Ask the Editor

Last Seven Days

Answer

There will always be some words and terms for which our preferred spelling differs from that of our primary dictionary. That was the case with Webster's New World College Dictionary and it will be the case with Merriam-Webster. In most cases, we will have the same style. But not always. At this time, we do not plan to change our long-standing style, which was created by AP's subject matter experts.

Of course, if you want to use the Merriam-Webster version, that's fine too!


Question from Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, on May 23, 2024

Is ride share one word, two words, or hyphenate?

Answer

Our style is ride-sharing. We don't list rideshare, but Merriam-Webster uses that spelling for the noun, defining a rideshare as:  a service or network through which ride-sharing trips are arranged

Answer

Either is fine. We lowercase rear admiral if it's not used as a title directly before the name.

Answer

I don't know that there are any rules or even guidelines. It's a matter of judgment.

Answer

Yes, that's right.

Answer

We use breastfeeding.

Answer

Yes, I agree with you in most cases. However, if the name is commonly shortened by regular people (as opposed to journalists) and is recognized that way, it might be OK. I don't have any examples in mind, though.

Answer

We aren't fond of putting a numbered list in the middle of a sentence, so we don't have a style. Could you follow the style for lists, bulleted lists?

We make decisions by asking ourselves:
  • Does this benefit our clients?
  • Does this meet the standards of our firm and our industry? 
  • Does does this add value and use resources responsibly?


Answer

Yes, capitalize.

Answer

We continue to use Turkey, based on the guidance of our staff in the region. We do review it periodically.

Answer

That looks fine. We don't have a specific style.

Answer

That's correct in the U.S., where a comma always goes inside the quotation marks. (We wouldn't use the Oxford comma after "The Body's Question," but you could choose to use it and be correct in styles other than AP.)


Question on May 21, 2024

Is "the" used before KCNA? 

Answer

Assuming you mean the Korean Central News Agency, no the before the abbreviation. For example: KCNA said Kim expressed satisfaction, saying that the multiple rocket launchers were as accurate as a “sniper’s rifle.” 

Answer

the Bowling Green hockey team.

Answer

We use lowercase.

Answer

He was cc'd  if it's a relatively informal piece of writing. If it's more formal, I'd go with he was included.

Answer

That's one of the debatable ones. Merriam-Webster lists class action as a noun (or noun phrase), along the lines of parking lot, real estate, etc.
It's certainly understandable without the hyphen: a class action lawsuit. That's the version I'd use.
Others prefer more hyphens, and would hyphenate it.
There's no absolute on this one!

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