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Our 10 Favorite Updates to the 2016 AP Style Book


The "journalist's bible" has updated its guidelines for proper style, grammar and word use, including the proper abbreviation for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. mycreed/YouTube
The "journalist's bible" has updated its guidelines for proper style, grammar and word use, including the proper abbreviation for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. mycreed/YouTube

The Associated Press released the 2016 edition of its style guide today. And while there likely aren't bookies around the globe taking bets and making odds on new rules about proper spelling and word use, those who truck in the written word pore over changes to the guide — known colloquially as the journalist's bible. Here are some of our favorite updates.

1. All Emojis, All the Time

The guide has added more than 50 entries related to technology, including the term emoji: "A symbol, such as a cartoon face, hand gesture, animal or other object, that might be used instead of a word or as an illustration in text messages or on social media." It also notes that emojis is the correct pluralization. Were there people out pluralizing emoji like the word fish? To be fair, there is a certain ring to: "He ended the text with seven poop emoji." 

2. Lowercase PLZ

The words "Web" and "Interne"... er, make that web and internet get with the times and drop their outdated capitalization.

3. Being Single is Great

A number of compound nouns have officially been made one word, including website (finally), webfeed (meh) and voicemail (also seriously finally, yay!).

4. Pity the Poor Ceci Bean

"We now prefer chickpea to Garbanzo bean," says the Associated Press, adding and clarifying dozens of culinary terms, including gochujang, kombucha and medjool dates.

5. Like a Moonbeam

The style guide now has an entry for Mason jar, defining its use and its origins — though no mention of Pinterest wedding boards. "Canning jar is preferred," says the guide, always one to prefer the generic term.

6. A Dagwood Is a Thing

The AP officially gives the thumbs-up to this overindulgent snack, an "oversized sandwich named for comic strip character Dagwood Bumstead."

7. Let's Go Crazy!

"We say spree should be used only for splurges on shopping and entertainment," they say, "rather than for such tragedies as mass shootings."

8. Have a Glass

Taking a stand in the fray of global spirit classification, the AP now says that Japanese whisky should no longer be spelled whiskey, aligning it with the Scottish and Canadian versions of the liquor and distancing it from Irish or American whiskey.

9. A Mistress No More

Joining the rest of us in the modern era, the AP acknowledges that it takes at least two to tango when it comes to affairs of romance and sex. As there's no male equivalent to the term "mistress" and that the word can mean different things in different countries, the AP recommends phrasing like "companion," "friend" or "lover," if applicable.

10. What About the Crust?

All caps, no spaces, PB&J becomes an officially sanctioned stand-in for "peanut butter and jelly sandwich," because writing it needs to be as quick as making one.