Ask the Editor

Last Seven Days

Answer

Thanks! We'll get it fixed, though maybe not until next week because of vacation.

Answer

The easiest way would be to add your custom entries and custom notes to Stylebook Online, so all your users can see our guidance and yours in one place.
We continue to revise and expand our race and gender guidance, so pointing your team to our entries online means they will get the most up-to-date iteration of that guidance.
Alternatively, if you want to maintain a separate internal style guide, you could link to our entries, such as https://apstylebook.com/ap_stylebook/race-related-coverage
You could note any on which you're choosing a different style.


Question from Washington, District of Columbia on Aug. 12, 2020

Based on the entry on over-, and without guidance from Webster's, I believe it should be overpolicing. Is that correct? Or does AP prefer over-policing? 

Answer

For spelling, we prefer overpolicing based on the guidance you cite. Explain the term if it's not clear from the context.

Answer

Yes, we will have an updated guide. I hope this can be done in the next few weeks.

Question from North Canton, Ohio on Aug. 11, 2020

Which is correct, Q&A's or Q&As? 

Answer

Q&A's

Answer

Either is fine in that usage. I'd use on.

Answer

AP style is MP4.

Answer

One word as an adjective, according to this entry in Webster's New World College Dictionary (showing usage though not as an actual entry):

Webster's New World College Dictionary (5th Edition) (One result)


counterintuitive  adj. contrary to an intuitive belief or to commonsense expectations

He uses common sense when creating commonsense expectations.

Answer

The dates are fine. We don't use a space with the hyphen, so it's Program order period: July 1, 2020-Dec. 31, 2020.

Here's the guidance: 

months 


Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone.
When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas.
EXAMPLES: January 2016 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month.His birthday is May 8. Feb. 14, 2013, was the target date. She testified that it was Friday, Dec. 3, when the crash occurred.


Answer

Either initial meeting or kickoff meeting. They have essentially the same meaning in this use. Kickoff is more dramatic.


Answer

Yes, that's fine.

Answer

We wouldn't capitalize it standing alone, just as we wouldn't capitalize president or any other title standing alone: Barack Obama is a former president of the United States.


Answer

From the Coronavirus Topical Guide:

personal protective equipment

Equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious injuries and illnesses. Don’t use PPE. If necessary to use PPE in a direct quotation, spell it out later and explain the term.

Answer

If this email was forwarded to you ...

Answer

We'd delete the comma, and make any other changes that might be necessary for style, grammar, clarity, etc., and then show and explain the changes to the board chair. I wouldn't consider it a long quotation. But again, I'd make sure that the author knows of the changes.


Question from New York, New York on Aug. 10, 2020

Hi! I'm so confused. A number of people have asked about formatting a lecture SERIES name, and the answers always refer to the "lecture entry," which does not mention how to handle a series name, just the actual lecture name. For example, in the sentence "... she said in her lecture How to Publish a Book, in our lecture series Ask the Author," how would you handle "Ask the Author"?

Thanks!
Molly Frances
Maplewood, NJ

QUESTION from Richmond, Va. on March 20, 2012
ANSWERSee "lectures" entry, which applies in your examples.
QUESTION from San Francisco on Feb. 27, 2012
ANSWERYes, see "lectures" entry.
QUESTION from Richmond, Va. on Feb. 07, 2013
ANSWERThe name is capitalized and enclosed in quotes, according to the Stylebook's "lecture" entry.
QUESTION from Richmond, Va. on Jan. 11, 2012
ANSWERCapitalize and use quotation marks for their formal titles. See "lectures" entry.

Answer

Same guidance applies for lecture series as for lectures.

Answer

Capitalized: the County Commission.

Answer

We use the lowercase.

Answer

I agree with you.

Question from Charlotte, N.C. on Aug. 08, 2020

Is a person who fails to show up a "no-show," hyphenated?

Answer

Yes, that's right.

Answer

Thanks for noting that. I've deleted the 2007 answer. Indeed, we would follow the guidance in this entry:


obscenities, profanities, vulgarities 


Do not use them in stories unless they are part of direct quotations and there is a compelling reason for them.
Try to find a way to give the reader a sense of what was said without using the specific word or phrase. For example, an anti-gay or sexist slur.
If a profanity, obscenity or vulgarity must be used, flag the story at the top for editors, being specific about what the issue is:
Eds: Note use of vulgarity “f---” [or “s---”] However, online readers receiving direct feeds of the stories will not see that warning, so consider whether the word in question truly needs to be in the story at all.
When possible, confine the offending language, in quotation marks, to a separate paragraph that can be deleted easily by editors.
In reporting profanity that normally would use the words damn or god, lowercase god and use the following forms: damn, damn it, goddamn it.
If the obscenity involved is particularly offensive but the story requires making clear what the word was, replace the letters of the offensive word with hyphens, using only an initial letter: f---, s---.
In some stories or scripts, it may be better to replace the offensive word with a generic descriptive in parentheses, e.g., (vulgarity) or (obscenity).
When the subject matter of a story may be considered offensive or disturbing, but the story does not contain quoted profanity, obscenities or vulgarities, flag the story at the top:
Eds: Graphic details of the killings could be offensive or disturbing to some readers.
For guidelines on racial or ethnic slurs, see race-related coverage.



Question from San Francisco, California on Aug. 07, 2020

recordkeeping, record-keeping, or record keeping? "Automate record-keeping."  

Answer

It's one of the many for which there's not an absolute style. Different editors might have different views. It definitely needs a hyphen when used as an adjective. I would also use the hyphen when used as a noun but others might not.

Answer

Reword this way to ensure parallel structure:

Storing electronics indoors ensures their integrity and safety. It also ensures that their warranties stay intact.


Answer

Yes, the misspelling of a name should be noted.

Answer

Yes, we'd use the hyphen.

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