Ask the Editor

Last Seven Days

Answer

Our names entry begins:  In general, use only last names on second reference.

The "in general" part certainly allows some wiggle room. The Stylebook doesn't specifically address the question of second-reference first names in informal contexts. But in practice, it's a reasonable approach in the context that you describe.

This would be an easy call if you were writing just for your own newsletter (if you had one). In that case, the audience is narrow and use of the first name would seem totally appropriate.

I can see the local newspaper's concern, though, if one column adopts a style that is different from what's in the rest of the newspaper.

The final decision obviously is up to the local editors. But you can let them know that the Stylebook does allow for some exceptions on the second-reference last name question. In fact, I'm willing to bet that an occasional AP story has used just the first name on second reference.





Answer

In general with all sports, including volleyball, the winner’s score should be listed first. Volleyball is a little complicated because it’s played in sets. Using your example: Team 1 lost to Team 2, dropping the fifth set 15-12. Full breakdowns of set scores are much easier using a match summary listing the winner first or with a sentence naming the winner first: Team 2 def. Team 1: 21-25, 25-16, 29-27, 16-25, 15-12. Most sentences will be more clunky if listing all the scores while naming the losers first, so better to simplify: Team 1 lost in straight sets. Team 1 lost to Team 2, winning the first set before dropping the next three. 

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The dictionary we use is actually Webster's New World College Dictionary, which isn't related to Merriam-Webster. Regardless, both dictionaries do show audiobook, one word. We defer to Webster's New World College Dictionary and would use audiobook as well. I've deleted the previous incorrect answer. Thanks for noting it.


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This is totally a judgment call with no definitive right or wrong. I'd make it special-purpose local option sales tax. No caps.

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Yes, it's best hyphenated for clarity.

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I'd use the hyphens.


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If it's within the current year, AP style doesn't use years. Just: Oct. 21. If it's in a different year: Oct. 21, 2016.


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Either is fine.


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AP style doesn't capitalize those terms.

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We don't have a specific style for that term. Our style in general is carmaker, one word. That's certainly fine in usages such as The carmakers are gathering for the auto show. But since electric modifies car and not carmaker, I'd use electric-car maker for clarity.

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You need the article the in that construction: the Redskins' Morgan Moses. Or, Redskins player Morgan Moses.

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I'd follow the style used by the local agency.


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No, it's not used as a noun.


Question from Kaunakakai, HI on Aug. 13, 2018

AP Stylebook says to use two words for day care "in all uses." One of the Ask the Editor replies says this is in accordance with the dictionary. But the Fifth edition dictionary entry also has it as one word and hyphenated as a modifier. :
day care  daytime care given to preschool children or to school children after school or during vacation, as at a day-care center, or to the elderly, as at a social agency: also written daycare

Does AP still hold to the "in all uses" rule? (It goes back to 2006.)

Answer

Yes, day care in all uses is still our style.


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Yes, we adopted one word, cellphone, a number of years ago.

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Yes


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This seems similar to a question from the other day:
https://apstylebook.com/ask_the_editors/35216

In connection to hurts my ear as well. I'm with you on making it in connection with

But maybe there's an evolving usage that we caught up with? Others, what do you think?

Question from Tulsa, OK on Aug. 10, 2018

Is it cashier-less store or cashierless store?

Answer

I'd use the hyphen for marginally better clarity. But it's still an unfamiliar term that likely will stump readers. How about: a store that doesn't have cashiers.

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That's probably debatable, and it's hard to tell without seeing the context of the entire chart. If it's a very word-heavy chart, then writing out the numbers under 10 might indeed be better. If it's more numbers-heavy, I'd go with the numerals.


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Our pre- entry needs to be clarified; that's on the list to discuss but we haven't done it yet. I'd go with preboarding without the hyphen. That's in line with our general preference not to use hyphens if they're not necessary. It also keeps it consistent with TSA Precheck.

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Our style is: 401(k)


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Yes, I would use the comma for clarity.

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Here's the entry:

counter-  The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: counteract counterproposal countercharge counterspy counterfoil 


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That's exactly right. Also, it's The Associated Press and then the AP.



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Midwest-native subscribers: What do you think? The construction feedback to or approval to certainly is unfamiliar to me, and I would change it as well. But maybe it's a regionalism I'm not familiar with?

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