Q. Can architect be used as a verb?
from Glendale, Calif. on Fri, May 24, 2013
A. No. Architect is a noun.
Q. Is 'Secretary Clinton' acceptable on second reference for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton?
from HARRISONBURG, Va. on Fri, May 24, 2013
A. In news stories on first reference, she is former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. On second reference, Clinton without a title.
Q. Is there a space between the initials of a name such as John T. S. Doe?
from Champaign, Illinois on Fri, May 24, 2013
A. Use periods but no space. See "initials" entry.
Q. Is $800 million's worth correct? Or should it be $800 millions' worth?
from Key West, Fla. on Thu, May 23, 2013
A. Suggested rephrase: worth $800 million.
Q. The jury deadlocked, six to six, on the charge of driving while drunk. Should this be written as above, or should it be "6 to 6"? thank you.
from , San Diego on Thu, May 23, 2013
A. The jury deadlocked 6-6 on the charge ...
Q. A reporter asked me a question about repeatedly adding Jr. at the end of a councilman's name. His father was also a councilman in the same city but about 20-30 years ago. This Jr. has been on council for about 12 years and the article is all current news and the father is not even mentioned. Do we continue writing Smith Jr. or on second reference can we go with Smith?
from Burlington, , XX on Thu, May 23, 2013
A. Not needed except to avoid confusion in the story between father and son. See "junior, senior" entry.
Q. Is it "the Fortune 500" or "a Fortune 500 company"?
from Overland Park, Kan. on Thu, May 23, 2013
A. XYZ is a Fortune 500 company. The Fortune 500 company, XYZ, is prospering.
Q. Which is correct: The average couple argue about money, or The average couple argues about money?
from San Antonio on Thu, May 23, 2013
Q. In degrees of temperature, AP uses numerals. But what about figurative degrees in the sense of "six degrees of separation"? Or is it "6 degrees of separation"?
on Thu, May 23, 2013
A. The composition title of the play is "Six Degrees of Separation" -- spelled out six. See "numerals" entry for
further guidance on casual uses of numbers.
Q. Our corporate accounting folks insist on using the word "spend" instead of "expense" or "expenditure." This turns a verb into a noun, the basis for most corporate jargon. Is "spend" an acceptable use in this case? (Please tell me it isn't!)
from Sun Prairie, Wis. on Thu, May 23, 2013
A. Tell them to look up spend in the dictionary. It's a verb.
Q. What would be the AP Style guide's ruling on "whiskey dick:" hyphen or no hyphen?
from San Diego on Wed, May 22, 2013
A. Are you referring to Whiskey Dick's in Tahoe or Vegas?
Q. If a Spanish word is written in all caps, can you forgo the use of accent marks?
from Orlando, Fla. on Wed, May 22, 2013
A. AP doesn't use accent marks.
Q. bracelet wearer or bracelet-wearer?
from HARRISONBURG, Va. on Wed, May 22, 2013
Q. I remember seeing a notation about kids - I could be wrong. Now I cannot find it. Is kids acceptable?
from , Cincinnati, Ohio on Wed, May 22, 2013
Q. Hi, here's a British-style question. They specialize in high-street fashion, or High-Street fashion? (Referring, of course, to the generic term for high-class fashion.)
from Tokyo on Tue, May 21, 2013
A. Generally spelled high street fashion.
Q. Is a female superhero called a superheroine, or is superhero the correct term?
from Richland, Wash. on Tue, May 21, 2013
A. I've seen both used. Doubt there's a significance difference.
Q. What's the rationale for not hyphenating 'search and rescue operations'?
from , on Tue, May 21, 2013
Q. Regarding usage of "namesake": The city of Denver was named in honor of General James Denver, while singer John Denver named himself after the city. Is Denver the general's "namesake city," the singer's "namesake city," or are both instances truly correct?
from Denver on Tue, May 21, 2013
A. The original distinction has probably been lost in common usage.
Q. farmable or farm-able
from , Lincoln, Neb. on Mon, May 20, 2013
Q. How would one write dates using hyphens, e.g. with Nov. 7-12 would there be a space between numbers and hyphens? What about Nov. 7-Dec. 14?
from Houston on Mon, May 20, 2013
A. No spaces between numbers and hyphen.
Q. Does attorney client privilege have a hyphen - -ie attorney-client ?
from Washington on Mon, May 20, 2013
Q. how do you define a simple series versus a complex series when determining use of the series comma?
from Atlanta on Sat, May 18, 2013
A. See IN A SERIES section of the "comma" entry.
Q. Is it multilingual or multi-lingual?
from New York on Fri, May 17, 2013
A. The first, multilingual.
Q. In the sentence -- Country music superstar Brad Paisley guest-stars as himself -- is the verb hyphenated, as it is written, or not?
from chicago on Fri, May 17, 2013
Q. The entry for Google shows "Googling" uppercase, while in at least one answer to "Ask the Editor," examples were given with the word lowercase. Does AP have a preference?
from Chicago on Fri, May 17, 2013
A. It's capitalized Googling, per the Stylebook entry. The 2007 response was before it was formalized.
Q. For clarification regarding state abbreviations on a resume and cover letter, are all states abbreviated where you list your address and the editor's address on the cover letter? And on a resume, are they abbreviated where you list your address and the mailing addresses of your references? The mailing address is the main question. I don't want to lose a job opportunity by incorrectly interpreting AP style guidelines.
from Nebraska on Fri, May 17, 2013
A. See "state names" for postal code abbreviations of each
state. Use a Zip code in a mailing address. If you're
correspondng by mail, use those forms.
Q. How do you format elementary school grades? For example: K through five school. Kindergarten through fifth grade school. K through 5 school?
from Corvallis, Ore. on Fri, May 17, 2013
A. The elementary school has kindergarten through fifth grade.
Q. What is the correct abbreviation for electronic pedigree - epedigree, ePedigree, e-Pedigree or e-pedigree?
from Atlanta, Ga. on Fri, May 17, 2013
A. It's e-pedigree within text. E-pedigree to start a
Q. Is the hyphen use correct in this sentence? "Blacked-out, students tie all knots using only their sense of touch."
from HARRISONBURG, Va. on Fri, May 17, 2013
A. No hyphen in blacked out.
Q. I am editing text that refers to someone who "architected the degree program." What is the AP style for use of "architect" as a verb? (Please say you wouldn't allow it.)
from Rochester, N.Y. on Fri, May 17, 2013
A. Someone designed or planned the degree program. Let's stay away from that verb form you mention.
Q. If you are using color to highlight words in a sentance, does the punctuation following it also get highlighted or does it stay black?
from St. Louis on Fri, May 17, 2013
A. Probably same color for comma, period, semicolon, etc. A dash might be the hue of regular body type.
Q. Please - which is correct - "A rhyming salute to the many ways that people enjoy music." or "A rhyming salute to the many ways people enjoy music."
from Jacksonville, Fla. on Fri, May 17, 2013
A. It's a little clearer with that. See "that (conjunction)" entry for elaboration.
Q. I continue to be flummoxed by some company names. While I try to treat them as proper nouns, odd cases keep cropping up. For instance:
1) What's the rule on a company like comScore? Is it ComScore or Comscore?
Shoud prAna be Prana or PrAna?
2) FYI, I called L.L.Bean and they tell me their perferred style is no spaces. What's AP rule on that one?
3) Finally, (I wish) many online companies include the .com in their name in press releases? Should we hunt down their legal name including form of incorporation for first reference?
from Charlotte, N.C. on Fri, May 17, 2013
A. In AP stories, comScore Inc.; PrAna; L.L. Bean. Use ".com" only if it's part of the legal name, as in Amazon.com Inc. See "Internet" entry for details.