions about the stylebook on Twitter. You can follow the discussion at #APStyleChat.

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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