When in Doubt, Spell it Out

by Kim Taylor

The AP has made some rather controversial shifts in style this year.  Many of us have yet to recover from the abhorrent removal of distinction between more than and over—my favorite reaction is still Mike Shor’s:



In a slightly less painful move, the latest change makes it stylistically illegal to abbreviate state names in the body of stories.  What was once Orlando, Fla., will become Orlando, Florida, for those interested in appeasing their copy editors.  Abbreviations are still cool in datelines, photo captions and the like.

According to the AP, “The change is being made to be consistent in our style for domestic and international stories.  International stories have long spelled out state names in the body of stories.”

So, when in doubt, spell it out.

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