#FunFactFriday – AP Style Updates

Adhering to the rules of AP Style is a foundational part of public relations. While there are some cases where using AP Style isn’t necessary like on social media and in emails, it is important to follow when drafting press releases and stories.

As our language and culture changes, so do the rules of AP Style. We’ve previously covered updates on AP Style here and here. We’ve also written about its similar counterpart the Diversity Style Guide.

For today’s #FunFactFriday, here are some reminders and updates on AP Style:

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency

When used as a concept, Bitcoin is capitalized. When used as a currency unit, bitcoin is all lower case. On the topic of cryptocurrency, this is the only acceptable way to use the word cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency should not be abbreviated to crypto as that means cryptography.


Coronavirus is acceptable when referencing the pandemic. COVID-19 is the term that is used to refer to the disease. People who don’t recover fully from COVID-19 are long-haulers, and long-haul COVID-19 or long COVID-19 refers to the lingering symptoms of the disease.


Use figures and hyphens when referencing sports and betting (and use caution when placing your bets).  For example: He won despite 3-1 odds against him.


Mental illness is a condition people possess, not embody. Use specific terms when possible and avoid using the terms “mentally ill”, “suffers from” and “victim of.”

Disabilities are only mentioned if it is pertinent to the story. The term handicap should be avoided at all costs and so should any disability related terms such as “read the room” or “turn a blind eye.” See above link to the Diversity Style Guide.

American Indians and Native Americans are acceptable terms to use in reference to people with different tribal affiliations. If members of the same tribe are being referenced, use the name of the Tribe for specification.

Photo provided by Marissa Baker

Written by
at Aug 27, 2021

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