Ask the Editor

Last Seven Days

Answer

That looks fine (though our style is OK, not okay).

Question from Phoenix, AZ on Feb. 19, 2019

In the 11/5/18 e-newsletter (I'm behind on my reading) you state, "We also consult the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, and Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language (published by Merriam-Webster). (Oxford comma added for clarity.) #DictionaryDay (5/6)." 

My question is this: If you added the Oxford comma for clarity (and then even explained that you did that), why then do you proselytize to not use it unless clarity is needed? Wouldn't it be best to *always* opt for clarity, to never leave it to a subjective reading? 

I just can't wrap my mind around NOT using it.

Thanks.
 
 

Answer

Our over-arching principle is that less punctuation is better. If a comma is needed for clarity, use one. If not, don't.

Answer

We're with you. Individuals have backgrounds, not background.

Answer

It's  an awkward word, and one we might try to avoid, but it appears to be correct. Meanwhile, is there more than one company represented? Might this be logoed companies' row? Just asking.

Answer

The word "fellow" doesn't need to be capitalized in that context. 

Answer

AP stories rarely (if ever) specify highways in headlines because routes, interstates and  similar roads aren't generally recognizable to readers who aren't from the local area. Because of that, we don't abbreviate them. 

Answer

Going by the book, you might think that there should be a second apostrophe. But it's needless. We get the idea without one. So, no.

Answer

When needed, AP stories generally use a full domain name that is clickable as a hyperlink: https://css.edu. We also use inlink links: Students use The College of St. Scholastica website. 

Answer

The food is hot and ready to eat is correct without hyphens. The phrase becomes a compound modifier when used before a noun, thus creating the need for hyphens. 

Answer

British spellings are permissible when they are part of formal names, so it can be retained. For more on this, see the spelling entry. 

Question from Orysia McCabe, Middletown, NY on Feb. 17, 2019

Is it Euphrates River or Euphrates river? I have seen both.

Answer

Euphrates River

Answer

AP stories generally use neither, because coaches by definition coach players. 

Answer

Either is fine.


Answer

Yes. Those usages call for numerals.



Answer

AP uses both forms. The to version is more common.


Answer

For some reason, the Ask the Editor responses that you refer to aren't showing up in my searches. I also don't see either B-12 or B12 in Webster's New World College Dictionary (the Stylebook's official dictionary), though B12 is in Merriam-Webster. The form B12 is more commonly used; go with that.

Answer

Yes, you need need to add to before be.

Answer

We don't have a specific style on that point. 

Question from Lorton, VA on Feb. 14, 2019

Should blog titles have a period

Answer

No period.

Answer

Pre-2019 when used as a modifier, which is really the only way you would use it. 



Answer

Talking to or speaking to implies that it's one-sided. Talking with or speaking with lets the other person or people have a say, too. Speak is generally more formal than talk.

Answer

The period always goes inside the quotation mark. Placement of the exclamation point varies. Here's the relevant section of the exclamation point entry:

PLACEMENT WITH QUOTES: Place the mark inside quotation marks when it is part of the quoted material: "How wonderful!" he exclaimed. "Never!" she shouted.
Place the mark outside quotation marks when it is not part of the quoted material: I hated reading Spenser's "Faerie Queene"!


Answer

Yes, that should be hyphenated.

Answer

Yes, it should be hyphenated. 

Answer

Philippines-focused.


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