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Ask the Editor provides answers, clarification and guidance on style issues that go beyond the pages of the AP Stylebook. Before posing a question to AP editor David Minthorn, search the accompanying style archives for your topic. With thousands of questions and answers on file, your topic has very likely been covered. For typical style questions and responses, visit Ask the Editor FAQ.

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Ask the Editor questions from the past week:

Q. gently-used or gently used clothing – from , on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

A. This adverb isn't hyphenated: gently used clothing. See "-ly" entry for background.

Q. So PC is ok for first reference of personal computer? – from Ballston Spa, N.Y. on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

A. When the context is obvious, PC is acceptable in virtually all uses for personal computer.

Q. Limited Liability Company or limited liability company? I say lowercase because it's not the proper name of a company, just a corporate structure, but there are those who say otherwise.... " – from Oklahoma City on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

A. In AP business stories, it's LLC as part of a company name: Smith Co. LLC. Standing alone, spell out the term lowercase.

Q. Although "Pledge of Allegiance" is capitalized, would further references of it as simply "the pledge," need to be capitalized also? – from Biddeford, Maine on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

A. Lowercase the pledge in follow-ups to the capitalized term.

Q. Is "ed tech" acceptable for educational technician? – from Biddeford, Maine on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

A. For general audiences, the term is clearer when spelled out.

Q. Is "the company will debut its lowest profile product to date" correct or would lowest profile and/or to date by hyphenated? – from San Diego , Calif. on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

A. No hyphens needed.

Q. Is "credentialed" a word? I am proofreading someone else's work and have serious doubts about this. – from West Palm Beach, Fla. on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

A. Yes, it's a verb.

Q. Is "can allow" redundant? (e.g., some contracts can allow you to turn cash value into ...) – on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

A. Using "can allow" suggests a possibility rather than a certainty. If that's the intention, it's not redundant.

Q. Please verify if it would be southern United States or Southern United States. Thank you. – from Hickory, N.C. on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

A. It's the Southern U.S. or the Southern United States, a region.

Q. How does the AP abbreviate inches per second and inches per minute – from Houston on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

A. See the "inches per second" and "ips" entries. By extension, the same holds for inches per minute.

Q. Is it ever acceptable to remove the %uFFFDThe%uFFFD in sentences referring to newspapers that have that article in their titles (e.g., The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal), particularly in reference to best-selling authors, books or lists? Examples: The event will feature John Smith, a two-time New York Times best-selling author. John Smith, number one New York Times best-selling author, has written 15 books, all of them New York Times best-sellers. – from lakeland, Fla. on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

A. On first reference, The New York Times. On second reference, the Times is acceptable: The event will feature author John Smith, whose books were twice on The New York Times best-seller list. John Smith, whose book was No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list, will be featured. The author has written 15 books, all listed as best-sellers by the Times.

Q. Is it nosedive for both the noun and verb? Thanks – from Seoul, XX on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. Yes, by the dictionary entry.

Q. What is the difference between a phrase and a sentence fragment? – from San Diego on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. A phrase is a sequence of two or more words that form a grammatical unit that is less than a complete sentence. A sentence fragment is a phrase or clause that is punctuated and capitalized as a sentence but does not constitute a complete grammatical sentence -- from The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style

Q. Are parentheses acceptable for simple sports statistics? Such as win-loss after a team name or when listing players to compare a particular stat. Chargers (4-3), Jackson (124 RBI). – from St. Paul, Minn. on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. Yes.

Q. What term would best describe heterosexual marriage? Is "traditional marriage" acceptable? – from Longview, Texas on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. The marriage of a man and a woman.

Q. What is the agreed-on term for "anchor baby," which is suddenly all the rage? – from Augusta, Ga. on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. A recent AP story quoted this definition of "anchor baby" in The American Heritage Dictionary: "Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship."

Q. I'm getting ready to have to use the word sty (or stye?) for the second time in a month on Dallas quarterback Tony Romo. Kinda quirky. I'm following the old rule of going with the first listing in the dictionary (sty over stye). Is that correct? Do we have a preference for "stye" instead? Thanks. – from Dallas on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. Yes, sty as the first spelling for the eye inflammation in Webster's NWCD, Fifth Edition.

Q. Is top of the line or top-of-the-line correct, with or without hyphens? – from Wichita, Kan. on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. Hyphenate this adjective, as in top-of-the-line quality.

Q. to do list or to-do list – from , on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. Hyphenate to-do list.

Q. RE: possessive apostrophe with a proper name: Would it be Wes' Wall or Wes's Wall. Not sure if this falls under the cited exception of Saint James's Palace. Also, what defines that exception? – from Irving, Texas on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. Use the s' for the possessive: Wes'.

Q. Any guidance on Denali/Mount McKinley? My kneejerk is to change usage to reflect the name change, and add an appositive when needed%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFDi.e. "Denali, once called Mount McKinley ..." – from , on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- North America's tallest mountain will soon return to its previous name, Mount Denali, more than a century after the Alaskan peak was named to honor President William McKinley, who never set foot in Alaska.

Q. I am attempting to find guidance on service marks in the Stylebook. The term is referenced under other subjects, which tell me to go to the "service mark" entry; but when I do a search, there is no entry. Has it been deleted? If so, then all references to it should also be deleted. I hope, however, that the Stylebook will provide us with specific guidance on service marks. Thank you. – from Rocky River, Ohio on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. See the "brand names" and "trademark" entries. AP Stylebook annual editions had a "service mark" entry through 2010. It was folded into "brand names" in 2011, and service mark was inadvertently cited in the definition. The 2012 edition dropped the reference.

Q. Trade Promotion Authority. Lowercase? Or initial caps? And is TPA acceptable on subsequent references? – from District of Columbia on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. If it's a formally named agency, capitalize the name. You could use TPA on follow-ups though a term like agency or office would also do. If it's a generic description, spell it lowercase.

Q. Does one find something "in an app" or "on an app"? Thank you. – from San Antonio on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. The Stylebook's "app" entry defines it as a program that runs inside another service. By extension, "in an app" could be preferred usage, though I can't swear to it.

Q. We are a trade magazine and have long followed the AP guidelines on not using all caps for company and product names unless the letters are pronounced separately. For instance, Paccar, not PACCAR; Wabco, not WABCO. We get some pushback from companies that say we should use all caps for names that are trademarked that way. Am I interpreting AP style correctly in rendering, for instance, OnGUARDACTIVE as OnGuardActive? – from Torrance, Calif. on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. Yes, any number of companies use all caps in their promotions, but AP guidance restricts such spellings to names with letters that are individually pronounced. See the "company names" listings for examples. I don't find the brand you mention in AP stories. Your suggested spelling looks reasonable, though.

Q. What is AP's ruling on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership? Is TTP and TTIP acceptable in subsequent references after initially spelling it out? – from District of Columbia on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. AP stories have used "TTP" in quoting signs protesting the agreement. Our stories have used the full names, but agreement or pact is preferable to an unfamiliar abbreviation like TTIP.

Q. Should the verb in the following sentence be "has" or "have"? If you or the teacher has any questions, please contact... – from Washington on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

A. If you or the teacher have any questions ....

Q. What is the preferred style: "He ran for 20 yards on seven carries," or "He ran for 20 yards on seven carries"? – from Stillwater, Okla. on Sun, Aug 30, 2015

A. He ran for 20 yards on seven carries.

Q. In obituaries: Is it Prayer of the Faithful in caps, or should it be lower case? – from Barre, Vt. on Sun, Aug 30, 2015

A. For a Catholic mass, capitalize Prayer of the Faithful.

Q. Dear Editor: Does AP use (1) gofer, (2) go-fer or (3) gopher for an employee that runs errands? – from Mankato, Minn. on Sun, Aug 30, 2015

A. The dictionary's first spelling, which is gofer.

Q. Which is correct? "newsmagazine" or "news magazine?" – from Washington on Sun, Aug 30, 2015

A. Deferring to the dictionary entry, which is newsmagazine.

Q. In the case of police log items such as: Police arrested Abraham Lincoln, 19, of Gettysburg, on a charge of criminal trespassing. Is the comma needed after the town? Thank you. – from Peterborough, N.H. on Sat, Aug 29, 2015

A. Correct with comma. See WITH HOMETOWNS AND AGES section of the "comma" entry.

Q. Is it "land speed record" or "land-speed record"? – from Eden Prairie, Minn. on Sat, Aug 29, 2015

A. No hyphen in land speed record.

Q. Is it a "3-D printer" or a "Three-D printer?" – from Salinas, Calif. on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. It depends. Within a sentence, use the figure: He purchased a 3-D printer. Starting a sentence, spell out three: Three-D printers were on sale. The Stylebook entry is "3-D."

Q. I looked in the archives but didn't find an answer, so I apologize if this has already been covered. When describing items that's constructed out of two materials, do you hyphenate the adjective. For example: An emerald and diamond brooch, or a glass and metal chandelier. – from Phoenix on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. No hyphens needed.

Q. What does AP style say about the use of "internment camps" and "internees" in referring to Japanese-Americans in World War II, versus "prisons," "prisoners" and "incarceration"? – from Thousand Oaks, Calif. on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. A presidential executive order in 1942 resulted in the incarceration of Japanese-Americans and Japanese immigrants from the West Coast in internment camps during World War II. They were called internees, though they were kept in prisonlike conditions -- in barracks under guard surrounded by barbed-wire fences. Customarily, prisoner and prison refers to individuals serving sentences imposed by courts for criminal offenses, particularly felonies. That wasn't the case with the Japanese-Americans, who were deported to the interior of the U.S. merely on suspicion of being loyal to Japan.

Q. Does art professors need to be capitalized if it reads like this: Work by Inland Empire Art Professors from local four-year colleges and universities. – from Riverside, Calif. on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. Lowercase art professors.

Q. In previous AP Style Guides, there was an entry that explained that online headlines could have all words capitalized, including prepositions. The 2015 version no longer lists this entry. Can you please give some guidance on capitalization in online headline. Thank you. – from Alexandria, Va. on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. The previous "headline" entry through the 2014 Stylebook included this paragraph: Online: for online subscribers so ddesiring, AP systems convert headlines to a version with all words capitalized. (While technology may still allow this, that paragraph was dropped when the "headline" entry was condensed in 2015. Generally AP stories, included those transmitted online, capitalize on the first word and proper nouns and names in a headline.)

Q. Is there a style for formatting a Q and A story? Is it Name: (Question), Name: (Answer), or Q: (Question) and A: (Answer)? Or is it something else entirely? – from Madison, Wis. on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. See the "colon" entry in Punctuation Guidelines for an example.

Q. With respect to recipe titles, must each word of the title be written in all caps? – from Hialeah Gardens, Fla. on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. AP Recipe Style in the Food Guidelines says capitalize the title of the recipe. Publications vary on how titles are handled. The Stylebook's recipe example uses all caps. Some publications capitalize the first word and other main words in the title. Others capitalize only the first word and proper nouns or regional names.

Q. Does AP style differentiate in a quote-within-a-quote between a third-party quote and internal dialogue? Is internal dialogue placed within single quotation marks just as we would if they were quoting another person? For example, is this correct? In speaking with Steve about his early years with the band, Steve said, "When I first joined the band I thought to myself, 'Steve, should you really quit school to be a drummer for a living?'" – from College Grove, Tenn. on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. Correct as punctuated.

Q. if the city or state name is part of the preferred name of the institution do you also include a city/state (e.g. University of Texas at El Paso has both city and state, is there a need to restate the city? – from Cleveland on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. The initial use of the school's preferred name suffices without repeating the city locator.

Q. Given the policy of spelling out state names in the body of a story, does the Stylebook contain a list of accepted state abbreviations for use with political party affiliation, tabular material, etc. I don't see one in the 2015 Stylebook. – from Erie, Pa. on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. See the the list of AP abbreviations in "state names," or see individual state entries.

Q. Is "tropical depression" capitalized with a storm name, as "hurricane" is? For example, tropical depression Adam or Tropical Depression Adam? – from Bristol, Conn. on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. Lowercase tropical depression as a descriptive term.

Q. Hi, should we follow OED for cheffy? We've been using chef-y. And second, when writing made-up words like that is -y the way to go? – from Chicago on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. No idea without knowing the context. If OED's spelling and definition fits the situation, go with it.

Q. Is it appropriate to capitalize the word "City" in the following sentence? This sentence is found in a government document, and the word "City" replaces the name of the city (for example, city of Baltimore). "The city could improve lighting by adding additional street lights and removing overgrown tree limbs." – on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. AP would lowercase city in that usage. See the "city" entry.

Q. What is the proper way to talk about more than one cauliflower? Thank you! – from Boston on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

A. Just add an s.

Q. Say that you are writing a Q&A and want two people to be featured in the same question. How would you format that? Ex: Seniors Bob Dylan and Katy Perry recently went on a trip to India to raise money for charity. Q: How did you raise money. A (1st person): A (2nd person): – from Sacramento, Calif. on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. Usually the question and answer(s) are on separate lines. Q: ... A:(Dylan) ... A:(Perry) ...

Q. Punctuation in a retail catalog. In a catalog in a multi-line short description, how should periods be used? Please see examples and give advice if possible. Thanks. Rosewood finish flask set, including flask, funnel, shot glass, deck of cards and five dice. 6 oz. Leather Stainless Steel Flask Set with Presentation Box(.) Also includes 4 Shot Glasses & 1 Funnel(.) Thanks for your help. Brenna W – from Sioux Falls, S.D. on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. AP Stylebook guidance may not work for your retail catalog entries. For example, we'd write five dice, rather than the figure 5. Also, the descriptive words would be spelled lowercase. You might consult other retail catalogs for standard capitalization, etc.

Q. What is AP Stylebook's rule to make a noun possessive when it has a silent s at the end: debris' cloud or debris's cloud? – from Saint Petersburg, Florida on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. In the "possessives" entry, see guidance in SINGULAR COMMON NOUNS ENDING IN S.

Q. A source used the profanity "bullshit," and we'd like to keep it in the quote because he used it to mean false, stupid, nonsensical or illegitimate. Would AP style be "b-------" or "bulls---"? – from , Atlanta, Georgia on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. Generally just the first letter of the vulgarity suffices. In this case, bull----

Q. Can you please settle for my group if western and west should be capitalized in the following two examples: 1. ...conversations about the most pressing business and operational challenges facing western region electric and natural gas. 2. ...conversations about the most pressing business and operational challenges facing electric and gas industries serving the Western United States and Canada. – from Portland, Ore. on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. As regions of the U.S., Western and West are capitalized. See the "directions and regions" entry.

Q. Is it home ownership or homeownership? – from Columbus, Ohio on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. One word, homeownership.

Q. Is a city block like a mile, takes a number? Walk 3 blocks west? Thanks – from Winn Parish, Louisiana on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. Spell out three in this usage: Walk three blocks west.

Q. A person featured in a story goes by his middle name, Joe, but the company directory lists him by his first name, Jack. Our stylebook says use the name as it appears in the directory. So I would say Jack Joe Johnson. But does Joe appear in quotes? It's not a nickname, it's his actual name. Parentheses, maybe? Thanks! (P.S. Names are changed for privacy.) – from Houston on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. Try this: Jack Johnson, known as Joe Johnson to his colleagues, ... or, Jack Johnson, who uses Joe as a first name, ...

Q. Is it Diabetes Kickoff or Diabetes Kick off? – from WARRINGTON, Pa. on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. Probably the noun form: kickoff.

Q. How should I punctuate the following phrase. "the Katy,Texas,-based business" The hyphen and comma look off to me. It's in a quote, so I can't rephrase. – from Houston on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. ... the Katy, Texas-based business ... or, even better, the business based in Katy, Texas, ...

Q. When talking about clinical trials, the phrase "patient-centric" is often used with a hyphen before words like trials, methods, practices etc. Would it retain the hyphen in a phrase like "...to make their trials more patient-centric"? Patient centricity, another variation of this concept, does not contain a hyphen in any forms I have seen. Thanks in advance for your input! – from Woodbridge, N.J. on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. Yes.

Q. Is "triaging" an accepted word? As in, a verb form of "triage"? For example: "Add the challenge of triaging events across your ever-changing IT infrastructure..." – from Austin, Texas on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. Yes, the dictionary lists these verb forms: triage, triaged, triaging.

Q. Should "active duty" and/or "dietitian" be capitalized in the following: She served as an Active Duty Army Dietitian for four years at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center ... Also, should "active duty" be hyphenated in this instance? – from Orlando, Fla. on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. She served as an active duty Army dietitian for four years ...

Q. Should newspaper names be italicized? – from Washington on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. AP doesn't italicize newspaper names in news stories. The "newspaper names" entry does use italics in examples for illustrative purposes.

Q. In The New York Times yesterday, the ballet term "en pointe" was published as "on point" in a dance review. Is that correct? Is it up to the discretion of an individual copy editor? – from Haddonfield, N.J. on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

A. The English translation is no doubt more understandable for readers. See the Stylebook's "foreign words" entry for AP guidance.

Q. Is it man-hunt or manhunt? – from Bahama, N.C. on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. One word: manhunt.

Q. Wal-Mart calls its charitable entity Walmart Foundation. How would AP refer to it? – from Santa Ana, Calif. on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. A recent AP story referred to Wal-Mart's charitable foundation.

Q. I understand avoiding the use of the word murder until after there is a conviction. Using that reasoning, one of our editors argued that a local death investigation should not be called "an apparent murder-suicide," but instead a "slaying-suicide." Any thoughts on use of the word murder in similar instances? – from Tampa, Fla. on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. Strictly speaking, homicide-suicide or slaying-suicide would be more accurate until theres's an official ruling on the deaths. However, initial statements from police or other authoriteis usually use the other formulation, so that should be attributed.

Q. In reference to the position one holds a steering wheel, how would you format 10 and 2? Use numerals for both? Enclosed in quotes? Hyphenate as a modifier in "10-and-2 method?" – from Crystal Lake, Ill. on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. Envisioning the face of a clock, novice drivers are taught to hold the steering wheel at 10 and 2 for optimum control of the vehicle.

Q. Our department uses AP. I don't see this in what I thought would be the comma: nonrestrictive phrase section. I'm hoping you can settle a MAJOR debate I've long had with one of our licensees as well as my coworkers. Which of the following uses the comma correctly? The material introduced earlier constitutes the basis for the subsequent unit, and as a result allows pupils to proceed to the next learning stage easily. The material introduced earlier constitutes the basis for the subsequent unit and, as a result, allows pupils to proceed to the next learning stage easily. MOST IMPORTANT, WHY? Which APstylebook section can I point to? I'd like to enlarge that section and plaster it all over the walls! – from Los Angeles on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. The "essential phrases, nonessential phrases" could be of interest. Rather than choose, I'd tighten the sentence for clarity: The material introduced earlier is the basis for the following unit, allowing pupils to proceed easily to the next learning stage.

Q. May "the" precede the following series even though MLB should not be preceded by "the"? "The NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB." Or should it be "The NCAA, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL and MLB"? – from New York on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. Yes, it may.

Q. Would it be acceptable to capitalize the day and month designations in the following examples? These will appear in a newsletter for acupuncturists and chiropractors. Oct. 24 is Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day. October is National Chiropractic Health Month. – from Milwaukee on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. Correct.

Q. I know AP doesn't use figures for Ten Commandments, but what about in headlines? Should I go by headline rules and use 10 Commandments? – from Hypoluxo, Fla. on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. The Stylebook's "Ten Commandments" entry says do not abbreviate or use figures. So that holds for a headline, too.

Q. Is Third Party Administrator (TPA) capitalized or lowercase? – from Elmwood Park , N.J. on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. You can lowercase third party administrator as a job descriptive. On second reference, the administrator would be clear.

Q. My Canadian counterparts are complaining about applying AP Style to our writing. Is there a Canadian version of the AP Stylebook, or are the same styles applied there as well? – from Chicago on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. Check with the Canadian Press, the country's multimedia press association: http://www.thecanadianpress.com/home.aspx?id=65

Q. Is there any reason to capitalize terms like online banking, checking plan or overdraft line of credit? Others I work with are quite fond of capitalizing common nouns like these in customer-facing communications. – from Bridgeport, Conn. on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. These are generic banking terms and are spelled lowercase in news stories.

Q. The stylebook entry for "twin towers" uses lowercase, but the entry for One World Trade Center capitalizes twin towers in its entry: One World Trade Center Skyscraper opened in 2014 on the site of the Twin Towers destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. The latter is incorrect, yes? – from New York on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

A. The "One World Trade Center" entry in the online Stylebook has been amended to twin towers spelled lowercase. Thank you for pointing out the discrepancy.

Q. Is it "re-regulation" or "reregulation"? – from New York, N.Y. on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. Probably better with a hyphen.

Q. Is it megachain or mega chain? – from Chicago on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. It's not in the dictionary, and it's not widely used, so probably better to hyphenate.

Q. Here's one that's causing quite a stir at my office: We run a page that features multiple items with a descriptive list for each one. For the list items, if a full sentence is used, we end in a period. If it's a fragment, there's no period. What is your suggestion for this? "Soil: Not particular, but good drainage is necessary" Period or no period? Thanks! – from Phoenix on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. See IN LISTS section of the "dash" entry. It's as close as we come to your issue.

Q. Is Westerner capitalized? As in "This part of Vietnam doesn't see many Westerners." – from Tokyo on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. Yes.

Q. Is it trust-building for both the noun and adjective forms? – from Seoul, XX on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. Yes.

Q. Would medium to large regional firms be hyphenated? – from Raleigh, N.C. on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. It's clear without hyphens.

Q. Writing about an organization that helps veterans. Some programs are for disabled veterans and others are not. They are all veterans, but we need to distinguish between the two groups because of the different offerings. I don't like "veterans and disabled vets" because to me it sounds like the disabled vets are not veterans. Or a sentence such as "helps disabled veterans, vets, military spouses etc." Or is vets/veterans and disabled vets/veterans OK to use in the same sentence? Or heading such as "programs for veterans" and then "programs for disabled veterans." – from New Jersey on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. To underline the distinction, try "programs for all veterans" and "separate programs for disabled veterans."

Q. Pronoun question: Roughly 1 in 4 workers will delay retirement to maintain medical coverage through their employer. Or: Roughly 1 in 4 workers will delay retirement to maintain medical coverage through his or her employer. – from CO on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. If the ratio represents a large sampling of workers, with numbers on those surveyed, the plural possessive pronoun is correct, with plural employers to show multiple companies are involved: ... through their employers.

Q. When it comes to event names, would you put quotes around "Welcome Back Lobster Bake" in this sentence: In terms of the best campus dining, College of the Atlantic joined the top five, while Bowdoin College must be doing something right with its annual "Welcome Back Lobster Bake." – from Chicago on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. As an annual or recurring event, known at least locally, the name doesn't quotes

Q. To follow up on my previous question, we follow AP style for product flyers that list product features in bullet points. We also do not spell out the numbers for millimeters for technical reasons. Since we do not spell out the numbers and they must be stated 15 mm, would we capitalize the word following 15 mm? – from Leesburg, Va. on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. No.

Q. When creating content for a PowerPoint presentation, should abbreviations be spelled out upon first use in the presentation agenda or can abbreviations be used in the agenda but spelled out upon first use in the actual presentation content? – from Norman, Okla. on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. It depends on the abbreviations. If they are known to your audience, and space is tight for the presentation agenda, you could probably use option two.

Q. What is AP's position on using "zen" to describe calm or tranquil, as in a moment of zen or 5 zen tips for panicked parents? And would it be capitalized when used colloquially? – from Centreville, Va. on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. As headlines: "A moment of Zen" and "Five Zen tips for panicked parents"

Q. Please help me settle a modest bet: Is the Paul Goodman book titled "Growing Up Absurd" or "Growing up Absurd" in AP Style? Up is not a preposition or conjunction in this usage, so I say Up is, well, Up. Thanks! – from Evanston, Ill. on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. Yes, capitalized as part of the verb, a principal word.

Q. In Georgia, a variety of institutions, including high schools, are named for one of our major rivers, the Chattahoochee. Chattahoochee High School in Johns Creek shortens that to "Hooch" for all sports and news stories. Hooch Football, Hooch Baseball, etc. Is 'Hooch or just Hooch correct? And if it's 'Hooch, which way should the apostrophe be facing? – from Johns Creek, Ga. on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. If the school spells it Hooch, stick with that spelling.

Q. If I have a sentence beginning with a number do I capitalize the next word instead? The current sentence reads: %uFFFD15 mm lateral offset connectors are now available for lateral offset extension%uFFFD.%uFFFD Since it%uFFFDs referring to an implant and not an instrument, we wouldn%uFFFDt normally capitalize it, but I wasn%uFFFDt sure in this case. – from Leesburg, Va. on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

A. Fifteen millimeter lateral offset connectors ...

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