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Last Seven Days

Question from Jacksonville, Florida, on Jan. 19, 2022

Topside is one word. Should pier side also be one word?

Answer

I'd use pier-side, since (unlike topside), dictionaries don't list pierside as a word.

Answer

Yes.

Question from St. Peter, Minnesota, on Jan. 18, 2022

When writing of a Facebook post, should Post also be capitalized?

Answer

No, Post shouldn't be capitalized,

Answer

We don't use all-caps in such cases.

Answer

We define it on first use. We don't use GHG at all. Of course, if it makes sense to do otherwise for your specific audience, that's fine.

Answer

In the future, at least in the U.S.

Answer

Yes, it's an exception for readability.

Answer

St. Mary's options are limited. McDonald's fries are good. The A's options are limited.

Answer

It's the proper name of the game. Outside of the proper name, it should be lowercase. The previous answer was confusing and I will delete it.

Answer

A Stylebook colleague says:

It would seem that by rights, they should all be numerals, because they are dimensions. But two-by-fours are a kind of name for a certain size of wood -- they’re not even two inches by four inches. Which goes for all similarly labeled pieces of lumber, as well, like two-by-sixes and two-by-eights. I think of these as familiar concepts, not dimensions, so it makes sense to spell them out. Especially when your say someone looked like he was hit over the head with a two-by-four.
 
If I were writing instructions for building a house, I’d more explicitly use  dimensions, and say you needed so many pieces of wood that are 2”x4”x8’. 
 
Some quick research indicates there’s such a thing as two-by-12s, though that probably comes up pretty rarely in writing. To be weirdly consistent (at least to our rules for non-dimensional numbers) I’d probably go with two-by-12s. 


Answer

The latter.

Question from Tucson, Arizona, on Jan. 16, 2022

Should it be most high-profile person, or highest-profile person? 

Answer

Either is fine.

Answer

This is one of the many ways in which mountain biking differs from my cycling disciplines (track, gravel, road). In my world, we don't use the term and I've never mulled it! But now that you ask: I'd go with manualing, in keeping with canceling and traveling. 

Answer

"This makes him a ‘unicorn’,” 

Answer

No quote marks. Just Hail Mary is fine.

Question from Nashville, Tennessee, on Jan. 14, 2022

What is the AP accepted plural for "kindness?"

Answer

We generally wouldn't use a plural. 

Answer

Yes, that's right.

Answer

No need for the word degree. You can use it if you want. But the meaning is clear without it.

Answer

How about lower on the list?! I do see your argument. I'm tempted to say either further or farther works in this case. It depends on whether you mean the literal, physical list, or a more conceptual list. Since you'll get arguments whatever you do, I'd rather just rephrase and escape the issue altogether.


farther, further 


Farther refers to physical distance: He walked farther into the woods.
Further refers to an extension of time or degree: She will look further into the mystery.


Answer

Either of these is correct. But do you need the part about knowing what that entails? You've already said you understand it. There's probably a better, more specific way of saying the second part.

I understand what it's like when you hear the words, "You have cancer." I know what that entails.

I understand what it's like when you hear the words "you have cancer." I know what that entails.


Answer

Yes, I'd capitalize it.

Answer

We'd prefer not to use the term, and instead use more words to spell out what you mean. If you have it use it, use the hyphen.

Answer

There is debate on that issue. Some say the terms should be used only for two items; others note that common usage has evolved to be OK with more than two in a series. We don't have formal guidance on this. I'd say it depends on whether you prefer to be old-school or not.

Answer

one's values 

Question from Mount Laurel, New Jersey, on Jan. 13, 2022

Which is correct? Getting "boosted" or "boostered" (for the COVID-19 vaccine).

Answer

Boosted is the common parlance.

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