Social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, generally give us a wider platform than we've ever had on which to write, opine, and interact. But as far as grammar, spelling, punctuation and usage go, they're still pretty anarchic. Major news organizations -- the kind that have style books named after them like Associated Press or The New York Times -- tend to write in their own styles. The rest of us tend to choose one of those preexisting style guides to follow, but they're often somewhat inadequate, especially when it comes to the medium of online writing.

Today, Associated Press producer Eric Carvin weighed in on newfangled style questions that haven't made it into its official style guide in a Twitter conversation using the hashtag #APStyleChat. You may plan to defriend somebody when in fact you should be unfriending them. And if you're still writing "E-mail," well, you're behind the times. Of course, debate abounds about the new declarations, such as why we're instructed to capitalize Web and Internet, but write "website" as one lower-case word. Here are a few of our favorite exchanges from the conversation. 

It's Internet, with a capital I, because it's a proper noun. #APStyleChat @erinbinspiredless than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply

If Internet is capitalized, should Web also be capitalized on it's own? RT @APStylebook It's website — one word and lowercase. #APStyleChatless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

RT @APStylebook: It's Web, with a capital W. #APStyleChat @SheenaHarrison // But it shouldn't be.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply


It's website — one word and lowercase. #APStyleChat @daniellewriterless than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply

A private network inside a company or organization for internal use is an intranet — lowercase. #APStyleChat @sjvelasquezless than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply


The question of what to call Google's new social networking service was also contentious.

We don't use symbols, including plus signs, in company names. So we've been writing Google Plus. #APStyleChat @aquarius121less than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply

Hey @APStylebook, how often do you hold a good time #APStyleChat? And should you really rewrite a brand name like Google "Plus"?less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply


There are a few more one-off tips about new media, electronics, and social media. We'll spare you the minimal debate about them.

An #APStyle tip: To remove someone from a list of friends is to unfriend. Defriend is less common. #APStyleChatless than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply


If a sentence starts with a proper noun like iPod, capitalize the I. #APStyleChat @LtotheUcyless than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply


It's e-commerce, lowercase. All "e-" terms are lowercase and hyphenated, except for email. #APStyleChat @OnGlamFashionless than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply


A style tip: It's check in as a verb and check-in as a noun and adjective when using a social networking tool. #APStyleChatless than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply

 

It's a tweet, but capitalize the T in Twitter. #APStyleChat @grace_landless than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply