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Posted on 04.08.2014

In Denial: AP Caves in “Over” v. “More Than”

If I've been slow to write about this it's because, like many, I have been in denial. AP, say it isn't so!

Last month the Associated Press announced new to the Stylebook in 2014: over, as well as more than, is acceptable in all uses to indicate greater numerical value.

For those who never really understood the difference in the first place, over generally refers to spatial relationships: The mirror hangs over the mantel.

More than is used to indicate greater numerical value: More than 200 people attended the rally. We raised more than $500.

So after many years of editing my co-workers writing from "over" to "more than," I can no longer stand on my AP soapbox although I will continue to have a clear preference.

I thought I'd see what else AP has done to us - oops, I mean clarified - lately. Here are a few tips from AP's editors that are helpful as we await the spring release of the 2014 Stylebook to see what other changes AP has in store for us.
Use of "under" to signify less
Interestingly, prior to the over v. more than decision referenced above, under was already acceptable in certain numerical uses:The tank holds a little under 15 gallons. They offer free admissions for children 12 and under.
Use of a hyphen
No hyphen in nonprofit
No hyphen in whistleblower
No hyphen used with multi: multiline, multichannel
No hyphen when used with goer: moviegoer (This is a reported change coming in the 2014 Stylebook)
Expressing numerical ranges
They have a joint income of $70,000 to $75,000 a year.
The industry generates revenues of $4 million to $5 million a year.
Our nation's capital
Use capital in referring to the city where a seat of government is located.
Capitalize U.S. Capitol (with an "o") and the Capitol when referring to the building in Washington.
When referencing Washington, D.C., on second reference capitalize the District.
Medical terms (also reported to be coming with the 2014 Stylebook)
First aid for the noun, first-aid for the adjective: He administered first aid. I took a first-aid course.
HPV is acceptable on first reference for human papillomavirus
Lowercase: in vitro fertilization (IVF acceptable on second reference)
Use of a comma before "as well as"
No comma in an adverb construction: The boy played the guitar as well as his teacher.
Comma when used to mean in addition to: He cleaned out the closet, as well as the cabinets.
Are you an AP Stylebook nerd, too? What's your favorite or least favorite AP guidance? And for more updates as they're announced, follow @APStylebook.
​Dana Coleman is a Vice President at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Dana’s blogs here. Connect with Dana at Dana@lovell.com or @lovelldc

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