Ask the Editor

Last Seven Days

Question from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 27, 2023

Is it okay to say: One Bedroom, 1.5 Baths?

Answer

Yes.

Answer

Either is fine. From a strictly stern grammatical perspective, the latter is probably better. But as you note, the former is common usage. We don't always go with common usage; judgment is involved. In this case, I say common usage is just fine unless you're writing an academic paper or something formal.

Answer

I'd use log in to. Log in is the verb. 

Answer

We don't use hyphens in that case, because we think the meaning of eighth grader and fifth grader is perfectly clear without the hyphen. Here's the entry:


grade, grader 


No hyphen in most cases: a fourth grade student, first grader, she is in the fifth grade. (A change in 2019.) Do hyphenate if needed to avoid confusion, such as when combined with another ordinal number: He was the sixth fourth-grade student to win the prize; she is the 10th third-grader to join.


Answer

My brain and your brain are in accord.

Answer

We need to consult with some folks. It's on the list!

Answer

In that case, I'd leave out the comma after Mississippi.


Answer

Either is fine. Webster's New World College Dictionary prefers the one-word version.

Answer

I'd use the quotation marks. It's easier to read that way, for one thing.


Answer

We use lowercase for city in constructions such as that. We recognize that government entities often prefer to capitalize it. If you want to, that's certainly your option. We also lowercase the title mayor when it's not directly before a name. We lowercase members. And we'd spell out the council name on first reference. So, assuming the council's full name is Groveland City Council, our style is:

The city of Groveland is deeply committed to protecting the health and welfare of our residents. The mayor and members of the Groveland City Council have received several emails identical in nature urging the city to take action.

Again, you could choose otherwise.

Here's the capitalization entry.


Answer

We use Southern District and Northern District on later references.

Answer

That's been our style for many years, so I can't speak to the thinking of the editors at the time. We can put it on our list of questions to consider.

Answer

Normally we don't use a hypen with -ly words. But in this case, I'd use it for clarity. If you have to use the quote at all. "a then-newly-out George Smith"

Answer

In that usage, five to 10 times as much ...

Answer

Really, either is fine. I'd use the hyphen.

Answer

Either is fine.

Answer

I don't have strong feelings on this one.

Answer

knows.

Answer

In that example, allows.

Answer

I don't see a problem with it. Seems neutral. But I could be missing something.

Answer

We use two words, as does Webster's New World College Dictionary (our primary dictionary). You can use one if you prefer.

Answer

I can't see how a sentence grammatically could start that way. Or why.


Question from Washington, District of Columbia, on Jan. 24, 2023

Would emigre be published with accent marks? That is, émigré?

Answer

Not in our style. We use accent marks for people's names but nothing else.

Answer

I'd end it with a question mark. I don't know of a firm rule; more a stylistic choice.

Answer

We don't use the term, as it's not recognizable by general audiences. 

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