Ask the Editor

Last Seven Days

Answer

That's beyond the scope of what we address. I'd say that it's fine the way you suggest it, without additional documentation at the bottom. 

Answer

Yes, use quotation marks. See this section of the Coronavirus Topical Guide:

long COVID-19 (updated)

A term used for long-term effects of COVID-19. Most people recover in a few weeks after infection. Others have symptoms that linger or return for weeks or months, including fatigue, shortness of breath, "brain fog" and trouble sleeping. The condition is sometimes referred to as long-haul COVID-19. Avoid the medical term: post-acute COVID syndrome, or PACS, and avoid using long-haulers for people with the condition.


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It's off-site and on-site, according to the Stylebook entries. I think the editor answering the 2017 question was looking at the punctuation issue, not the style on off-site. I'll delete it. Thanks.

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This seems to be one of those that we don't have strong feelings about. But indeed, you are right that we do say to hyphenate in both uses.

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Almost 723 million. We typically don't spell out long numbers. If you need to be that precise for your purposes, you can, of course.

Question from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on Jan. 24, 2022

Why is Timecard one word but Time sheet two? Is there a general rule for these? 

Answer

You are seeing entries from Webster's New World College Dictionary, which you can get as part of your Stylebook Online subscription. I can't speak to the dictionary editors' decisions. I can say certainly that the English language is consistently inconsistent.

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The phrasing the following is OK, and the colon use is correct. But you really don't need the following. Why not just: The readmission process includes: and A letter including:

On the first bullet:
  • A new application form (no admission fee will be charged).

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In this case, yes, since it's a nonessential phrase. Only one publication can be his latest. So: These texts have been kept alive in his latest publication, “Anthology of Evening Rhymes from the 16th Century.” 

But no comma if you're talking about one of his several publications. In that case, the name of this one is essential to understanding the meaning. No commas with essential phrases. In that case: These texts have been kept alive in his publications “Anthology of Evening Rhymes from the 16th Century”  and "A Trip Through Time and Rhyme."

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I don't know if it's new, but it's wrong. Should be ... organization whose mission is to ...

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We don't capitalize such uses.

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Either the long-sought agreement or the long-sought-after agreement is OK. We prefer the former because it's shorter.

But no hyphen in these uses: The agreement is long sought. They have long sought the agreement.

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We don't use it. We aim to use more specific wording about what is meant in any specific situation, group, etc.


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We don't use it. 

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Good catch! Should be lowercase amendments. We'll fix it. Thanks very much.

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It probably depends on whether the programs have offical titles, or just descriptive names. No quotes for the latter. Possibly for the former, though it's a little hard to picture an example.

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We don't use the acronym. I'd use the capitalized version myself.

Answer

In AP style, we haven't called it the novel coronavirus for quite some time. We say simply calling it the coronavirus is fine in reference to the current pandemic. The guidance is below. And yes, strain is acceptable for variants.



coronaviruses


A family of viruses, some of which cause disease in people and animals, named for the crownlike spikes on their surfaces.

Coronaviruses can cause the common cold or more severe diseases such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). A new coronavirus first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. It causes a respiratory illness now called COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

The virus itself is named SARS-CoV-2 but avoid using that name.

Referring to simply the coronavirus is acceptable on first reference in stories about the current pandemic. While the phrasing incorrectly implies there is only one coronavirus, the meaning is clear in this context. A year into the outbreak, do not use the terms new coronavirus or novel coronavirus unless needed to distinguish between viruses.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, breathing trouble, sore throat, muscle pain and loss of taste or smell. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia.

Sometimes people with a coronavirus infection display no symptoms.

The term coronavirus is generally acceptable in references to the pandemic: coronavirus cases, coronavirus tests, coronavirus variants. Use the term COVID-19 when referring specifically to the disease: COVID-19 treatments, COVID-19 patients, COVID-19 deaths, recovering from COVID-19.

Passages and stories focusing on the science of the disease require sharper distinctions.

When referring specifically to the virus, the COVID-19 virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 are acceptable, as is simply the coronavirus.

But, because COVID-19 is the name of the disease, not the virus, it is not accurate to write a virus called COVID-19.

Also incorrect are usages such as COVID-19 spreads through the air; scientists are investigating how long COVID-19 may remain on surfaces; she worries about catching COVID-19. In each of those, it should be the coronavirus, not COVID-19.

The shortened form COVID is acceptable if necessary for space in headlines, and in direct quotations and proper names.

Omitting the is acceptable in headlines and in uses such as: He said coronavirus concerns are increasing.



Answer

It does look like a lot. But it's correct.

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We typically don't use the formal name of such measures. Instead, phrasing such as the $1 trillion infrastructure legislation that passed last year ... 

Answer

It's fine as written. 

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I'd do it the second way. The first way is fine, but I think the second is easier to read.

Question from Brandon, South Dakota, on Jan. 20, 2022

How do you hyphenate this?
two multi-million-dollar revenue bond issues 

Answer

Two multimillion-dollar revenue bond issues.

Answer

As you have it.

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It's Earth-like. Here's the guidance.


-like 


Do not precede this suffix by a hyphen unless the letter l would be tripled or the main element is a proper noun:bill-like | Norwalk-like
businesslike | shell-like

An exception is flu-like.


Question from White Plains, New York, on Jan. 20, 2022

Can we abbreviate not meaningful? n/m, nm

Answer

We don't. 

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Coronavirus Topical Guide

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