Goodbye “Web site,” Hello “website”

by racheliliadis

For months, journalists have long awaited the change from “Web site” to “website.” No fear, the change has been made with the introduction of the new 2010 AP Stylebook. Journalists around the world can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

“In making the change, the Stylebook team considered responses from our staff as well as readers and users of the Stylebook. It was clear that website has become the widely accepted usage,” said Darrell Christian, AP editor-at-large.

Not only did the Stylebook bring 41 other definitions, use cases and rules that journalists should follow, it also included 42 new guidelines on Social Media. What many thought of as a fad, is now here to stay. Social Media has proven to be a valuable asset to any journalist and company, and now there are professional guidelines to follow.

Some of the more relevant changes included making “smart phone” two words, hyphenating “e-reader,” and allowing fan, friend and follow to be used both as nouns and verbs. Other changes included 42 separate entries on such terms as app, blogs, click-throughs, metadata, RSS, search engine optimization, trending, widget and wiki.

It’s about time I can write, “Rachel loves friending people online.” But let’s be honest, if we are going to keep up with the times our profession must evolve with the Social Media changes.

This includes fact-checking all professional blogs, tweets, Facebook updates, etc.

One of the more interesting changes I’ve found is the definition and inclusion of popular acronyms frequently used in texting. For instance, POS. What does that stand for you ask? I had no idea either until I looked it up in the Stylebook. Apparently, it’s “Parent over shoulder.” People send POS via text in order to let your recipient know that there is a parent reading the text. How clever! If only I had known that acronym when I was 16 years old.

For a more detailed description of the recent changes, please see the full AP Stylebook online at Also, be sure to download the new AP Stylebook app for your smart phone. Finally, for all your AP Stylebook updates, the official Twitter account for the AP Stylebook is and has more than 44,000 followers.

I hope this will encourage you to throw out your old, worn out 2009 Stylebook and upgrade to the new and improved version. Not to mention, more relevant.

Happy reading!