I admit it. I’m an AP Style geek. I can’t pinpoint where it came from, but I’ve always loved to flip through the book (my preference is spiral-bound). I don’t have the most recent copy of the book since we have online access, which to me seems like a crime. I feel like I can find the things I need more easily in the book than clicking around on the Web site.
And there’s my transition into why I’m writing this post. Tonight is the final time I can say “Web site” per AP Style. The AP Stylebook folks announced via Twitter on Friday they were changing the preferred style from “Web site” to “website.” The change is a response to reader comments and will be included in the 2010 version of the AP Stylebook.
I actually found out about the change via an email update I received at work. I immediately forwarded it to my regional editor, who used to work at the AP himself. My reaction was shock. He pointed out there were billions of hits for “Web site” on Google, but trillions of hits for “website.” “I guess the established usage prevails.”
But I don’t think either of us like it.
Some say “Web site” is outdated, but it takes into account the full name of the Web. It’s the “World Wide Web,” not just some bizarre nickname people gave the Internet. But then again, I probably don’t like it because I don’t like change, especially to things I like.
I understand, though, why it changed. A couple months ago my regional editor sent everyone an email reminding us it’s “Web site” and not “website” because he was changing it in the majority of articles he edited. I’m constantly changing it myself.
I just hope I remember the change myself because I know I’m going to type “Web site” by default.