Ask the Editor

Last Seven Days

Answer

With the periods.

Answer

Yes, that's fine.

Question from Denver, CO on Dec. 13, 2019

Is it "half-sibling" or "half sibling"?

Answer

Webster's New World College Dictionary lists half brother and half sister without the hyphen. So: half sibling.

Question from University of Maine on Dec. 13, 2019

Is universe capitalized? 

Answer

No. Lowercase.

Answer

Either is fine. But don't say someone is accused for the murder of ...


accused, alleged, suspected 


A person is accused of, not with, a crime.
To avoid any suggestion that an individual is being judged before a trial, do not use a phrase such as accused slayer John Jones or the accused slayer; alleged killer Ralph Hornsby or the alleged killer; suspected shooter Carmine Jablonski or the suspected shooter. Instead: John Jones, accused of the slaying or Ralph Hornsby, charged with killing the man.
Also see separate allege and suspect entries. For guidance on related terms, see arrest and indict.


Answer

 Capitalize when used as the proper name of a product or service: Apple Watch, Google Cloud, Google Sheets, etc. But lowercase when used as a common noun: Apple’s watch, Google’s cloud service.

Answer

It's just a different way of saying it, as there often are different ways of saying things. There's no meaning behind it.

Answer

I'd use on.

Answer

We don't have it in the Stylebook. But definitely in AP writing, as in most journalistic writing, we almost always use said . It's neutral, straightforward and concise.  It lets the person's words do the talking rather than trying to dress those words up with a fancier verb.

Stated is overstated. Remembered might work in some feature writing outside straight journalism, but to me it looks contrived.  Certainly I wouldn't use it more than once in a story (again, not a news story), if at all. Same with exclaimed, announced, proclaimed, wondered, etc.


Answer

Generally, I'd follow the guidance in the events entry, below.

Also, we generally lowercase words such as campaign or program. We refer simply to Toys for Tots.  We'd say the Coast for Kids program, the Pathways to Career Excellence program, etc.


events 


Titles of special events, such as art exhibits and touring displays, are enclosed in quotes with primary words capitalized: “Mummies: New Secrets From the Tombs” at Chicago’s Field Museum. Names of annually recurring events are capitalized without quotes: North American International Auto Show in Detroit; Calgary Stampede.


Answer

I think you're correct. I'm trying to think of an example in which first and only wouldn't be as redundant as you suggest. So far, I have no luck.

Answer

His mind-numbing speech did not help his cause. His mind-numbingly dull speech did not help his cause.

Answer

We don't have a style for wheel dimensions. 

Answer

It can be three: the brown, skittish, hungry cat. If the adjectives can be rearranged and carry the same meaning, they can be separated by commas. Or, if they could instead be separated by and, they can be separated by commas:

The skittish, brown, hungry cat. The skittish and brown and hungry cat.

(Not that I'm thinking of any cat in particular ...)


Answer

Did the Young Professionals Group "adopt" 20 children? If so, it's correct. That assumes that you clarify what it means for a group to "adopt" 20 children.

Answer

It means we no longer have strong feelings about it. Our preference is pleaded. Webster's New World College Dictionary recognizes both pleaded and pled.

Answer

I'd use the hyphens.


Answer

You certainly can spell it out if you prefer. AP stories use St. Paul.

Answer

We didn't previously have an entry for Tourette syndrome. So when we created one, we chose to go with the style used consistently by the CDC and NIH (though the no-possessive version differs from Webster's New World College Dictionary and Merriam Webster).

Looks to me like CDC and NIH use both versions of Parkinson/Parkinson's and Crohn/Crohn's. We're not planning to change our current style for Parkinson's, and we follow Webster's New World on Crohn's. That could be subject to discussion in the future.




Answer

The comma is optional. I'd say because works much better than as in both examples.

Answer

That's an OK use of parentheses; in fact, I think it works very well. Also, just making sure you know that we changed our style to % rather than percent. Not everyone is going along with it and you might be in that camp ...


Question from Washington , DC on Dec. 11, 2019

Paycard or pay card?

Answer

Two words.

Question from Jessup, MD on Dec. 11, 2019

Is it Medicare Trust Fund or Medicare trust fund?

Answer

We use the latter.


Answer

The dictionaries don't seem to recognize the adjective form, though certainly it's often used as an adjective. Go with one word: carpool lanes.

Featured Tip


From the Pronunciation Guide

Kyiv

KEE'-yeev

Capital of Ukraine (new spelling and pronunciation)

View all

From the Topical Guides

2019 Holiday Style Topical Guide

Spellings and definitions of terms associated with religious and cultural events around the turn of the year. Some are in the AP Stylebook; others are common usage in holiday stories transmitted...


View all

Back to Top