Ask the Editor

Last Seven Days

Answer

We think it sounds jargony, but we're not taking an official stand. 

Answer

You can condense it sometimes. But watch for confusion. In your example, even though you used the plural departments, it still could seem in a quick read that Health and Environmental Quality is one department. Better to use more words if necessary to avoid such potential confusion.


Answer

We just call it the Super Bowl ...

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We don't use most of those abbreviations, so we don't have a style for them. You can develop a house style.


Answer

The second version is better.

Answer

I'm not really following the question. Examples would help. Perhaps this guidance is relevant. 

Answer

There are so many intricacies that it's hard to sum up. If you have specific examples, I could weigh in.

Question from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on Feb. 3, 2023

Is it nature lovers or nature-lovers?

Answer

No hyphen. Nature lovers revel in Pennsylvania's state forests.


Answer


Usage: Republicans passed a 0.25 percentage point tax cut. Not: Republicans passed a 0.25 percentage points tax cut or Republicans passed a tax cut of 0.25 of a percentage point.

Adding to that this week:

To use a different example specific to your question: The Fed hiked its benchmark rate 0.5 percentage point.

We don't have specific guidance on reading for TV, but there are many cases when broadcast writers use a variation for copy that is read aloud. Something like: The Fed hiked its benchmark rate half a percentage point.

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In our style, the caucus on later references.

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We'll stick with two words. Sometimes we differ from Webster's New World College Dictionary. This is one of those times. But, we do like meatloaf as one word. Gofigure.

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Usage: Republicans passed a 0.25 percentage point tax cut. Not: Republicans passed a 0.25 percentage points tax cut or Republicans passed a tax cut of 0.25 of a percentage point.

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We don't capitalize tribal. (In your first example, why use word at all, as opposed to simply ... a member of the Cherokee Nation.)

On later references, we lowercase tribe and nation.

Here's one of the relevant sections of the race-related coverage entry:


tribe Refers to a sovereign political entity, communities sharing a common ancestry, culture or language, and a social group of linked families who may be part of an ethnic group. Capitalize the word tribe when part of a formal name of sovereign political entities, or communities sharing a common ancestry, culture or language. Identify tribes by the political identity specified by the tribe, nation or community: the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation. The term ethnic group is preferred when referring to ethnicity or ethnic violence.

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Yes, with the hyphens.

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Either is fine in your two examples. And I agree on skills gap.

Answer

AP sports stories use GOAT, all-caps with no periods. We generally define the term but not always. Here are a couple of examples:

Already considered the GOAT — greatest of all time — Brady finally walked away from the NFL on Wednesday following the most difficult, emotionally draining season in his life.

In a story about Messi: Competition is fierce when it comes to determining the greatest of all time, or the GOAT, as it has come to be known. It can come down to the smallest of margins that separate players of such brilliance.

The term GOAT has been known to show up in AP sports headlines, without an explanation immediately attached. Usually it's in the story but sometimes not.

We do love being the GOAT of style guides!

Answer

Webster's New World College Dictionary uses no hyphen. The AP Stylebook doesn't have an entry, though an Ask the Editor response in 2016 said we defer to the dictionary on that one.

I can't speak to the thinking of the editors in 2008 who use the hyphen for the treaty. I suspect it was the predominant use.


Answer

I agree that uppercase is in keeping with our overall style guidance.

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We don't have a preference but I'd say use the hyphen, and definitely explain it. Or, better yet, avoid it and use more words to say what you mean.

Answer

Typically it's ... was granted citizenship or the person became a U.S. citizen. Lowercase citizen.

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Looks like the trademark had expired at the time the previous response was written, and thus we went with lowercase. Now it seems there's a new trademark, so we will resume uppercasing and I'll delete the previous response.

Answer

Yes, capitalize Margherita. We don't have a preference on order of the words.

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Criteria is the plural of criterion. We'd use the plural verb. Note this from Webster's New World College Dictionary: "the use of criteria as a singular form is becoming more widespread, but is still objected to by many."




Answer

Since this spells an unrelated word, we'd use periods. You can choose otherwise. Here's the guidance from the abbreviations and acronyms entry.


CAPS, PERIODS: Use capital letters and periods according to the listings in this book. For words not in this book, use the first-listed abbreviation in Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Generally, omit periods in acronyms unless the result would spell an unrelated word. But use periods in most two-letter abbreviations: U.S., U.N., U.K., B.A., B.C. (AP, a trademark, is an exception. Also, no periods in GI, ID and EU, among others.) In headlines, do not use periods in abbreviations, unless required for clarity.
Use all caps, but no periods, in longer abbreviations when the individual letters are pronounced: ABC, CIA, FBI.
Use only an initial cap and then lowercase for abbreviations and acronyms of more than five letters, unless listed otherwise in this Stylebook or Webster’s New World College Dictionary.

Answer

Our style is 5 million.

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