Ask the Editor

Last Seven Days

Question from Baltimore, MD on April 23, 2019

Would the possessive of cannabis be cannabis' or cannabis's?

Answer

The possessive is cannabis's. Here' the guidance:

SINGULAR COMMON NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add ’s: the hostess’s invitation, the hostess’s seat; the witness’s answer, the witness’s story. (A change from previous guidance calling for just an apostrophe if the next word begins with s.)


Answer

Dunkin's rewards program.

Answer

There's not necessarily a 100% right or wrong in these usages. As noted in the hyphen entry, much of hyphen use is a judgment call. I've amended the April 18 answer to conform, deleting the hyphens when not used as a modifier before the noun.

Answer

Best to be specific and use the day as well as the month and the year. Also, do you mean the day it was written, or the day it was published? Often there's a gap!

Answer

It's the Democratic Party.


Answer

It's typically spelled out as you have it. That's not consistent with the fact that United States is typically abbreviated in such a use: the U.S. Department of Treasury. But that's what usage and our style is for both.



Answer

Yes.

Answer

Either is fine. Depends on what you want with the rhythm of the sentence. Adding the comma puts a bit more emphasis on too. But it's largely a matter of preference and what sounds right to the ear as you read that sentence and the surrounding sentences.

Answer

I'd use the hyphen in both cases. Definitely as a modifier before the noun: These are individually quick-frozen shrimp. (Without the hyphen, it could read as if the frozen shrimp are quick individually, a thought that is entertaining me greatly. I'd like to see it animated.)

After the verb, it's not as necessary. But I think adding the hyphen helps with clarity there as well.


Answer

The first is fine, if you absolutely must. As for the second (and really, the first as well): I'm going to answer that with the following parts of hyphen guidance, again. That is the answer. We would not sanction writing it the way you have it, regardless of how it's punctuated.

From the entry, this paragraph and the second sentence of the second paragraph:

If the sheer number of hyphens in a phrase, or confusion about how to use them, can daunt either the writer or the reader, try rephrasing. It’s a guide about how to use hyphens wisely, not it’s a how-to-use-hyphens-wisely guide.

Generally, also use a hyphen in modifiers of three or more words: a know-it-all attitude, black-and-white photography, a sink-or-swim moment, a win-at-all-costs approach. Consider carefully, though, before deciding to use more than three modifiers.


Answer

The hyphen is optional, but I'd say no. It's clear without a hyphen, right?

It's definitely not one word.


Question from Austin, TX on April 20, 2019

Would you capitalize "Precinct" when saying Precinct 2030?

Answer

No, we wouldn't capitalize that. 


Answer

That's largely correct  as of now, but it should be seven to 10 days. And as we discuss our numbers guidelines with an eye to possible revisions: What do you and others think of our guidelines in general, and sentences such as this?

If moving calves to the auto feeder before 14 days, feed 2 quarts, three times a day or 3 quarts, two times a day for seven to 10 days.


Answer

It's commonly done that way. That's really the best rationale I have. Just as my employer's name is The Associated Press, but we say: Associated Press spokeswoman Lauren Easton said ...

But: Francesca Fernandez, spokesperson for The Amsterdam Hotel, said ...


Answer

Here's the multi- entry:

multi-  The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: multicolored multimillion multilateral multimillionaire 

So: multitrillion-dollar question

Answer

If it's widely known as the Special Masters Committee, we'd likely keep the capitalization. Our existing guidance isn't entirely clear and is under review. We may tweak it next year.

Answer

We've discussed and decided to go with Crown of Thorns.


Answer

No period there. 


Answer

Do it as you describe here.




Answer

The comma is optional. You don't need it. The quote marks are optional too, in this case, but I'd use them. 


Question from Faribault, MN on April 19, 2019

Is it Pre-Civil War or pre-Civil War when used in a sentence? 

Answer

It's pre-Civil War.


Answer

Yes, I'd hyphenate it. It could initially be read differently without the hyphen, as if the benefits or the chickens are freeing a range. 




Answer

I'd make it as you have it:  An at-will associate; the company's policy of employment at will.

Answer

I'd use the hyphen.

Answer

We use it in those cases.


Featured Tip


From the Pronunciation Guide

Juan Guaido

gwy-DOH'

Venezuelan congressional leader who has declared himself interim president as part of an effort to unseat socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

View all

From the Topical Guides

Sports Betting Topical Guide

To help with spellings and usage in coverage of sports gambling, The Associated Press has compiled an editorial guide of essential terms and definitions. Most terms are from the Sports Guidelines...


View all

Back to Top