by Jennie Ruby
To the great joy of my colleague AJ at IconLogic, who tipped me off about this change, and to the relief of writers and editors everywhere who use the Associated Press Stylebook, the 2010 edition has declared website to be one word and lowercase, instead of the official spelling listed in Websters: Web site. And the AP--as editors affectionately call the style guide--has also released an AP Stylebook application for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Although many technical publications have spelled website as one word for years, the dictionary still capitalizes the W because it is part of the proper name World Wide Web. Although Webster recently added website as an alternate spelling of Web site, many editors have chafed under the need to use what appears to be an outdated spelling. Having a major style guide declare website the official spelling gives editors an additional argument for the fresher spelling.
And the new iPhone app for the AP style guide gives writers and editors access to some of the most useful features of the style guide, without the need for carrying around the entire printed book.
The new app has an alphabetical listing of common style answers, such as whether to capitalize the words congressman and congresswoman (no) and whether to hyphenate e-mail (yes). In addition to the alphabetical listing, the app has the chapters on business, sports and social media terms, from the book, along with advice on punctuation.
I was able to look up website, e-mail, e-book and e-commerce to check hyphenation. I was able to find out that the word app can be used on the second reference to a program designed for a smart phone. And I was able to verify that smart phone does not need to be capitalized.
As an added bonus, the AP Stylebook app allows me to make notes of my own on any item, so that if one of my editing clients has a specific usage, my note appears every time I look up that item.
At $24.99, the app costs slightly more than the printed book ($18.95). The AP style guide is also available as an online subscription ($25/year). But having plunked down my dollars on the app, I am set for the moment. Having the answers to style questions right on my iPod Touch lightens my briefcase for teaching editing--no need to carry an extra style guide--and adds the fun of using an electronic device to the tediousness of having to look things up.
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About the Author: Jennie Ruby is a veteran IconLogic trainer and author with titles such as "Editing with Word 2003 and Acrobat 7" and "Editing with MS Word 2007" to her credit. She is a publishing professional with more than 20 years of experience in writing, editing and desktop publishing.