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AP Style Updates: Can You Use the Term ‘Woke?’

By Sherri Kolade for Ragan PRDaily

Associated Press Stylebook experts shared new style guidelines and updates during a recent virtual Ragan event, “The AP Stylebook Webinar: What’s new in AP style?”

Paula Froke, AP Stylebook editor, shared updates on changing linguistic trends and clarified some points of confusion to help us all write more clearly.

Froke also talked about the book’s style evolution over the years and the process of updating the book, which is a mainstay for journalists and PR pros.

“We get ideas from all over the place,” Froke said, including emails, questions from seminars like Ragan’s, social media and more. “Obviously, the Stylebook team itself is looking at the world at large and coming up with points that we should address.”


A couple of months ago, the AP style team added “woke” to its style guide. “Woke” is a slang term that initially was a positive description of someone awakening to racial or social justice issues. Nowadays, some conservative groups use it negatively to describe inclusive initiatives.

“This one has evolved over time, a fairly short amount of time,” Froke said.

Froke says because of the lack of clarity and varying opinions on the word it’s best to avoid using it at all. Use it only if within a direct quote.

For more, click here.

Image by Lorenzo Cafaro from Pixabay

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