The Times, They Are A-Changin’

Last month at the 15th National Conference of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES 2011) in Phoenix, the editors of the AP Stylebook announced some official changes brought about by our high-tech society:

• Cellphone and smartphone are now single words, not two words.
• Email has officially lost its hyphen, whereas e-book and e-commerce managed to keep theirs.
• Handheld is used as a noun, while the hyphenated hand-held is used as an adjective.

Last year at ACES 2010 in Philadelphia, the AP Stylebook editors announced that “website” officially became a single word, rather than “web site.”

As new technology evolves, so does the language used to describe it. Ten years ago, whoever would have thought that “text” would be a verb? Yet, today it is.

Peanut Gallery member Herman wanted to know if we have to wait for changes in Webster’s Dictionary before new words or new applications for old words can be used. Well, Herman, the latest changes to the AP Stylebook became effective as of 3 a.m. EDT Saturday, March 19, 2011 – long before the newest edition of the hardcopy book becomes available, which editors say is sometime in May 2011.

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