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2017 AP stylebook update

Photo from Associate Press

Last week, Abbie wrote a blog post about the new AP style updates, which were released on May 31st. While there are some interesting new additions such as the use of esports, fake news,  cyberattack and singular they,  there are many rules that I am happy to say are in still in play.

They are as follows (and based on previous blog posts I have written):

My first annual blog –about the use of first annual.  According to the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook: "an event cannot be described as annual until it has been held in at least two successive years."

What does this mean? When you are holding an event it is not a first annual or second annual.

Instead you can use:

  • The first-ever event is being held
  • The inaugural event will be
  • For the second year in a row

Is it all about the title? –about the use of titles with names. Summarized from the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook: "capitalize titles when they precede an individual’s name and if it falls after, the title should be lowercase.”


  • Correct: Publisher Ray Schey
  • Incorrect: publisher Ray Schey
  • Correct: Ray Schey, publisher
  • Incorrect: Ray Schey, Publisher

Is Timing Really Everything –about the proper use of time. The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook has quite a few rules when it comes to the correct use of time.

Some of the major rules include:

  1. Using figures except for noon and midnight
  2. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes, example 11:30 a.m.
  3. Use a.m. or p.m. to indicate time of day and avoid redundancies such as 6 a.m. in the morning or 10 p.m. at night
  4. Do not use :00 after a time that does not have minutes associated with it, example 2:00 p.m.


Correct: 2 p.m.

Incorrect: 2:00 p.m. (do not use :00 after a number that does not have minutes)

Incorrect: 2 P.M. (do not capitalize)

Incorrect: 2p.m. (add a space between the number and a.m. or p.m.)

Incorrect: 2pm (add a space between the number and a.m. or p.m. and periods are needed)

Incorrect 2:00p.m. (spacing error and do not use :00 after a number that does not have minutes)

Correct: 2-5 p.m.

Incorrect: 2 p.m.- 5 p.m. (when both times are a.m. or p.m. only use indicator one time)

Correct: noon and midnight

Incorrect: 12:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.

Incorrect: 12 p.m.

Incorrect: 12 noon

What other AP style rules do you think should never change?

Rachel Brockway
Rachel Brockway
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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