With so much media online these days, sometimes it’s hard to remember that the AP Stylebook is, indeed, a book. It’s a volume that releases annually with a new edition. And, with each new iteration of AP style comes new rules.

We’ve compiled a chronological list below of AP Stylebook updates over the last decade. It’s interesting to see what changes were made and when… kind of like a grammar-fueled time machine! Jump directly to a particular point along the AP Stylebook timeline above… or simply keep scrolling below…


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AP Stylebook updates

2021 – Five significant updates were made to the AP Stylebook this year. The term Black should be capitalized when referring to race, ethnicity or in cultural context. Other additions include Asian American-related entries, coronavirus terminology, vaccine-specific AP style guidelines and tips for writing about disabilities…read more

2017 – In 2017, the AP Stylebook issued more than 200 updates. You’ll notice that a lot of them are a sign of the information age we all live in, with additions such as “cyberattacks” and “data journalism.” Also, find out how to follow AP Stylebook editors like Paula Froke…read more

FIFA World Cup – Surely there have been several World Cups since the AP Stylebook released these series of related updates. We still thought them important to note here. After all, they’ll become increasingly relevant every four years!…read more

2014 – Two thousand and fourteen brought some serious updates to the Associated Press Stylebook. “More than” and “over” are now interchangeable. They also updated US state names, added a chapter about religion, expanded food guidelines, and included additional social media guidelines…read more

2013 – In 2013, the AP Stylebook actually incurred some subtractions. No longer is “illegal immigrant” an accepted term. In terms of expansion, AP Style now includes more guidelines for social media; there are new rules for numerals, a refined fashion, food and sports sections, among other various copy refinements…read more

Facebook + Financial Terms – Facebook became further substantiated by the AP Stylebook in 2012, with an official capitalization of “Timeline,” making it all one word. Twitter also snuck in with “retweet” and “unfollow” making the list. And, for all you financiers, the guide released a full series of terms for your perusal…read more

Summer Olympics – Initially published in 2012, these Olympic-size guidelines will be relevant every four years after that! For one, “Olympics” or “Olympic Games” should always be capitalized. Same with “Summer Games” and “Winter Games”…keep reading

AP StyleGuard + Political Terms – Two thousand and twelve also became the year that the AP Stylebook went fully digital, with AP StyleGuard—software integrated with Microsoft Word that proofreads documents against AP style for language, punctuation and journalistic fashion. And in honor of the 2012 national elections, the AP compiled a list of political terms…read more

2012 – Interesting notes from 2012 in general are the AP Stylebook’s acceptance of “hopefully” as a freestanding adverb, as in “Hopefully, linguists won’t get too upset with this modification!” Also of note in this year’s edition were updated fashion terminology, broadcast language and further expanding social media guidelines…read more

WikiLeaks – In 2011, “WikiLeaks” officially became a word in the AP Stylebook. The camel case capitalization for this new hybrid verbiage also indicated the growing popularity of digital sources, like this website for news leaks and anonymous sources…read more

Social media – Two thousand and eleven also marked some significant social media updates. “App” itself (short for “application”) is now a word. So is “e-book” and “clickthroughs.” The Internet truly overhauled our lexicon in 2011…read more

Holidays – It’s never a bad idea for a writer to refresh themselves on correct AP style, as it pertains to the holidays. For instance, did you know “Black Friday” is capitalized? Same with all holiday names, like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. And, even though sometimes it should feel as though it’s capitalized, “hangover” (however bad!) remains lowercase, and one word…read more

2011 – Five hundred, count them: 500 changes were incorporated into the 2011 AP Stylebook. Many changes can be attributed to the new Food Guidelines section. Cause for this culinary change, according to the Associated Press, was a rise in interest for cooking-centric media, as well as the growing trend for local and organic eating…read more