The Associated Press announced on Friday that it has changed its listing of the words "anti-Semite" and "anti-Semitism" in its style guide to "antisemite" and "antisemitism," removing the hyphen and the capitalization.
Journalistic writing is the style of writing used to report news stories in newspapers, TV, other media and the Internet. The characteristics of journalistic writing are pretty easy to spot, as added to their brevity, news stories have a particular structure that is easily recognizable.
One of the most famous reference works for writing used in journalism is the Associated Press (AP) stylebook.
With more than 600 pages, the AP stylebook is widely used as a writing and editing reference in newsrooms, classrooms and corporate offices worldwide. Originally published in 1953, it is updated regularly.
Until now, the AP stylebook used the hyphenated spelling of the words related to the concept of antisemitism. But the company announced Friday on Twitter that they will now write antisemitism and antisemitic without a hyphen and with no capitalized "S".
The term “anti-Semite” was invented in Germany in 1879 by Wilhelm Marr in his pamphlet “The Way to Victory of Germanicism over Judaism” to refer to the anti-Jewish manifestations of the period and to give Jew-hatred a more scientific-sounding name.
We now write antisemitism (n.), antisemitic (adj.), without a hyphen and with no capitalization.This is a change from AP's previous style: anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic.#ACES2021Online— APStylebook (@APStylebook) April 23, 2021
According to the definition, “Anti-Semitism” has been accepted and understood to mean hatred of the Jewish people. Dictionaries define the term as: “Theory, action, or practice directed against the Jews” and “Hostility towards Jews as a religious or racial minority group, often accompanied by social, economic and political discrimination.”
However, there is a debate as to whether the word should be spelled without a hyphen, as some argue that use of the word “Semitic” is misleading and confusing used in the context of Jew-hatred, as it led to the false assumption that there were racial groups corresponding to these two groups of languages.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) also expressed concern “that the hyphenated spelling allows for the possibility of something called ‘Semitism,’ which not only legitimizes a form of pseudo-scientific racial classification that was thoroughly discredited by association with Nazi ideology, but also divides the term, stripping it from its meaning of opposition and hatred toward Jews.” The IHRA also noted that “in German, French, Spanish and many other languages, the term was never hyphenated.”