The 2012 Associated Press Stylebook has arrived, containing more than 270 new and updated entries in fashion, broadcast and social media that will help writers perfect their prose.
Before thumbing through the nearly 500-page news writing guide, here are five important updates to the revised edition:
- Hopefully. At the center of debate is AP’s updated definition of “hopefully.” The news service no longer objects to using hopefully as a floating sentence adverb, as in Hopefully, the Boston Celtics will advance to the NBA Finals, allowing the modern usage meaning of it is hoped. Linguists, however, argue that hopefully is one word that waters down writing. They say it’s insignificant and doesn’t strengthen script, while other critics say “it’s a free-floating modifier that isn’t attached to the verb of the sentence, but rather describes a speaker’s attitudes.” Other floating modifiers—sadly, mercifully, thankfully, or frankly—are common in English grammar and haven’t sparked discussion.
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