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Hi, is it okay to use the word 'silverware' when describing a trophy or medal?

from Mumbai on Mar 26, 2017
It might be acceptable in sports writing as a casual or slang reference to a trophy in the form of a silver loving  cup, but probably not for medal.


When a person prefers gender neutral pronouns what do you use as for a reflexive reference such as himself/herself?

from Oklahoma City, OK on Mar 26, 2017
The 2017 Stylebook's new they, them, their entry  allows these pronouns in limited cases as a singular and/or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy. The reflexive form of they is themselves.


Does AP abbreviate technology, as in tech company?

from Des Moines, IA on Mar 25, 2017
Yes, but technology company is preferred, at least on first reference.


In a story I recently edited, this quote appeared: "My brother had just been murdered…" 
 
But the brother hadn't been convicted of murder – the shooter actually pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter. We worked around it by paraphrasing that portion of the quote. But if it's necessary to maintain such an inaccurate reference in a quote, would this be the best solution:
 
"My brother had just been [killed]…" 
 
Or would you recommend another approach?
 
Whichever is the preferred style, would it be possible to add that info to the "homicide, murder, manslaughter" entry in the AP Stylebook? Thanks in advance for the guidance.

from Bristol, CT on Mar 25, 2017
AP's position is summed up in the Stylebook's quotations in the news Never alter quotations even to correct minor grammatical errors or word usage. This entry includes alternative strategies, such as asking the speaker to clarify his or her words. Paraphrasing or partial quotes may be used in some cases to mark sensitive or controversial passages.


"Flat out" or "flat-out?" e.g. "Billy Joel was flat-out fun."

from Lincoln, NE on Mar 25, 2017
Deferring to the dictionary's flat-out (adj.).


Does the AP Stylebook now allow they to be used as a singular pronoun?

from Washington state on Mar 24, 2017
Yes, the change was adopted in the 2017 Stylebook for some situations. Here's the full entry: they, them, their In most cases, a plural pronoun should agree in number with the antecedent: The children love the books their uncle gave them. They/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and/or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy. However, rewording usually is possible and always is preferable. Clarity is a top priority; gender-neutral use of a singular they is unfamiliar to many readers. We do not use other gender-neutral pronouns such as xe or ze.
Usage example: A singular they might be used when an anonymous source’s gender must be shielded and other wording is overly awkward: The person feared for their own safety and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Arguments for using they/them as a singular sometimes arise with an indefinite pronoun (anyone, everyone, someone) or unspecified/unknown gender (a person, the victim, the winner). Examples of rewording:
All the class members raised their hands (instead of everyone raised their hands).
The foundation gave grants to anyone who lost a job this year (instead of anyone who lost their job).
Police said the victim would be identified after relatives are notified (instead of after their relatives are notified or after his or her relatives are notified).


Would the 1960s take a singular verb and pronoun or plural?

from Gainesville, FL on Mar 24, 2017
Use a singular verb and pronoun with the 1960s as a definable unit of time.


Big change in the 2017 AP Stylebook entry on flier, flyer -- including for the airline industry usage?

from Washington state on Mar 24, 2017
Yes, the new entry says flyer is the preferred term for a person flying in an aircraft, and for handbills: He used his frequent flyer miles; they put up flyers announcing the show. Use flier in the phrase take a flier, meaning to take a big risk.  (The Stylebook's previous guidance -- now outdated -- was flier for a person flying on an aircraft, and flyer for the name of some trains and buses.)




Are the commas placed correctly in these sentences?

Daniel Davis, the latest addition to the sales and marketing team, along with his guest, Alan Murray, got their first glimpse into the live jazz scene at our party. 

Our surprise musical guests featured trumpeter John Doe with his wife, Jane, and their daughter, Joan.

from San Diego, CA on Mar 24, 2017
1. To use the plural pronoun, rephrase the sentence without setting off the guest's name: Daniel Davis, the latest addition to the sales and marketing team, and his guest Alan Murray got their first glimpse into the live jazz scene at our party. 2. OK if Joan is the couple's only daughter. Also, specify their musical roles.



It is "features an array of Florida Keys art and talent"  or "features an array of Florida Keys art and talent"?

from Boston, MA on Mar 24, 2017
It's better as a descriptive formulation without the possessive apostrophe.



Should it be outbrief, out-brief or out brief as a noun?


from Tucson, AZ on Mar 24, 2017
The Department of State spells it outbrief in reference to a debriefing program for diplomats and others returning from war zones.



For annual events, do you spell out number or use digits? Is it second-annual Spring Fair or 2nd Annual Spring Fair and do you capitalize it if part of  name if event??

from Long Valley, NJ on Mar 24, 2017
AP spells ordinals of ninth and below and uses figures for 10th and above. So, second is correct in your reference. However, by the Stylebook's annual entry, an event shouldn't be described as annual until it has been held in at least two successive years. Annual is capitalized if part of the formal name: Third Annual Spring Fair. 



Our print directories have finally been transitioned to online databases. Do we still put quotation marks around these titles now that they are no longer in print?

from Lakewood, OH on Mar 24, 2017
Directories would no doubt fall into the category of references, so no quotation marks around the names. See "composition titles" for guidance.


Hi. Should this be have or has: "A growing list of companies HAVE pulled their ads ..." Thanks!

from New York, New York on Mar 24, 2017
In such sentences in AP business stories, plural verbs and pronouns are favored for the plural sense of the formulation.



Four Corners, the geographical location in the American Southwest: uppercase or lower? It's not in Webster's.

from Olympia, WA on Mar 24, 2017
In AP stories it's the Four Corners region, usually with the added lowercase word on first reference.


Hi, I understand that your style is lower case for internet of things, but do we hyphenate the adjectival form? E.g. an internet of things device; the internet of things security system.

Second question: What about the acronym IoT on second reference?

Thanks!

from Tokyo on Mar 24, 2017
AP technology stories generally use quotes around "internet of things" on first reference. It's an internet of things device without hyphens in follow-ups. The abbreviation isn't being used now in AP stories. 



from Vernal, UT on Mar 23, 2017
The AP Stylebook entry is blood alcohol content, no hyphen. The spelling entered the Stylebook in 2011, replacing previous usage that hyphenated blood alcohol in the term.


Is "digital thread" capitalized?

from Scottsdale, AZ on Mar 23, 2017
It's lowercase in common usage. An exception would be a product that uses the term in a formal name.


Hi, should the title be: White House chief of staff Reince Priebus or White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus?

from Chicago, IL on Mar 23, 2017
In AP stories, he's White House chief of staff Reince Preibus, with chief of staff lowercase as an occupational description rather than a formal title.





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