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Since the Intrar-Web-Iverse first came onto the public radar, the Associated Press Stylebook — the style bible for news organizations everywhere — has insisted the Web is made up of "Web sites." Not websites. The thinking: Web is short for World Wide Web, and therefore a proper noun. A site is just a site. Ain't nothing proper about that.

But today, the AP gave in to overwhelming popular usage. Here's the e-mail I just got via my online stylebook subscription:

A new entry has been added to the AP Stylebook Online ...

Editor's Note: A separate entry on website has been added to note a style change from Web site.

website

A location on the World Wide Web that maintains one or more pages at a specific address. Also, webcam, webcast and webmaster. But as a short form and in terms with separate words, the Web, Web page and Web feed. See Web.

Has anyone noticed how inconsistent this is? Website, but Web page? And the rationale: Terms with "separate words" get treated as two. But since when did we remove "site" and "master" from the dictionary?

As my friend and former coworker Brian Hogue said after hearing the news: "What's the proper style for wtf?"


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Tags: ap, associated, media, news, press, style, stylebook, web, website

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Comment by Louis C. Hochman on April 16, 2010 at 11:08pm
I've had a lot of trouble writing "website" while ranting about this change. I keep writing it as two words, then going back to fix it.
Comment by Amy Gostkowski on April 16, 2010 at 4:49pm
Well, at least that's one less correction I'll have to consistently make.

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