Ask the Editor

Last Seven Days

Answer

Thanks. I've deleted the previous answer. We use Joko Widodo on first reference; Widodo on later references. 

Question from San Diego, California, on July 01, 2022

Should it be White House press corps, or White House Press Corps?

Answer

White House press corps.

Answer

Yes.

Answer

It depends on whether the quote was spoken or written. If spoken, use No. 2, our style. If written, and the person writes number two, retain the style used by the person.

Here's the guidance from the quotations in the news entry:

When quoting spoken words, present them in the format that reflects AP style: No. 1, St., Gov., $3. But quotes should not be changed otherwise for reasons of style. If the speaker says towards, do not change it to toward.

When quoting written words, retain the style used by the writer; do not alter the written words even if they don’t match AP style.

Answer

We will put this on our list of questions to discuss.

Answer

Two words: coal mine.

Answer

Yes, that makes sense.

Question from Hackettstown, New Jersey, on June 29, 2022

Hi! Should it be cash-offer solution or cash offer solution. Thanks!

Answer

A cash-offer solution.

Answer

I'm sorry, but this is beyond the scope of what we address. Our style bears no resemblance to much of what you have there. That doesn't mean yours is wrong; it just means that your style is different from AP style. Style for general newswriting (which is what ours is) isn't well suited to machine specifications details. 

I'd suggest that internally, you adopt your own style and then make sure you're consistent in using it. Good luck!


Answer

I wouldn't call that sidestepping. I'd call it addressing the big problem with the sentence structure. It's simply not possible to answer the question with the example given.

But in theory: Since decades is the subject, it would need a singular verb: Decades ... come from ... which, again, doesn't make sense. But it's grammatically correct.


Answer

We'll stick with two words, as the more common usage: It relies on wind power. And hyphenate as the modifier: the wind-power project.

Answer

Use the hyphen.

Answer

You know I wouldn't sanction that use, right?! And even if I were feeling generous, I'm not sure that many readers would understand there's an implied noun there. Many would likely think you meant every day but left out the space, a logical conclusion. I wouldn't do it. Why not just add the noun?

And now I can't get this thought out of my head. Likely understandable only to those who, like me, are of a certain age:  Such is the life of the everyday ... who gave up the good life for me ...

Question from Smithfield, Virginia, on June 28, 2022

Do we spell out state names when used with a city in our news stories?

Answer

We spell out state names with cities (but we use no state names with cities that stand alone, as listed in the datelines entry).
Up to you on whether you want to follow our style. 

Answer

I'd use the caps as you have them, even though it doesn't really follow our style. (Style can be flexible!)

Day One  Capitalize and spell out as a chronological device for summarizing multiday events such as Day One, Day Two. Lowercase in casual or conversational references.


Answer

Here's our guidance. For now we haven't adopted the "people experiencing" construction. (We also prefer "people with cancer" to "people living with cancer," since the latter seems overly wordy and redundant.)


homeless, homelessness 


Homeless is generally acceptable as an adjective to describe people without a fixed residence. Avoid the dehumanizing collective noun the homeless, instead using constructions like homeless people, people without housing or people without homes.

Mention that a person is homeless only when relevant. Do not stereotype homeless people as dirty, mentally ill, addicted to drugs or alcohol, reliant on charity, or criminals. Those conditions can often contribute to or be byproducts of homelessness, but many homeless people also hold jobs and are self-sufficient.

Homeless shelter is an acceptable term for a building that provides free or very inexpensive but temporary indoor refuge for people without homes, generally run by a government or charity. Do not use flophouse.

Government agencies do not always agree on what legally constitutes homelessness, but the term generally refers to people staying in shelters or on the street.
Avoid disparaging terminology such as derelict, bum, beggar, tramp and hobo. Terms like couch surfing (staying temporarily in various households) or transient (someone who moves from city to city but is not necessarily homeless) can be useful to describe specific situations. Avoid vagrant.

A migrant is someone who moves from place to place for temporary work or economic advantage and is usually not considered homeless.
Indigent describes someone who is very poor and is not synonymous with homeless.

Answer

Yes, we use pet owner. 

Answer

Really, rephrase it. There simply is not a good way to punctuate it in that construction. Our "rule" in this case is simply: Rephrase.



Answer

I suppose it could hold up as a literary device. I don't think there's anything really wrong with it.

But I think breaking it into three sentences would be equally effective in a literary sort of way. That would have the added benefit of being easier for busy and easily distracted readers to read. I may be feeling particularly busy and easily distracted today.

Note: When began trying to break it into three sentences, I realized that it's not clear what the "various sources" are saying. The way it reads (either with the semicolons or as three sentences), the various sources are talking about Bristol, England. Then the next two possibilities have no attribution.

Here's another version:

His background is a bit unclear. Some say he came from Bristol, England. Others think he was the son of a local man with connections to the provincial governor. Or maybe he was raised in Jamaica by respectable English parents and trained as a mariner.

Another note: I hesitate about "respectable" in the last segment.

Answer

The plural talents refers to many kinds of skill. The singular talent or collective noun talent can refer to a person or a group of people. But we don't like that use much.


Question from Hackettstown, New Jersey, on June 27, 2022

Hi! Should it be page sharing features or page-sharing features? Thanks!

Answer

With the hyphen.

Answer

I'm not sure what you're looking at, since we don't use boldface at all for publication. Perhaps it's your organization's internal, custom notes in your Stylebook Online?

Answer

It should be is, for the reason you surmise. 

Or make it easier on yourself:

"I wanted to ask if there are additional documents, resources or other information you have access to."  (Because this is a very simple series, we don't use the Oxford comma.)

And by the way, I have a Little Free Library here in Philly. Thank you for all you do!

Answer

For those interested in the "neck of the woods" question, here's another subscriber's thought (at the end of the above).

Answer

We don't plan to do that.

Featured Tip


From the Topical Guides

Financial Markets guide

Wall Street entered a bear market on June 13 as the S&P 500 sank 3.9%, bringing it more than 20% below the record high of 4,796.56 set on Jan. 3, 2022. Rising interest rates, high inflation,...


View all

Back to Top