This is the first update to the Manual of Style and Usage since 1999 and, naturally, the vast majority of the updates reflect the changing ways in which we use the English language, and the addition of brand new words created since then. Some highlights, courtesy of Benjamin Mullin of Poynter:
“friend. Do not use as a verb, as in friended, except for special effect when writing about social media.”
“web, the. This form (lowercase) is acceptable in all references to the World Wide Web.”
“iPad, iPhone, iPod. But uppercase as the first word of a sentence or headline.”
abbreviations “…abbreviations popular in online and texting slang should be used only rarely, for special effect, and should be rendered as readers most often see them: BTW, FYI, LOL, OMG, tl;dr, etc.”
Some of these fly in the face of the way language is actually being used, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s particularly interesting that the Times will continue to capitalize camelcase brands at the beginning of sentences; to my eyes, “IPod” looks less correct than “iPod”, even following a period.
This is also the first time the Manual of Style has been available in digital formats. If you’d like to support the site, you can buy it in Kindle or iBook formats using the magic of affiliate links. If you’d rather not give me a slice of your purchase, you can find those books yourself. Jerk.