The AP Stylebook Updates Hyphen Usage

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The AP Stylebook is the one constant for those of us that make a living interacting with journalists. This handy guide is where we turn to to confirm when to capitalize a word, what is the proper abbreviation for a certain state, which punctuation mark to use, etc.

And like any good reference book, it requires updating on a regular basis.  But, the recently announced update regarding the use of hyphens is a non-starter for me.

A former HMA’er taught me that when two words combine to make an adjective you hyphenate them. Thought-leadership piece versus thought leadership piece. Well-known author not well known author.

Associated Press now says the hyphen in these cases is unnecessary if the meaning is clear without the hyphen.

There are just some things I cannot do. I didn’t listen to AP when they said it was ok to use “more than” and “over” interchangeably and I will still use my hyphens.

Consider this a fair warning to anyone that asks me to edit their copy.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

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