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Last Seven Days

What is the rule of capitalizing words in a title? 

For example, would "from" be capitalized in "No Jumping from Waterfall or Rocks"?

from Orlando, FL on Jun 22, 2017
Rather than a title, your formulation reads like a directive for a sign or a declaration: No jumping from waterfall or rocks

Is it pre-owned or preowned? Webster's specifies pre-owned, but an old Ask the Editor entry specifies preowned. 

from Mountain View, CA on Jun 22, 2017
Go with the dictionary's hyphenated spelling: pre-owned (adj.). The outdated Q&A has been removed.

Do you suggest using "the" before the names of institutions such as schools, churches and banks, or organization names — historical societies, American Legion, fire departments, etc.?

from Mattituck, NY on Jun 22, 2017
The definite article is often placed before a formal name when it stands alone: The American Legion event is scheduled next year.  But when the name is used an adjunct or modifying noun, the article often isn't used: i.e., American Legion membership data showed ...

A colleague of mine considers "Great Recession" an insider term (financial industry jargon), but the way I read your entry, it should be OK for general use. Can you confirm? thx!

from St. Louis, MO on Jun 22, 2017
AP uses the Great Recession for general audience. A brief explanation can be helpful, though.

You seem to suggest in a couple of Ask the Editor answers that girls' night out should include an apostrophe. The style book, however, offers a memory aid under "apostrophe/descriptive phrases" that seems to suggest that "girls night out" should be read as a night out for girls and therefore not take an apostrophe.

from Canton, CT on Jun 22, 2017
Yes, girls night out can also be written as a descriptive without an apostrophe. My original answer reflects a spelling with an apostrophe often used by retailers to promote such events.

Is the word state capitalized in "State of Tennessee"?

from Nashville, TN on Jun 21, 2017
AP would spell state lowercase: state of Tennessee. The state entry says it's lowercase in all state of constructions.

Are first reference military rank abbreviations acceptable?  For example, "Briefed the Col. regarding upcoming events."   

from Fairfax Station, VA on Jun 21, 2017
AP spells out military ranks lowercase when standing alone: Briefed the colonel regarding upcoming events.

Should I put a hyphen after Revival in "Gothic Revival-style church"

from Cleveland, TN on Jun 21, 2017
Correct as you have it.


When you have a city named Mt. Healthy, do we apply AP style or let it be an exception as a formal name?

from Cincinnati, OH on Jun 21, 2017
Various AP stories have used both Mt. Healthy and Mount Healthy in stories from that Ohio town.  The city's website uses Mt. Healthy. The local preference would seem decisive. Is it unanimous among town authorities that the Mt. spelling is official?  Does that square with state maps and other references?

Is it broadband width or broad bandwidth?

from Zanesville, OH on Jun 21, 2017
It's broadband width.

When listing a series of locations in city, state format, is the following punctuation correct?

I went to Bristol, TN, Kingsport, TN, and Johnson City, TN.

from Raleigh, NC on Jun 21, 2017
AP doesn't use the state postal abbreviation except in citing some addresses.  The state name is spelled out in full within news stories. Rather than repeat the state, suggest you rephrase the reference: I went to three towns in Tennessee: Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City.

Does the AP Stylebook contain a definition or usage guidelines for the term "internment" in reference to the Japanese American incarceration during WWII? 

from Sacramento , CA on Jun 21, 2017
The term isn't addressed in the AP Stylebook. However, AP stories about Japanese-Americans in World War II  usually include background along these lines: 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. They were deported to the interior of the U.S. merely on suspicion of being loyal to Japan. 

What are the usages of special teams in football? Specifically, do you hyphenate special teams when it is an adjective, as in, he made three special-teams tackles?

from Searcy, AR on Jun 20, 2017
It's not hyphenated as a noun phrase in AP usage: three special teams tackles.

I see that held on to and hang on to are three-word constructions, but online results seem to favor lock onto as a two-word verb phrase. Per AP style, should that be three words or two?

from Baltimore, MD on Jun 20, 2017
Where is it written that the first two are always three-word constructions? Usage doesn't bear it out. Yes, it's lock onto.

What is AP style for time element in online stories? I have noticed some newspapers now giving the day of the week and the date within the seven-day range. 

from Menifee, CA on Jun 20, 2017
UPDATE: AP stories use the day of the week within a seven-day range.  The date is used for time ranges beyond. The practice is the same for print and online.

What is the style for rappers' names on second reference?  

from Kansas City, MO on Jun 20, 2017
If it's a multiword name, a shorter version may be used in follow-ups. When you asked previously about naming Chance the Rapper, I said he may be Chance on second reference. Or there could be a variation referring to his residence, such as the Chicago rapper.

I do a lot of articles involving funerals and cemeteries. Should I use funeral home owners or funeral homeowners?

from Phoenix, AZ on Jun 20, 2017

Written as three separate words in AP stories: funeral home owners.

Should "cardholder" be one word or two when part of a compound modifier, for example:
"Has your organization identified all sources of credit and debit cardholder data?"

from Springfield, MO on Jun 20, 2017
AP news archives show business stories using separate words: credit and debit card holder.  However, when it stands alone, cardholder is spelled as a compound.

Should a comma follow "but when" in the following sentence?
It's not a matter of if, but when a cyber threat will affect your clients.

from Springfield, MO on Jun 20, 2017
AP stories using that formulation don't put a comma after when.

Should the TM symbol be used in print to indicate registered trademarks? 

from Louisville, KY on Jun 20, 2017
AP news stories don't use that symbol. However, a trademark name is capitalized.

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