Before we have the right to also gain right into the blunders, let’s make certain we’re all on the very same web page about what AP style is and why we think it’s around as awesome as Starbucks Frappuccinos.

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AP style is the art of writing copy based on the criteria produced by the Associated Press news agency. In the marketing civilization, a lot of world take into consideration these requirements the El Capitan of copycreating rules. At TRIO, we have actually a couple of word nerds that actually refer to the “AP Stylebook” as their word bible.

In our sector, we look at words all day, eincredibly day, and also can pick out a typo from about a mile ameans. Of course, we make mistakes, as well. It’s humale nature. But nine times out of 10, if we have actually a question about a word alternative or formatting framework, we revolve to…you guessed it…our AP Stylebook to keep us in examine.

After a while, we’ve began to pick up on some widespread mistakes that world make when they write that we believed would be worth sharing.

Now that we’re all clear that AP style is our go-to approach let’s evaluation some of these prevalent blunders.

Double room after a period

We’re going to go means ago – earlier to the development of the typewriter. Yep, that is as soon as the double room after a duration was born. A few of you analysis this may have actually never before even seen a typewriter. That’s okay. Quick forward 140 years and just know that when the computer system came on the scene, the double room at the finish of a sentence went out the door. Perhaps the AP reporters wanted to offer their thumbs an extra break. Regardmuch less of the factor, just understand tbelow have to only be one space after a duration. Period.


Do you even recognize what a.m. and also p.m. stand for? It’s okay if you don’t yet once it pertains to creating copy simply remember that our friends ante meridiem and article meridiem choose durations between their initials. At least that’s what the AP folks tell us. So, once you are creating out a particular time of day, usage lowercase and durations (for example 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.). Anvarious other reminder, spell out noon and midnight instead of using 12 p.m. and also 12 a.m.

Before we leave this topic though, we need to also share that the time of day constantly goes prior to the day.

No: The occasion will certainly be hosted on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.Yes: The event will be at 7 p.m. on Sept. 17.

Finally, when composing any span of time that mixes 20th- and 21st-century dates, the complete year have to be given for both. For example: 1998-2002, not 1998-02.

See more: Can An Executive Director Of A Nonprofit Be An Independent Contractor?

Drop the Zeros

This is most likely one of the a lot of prevalent blunders we see – oftentimes on event posters, websites and also social media copy. When you are at the top of the hour (i.e., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and so on.) or you have no cents linked via your dollar bills, simply drop the zeros. Like the double space elimination, possibly the AP editors made a decision the zeros were taking up unimportant space, so they gained the boot. So, if you pay $11 to see a 7 p.m. movie, you can leave the zeros at house.


We’re sure there hregarding be some psychology behind this one, yet we’re not quite sure what it is. For some factor, we see unessential capitalization of titles all the moment. You need to never capitalize titles unmuch less they are formal titles that are provided instantly prior to a name. For example, Queen Elizabeth or President Donald Trump are both official titles and are capitalized. If Charles Brvery own is the executive director of an company, his title is always lowerinstance. Even though Brown’s title is lowercase, that doesn’t make his role any kind of less essential. Notice we didn’t say Mr. Brvery own. That’s bereason AP style doesn’t usage courtesy titles.

Toward versus Towards

This one is pretty easy to remember yet is frequently missupplied. It is constantly “toward,” never “in the direction of.” So where did “towards” come from anyway? According to Grammarly (an extremely handy auto-correcting tool you must absolutely invest in if you compose a lot online), “toward” is the preferred spelling in the UNITED STATE and also Canada, while the U.K. and Australia like to use “towards.” While technically both spellings are correct, AP style holds a strong stance. In the AP Stylebook, it sindicate states, “towards, not towards.” Funny how the grammar gurus don’t have actually a lot to say around that one. We think they are significant.


This little bit guy deserve to be a genuine pain periodically. He loves to show up as soon as he was never before invited. Whether it’s on a actual estate billboard cultivating, “Homes founding in the 200’s” or jumping in in between the letters T and S wreaking all forms of havoc (it’s vs. its), the apostrophe have the right to entirely destroy the quality of your marketing material. The apostrophe should be used in conjunctions and also to present possession (such as, “Katie’s book…”) but it must not be supplied to interact that somepoint is plural. Takeaway: It’s “houses founding in the 200s” not “the 200’s” and also “We love the 90s” not “the 90’s.”


If you’re still reading, we’re impressed. You should be enjoying the AP style Kool-Aid. Let’s transition over to exactly how to recommendation a month in your copy. When a month of the year is used through a particular date, you should constantly abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and also Dec. When you are utilizing the month alone or via a year, spell it out. Additionally, as soon as a month is offered through a year, do not sepaprice the year with a comma. When you are referencing a month, day and year, set off the year via a comma (e.g., January 2016; Jan. 2; Jan. 5, 2018). Hard to remember? No problems. Just refer to web page 185 in the latest edition of the “AP Stylebook” for a refresher once required.

Composition Titles

These are constantly tricky for people. Going via college we deserve to also remember various teachers having actually various choices for exactly how to style composition titles. Luckily, AP style keeps it easy. For the titles of books, movies, TV mirrors, speeches or functions of art, use quotation marks (e.g. “Modern Family,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”). For the titles of magazines and newsfiles, do not italicize. Ssuggest capitalize the principal words, consisting of prepositions and also conjunctions of four or more letters (e.g. US Weekly, The New York Times). Another pet peeve of ours is once human being usage entitled (deserving) rather of titled. You are entitled to a second piece of cake, yet this fabulous culinary production is titled, “Death by Chocolate.”

Oxford Comma

It’s the age-old question that has actually plagued writers for centuries: do you usage the Oxford comma or not? An Oxford comma is a comma that is used before a conjunction (prefer “and” or “or”) in a series (e.g., I’ve acquired apples, oarrays, and also pears). This bit punctuation has caused expensive debates among authors as to whether or not it is a vital component of contemporary communication. We personally are not fans of the Oxford comma — and coincidentally, neither is AP style. According to the AP Stylebook, you usage a comma to separate facets in a collection, however never prior to the conjunction in most simple series (e.g., the flag is red, white and also blue).

Now that we have actually gained through these prevalent copycomposing blunders, we would certainly love to hear from you if you have actually any type of pet peeves as soon as it involves grammar? What are your thoughts on the Oxford comma? Let us understand by taking our poll on social media!

And last but not leastern, be sure to follow APStylebook on Twitter. As a lot as we love to follow their rules, the rules readjust. Following together with the AP folks will assist you continue to be abreastern of the latest and also biggest adjustments to their standards.

Can’t gain enough? Here are a couple of tips for those of you who eat this up prefer we perform.

Story headlines are never before capitalized.African-Amerihave the right to is hyphenated.Nonprofit is one word.Theater (never before re unmuch less it is the correct name)Fundraising (noun), fundraising (adjective), fundraiser (noun)Gray (not grey)Startup (one word)States are now spelled out. No more Charleston, S.C. It’s “Welcome to Charleston, South Carolina.”

And while preeminence alters and words evolve with AP style, just prefer they carry out in dictionaries, tbelow are some purists (and also we have a few on our team) that still won’t accept that “over” have the right to currently be offered through a numerical value. It supplied to be “over” and “under” were provided for spatial relationships and “even more than” and also “less than” were used to convey numerical value. One would certainly never write, “Over 5,000 students make up the freshman course.” It would certainly be, “More than 5,000 students…” Sorry AP team, we just can’t lug ourselves to buy into that one.

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