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AP Stylebook: Starting a sentence with eBay, iPhone
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By Dayna Fields
Penny Riordan manages digital content partnerships for GateHouse Media. She works out of the Center for News and Design in Austin. Prior to joining the company, she worked at Patch.com for four years, where she led social media, blogging and UGC ...
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Penny Riordan manages digital content partnerships for GateHouse Media. She works out of the Center for News and Design in Austin. Prior to joining the company, she worked at Patch.com for four years, where she led social media, blogging and UGC efforts for the company. She also launched a Patch site in Maryland. Penny has also worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Maryland and Connecticut.
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For everyone who read last week's post on the Twitter love spat between @APStylebook and @FakeAPStylebook, you know things got tense!

Luckily, the two have made up and repaired their relationship, with @FakeAPStylebook recently sending @APStylebook a care package: http://twitpic.com/8na3lw

Now that the lover's squabble is over, we can all concentrate on what's really important: proper AP style!

The AP Stylebook says, when reporting on a company, consult the Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations for the official company name. You can first start off by visiting the company's website, but sometimes the full official name is still unclear. (Try looking at the footer at the bottom of the page for a company's copyright information.)

Follow the spelling and capitalization that is preferred by the company. For example, eBay and iPhone. But if either start at the beginning of a sentence, you MUST capitalize it. Why? Because you can never start a sentence with a lowercase.

Examples:

IPhone is capitalized when starting a sentence.
Ebay is capitalized when starting a sentence.

Use an ampersand only if it is part of a company's official name.

Use "the" in lowercase before a company's name unless, of course, "The" is part of its official name.

Do not use all capital letter names unless the letters are pronounced individually: BMW

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