It’s a no from me

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It’s a no from me

Nichole Shaw, Opinions Columnist

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The Associated Press updated its stylebook, and chaos immediately ensued in the journalism world on social media. Journalists expressed their outrage at the beginning of April with a change in the traditional AP style usage of “percent” to “%” when paired with a numeral. The Shift+5 requirement plagues me now as I write this column, forever changing the way statistics, reports, and numerals will be referred to in breaking news and journalistic writing in general.

The only time “percent” can be used now is in casual instances, such as, “She said he has a zero percent chance of winning,” according to the AP Stylebook. The journalism Gods have spoken, and they have hurt me with this aspect of the revised stylebook.

Thanks, AP style, I hate it.

No longer is $ the only symbol AP style permitted for use in reporting. Now, the % joins that rank and the long history of spelling things out is slowly being chipped away at as we enter a new decade of information technology, data, and numbers that require ugly change. A revolution has begun, and without it, usage of the Oxford comma is still forbidden while numeral-symbol usage is given the green light.

For the past 173 years, journalists have followed the guidelines and rules AP sets, including the accustomed and habitual usage of “percent” as a spelled-out entity when paired with a numeral. In 2019, AP style is changing the laws of writing as we know it.

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