AP style change: You can now start a sentence with ‘hopefully’

Critics say it’s a lazy habit for writers.

Hopefully, you will appreciate this style update, announced at #aces2012. We now support the modern usage of hopefully: it’s hoped, we hope.

— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) April 17, 2012

That means—just as the AP Stylebook did in its tweet—you can begin sentences with “hopefully,” which is an adverb, and insulate yourself against attacks from the grammar police. “The AP Stylebook says it’s A-OK,” you can tell them.

Many (or maybe most) of you were probably letting “hopefully” slip in your conversation and maybe even your prose. For instance: “Hopefully, I will remember to tell the editors in my life about this change from the AP.” Technically, that’s incorrect. Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl, explained the rule:

“The traditional use of hopefully, which goes back to at least the 1600s, is to mean ‘in a hopeful manner,’ as in Squiggly looked hopefully at the box of chocolates.”

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