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... one of the things that make ...

Question from Erskine, Minnesota, on Aug. 17, 2022

Hello! Would you hyphenate air-bag system or use air bag system? Thanks!

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Air bag system. I think air bag is recognizable as a single term, so no hyphen is needed.

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I've deleted the answer with the hyphen. Clean energy future is fine. Of course, if you prefer to use the hyphen, that's fine too.

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I'd rephrase. How about possessive: The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services' Office of Rural Health and Primary Care? 

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I'd say that falls within the "simple series" guidelines: The comma before D.C. doesn't really complicate anything. I'd go without the Oxford comma. But of course, many would argue for it. Just because. In short, you're fine either way.


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Yes: the Rose Bowl, the Super Bowl, etc.

Question from on Aug. 15, 2022

Is it teachers unions or teacher unions?

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teachers unions.

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Either is fine. Using where may be more informal. And informal can be better, depending on your audience. 



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We'd use RAW.

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We never use brackets. So parentheses it is.

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It doesn't matter if it's a double-s; we use the same rules there that we do for those that end in a single s. So: the witness's answer; the virus's spread. But Bass' job; Dickens' novels.
 Why is it? I don't know; it's been that way for years. And if I tried to change it now, fury would be unleashed upon the land.
Note: We're unlikely to use the term hostess. Instead, the gender-neutral host. Which helps with the punctuation problem, too ...


SINGULAR COMMON NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add ’s: the virus’s reach, the virus’s spread; the witness’s answer, the witness’s story. (A change from previous guidance calling for just an apostrophe if the next word begins with s.)
SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles' heel, Agnes' book, Ceres' rites, Descartes' theories, Dickens' novels, Euripides' dramas, Hercules' labors, Jesus' life, Jules' seat, Kansas' schools, Moses' law, Socrates' life, Tennessee Williams' plays, Xerxes' armies.


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We don't have a formal rule (or an informal one, for that matter). But I'd do it the way you suggest. In fact, I've been known to do it that way. 


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Thanks for asking. The AP's business news team had a spirited discussion. The result: We do not think this will be a term that stands the test of time. First, a lot of people simply switched jobs. And now those who left are going back as the economy is challenged. We don’t think it rises to the degree of “Great Recession” (capitalized).

Thus, we will go with the "great resignation," with a brief explanation.

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