If you were devastated when you found out the Associated Press frowns upon the Oxford Comma, you might agree with some of their later decisions. Some notable tech items have been changed by the venerable manual.
On Friday, the AP Stylebook announced that they were finally dropping the hyphen out of “e-mail” and going with “email,” which most of us have been unapologetic in using for some time now.
#ACES2011 today.Language evolves.Today we change AP style from e-mail to email, no hyphen. Our editors will announce it at
Today, AP Stylebook announced more changes, taking the spaces out of “cell phone” and “smart phone.”
Three style changes: smartphone, cellphone and Kolkata. They are live on Stylebook Online and will be in the 2011 book in May.
The AP Stylebook is not the only stylebook out there, but they are the one most commonly followed by most newspapers. Most likely, many other stylebooks that address proper forms of such words will follow suit. As goes the AP Stylebook, so goes the collective lexicon of the nation as that is the style many Americans will see everyday when they read or watch the news.
Why are little changes like this so important? They show a shift is our familiarity and reliance on technology. “E-mail” is not only clunky, but denotes an archaic understanding of what it really is. “E-mail” is electronic mail, simply a type of mail. By removing that little hyphen, “email” becomes a force on its own, not simply an extension of another well-established entity. Same goes for “smartphone” and “cellphone.” When you remove that space, you give more legitimacy to the item. It shows just how integral technology is to everyone’s life.
Ok, that sounds quite dramatic.
But maybe not that far off base. If the official suggestion page for the 2011 AP stylebook is any indication, they are going to have their hands full will tech terms. The top suggestions involve the Like button, “swype” for android phones, and a plea to standardize the past tense of “tweet.” Should it be “tweeted?” “Twittered?” Perhaps “Twote?” We are looking at you, AP Stylebook.