10 Weird AP Style Rules You Never Knew

by Gabrielle Woodard

1. OK

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“OK” is OK, but not “okay.” OK?

2. Champagne

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“Champagne” can only be called “Champagne” (capitalized) if it is from the Champagne region of France. If it isn’t, you must call it “sparkling wine.”

3. Wal-mart/Walmart

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While this isn’t addressed by the AP Stylebook, the use of “Wal-mart” or “Walmart” is one of the top questions on the APstylebook.com’s Ask the Editor section. Walmart doesn’t even use its own name consistently.

4. Jegging

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It is okay to use the term jegging for the hybrid of jeans and leggings, but it isn’t okay to use the term jorts for jean shorts.

5. Internet

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“Internet” will no longer be capitalized, effective June 1. Welcome to the 21st century, AP.

6. Yahoo! Or Yum! Brands

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According the the AP Stylebooks’ Twitter account @APStylebook, punctuation is not to be used in company names.

7. Icing/Frosting

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“Use ‘icing’ to describe sugar decorations applied to cookies; ‘frosting’ for cupcakes and cakes,” according to @APStylebook.

8. Lycra

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Lycra is a trademarked term for a fiber or fabric. If not specifically speaking about Lycra, use a generic term like spandex, elastic or stretch fabric.

9. Whiskey/Whisky

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Whiskey loses an E when it’s made in Scotland. Use “whisky” only in conjunction with Scotch whisky or Canadian whisky, according to @APStylebook.

10. Girl

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Girl is only applicable until the subject’s 18th birthday. Use woman or young woman afterward.

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