AP Stylebook Says No More "Dingers" [Updates]

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At the American Copy Editors Society's annual meeting in Pittsburgh today, updates to and new entries in the 2015 Associated Press Stylebook are being revealed. This news will not affect you at all. But I think it's interesting, so go to hell.

Tons of newspapers, magazines, and websites rely on the 62-year-old AP Stylebook. It's the closest thing the industry has to a nationwide standard of punctuation, grammar, and style choices. (Deadspin copyediting choices are somewhat looser, but when there is disagreement, we usually consult and adopt the AP Stylebook's recommendation, except when we don't want to.) So when they make adjustments to the sports chapter, you'll definitely see subtle changes showing up in your sports copy.

"Significant" changes were promised, and they're starting to trickle out.


Getting rid of "dingers" is a bad move. "Dingers" is an excellent word for home runs. "Jacks" is OK. "Taters" is the best. ("Bombs" can go. Pay attention to how much war terminology is used in sports. It's discomfiting once you start counting.)

Some more modifications:

And a couple of notes from a Poynter report:

Elite 8 and Final 4 are now capitalized.

Figure skating jumps, moves and spins are all lower case, "even if named after someone."


Update: New entries, from the email sent out by apstylebook.com today:



A team losing a game is not a "disaster." Home runs are homers, not "dingers," "jacks" or "bombs." A player scored 10 straight points, not 10 "unanswered" points. If a football team scores two touchdowns and the opponent doesn't come back, say it "never trailed" rather than "never looked back." In short, avoid hackneyed words and phrases, redundancies and exaggerations.


NCAA Tournament

It is acceptable to refer to the regional semifinals as the Sweet 16, the regional finals as the Elite Eight and the national semifinals as the Final Four.

Olympics, Olympic, Olympic Games, Olympian

Always capitalized: Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics. Each is staged every four years, but two years apart. The next Summer Games is 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. Capitalize games when attached to the host city or year: the Rio de Janeiro Games and the 2016 Games. When standing alone, spell games lowercase: The games open Aug. 5, 2016.

Names and acronyms:

IOC International Olympic Committee. Either is OK on first reference, but use full title in the story. IOC President Thomas Bach; the title is capitalized.

International sports federations. All Olympic sports are run by international federations. Avoid abbreviation IF; use international federation or governing body.

National Olympic committee. In news stories, avoid NOC and use national Olympic committees or national bodies. Abbreviations for U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and British Olympic Association (BOA) acceptable on second reference.

Sports in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 5-21: archery, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, canoe/kayak, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, soccer, golf, gymnastics, handball, field hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, swimming, synchronized swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, track and field, triathlon, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling.

Sports in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 9-25: biathlon, bobsled, curling, hockey, luge, figure skating, speedskating, short track speedskating, Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, freestyle skiing, ski jumping,skeleton, snowboarding.

Sports in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, July 24-Aug. 9: archery, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, canoe/kayak, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, pentathlon, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, soccer, swimming, synchronized swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, trampoline, triathlon, volleyball (indoor), water polo, weightlifting, wrestling.

parking the bus

A phrase used to describe how a team packs its defense to protect a lead or a draw.

Tommy John surgery

Acceptable when referring to ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery in the elbow, more commonly referred to as surgery to repair a torn ligament in the elbow.