Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Web site" to "website" in the AP Stylebook

A blast from the past for me – the AP Stylebook changes on something I use all the time but never heard of during a long AP career.

The following popped up on the AP retirees’ newsletter I get every week, and I thought many people might like to know that Web site is out and website is in. Note that there are several links to longer explanations of what goes on in the business of changing AP style. Enjoy.
AP Stylebook Team Announces That 'Web site' Is Changing To 'website'

The AP Stylebook team has announced that "Web site" is changing to "website." In an April 16 note to AP news leaders, Stylebook coordinators Sally Jacobsen, Darrell Christian and Dave Minthorn said the entry change reflects "increasingly common usage." They also announced that plans to change AP style on state abbreviations have been postponed, pending further review. Below, read a Q&A with Minthorn on AP's Facebook page at See media mentions in the Washington Post blog "Faster Forward" at and at in Mallory Jean Tenore's Poynter column

Q&A with Dave Minthorn: From Web site to website, mysteries of AP style explained

In a Q&A, AP Deputy Standards Editor David Minthorn offers a behind-the-scenes look at how The Associated Press decides on AP style guidelines -- including last week's big announcement that AP has dropped "Web site" in favor of "website."

Why the change from "Web site" to "website"?

Followers of AP style — editors, writers, students, P.R. professionals, word lovers — have for several years argued that the two-word spelling of "Web site" is out of date. Certainly it's easier to spell website as one word, along with other compounds like webcam and webmaster, adopted previously by the AP Stylebook. Also, the Stylebook's primary reference, Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, prefers the one-word spelling.

Still, the Web (the shortened proper name of the World Wide Web) and certain other two-word phrases like Web page, remain capitalized in AP style.

The three AP staffers named as the Stylebook coordinators were colleagues during my 25 years there. Sally Jacobsen and Dave Minthorn were people I worked with fairly closely from time to time in several postings, while Darrell Christian and I knew each other only slightly as he was in New York and I was all over the overseas map. If they’re listening, I wish them all well.

My retirement, at the end of 1995, came just as the Web was launching into the forefront of all our minds and work. Windows 95? Well, I started learning it after I bought my first laptop in Jacksonville while still living on the road and considering where to settle down. With crashes and dailups …


Michael Calderin said...

It's about gosh darn time. I've been having this fight with editorial staff for years.

sbobet said...

thanks ysboou for arsbochive