AP finally changes spellings — look at the hyphens we’ll save

Tell your reporters to put down their cell phones and check their e-mail – there could be a message there from your correspondent in Calcutta. And other than the obvious fantasy of having a correspondent in Calcutta, there are three errors in the first sentence, according to the latest style changes from AP. Last week, the sentence would have been OK. This week, AP joined the rest of the 21st century in changing e-mail to email and cell phone to cellphone (same with smartphones). And under the theory that we should go along with the spelling favored by more than one billion Indians, Calcutta has become Kolkata (how long will it take you to remember that one?). Last year, AP changed web site to the more popular website. But we’re sure you’ll find a use for those extra hyphens somewhere . . .

By Kathryn Jones Malone

Kathryn Jones Malone is co-director of the Texas Center for Community Journalism. She began her career as a staff writer at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, then worked as a staff writer for the Dallas Times Herald and The Dallas Morning News; as a contract writer for The New York Times; as a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly magazine; as editor of the Glen Rose Reporter; and as a freelance writer for numerous state, regional and national magazines. She teaches journalism at Tarleton State University.