Q. Hello magazine ((in the U.K.) is stylized as HELLO! I know the name should be set in italics, but should it appear in print as it is stylized or not?
from Pewee Valley, Ky. on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. In AP stories, Hello! magazine, but not italicized.
Q. Is "first year" an emerging alternative term to be used in place of "undergraduate"? Is "undergraduate" becoming a derogatory term?
from Chicago , Ill. on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. These aren't exact synonyms. Undergraduate often refers to a range of college students studying toward their diplomas: e.g., undergraduate programs. It is not derogatory. A first-year student or freshman is starting studies.
Q. Is the name of a product feature set in quotes? For example, LinkedIn's "Connect to Facebook" feature.
from san francisco, Calif. on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. LinkedIn's connect to Facebook feature.
Q. Apologies, but I cannot find an answer to my question below in the title entry.
For heads of state and government, is the following correct?
FIRST REFERENCE: Use Prime Minister (First Name)(Last Name) or President (First Name) (Last Name).
SECOND REFERENCE: Do not use the governmental title, but use a courtesy title before the last name unless the formal title is used as part of a direct quotation.
from Washington on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. First reference is correct. On second reference, AP uses the surname alone or the title alone lowercase. In a direct quote, the capitalized title preceding the surname is sometimes used: President Obama.
Q. We have a photo caption for an art exhibition that reads: "Good Luck, Bob!", 1992. Is the comma correctly placed, or should it be removed? Thank you for your guidance on this.
from Virginia on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. "Good Luck, Bob!" 1992. The "exclamation point" entry says do not use a comma or period after the exclamation mark.
Q. Is the spelling of the first name of the former Soviet leader Yuri or Yury Andropov?
from , New York on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
Q. When sharing a URL in the body of a paragraph, should it be italicized?
from White Lake, S.D. on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. AP doesn't use italics in news stories. The typeface won't transmit universally. However, some URL references cited as examples in the AP Stylebook use italics.
Q. How would you style "a Title I school"? Should it be "I," "1" or "One"? Should "school" be capitalized?
from Seattle on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. It's Title I school, with the Roman numeral.
Q. Should references to the "U.S. Bicentennial" be capped? Thanks!
from Richmond, Va. on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
Q. What is the correct way to refer to events from the American civil rights movement, such as The March on Washington (should %uFFFDthe%uFFFD be capitalized); Bloody Sunday (is it enclosed in quotation marks) and the march from Selma to Montgomery (is it "the Selma-to-Montgomery march" or is %uFFFDmarch%uFFFD capitalized, or is there some other preferred way to refer to this event)? I could not find anything in the AP Stylebook, Webster%uFFFDs New World College Dictionary, or the New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Stanford University has put the King Institute Encyclopedia online, but I am not sure if I should follow its style.
from Athens, Ga. on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. In AP stories, the March on Washington in 1963; "Bloody Sunday" in 1965 when Alabama state troopers attacked voting rights marchers in Selma; the
first Selma to Montgomery march in 1965.
Q. Which is correct - She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications or She holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications?
from Northbrook, Ill. on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. The first is correct, though you don't need degree. See "academic degrees" and "Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science" entries.
Q. Is it multi currency, multi-currency or multicurrency
from Washington on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. It's multicurrency; see "multi-" prefix entry.
Q. Is AP going to stick with Hasan Rowhani? I understand this is a more accurate transliteration of the name, but the president-elect does not spell it this way. His campaign website (now shutdown, but viewable through Google Cache) http://rouhani.ir and his twitter account (https://twitter.com/HassanRouhani) both use Hassan Rouhani. It seems like the way the English-educated man spells it should be respected.
from Beirut, Lebanon on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
Q. What is AP Style's preference of the word "planogram"? I have seen it as spelled formerly, but I have also seen instances where it is hyphenated either plano-gram or plan-o-gram.
from Cumming, Ga. on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. The term hasn't come up in recent AP stories. However, online spellings use planogram.
Q. Would AP use sportsbook or sports book in their stories?
from Irving, Texas on Tue, Jun 18, 2013
A. In the wagering context, sportsbook.
Q. I just submitted a question seeking your opinion about "opt in to a program" versus "opt into a program."
I'm interested in getting a response, but for now I reworded the sentence and avoided the issue.
Instead of "those who [opt in to] [opt into] in the program," I wrote "those who choose to participate in the program."
from Dallas on Mon, Jun 17, 2013
A. The first looks right, in line with the phrasal verb opt in.
Q. Is it "a couple of years" or "a couple years" ago?
from Keizer, Ore. on Mon, Jun 17, 2013
A. A couple of years ... the of is needed, per the Stylebook entry.
Q. Should the up in "up to" used in a title be capitalized?
from Atlanta on Mon, Jun 17, 2013
Q. In this sentence, should the numbers (less than 10) be spelled out or in numerals? "Statistics show that, although 1 in 30 men dies of prostate cancer, 1 in 6 gets diagnosed with it."
from Chicago on Mon, Jun 17, 2013
A. Use numerals for those ratios, so it's correct as written.
Q. The "sugar" section says that "confectioner's" is spelled with the apostrophe before the "s," but an Ask the Editor question from 2011 places the apostrophe after the "s." Which is correct?
from Columbus, Ohio on Mon, Jun 17, 2013
A. Dictionary spelling is confectioners' sugar. Thanks for
pointing out the singular possessive spelling in the Stylebook
Q. Are academic journals in quotation marks?
from Chicago on Mon, Jun 17, 2013
A. No quotes for academic journals, using the reference material guidance in the "composition titles" entry.
Q. When referring to the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin, should the "r" and/or "b" be capitalized? Thanks.
from Auburn, Ala. on Mon, Jun 17, 2013
A. Official websites generally use Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin.
Q. Which is correct? --It serves no one, me least of all-- OR --It serves on one, myself least of all"? Please advise. Thank you!
from Kansas City, Mo. on Mon, Jun 17, 2013
A. It serves no one, me least of all.
Q. When referring to AP style, should the first letter of "style" be lowercase?
from Sedro Woolley, Wash. on Sun, Jun 16, 2013
A. I cap AP Style as a formal concept. Others make it
Q. Want to get a definitive spelling on Hasan Rowhani, the newly elected Iranian president. Ninety-nine percent of AP stories in the past five years have it spelled with one 's,' but the 1 percent that spell it with two lead me to ask the question. Thanks!
from Chicago on Sat, Jun 15, 2013
Q. What is the proper format for end notes in an orientation guide?
from West Newton, MA on Sat, Jun 15, 2013
A. See the "reference works" entry and the Stylebook's Bibliography.
Q. Is a second comma needed in the use of university location names that style themselves with commas? For example: He attended the University of California, Berkeley and graduated from San Francisco State. Or: a University of California, San Diego study published in 2012.
from Washington, D.C. on Fri, Jun 14, 2013
A. No comma after the city in those university names.
Q. Is the phrase "plug and play" hyphenated? Example: "Plug and play is a required capability."
from Washington, D.C. on Fri, Jun 14, 2013
A. No hyphens needed in your example.
Q. I have reviewed the section on titles and the question archive, yet the following guideline is still unclear to me:
Regarding titles, AP dictates that the title is lowercase when following a name. However, all examples of this I can find are names followed by titles in running text. (i.e. Barack Obama, the president, addressed the nation.) What if a company's policy is to write the person's title after the name as follows (without being part of running text): "Tom Smith, senior vice president marketing, noted that sales had increased markedly." Is the title lowercase or capitalized? I would greatly appreciate some clarification on this. Thank you.
from New York on Fri, Jun 14, 2013
A. Correct: Tom Smith, senior vice president marketing, noted that sales had increased markedly.
Q. "license holder" or "license-holder" or "licenseholder"?
from Johnston, Iowa on Fri, Jun 14, 2013
A. It's license holder, two words.
Q. When a word with an apostrophe for an omitted letter comes at the end of a quote, where does the comma go? Ex.: Pharrell Williams' best single, "Frontin'," came out in 2003.
from Norfolk, Va. on Fri, Jun 14, 2013
A. Correctly punctuated as you have it.
Q. Is it permissible to say a young man "took his own life" rather than "committed suicide?" Sorry to bombard you with so many questions, but I've searched the guide and the Ask the Editor archive to no avail, and the last usage of "took his own life" in the AP News Archive is from an article dated 13 years ago.
from Portland, Ore. on Fri, Jun 14, 2013
A. The cause of death should be attributed. If authorities in a position to know use that euphemism, quote the terms in a
Q. According to a previous question from May 29, 2013, 100-square-meter boxes is correct. Why then does 9 mm rifle not have a hyphen? Is it because an abbreviation is used?
from HARRISONBURG, Va. on Fri, Jun 14, 2013
A. That's the usage for 9 mm pistol. See "millimeter" entry which specifies space after numeral: 35 mm film, 105 mm artilley.
Q. How do we write "stepgrandchildren" or "stepgrandchild" in AP stories? One word or hyphenated after "step"?
from Bangalore, Karnataka, India on Thu, Jun 13, 2013
A. Based on Webster's preference for various step- constructions, and AP Stylebook entries, stepgrandchildren or stepgrandchild, no hyphens.
Q. I have questions about the word "couple." First, I found this entry, and it seems wrong:
Q. A couple is getting married and their last name will be "Waits." If I make a sign that reads: "The Waits' Est. 2008" Will their last name require an apostrophe since there will be 2 in the household? from Houston, TX on Jan 18, 2008
A. No apostrophe but comma would help: The Waits, est. 2008
Shouldn't it be The Waitses, since their last name is Waits?
Can you give me rulings on these (from anniversary announcements)? I always feel uncertain about them. How can you be sure the couple shoudl be thought of as one unit rather than two people?
* The couple request(s) no gifts.
* The couple have/has 10 grandchildren.
from Salina, Kan. on Thu, Jun 13, 2013
A. Based on the question, I took The Waits spelling to be the family's preference in this situation. Referring to the couple as individuals, the plural would be the Waitses. As a unit, the couple requests no gifts. As two individuals, the couple request no gifts. The couple has 10 grandchildren (meaning, as a unit sharing). The couple have 10 grandchildren (could imply a count from blended families.)
Q. Which is right: 1 1/2 ounce or 1 1/2 ounces? Thank you.
from Orcutt, Calif. on Thu, Jun 13, 2013
A. A 1 1/2-ounce portion; it weighs 1 1/2 ounces.
Q. Is the term "frequently asked questions" -- as in your "Ask the Editor" feature -- a cliche that should be avoided? It seems to me that the questions I find under such headers, including here, are pretty specific and not likely to have been frequently asked, let alone more than once. Would "Questions" or "Questions and Answers" suffice?
from Reading, Pa. on Thu, Jun 13, 2013
A. Fair point, though FAQ is a familiar search term, so that argues for retaining it.
Q. Hello - This isn't a question but a note. When searching the Ask the Editor archives, this entry (below) appears -- and it is now outdated.
Q. When I type "healthcare Web site" into Google, it corrects me by asking "Did you mean: healthcare website." Is there any plan to incorporate what seems to be the prevailing usage into AP Style? from Walla Walla, WA on May 24, 2007
A. AP style remains Web site (and health care).
from Denver on Thu, Jun 13, 2013
A. Right. AP Style is now website (one word), changed in the 2010 Stylebook and reiterated several times in Ask the Editor. The two-word spelling of health care is unchanged.
Q. I have not seen this specific question in the archives, I need some clarification after an arguement...or a discussion occurred last evening at deadline.
Is it deceiving the reader to attribute factual information from an organization's brochure and quoting the organization's representative as saying it? For example, "Hospice caregivers will be available to offer comfort to grieving children," Hospice Director Linda Smith said.
With Smith's permission, the quote was used from the brochure.
Is this deceptive? Or should it be cited as 'the brochure states.'
from Houston, Texas on Thu, Jun 13, 2013
A. The words should be attributed to the brochure, unless
the director repeated those words. Or the director
could be named referring to the policy outlined in the passage in the brochure.
Q. Would the Tao Te Ching be treated as a religious text, like the Bible, or would its title be put in quotes like other books?
from Farmington, Maine on Thu, Jun 13, 2013
A. Tao Te Ching without quotes as a religious text.
Q. Are "upward" and "upwards" interchangeable? In the "upward" entry it says not to use "upwards." However, your Kentucky Derby entry uses "upwards" in the explanation and www.m-w.com also lists both spellings. I'm used to "upward" being the correct word and "upwards" being incorrect regardless of the situation. Please advise. Thank you!
from Highland Heights , Ohio on Thu, Jun 13, 2013
A. With Webster's New World College Dictionary and others allowing the upwards (adv.) spelling, the Stylebook may be a bit old school in barring it.
Q. Should a podiatrist be referred to in news coverage as a medical doctor?
from Victoria, Texas on Thu, Jun 13, 2013
A. Yes, the "doctor" entry includes doctor of podiatric medicine.
Q. Is the Christian doctrine of Atonement capped or not?
from Edmonton, XX on Wed, Jun 12, 2013
Q. "The labor expediting drug" or "The labor-expediting drug"?
from Boston on Wed, Jun 12, 2013
A. The term seems a little awkward, if not cryptic. Perhaps it's a promotional slogan. Could it be rephrased to avoid the hyphenation question? Either way could be defensible if there's no alternative.
Q. Which is correct: Industry-based certification program or Industry-based certificate program?
from Alexandria, La. on Wed, Jun 12, 2013
A. Without knowing the context, I'd guess the first is more
Q. When referring to a nickname such as "The Enforcer," do you capitalize "the"?
John "The Enforcer" Doe is well known for his knock-out punch.
I can't believe The Enforcer lost the fight!
from Huntington Beach, Calif. on Wed, Jun 12, 2013
A. No doubt "The Enforcer" on first reference, if that's his boxing nickname. In AP Style, he'd be Doe in follow-ups. But if someone is quoted using the
nickname, spell it lowercase t, cap E. "I can't believe the Enforcer lost the fight."
Q. Tell me if this construction acceptable for store hours listed in a sidebar: "Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon, Thu and Fri, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat, noon-5 p.m. Sun." Thanks!
from Portland, Ore. on Wed, Jun 12, 2013
A. The Stylebook's "days of the week" entry says don't abbreviate except in tabular formats. Try this: Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday, Thursday, and Friday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
Q. Should brownfield be singular as a modifier?
from Baltimore on Wed, Jun 12, 2013
A. Usually it's singular: brownfield sites, brownfield grants, brownfield cleanups. Sometimes the plural form is used in formal names: National Brownfields Conference.
Q. When referring to telephone extensions, which is preferred - at or on? Or neither?
Contact John Doe at ext. 1234 or Contact John Doe on ext. 1234
from Kansas City, Mo. on Wed, Jun 12, 2013
Q. Would Master of Divinity be capitalized since Master of Arts is?
from Houston on Wed, Jun 12, 2013
A. In AP usage, master of divinity or master's in divinity.
Q. Can you use just DC in a headline or does it need to be Washington, DC?
from Irving, Texas on Wed, Jun 12, 2013
A. DC without periods is OK in a headline.
Q. When referring to sophomores, juniors and seniors, is it correct to use "upperclassmen," or should it be upperclass students?
from Clemson, S.C. on Wed, Jun 12, 2013
A. The term upperclassmen customarily refers to juniors and seniors. So use the one-word spelling for those two classes. The phrase upper class (two words) refers to the economic
stratum above middle class.
Q. Is "set aside" hyphenated in both noun and verb usages?
from RG, Bangalore on Wed, Jun 12, 2013
A. As a verb, set aside. As a noun, set-aside (hyphenated).
Q. How do you handle the past titles? The sentence reads "In in 2010, he wrote a proposal to then Mayor Gavin Newsom..." Or should it be "the mayor at the time, Gavin Newsom..."
from Concord, Calif. on Tue, Jun 11, 2013
A. In AP usage, then-Mayor Gavin Newsom. But it's also OK to use the longer description as you have it.
Q. In regards to recipies, The stylebook says to use figures for all quantities in recipes. The exception is when two numbers follow one another, write out the first for clarity, two 12-ounce cans. Does the exception apply to ingredient lists, just copy or both?
from Boise, Idaho on Tue, Jun 11, 2013
A. In your example, it's two 12-ounce cans using guidance in the OTHER USES section of "numerals" -- spell out whole numbers below 10. Also, in 12-ounce cans, use figures for weights and hyphenate as a compound modifier.
Q. Hi, When pressed for space, how would AP abbreviate "South Korea" in a headline, "So. Korea" or ...? Thanks
from Flagstaff, Ariz. on Tue, Jun 11, 2013
A. In AP headlines, SKorea and NKorea.
Q. In Portland, Ore., the quadrants of Portland are generally capitalized. Does that mean that "Southwest Portland" can be used instead of "southwest Portland?"
from Portland, Ore. on Tue, Jun 11, 2013
A. AP stories follow the local preference, capping the quadrants as in Southwest Portland.
Q. I am reading a dining article and the writer uses the word goodie to mean something delectable to eat. I cannot find it in Webster's New World dictionary or in AP. Is it acceptable? Here is part of the sentence%uFFFDA gorgeously decorated bar, loaded with goodie upon goodie ...
from Orysia, Burlington, Ontario, Canada on Tue, Jun 11, 2013
A. It's a little informal but OK in that context. American Heritage Dictionary lists goodie (n.), pl. goodies, something attractive or delectable, esp. something sweet to eat.
Q. I don't believe my first question went through, so I am repeating my request. When composing a sentence where you refer to a proper name of an organization, such as "Ohio Department of Commerce," is it proper to capitalize an abbreviated form of the agency's name in subsequent refereces, such as "Commerce Department"? For example: The Ohio Department of Commerce began the program in 2010. It was important for the Commerce Department to .......
from Mason, Ohio on Tue, Jun 11, 2013
A. Yes, or simply the department (lowercase) on follow-ups.
Q. Your answer on June 10 concerning time zones conflicts with a response
from 2008 that has been relied on extensively in these parts. Please, oh please, assure us that your 2008 advice still stands, and say that yesterday's advice ain't so.
Q. We have a brochure that will be distributed from August into 2009. Can we use ET rather than EDT or EST so we don't have to reprint when Daylight Savings Time expires? Thanks.%uFFFD from NC, on Thu, Jun 26, 2008
A. Yes, that'll fly.
from Clemmons , N.C. on Tue, Jun 11, 2013
A. Evidently readers understand that abbreviation,
so it's fine for your brochure. Also, Webster's lists ET Eastern Time.
Q. In the Leech Lake watershed, would the word "watershed" be capitalized?
from St. Paul , Minn. on Tue, Jun 11, 2013
A. In AP stories from Minnesota, watershed is not capped in such terms: Middle Sauk River watershed.
Q. Would you hyphenate driver's-education requirements?
from Houma, La. on Tue, Jun 11, 2013
A. No hyphen in driver's education requirements.
Q. Is it two and one-half weeks or 2.5 weeks Or two and a half weeks?
from St. Paul , Minn. on Tue, Jun 11, 2013
A. Usually expressed as 2 1/2 weeks for a precise time. In a casual usage it can be spelled two and a half weeks.
Q. It's speedskating (one word), so is it speedskater (one word)?
from Chicago on Tue, Jun 11, 2013