AP Stylebook Change

Now that I’ve given you my top 10 changes from The Chicago Manual of Style, I thought I’d throw in one from The Associated Press Stylebook. (In general, CMS is used by US book publishers and popular-style magazines. AP is used for newspapers and journalist-style articles.)

The 2010 AP Stylebook now makes a distinction between Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the discount retailer’s corporate name, and Walmart, for the actual stores. How’s that for making thingscomplex and complicated?

What if you’re writing a book manuscript? I usually recommend checking a company’s website to verify how they spell their name. Here’s what I found on Walmart’s corporate site:

Ed. Note: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the legal name of the corporation. The name “Walmart,” expressed as one word and without punctuation, is a trademark of the company and is used analogously to describe the company and its stores. Use the legal name when it is necessary to identify the legal entity, such as when reporting financial results, SEC filings, litigation or governance matters.

Wanna get REALLY nitpicky? I noticed that the 2010 AP Stylebook omits the comma before Inc. that the corporate website uses.