The phrase "manual of style" might not evoke much response in many people, but people who have worked with words even semi-professionally probably recognize the term. Universities usually refer their students, for their reports and doctoral dissertations, to one or another of several recognized Manuals of Style; many major print publications have their own, each with its own quirks. The manual is intended to lay down the law on orthography, punctuation, capitalization, and such, and to impose uniformity on the printed word - a uniformity that becomes the publication's "style."
But style of course implies change, which brings me to some interesting changes recently instituted by The Washington Post and reported by its own "language guru," Bill Walsh, who has written two books on language, usage, and style. Henceforth The Post will:
Use "email" rather than "e-mail"
Use "mic" (for "microphone") rather than "mike"
Use "Walmart" rather than "Wal-Mart"
Use "website" rather than "Web site."
One's reaction to these changes varies, as Walsh points out, depending probably on your age and the frequency with which you use the terms. I can't, for example, recall ever using "web site" as two words; I have used Wal-Mart with the hyphen because that's the way the company itself spelled it (but now, that has changed); I'm about 50-50 on the two possibilities for "email."
The one that bothers me most is "mic," because it's deceptive. We have microphones (long "i") so a short version should reasonably be "mike" (long "i."). The spelling "mic" only makes me think of an old disparaging epithet for "Irish," and I thought we were avoiding such slurs these days. I suspect the use of "mic" developed from the backs of music systems, televisions, and computers, where manufacturers took to labeling their plugs "mic."
As Walsh points out, though, defined style should change with the times; the shifting point from an old usage to a new is simply that point at which more people find the old form jarring or uncomfortable than find it "normal." Walsh's analysis suggests that in 2013, ten times more writers/speakers were using "mic" than "mike," so I suppose this is an argument I can't win.