Monday, April 19, 2010

Web site, website: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Lunch

Last week, when AP announced it would be changing the correct usage of “Web site” to “website” I have to admit, I had a little swoon.

This change may not seem like a big hairy deal to you. To me, though, it’s a little like feeling the earth move: the ground beneath your feet and that sort of thing. Over the years, I’ve made that correction to people’s work a lot. A writer might ask, “Why?” And, as with a many other matters of style, I could say with confidence, “Just ask AP.” And now? Well, now what was right is wrong and, like a lot of editors this week, I’m shaking my head and saying, “What’s next? Its/it’s?” From Poynter:
The change, which was formally announced at the American Copy Editors Society conference Friday afternoon, is effective Saturday and will appear in the 2010 Stylebook, which is slated to come out next month.

“We decided to make the change because ‘website’ is increasingly common,” said Sally Jacobsen, deputy managing editor for projects at the AP and one of three Stylebook editors. “We also had invited readers and users of the Stylebook to offer us some suggestions for a new social media guide that we’re including in the 2010 Stylebook, and we got a very good response and a large number of people who favored ‘website’ as one word.”
Other changes might be coming. AP is considering dropping the usage of state abbreviations (it may not surprise you that I would actually applaud that. We already always spell out state names at January Magazine), dropping the name of Canadian provinces in datelines (ie: Calgary, Canada) and changing “e-mail” to “email.” Not entirely sure how I feel about any of those but, effective immediately, we’ll be using “web site” and “web” though perhaps not without the occasional grumble.


Anonymous said...

"Not entirely sure how I feel about any of those but, effective immediately, we’ll be using 'web site' and 'web' though perhaps not without the occasional grumble."

Shouldn't that be "website"?

Linda L. Richards said...

Yes, of course it should. See? The whole thing is going to take some getting used to! I've been saying "Web site" since the olden days!