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June 06, 2014


Olivia MacDonald

Thanks for this information on the new style guide, and especially for a big laugh at your wonderful comment on "demi-glace."

Jeannette Paladino

I've bought the new guide but it has yet to arrive. I'm eagerly looking forward to "what's new." I'm glad, too, that "over" and "more than" can now be used interchangeably. So many people used to get it wrong. I only wish the guide would help writers to use the first, second and third persons correctly. In their desire to be politically correct, writers will do anything not to use "him" or "her."

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Olivia, you're welcome! I'm glad you liked the sauce with a hyphen.

Jeannette, thinking about your comment, I picked up the new Stylebook. I was shocked to see this comment under "his, her": "Use the pronoun 'his' when an indefinite antecedent may be male or female: A reporter tries to protect his sources."

Not having looked this up before, I am baffled that AP is backward on gender-neutral language. Granted, it adds that "Frequently, however, the best choice is a slight revision of the sentence: Reporters try to protect their sources." Still, to recommmend "his" for an indefinite antecedent? This is the 21st century.

By the way, did I miss your point? Please let me know if I did.



I'm surprised at AP for including "gyp" as a new entry. It's hardly new, and I thought it fell out of favor long ago--as an ethnic slur on Romani people--along with "to jew somebody down on the price" and "took him away in the paddy wagon."

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Jim. Thank you very much for your comment. I should have commented on this inclusion too, and I am sorry I didn't.

The complete "AP Stylebook" explanation for "gyp" is "Fraud or swindle or to cheat someone. Offensive to Gypsies, also known as Roma."

I do not know why this expression was added to the style guide or how it would come up in news writing.

Thank you again for pointing out the offensiveness of the term.


Jeannette Paladino

Lynn -- I'm shocked, too, by AP's advice on using "his." It makes me cringe that in order to be politically correct, a writer will use both singular and plural, as in "A reporter tries to protect THEIR sources." Be on the lookout and you will see this happening everywhere.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Jeannette. Yes, I see the singular and plural mixed too. My choice is typically to make both plural.


Val S

I'm glad I saw this so I know that there are things out there called Snapchat and Vine. And I won't embarrass myself by capitalizing the n in napa cabbage!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Nice to hear from you, Val!



Hahaha! I literally just learned all the American states and their abbreviations and there you go changing on me again :-D

Would you perhaps be able to assist with a query?

I want to purchase the online version and automated style checkers as mentioned above, but will these only apply to my spell-check if I set it to American spelling?

I do not always use American spelling as I do work for different countries.

Love the blog :)

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Emme. I am sorry that I do not know the answer to your question. I suggest you look around at

My guess is that the spelling checker applies to American English only.


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