In the updated version of its stylebook, used almost ubiquitously by news organizations across the country, the Associated Press now recognizes “over” as a synonym for “more than.”
AP Style tip: New to the Stylebook: over, as well as more than, is acceptable to indicate greater numerical value. #ACES2014— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) March 20, 2014
For years, the convention has been that it is only acceptable to use “more than” to express that something is of a greater numerical value than something else.
Merriam-Webster lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, tweeted about the room’s reaction when the change was announced:
But the colloquial use of “over” in place of “more than” has become so popular that editors everywhere are tired of trying to police the words. Sokolowski’s tweets that AP attributes its concession to this trend.
"Under" can also mean "less than" in @APStylebook. "Overwhelming evidence" is cited. "It's futile to fight the tide."— Peter Sokolowski (@PeterSokolowski) March 20, 2014
The changes did not stop there: The AP will now recognize the words “emoji” and “selfie.”
[AP on Twitter]