AP Style

Commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month in AP style

The 2010 Census reported that 50.5 million people in the U.S., or 16 percent of the population, are of Hispanic or Latino origin – and this number has only continued to grow. This significant population is currently at the center of a month-long celebration, National Hispanic Heritage Month, that lasts from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

People_perform_a_dance_during_the_Hispanic_Heritage_Month_finale_festival_at_Arkadas_Park_111022-F-SF570-078This time period has been set aside for Americans to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans.

Whether you’ll be recognizing this month by writing cutlines for photos from a cultural celebration, or a commemorative piece on local Hispanic and Latino Americans, make sure you have the following AP style terms in your literary arsenal before embarking:

Hispanic – according to the AP Stylebook, this is a person from (or whose ancestors were from) a Spanish-speaking land or culture. Latino or Latina is sometimes preferred (see below).

Latino / Latina – according to the AP Stylebook, this is often the preferred term for a person from (or whose ancestors were from) a Spanish-speaking land or culture, or from Latin America. Latino is the masculine form; Latina is feminine.

At all times possible, use a more specific identification, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican or Mexican-American.

When discussing an individual’s race or nationality, ask for and follow the person’s preference.

Latin America – according to the AP Stylebook, this is the area of the Americas south of the U.S. where Romance languages are dominant. It applies to most of the United States except areas with a British heritage: the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, and various islands in the West Indies.

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