The clock is ticking… how to write about time in AP Style

The clock is ticking… how to write about time in AP Style

Dear editors,

Today, I want to make sure that we?re all on the same page about how to express times in Eater, Curbed, and Racked stories. Let?s synch our watches and get started.

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Writing clock times

First things first: Always use figures for times except for noon and midnight (preferable to 12 p.m. and 12 a.m. for clarity?s sake). Use a colon to separate hours from minutes: 9 a.m. (not 9:00 a.m.), 12:30 p.m., 9?11 a.m., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The construction 4 o?clock is acceptable, but 4 p.m. is preferable.

Avoid redundant phrases such as 9 a.m. this morning.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow

Generally, use days of the week, rather than the words yesterday or tomorrow, which may cause confusion.

Use Monday, Tuesday, etc. for days of the week seven days before or after the current date. Otherwise, use the date itself.

Time zones

Capitalize the full name of time zones: Eastern Standard Time.

The abbreviations EST, CST, etc., are acceptable on first reference only if the abbreviation is linked to a clock reading: 9 a.m. PST.

Generally, it?s not necessary to specify the time zone in a story; just use the clock time in force in your area. You may choose to use EST, PDT, etc., if the story involves travel or other activities, such as the closing hour for polling places or the time of a televised speech, likely to affect people or developments in more than one time zone.

Any more questions? Let me or Laura know in the #eater-copy-edit, #racked-copy-edit, or #curbed-copy-edit Slack rooms!

Copy errors of the week

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?Do you see the missing word? A good reminder of how important it is to re-read ? and re-read again ? headlines and ledes.

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This one is just painful.

Copy News

Lately, we added Long Island iced tea, napoleon (pastry), pozole, khachapuri, char siu, Kaluga caviar, Kit Kat, matsutake, osetra caviar, Mission Revival, grown up (as a past participle: she?s all grown up), grown-up (as a noun or adjective: he?s a grown-up; she?s a grown-up woman), Beautyblender, and Untuckit.

The Daily Stormer?s style guide found its way to the internet (H/T Ellie). A compelling argument against ?gifted? as a verb (H/T Kelsey). Plus, Merriam-Webster?s words of the year (H/T Sally), and why you should read the acknowledgments.

Have a great week!



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