Herald Styleguide

800
 
Do not precede with a 1- for toll-free phone calls.


911


No hyphens in emergency phone number. “911 call” is acceptable.


9/11


Acceptable in all references to describe the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.


(-)maker


automaker, bookmaker, dressmaker, filmmaker, gunmaker, homemaker, peacemaker, policymaker, shoemaker, troublemaker. But some other combinations, not so well established, should be two words: carpet maker, decision maker.


20-something


3M The name of the company is Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing. Its products are known under the names 3M and Scotch. The company is popularly known as 3M. Headquarters is in St. Paul, Minn.


401(k)

4-H


4-H Club is preferred. Members are 4-H’ers.


7-Eleven


Trademark for stores operated and licensed by Southland Corp. Headquarters in Dallas.


a-


The rules of prefixes apply, but in general no hyphen. Some examples: achromatic, atonal


a la carte, a la king, a la mode

a, an


Use the article a before consonant sounds: a historic event, a one-year term (sounds as if it begins with a w), a united stand (sounds like you). Use the article an before vowel sounds: an energy crisis, an honorable man (the h is silent), an NBA record (sounds like it begins with the letter e,), an 1890s celebration.


A.D. Acceptable in all references for anno Domini: in the year of the Lord. Because the full phrase would read in the year of the Lord 96, the abbreviation A.D. goes before the figure for the year: A.D. 96. Do not write: The fourth century A.D. The fourth century is sufficient. If A.D. is not specified with a year, the year is presumed to be A.D.

a.m., p.m. Lowercase, with periods. Avoid the redundant 10 a.m. this morning.

AAA Formerly the American Automobile Association. Headquarters in Heathrow, Fla.

AARP Use only the initials. Now the official name for the American Association of Retired Persons.

abbreviations Do not use abbreviations the reader would not instantly recognize. A few universally known abbreviations are required in some circumstances, and others are acceptable depending on the context.

The following common abbreviations don’t need to be spelled out on first reference but may be spelled out on subsequent reference if needed for clarity: ABC, AFL-CIO, AIDS, CIA, CBS, FBI, IBM, IRS, NAACP, NASA, NATO, NBC, OPEC, PBS, PTA, PUD, USS, YMCA, YWCA. Other names and terms are spelled out on first reference. The abbreviation, if clear, may be used in subsequent references. Example: the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC. Do not use abbreviations for Snohomish County towns in headlines, such as MLT for Mountlake Terrace, M’ville for Marysville, GF for Granite Falls or L. Stevens for Lake Stevens. Use the town name in a summary head to identify the community where the story is originating. Do not invent acronyms or allow invented acronyms in stories. On second reference, refer to the agency or the commission or whatever. When in doubt, repeat the full name of the organization, even if used multiple times. Never use government or military abbreviations or acronyms, however common, such as DOT, DOD or DOE for Department of Transportation, Department of Defense or Department or Energy. Acronyms and abbreviations hinder readers because they must backtrack to find the original references. You risk having them stop reading rather than take the trouble.

Some general principles on abbreviations: BEFORE A NAME: Abbreviate the following titles when used before a full name outside direct quotations: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Mr., Mrs., Rep., the Rev., Sen. and certain military designations listed in the military titles entry. Spell out all except Dr., Mr., Mrs. and Ms. when they are used before a name in direct quotations. Check separate entries for commonly used titles. See also courtesy titles, legislative titles, military titles, religious titles AFTER A NAME: Abbreviate junior or senior after an individual’s name. Abbreviate company, corporation, incorporated and limited when used after the name of a corporate entity. Check entries under these words and company names. See also corporation, incorporated, limited. In some cases, an academic degree may be abbreviated after an individual’s name. See also academic degrees.

WITH DATES OR NUMERALS: Use the abbreviations A.D., B.C., a.m., p.m., No., and abbreviate certain months when used with the day of the month.

IN NUMBERED ADDRESSES: Abbreviate avenue, boulevard and street in numbered addresses: He lives on Pennsylvania Avenue. He lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

STATES AND NATIONS: The names of certain states, and the United States (but not other nations), are abbreviated with periods in some circumstances. Check individual entries. See also state names, datelines.

AVOID AWKWARD CONSTRUCTIONS: Do not follow an organization’s full name with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses or set off by dashes. If an abbreviation would not be clear on second reference without this arrangement, do not use it.

SPECIAL CASES: Many abbreviations are desirable in tabulations and certain types of business and technical writing. Check individual entries.

CAPS, PERIODS: Use capital letters and periods according to the listings in this book. For words not in this book, use the first-listed abbreviation in Webster’s New World Dictionary. If an abbreviation not listed in this book or in the dictionary achieves widespread acceptance, use capital letters. Omit periods unless the result would spell an unrelated word.

LOWERCASE, WITHOUT PERIODS: mph, mpg, rpm, mm (millimeter) LOWERCASE, WITH PERIODS: a.m., p.m., c.o.d.

ABCs

able-bodied

ABM Acceptable in all references for anti-ballistic missile, but the term should be defined in the story. Avoid the redundant phrase ABM missiles.

A-bomb Use atomic bomb unless a direct quotation is involved.

Aborigine Capitalize both Aborigine and Aboriginal when referring to Australian natives, lowercase in others.

abortion Do not use the terms pro-life, prochoice or pro-abortion except in quotes. Use antiabortion, pro-abortion rights, abortion opponents, abortion-rights activists or similar neutral phrases.

about/around Use about 6 p.m., not around 6 p.m.

aboveboard

absent without leave AWOL is acceptable on first reference if spelled out later on.

absent-minded

absinthe bitter green liqueur made from wormwood.

Abu Sayyaf Muslim separatist group based in the southern islands of the Philippines. The name is Arabic for father of the sword.

academic degrees Use Dr. as title only for medical doctors, not Ph.D.s or similar degrees. If a reference to a degree is necessary, avoid the abbreviation and use a phrase such as John Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology. Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. Also: an associate degree (no possessive). Use abbreviations B.A., M.A., LL.D. and Ph.D. only when the need to identify many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome. Use these abbreviations only after a full name, never after just a last name. When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas: Daniel Moynihan, Ph.D.

academic titles Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as chancellor, chairman, etc., when they precede a name. Lowercase elsewhere. Lowercase modifiers such as department in department Chairman Jerome Wiesner.

Academy Awards Presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Also known as the Oscars. Lowercase the academy and the awards whenever they stand alone. Lowercase the category, as in Academy Award for best picture.

accent marks See the entry for diacritical marks.

accept, except Accept means to receive. Except means to exclude.

accident/mishap Do not use mishap as a synonym for accident, especially when people are killed or injured.

accommodate

according to According to is considered a neutral form of attribution when referring to a company or a document, but when used with a person it should be limited to someone making a claim of some sort.

accused A person is accused of a crime, not with a crime. To avoid any suggestion that an individual is being judged before a trial, do not use a phrase such as accused slayer John Jones, use John Jones, accused of the slaying.

Ace A trademark for a brand of elastic bandage.

acknowledgment

ACORN Acronym for the activist group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

acre Equal to 43,560 square feet or 4,840 square yards. The metric equivalent is .4 (two-fifths) of a hectare or 4,047 square meters. To convert to hectares, multiply by .4 (5 acres x .4 equals 2 hectares).

acronyms Do not invent acronyms. Example: The hearing to address the continuing appeal from CUPSRV is scheduled to resume at the end of the month. Use only acronyms that are instantly recognizable, such as Alcoa, Paccar, Safeco. Lowercase whenever possible. AVOID AWKWARD CONSTRUCTIONS: Do not follow an organization’s full name with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses. If an abbreviation or acronym is not clear on second reference, do not use it.

act Capitalize when part of the name for pending or implemented legislation: the Taft-Hartley Act.

act numbers Use Arabic figures and capitalize act: Act 1; Act 2, Scene 2. But: the first act, the second act.

acting Always lowercase, but capitalize any formal title that may follow before a name: acting Mayor Peter Barry.

actor (exception to AP) Actor is acceptable for men and women and preferable when the person in question prefers it, although actress may be appropriate in some cases.

Actors’ Equity Association Headquarters is in New York.

ad Short for advertisement. Acceptable in both copy and headlines.

ad nauseam

-added Follow this form in sports stories: The $50,000-added sweepstakes. Also use $50 million-plus.

addresses Use abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Spell them out and capitalize when part of a formal street name without a number: Pennsylvania Avenue. Lowercase and spell out when used alone or with more than one street name: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania avenues. All similar words (alley, drive, road, terrace, etc.) are spelled out. Use figures for an address number: 9 Morningside Circle. Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when used as street names; use figures with two letters for 10th and above: 7 Fifth Ave., 100 21st St. Abbreviate compass points in all cases, without periods if two or more capital letters are used: He lived on 121st Avenue SE, or 121st Avenue S., Lakeville.

ACT Use only the initials in referring to the previously designated American College Testing.

adjectives See the Punctuation, comma entry, for guidance on use of commas in punctuating a series of adjectives. See Punctuation, hyphen entry for guidance guidance on handling compound modifiers used before a noun.

adjustable-rate mortgage A mortgage that has a fixed interest rate for a short period of time and then resets, usually yearly, over the life of the loan, based on an index tied to changes in market interest rates. ARM should be used only in direct quotes.

ad-lib (n., v., adj.)

administration Lowercase the administration, the president’s administration, the governor’s administration, the Bush administration.

administrative law judge This is the federal title for the position formerly known as hearing examiner. Capitalize it when used as a formal title before a name. To avoid the long title, seek a construction that sets the title off by commas: The administrative law judge, John Williams, disagreed.

administrator Do not abbreviate. Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name.

admiral

admissible

admit, admitted These words may in some contexts give the erroneous connotation of wrongdoing. A person who announces that he is a homosexual, for example, may be acknowledging it to the world, not admitting it. Said is usually sufficient.

adopt, approve, enact, pass Amendments, ordinances, resolutions and rules are adopted or approved. Bills are passed. Laws are enacted.

Adventist A member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

adverbs See Punctuation, hyphen entry for guidelines on when an adverb should be followed by a hyphen in constructing a compound modifier.

adverse, averse Adverse means unfavorable: He predicted adverse weather. Averse means reluctant, opposed: She is averse to change.

adviser Not advisor.

advisory

Aer Lingus The headquarters of this airline is in Dublin, Ireland.

Aeroflot The headquarters of this airline is in Moscow.

Aeromexico This airline formerly was known as Aeronaves de Mexico. Headquarters is in Mexico City.

aesthetic

affect, effect



Affect, as a verb, means to have an effect on; influence; produce a change in: Bright light affects the eyes. (Webster’s New World Dictionary)

Affect, as a noun, is best avoided. It occasionally is used in psychology to describe an emotion, but there is no need for it in everyday language.

Effect, as a verb, means to cause: He will effect many changes in the company.



Effect, as a noun, means result: The effect was overwhelming. He miscalculated the effect of his actions. It was a law of little effect.



Afghan A native of Afghanistan. Afghani is the Afghan unit of currency.

Afghanistan Spelling of provinces, followed by provincial capitals, in Afghanistan:
Badakhshan, Fayzabad
Balkh Mazar-i-Sharif, Mazar-e-Sharif
Bamiyan, Bamiyan
Ghazni, Ghazni
Helmand, Lashkar Gah
Herat, Herat
Kabul, Kabul
Kandahar, Kandahar
Khost, Khost
Kunar, Asadabad
Logar, Pul-e-Alam
Nangarhar, Jalalabad
Paktika, Gardez
Uruzgan, Tirin Kot
Wardak, Maydan Shahr
Zabul, Qalat

AFL-CIO Acceptable in all references for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.

A-frame

African Do not use the word as a synonym for black people. In some countries of Africa, colored is used to describe those of mixed white and black ancestry. In other societies, colored is considered a derogatory term. Because of the ambiguity, avoid the term. If the word cannot be avoided, place it in quotation marks and provide its meaning.

African Union The African Union, established in 2002 to succeed the Organization of African Unity, has the following members: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

African-American Acceptable for an American black person of African descent. Black is also acceptable. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable. People from Caribbean nations, for example, generally refer to themselves as Caribbean- American. Follow a person’s preference. See nationalities and races, and race entries.

Afrikaans, Afrikaner Afrikaans is an official language of South Africa. Afrikaner is a South African of European and especially Dutch ancestry.

after- No hyphen after this prefix when it is used to form a noun: aftereffect; afterthought. Follow after with a hyphen when it is used to form compound modifiers: after-dinner drink; after-theater snack.

afterward Not afterwards.

Agence France-Presse A global news agency with headquarters in Paris and founded in 1835. Employs 2,900 staff and stringers in 165 countries. Transmits news in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, German and Portuguese. AFP acceptable on second reference.

agencies Retain capitalization of agency name, such as Forest Service, if the full name starts with U.S., but not if it starts with national: National Park Service, the park service.

Agency for International Development AID is acceptable on second reference.

agent Lowercase unless it is a formal title used before a name. In the FBI, the formal title is special agent. Use Special Agent William Smith if appropriate in special context. Otherwise, make it agent William Smith or FBI agent William Smith.

ages Always use figures for people, animals and inanimates: The girl is 15 years old; the law is 8 years old; the 101-year-old house. When the context does not require years or years old, the figure is presumed to be years. Use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun. Examples: A 5-year-old boy, but the boy is 5 years old. The boy, 7, has a sister, 10. The woman, 26, has a daughter 2 months old. The race is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s (no apostrophe). See also boy; girl; infant; youth and numerals. See comma in punctuation guidelines.

ages of history A historic event is an important occurrence, one that stands out in history. Any occurrence in the past is a historical event.

agnostic, atheist An agnostic is a person who believes it is impossible to know whether there is a God. An atheist is a person who believes there is no God.

aid, aide Aid is assistance. An aide is a person who serves as an assistant.

aide-de-camp, aides-de-camp A military officer who serves as assistant and confidential secretary to a superior.

AIDS



Acceptable in all references for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, sometimes called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

AIDS is a disease that weakens the immune system, gradually destroying the body’s ability to fight infections and certain cancers. It is caused by human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. (HIV virus is redundant.) HIV is spread most often through sexual contact; contaminated needles or syringes shared by drug abusers; infected blood or blood products; and from infected women to their babies at birth or through breast feeding.

Several types of tests are available for HIV. One is a blood test that looks for antibodies the body has made to defend against HIV. Other tests look for parts of the virus itself in blood. Those who test positive are often described as being HIV-positive.

People infected with the virus do not have AIDS until they develop serious symptoms. Many remain infected but apparently healthy for years.

ain’t Use only in quoted matter or special contexts.

aioli a garlic mayonnaise from Provence, an emulsification of olive oil, egg yolks and lemon juice.

air base Two words. Follow the practice of the U.S. Air Force, which uses air force base as part of the proper name for its bases in the United States and air base for its installations abroad. On second reference: the Air Force base, the air base, or the base. Do not abbreviate, even in datelines: LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AP) -

Air Canada Headquarters is in Montreal.

Air China Headquarters is in Beijing.

air force Capitalize when referring to U.S. forces: the U.S. Air Force, the Air Force, Air Force regulations. Do not use the abbreviation USAF. Congress established the Army Air Forces in 1941. Before that, the air arm was known as the U.S. Army Air Corps. The U.S. Air Force was created as a separate service in 1947. Use lowercase for the forces of other nations: the Israeli air force.

Air Force One The Air Force applies this name to any aircraft the president of the United States may be using. In ordinary usage, Air Force One is the name of the airplane normally reserved for the president’s use.

Air France Headquarters is in Paris.

Air Jamaica Headquarters is in Kingston, Jamaica.

Air National Guard

air traffic controller (no hyphen)

AirTran Headquarters is in Orlando, Fla.

Airbus A four-member consortium of European aircraft manufacturers. Note that the company title has been trimmed from Airbus Industrie. Parent company is EADS, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co.

air-condition, air-conditioned (v. and adj.) The nouns are air conditioner, air conditioning.

aircraft names



Use a hyphen when changing from letters to figures; no hyphen when adding a letter after figures.

Some examples for aircraft often in the news: B-1, BAC-111, C-5A, DC-10, FH-227, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Falcon, L-1011, MiG-21, Tu-144, 727-100C, 747, 747B, VC-10. Airbus A300 or A300 (no hyphen) is an exception. This hyphenation principle is the one used most frequently by manufacturers and users. Apply it in all cases for consistency. For other elements of a name, use the form adopted by the manufacturer or user. If in doubt, consult Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft.

In plural form: DC-10s, 747s. But 747B’s (apostrophe used in forming the plural of a single letter).

Use Arabic figures to establish the sequence of aircraft, spacecraft and missiles. Apollo 10. No hyphens.

Do not use quotation marks for aircraft with names: Air Force One, the Spirit of St. Louis, Concorde.

Boeing’s major passenger jets at a glance:
707: No longer in production, but the plane that made Boeing what it is today and revolutionized world air travel. It was not, however, the first successful commercial jetliner. That was a plane called the BOAC Comet, made by the predecessor of British Aerospace, the British Overseas Aircraft Corp. The 707 is still flown, though mostly by freight companies or foreign carriers. It is a long-range, four-jet, 165-passenger plane.
727: No longer in production, but many still in service. A medium-range tri-jet, 94 to 145 passengers.
737: Renton-based program. World’s largest-selling commercial jetliner. Latest versions are the 737-400 ,737-500, 737-600, 737-700, 737-800. Short-range, twinjet, 103 to 159 passengers.
747: One of three families of Everett-assembled Boeing jetliners. Latest versions are the 747-300 and 747-400 models. Long-range (up to 8,380 miles) tour jet, 276-550 passengers. Boeing also makes freighter and Combi (part cargo, part passenger) versions of the 747.757: Renton program. Long-range twin-jet, 186-220 passengers.
767: Everett-based program. Long-range, widebody twin-jet, 174 to 290 passengers. Versions include 767-200, 767-200ER, 767-300, 767-300ER, (ER stands for extended range), 767-400 ERX and 767 Freighter.
777: Everett program. Long-range twin-jet, up to 440 passengers.
787: Everett-based program. Next-generation jetliner, currently under development. Mid-size jet set for launch in May 2008. First Boeing jetliner to make extensive use of composites. (February 2007).



The Boeing website at www.boeing.com contains extensive company background information.

aircraft terms Use engine, not motor, for the units that propel aircraft: a twin-engine plane (not twin engined). Use jet plane or jetliner to describe only those aircraft driven solely by jet engines. Use turboprop to describe an aircraft on which the jet engine is geared to a propeller. Turboprops sometimes are called propjets. Wide-body and twin-jet are hyphenated in all uses.

airfare

Air-India The hyphen is part of the formal name. Headquarters is in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India.

airline, airlines Capitalize airlines, air lines and airways when used as part of a proper airline name. Major airlines are listed separately by name. Companies that use airlines include Alaska, Alitalia, American, Continental, Hawaiian, Northwest, Southwest, Trans World, United and Western. Companies that use air lines include Delta, Japan, and Ozark. Companies that use airways include All Nippon, Braniff, British and Qantas. Companies that use none of these include Aer Lingus, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Air-India, Air Jamaica, Hughes Airwest, Iberia, KLM, USAir and Western Alaska. On second reference, use just the proper name (Delta) or the airline. Use airlines when referring to more than one line. Do not use air line, air lines or airways in generic references to an airline.

airlines Major international airlines are: Air Canada, Saint Laurent, Quebec; Air China Ltd., Beijing; Air France-KLH (AKH), Roissy, France; Alitalia, Rome; All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd., Tokyo; British Airways, Harmondsworth, England; Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong; China Eastern Airlines (CEA), Shanghai, China; China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd. (ZNH), Guangzhou, China; Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Frankfurt, Germany; Emirates Airlines, Dubai, UAE; Iberia, Madrid, Spain; Japan Airlines, Tokyo; Korean Airlines Co. Ltd., Seoul, Korea; Malaysia Airlines, Subang, Malaysia; Qantas Airways Ltd., Sydney, Australia; Ryanair Holdings PLC, Dublin, Ireland; Singapore Airlines, Singapore; Thai Airways International PLC, Bangkok, Thailand; Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., Crawley, England.

airmail

airman

airport Capitalize as part of a proper name: LaGuardia Airport, Newark International Airport. Style on major regional and national airports: Arlington Municipal Airport Bellingham International Airport Boeing Field (Seattle) Harvey Airfield (Snohomish) Paine Field (Everett) Snohomish County Airport, but Paine Field OK on first reference Portland (Ore.) International Airport Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; Sea-Tac on second reference Spokane International Airport Vancouver (British Columbia) International Airport Baltimore-Washington International Airport (Baltimore) Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Denver International Airport Dulles International Airport (Washington, D.C.) Greater Pittsburgh International Airport Hartsfield International Airport (Atlanta) Houston Intercontinental Airport Kansas City International Airport Lambert Field (St. Louis) Logan International Airport (Boston) Los Angeles International Airport Love Field (Dallas) McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas) Metropolitan Airport (Detroit) Miami International Airport Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport National Airport (Washington, D.C.) New Orleans International Airport Oakland International Airport O’Hare International Airport (Chicago) Philadelphia International Airport San Francisco International Airport

airstrike Solid.

airtight

airtime

airways The system of routes that the federal government has established for airplane traffic. For use in specific carriers’ names.

aka Solid, an exception to Webster’s.

Al-Aqsa The mosque completed in the 8th century atop the Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, in the old city of Jerusalem; Arabs also use Al-Aqsa to refer to the whole area, which houses the Dome of the Rock mosque, too. To Jews the area is known as the Temple Mount, the site of the ancient Jewish temples.

Al Fatah A Palestinian guerrilla organization. Drop the article Al if preceded by an English article: the Fatah statement, a Fatah leader.

Al-Quds The Arabic name for Jerusalem; it means the holy.

Alabama Abbrev.: Ala.

Alaska Do not abbreviate. Largest land area of the 50 states.

Alaska Air Headquarters is in Seattle.

Alaska Standard Time The time zone used in all of Alaska, except the western Aleutian Islands and St. Lawrence Island, which are on Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time. There is also an Alaska Daylight Time.

Alberta A province of western Canada. Do not abbreviate.

Alcoa Alcoa is acceptable on second reference for Aluminum Company of America. The company has dropped the all-capitalized acronym ALCOA and made Alcoa the acceptable acronym for the company name. Alcoa also is a city in Tennessee.

alcoholic Use recovering, not reformed, in referring to those afflicted with the disease of alcoholism.

Alcoholics Anonymous AA is acceptable on second reference. Except for legal or official references, in accordance with the organization’s policy use only first names and first initials of last names when identifying members in stories. Joe S. or Jane D.

alderman Do not abbreviate.

Alford plea Alford pleas are commonly used to resolve a case without the need for a trial. It is a compromise outcome. Under such a plea, the defendant pleads guilty. The defendant does this while at the same time not admitting guilt and conceding there is sufficient evidence to ensure a conviction. If a story needs an explanatory phrase it could be something like ... a plea with the same effect as a guilty plea in which a defendant does not admit guilt but concedes a conviction would be likely. FYI: An Alford plea gets its name from the case law that established it, North Carolina v. Alford, which was argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1970. In that case, a man charged with capital murder pleaded guilty to a lesser murder charge to avoid the risk of a death sentence. The guy pleaded guilty even though he maintained that he had not commited the crime. He acknowledged that he stood a good risk of being convicted if the case had gone to trial, however.

Alitalia Airlines Headquarters is in Rome.

all- Use a hyphen: all-around (not all-round); allout; all-clear; all-star.

All Nippon Airways Headquarters is in Tokyo.

all right (adv.) Not alright. Hyphenate only if used colloquially as a compound modifier: He is an all-right guy.

all time, all-time An all-time high, but the greatest runner of all time. Avoid the redundant phrase all-time record.

Allah The Muslim name for God. The word God should be used, unless the Arabic name is used in a quote written or spoken in English.

Allahu akbar The Arabic phrase for God is great.

allege The word must be used with great care. Avoid any suggestion that the writer is making an allegation. Specify the source of an allegation. In a criminal case, it should be an arrest record, an indictment or the statement of a public official connected with the case. Use alleged bribe or similar phrase when necessary to make it clear that an unproved action is not being treated as fact. Be sure that the source of the charge is specified elsewhere in the story. Avoid redundant uses of alleged. It is proper to say: The district attorney alleged that she took a bribe. Or: The district attorney accused her of taking a bribe. But not: The district attorney accused her of allegedly taking a bribe. Do not use alleged to describe an event that is known to have occurred, when the dispute is over who participated in it. Do not say: He attended the alleged meeting when what you mean is: He allegedly attended the meeting. Do not use alleged as a routine qualifier. Instead, use a word such as apparent, ostensible or reputed.

Allegheny Mountains Or simply: the Alleghenies.

alley Do not abbreviate.

allies, allied Capitalize allies or allied only when referring to the combination of the United States and its Allies during World War I or World War II: The Allies defeated Germany. He was in the Allied invasion of France.

allot, allotted, allotting

allude, refer To allude to something is to speak of it without specifically mentioning it. To refer is to mention it directly.

allusion, illusion Allusion means an indirect reference: The allusion was to his opponent’s war record. Illusion means an unreal or false impression: The scenic director created the illusion of choppy seas.

alma mater

almost never Do not use the phrase. Instead use seldom or hardly ever.

alpine Lowercase as an adjective, such as alpine skiing, alpine meadows. Uppercase if referring to the Alps or people of that region.

al-Qaida International terrorist organization headed by Osama bin Laden.

also-ran (n.)

altar, alter An altar is a tablelike platform used in a church service. To alter is to change.

Aluminum Company of America Alcoa is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Pittsburgh.

alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school. Use alumna ( alumnae in the plural) for similar references to women. Use alumni when referring to a group of both men and women.

Alzheimer’s disease This is a progressive, irreversible neurological disorder. Most victims are older than 65, but Alzheimer’s can strike in the 40s or 50s. Symptoms include gradual memory loss, impairment of judgment, disorientation, personality change, difficulty in learning and loss of language skills. No cure is known.

AM Acceptable in all references to the amplitude modulation system of radio transmission.

Amalgamated Transit Union Use this full name on first reference. Headquarters is in Washington.

ambassador Capitalize as a formal title before a name.

Amber Alert A procedure for rapidly publicizing the disappearance of a child.

ambience Not ambiance.

amendments to the Constitution Use First Amendment, 10th Amendment, etc. Colloquial references to the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination are best avoided, but where appropriate: He took the Fifth seven times.

American An acceptable description for a resident of the United States. It also may be applied to any resident or citizen of nations in North or South America.

American Airlines Headquarters is in Fort Worth, Texas.

American Automobile Association Now called AAA. Headquarters is in Heathrow, Fla. AAA Washington is this state’s chapter.

American Bar Association ABA is acceptable on second reference. Also: the bar association, the association. Headquarters is in Chicago.

American Broadcasting Cos.

American Civil Liberties Union ACLU is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in New York.

American depositary receipt A negotiable certificate representing a foreign company’s equity or debt. ADR is acceptable on second reference.

American depositary share A security issued by a foreign company representing an ownership interest in that company. It can represent a fixed number of securities on deposit, or a fraction of them. ADS is acceptable on second reference.

American Dream Uppercase in the sense that anyone can aspire to achieve material success. American Federation of Government Employees -- Use this full name on first reference to prevent confusion with other unions that represent government workers. Headquarters is in Washington. American Federation of Labor and Congress of

Industrial Organizations AFL-CIO is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington.

American Federation of Musicians Use this full name on first reference. The shortened form Musicians union is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in New York. American Federation of State, County and

Municipal Employees Use this full name on first reference to prevent confusion with other unions that represent government workers. Headquarters is in Washington.

American Federation of Teachers Use this full name on first reference to prevent confusion with other unions that represent teachers. Headquarters is in Washington. American Federation of Television and Radio

Artists Headquarters is in New York.

American Hospital Association On second reference, use the hospital association or the association, not AHA. Headquarters is in Chicago.

American Legion Capitalize Legion in second reference. Members are Legionnaires, just as members of the Lions Club are Lions. Legion and Legionnaires are capitalized because they are not being used in their common noun sense. A legion (lowercase) is a large group of soldiers or, by derivation, a large number of items: His friends are legion. A legionnaire (lowercase) is a member of such a legion.

American Medical Association AMA is acceptable on second reference. Also: the medical association, the association. Headquarters is in Chicago.

American Newspaper Publishers Association

American Petroleum Institute Headquarters is in Washington.

American Postal Workers Union This union represents clerks and similar employees who work inside post offices. Use the full name on first reference to prevent confusion with the National Association of Letter Carriers. The shortened form Postal Workers union is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Washington.

American Press Institute Headquarters is in Reston, Va. Use Press Institute on second reference, not API.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals This organization is limited to the five boroughs of New York City, although it has offices elsewhere that offer legal advice and other services. ASPCA is acceptable on second reference.

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Headquarters is in New York.

American Stock Exchange In second reference: the American Exchange, the Amex or the exchange.

American Telephone & Telegraph Co. The name of the company is now AT&T Corp.

American Veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam Headquarters is in Washington.

Americanisms Words and phrases that have become part of the English language as spoken in the United States are listed with a star in Webster’s New World Dictionary. Most Americanisms are acceptable in news stories, but let the context be the guide.

AmeriCorps Amex American Stock Exchange

amid Not amidst.

amidships

amok Not amuck.

among, between Between introduces two items and among introduces more than two: The funds were divided among Ford, Carter and McCarthy. However, between is the correct word when expressing the relationships of three or more items considered one pair at a time: Negotiations on a debate format are under way between the network and the Ford, Carter and McCarthy committees. As with all prepositions, any pronouns that follow these words must be in the objective case: among us, between him and her, between you and me.

amounts, collective nouns Nouns that denote a unit take singular verbs and pronouns: class, committee, crowd, family, group, herd, jury, orchestra, team. Examples: The committee is meeting to set its agenda. The jury reached its verdict. A herd of cattle was sold. PLURAL IN FORM: Some words that are plural in form become collective nouns and take singular verbs when the group or quantity is regarded as a unit. Examples: A thousand bushels is a good yield; a thousand bushels were created. The data is sound; the data have been carefully collected. The same applies when the word represents an amount, or aggregate: Six inches of rain was recorded. Four thousand gallons of oil was released in the spill.

ampersand (&) Use the ampersand only when it is part of a company’s formal name: Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.

amplitude modulation AM is acceptable in all references.

Amtrak Acronym for American travel by track, used in all references to the National Railroad Passenger Corp. Do not use all caps AMTRAK.

AMVETS American Veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

anchorman, anchorwoman Not anchor or coanchor.

anemia, anemic

Anglican Communion The name for the worldwide association of the 22 separate national Anglican churches. Members of the Anglican Communion, in addition to the Church of England, include the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and in the United States, the Protestant Episcopal Church.

Anglo- Always capitalize. No hyphen when the word that follows is in lowercase: Anglomania, Anglophobe, Anglophile. Use a hyphen when the word that follows is capitalized: Anglo-American Anglo- Indian Anglo-Catholic Anglo-Saxon. Never use Anglo standing alone as a synonym for people who are of English descent or whose primary language is English.

angry At someone or with someone.

animals Do not apply a personal pronoun to an animal unless its sex has been established or the animal has a name: The dog was scared; it barked. Susie the cat, who was scared, ran to her basket. For breed names, follow the spelling and capitalization in Webster’s New World Dictionary. For breeds not listed in the dictionary, capitalize words derived from proper nouns; use lowercase elsewhere: basset hound, Boston terrier.

anniversary Avoid first anniversary, the redundant one-year anniversary and terms such as six-month anniversary (or other time spans less than a year). Similarly, avoid first annual.

anno Domini A.D.

annual An event cannot be described as annual until it has been held in at least two successive years. Do not use the term first annual. Instead, note that sponsors plan to hold an event annually.

annual meeting Lowercase in all uses.

anoint

anonymous sources Do not use them. Exceptions to this rule may be made if there’s no other way to get the information and the information is vital to the story. If a reporter and editors believe a quote from such a source is vital to a story, it must be approved by the executive editor. When an anonymous source is used, there must be an explanation of why we’re protecting the source’s identity. In wire copy, anonymous sources are much more common, especially in federal government stories. Still, copy editors should exercise discretion.

another Another is not a synonym for additional; it refers to an element that somehow duplicates a previously stated quantity. Right: Ten women passed, another 10 failed. Wrong: Ten women passed, another six failed. Right: Ten women passed, six others failed.

Antarctic, Antarctica, Antarctic Ocean

ante- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: antebellum, antedate.

anthems Lowercase the term national anthem.

anti- Hyphenate all except words that have specific meanings of their own. Check Webster’s. An exception is anti-Semitic.

antiaircraft A cannon that fires explosive shells. It is designed for defense against air attack. The form: a 105mm antiaircraft gun.

Antichrist, anti-Christ Antichrist is the proper name for the individual the Bible says will challenge Christ. The adjective anti-Christ would be applied to someone or something opposed to Christ.

anticipate, expect Anticipate means to expect and prepare for something; expect does not include the notion of preparation: They expect a record crowd. They have anticipated it by adding more seats to the auditorium.

anti-Semitic An exception to Webster’s.

antitrust Solid. anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware

anybody, any body, anyone, any one One word. for an indefinite reference: Anyone can do that. Two words when the emphasis is on singling out one element of a group: Any one of them may speak up.

AOL Do not use its former name, America Online.

apostolic delegate, papal nuncio An apostolic delegate is a Roman Catholic diplomat chosen by the pope to be his envoy to the church in a nation that does not have formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican. A papal nuncio is the pope’s envoy to a nation with which the Vatican has diplomatic relations.

apostrophe (‘) POSSESSIVES: See the possessives entry.

PLURAL NOUNS NOT ENDING IN S: Add ‘s: the alumni’s contributions, women’s rights. PLURAL NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add only an apostrophe: the churches’ needs, the girls’ toys, the horses’ food, the ships’ wake, states’ rights, the VIPs’ entrance.

NOUNS PLURAL IN FORM, SINGULAR IN MEANING: Add only an apostrophe: mathematics’ rules, measles’ effects. (But see INANIMATE OBJECTS below.) Apply the same principle when a plural word occurs in the formal name of a singular entity: General Motors’ profits, the United States’ wealth.

NOUNS THE SAME IN SINGULAR AND PLURAL: Treat them the same as plurals, even if the meaning is singular: one corps’ location, the two deer’s tracks, the lone moose’s antlers.

SINGULAR NOUNS NOT ENDING IN S: Add ‘s: the church’s needs, the girl’s toys, the horse’s food, the ship’s route, the VIP’s seat. Some style guides say that singular nouns ending in s sounds such as ce, x, and z may take either the apostrophe alone or ‘s.

See SPECIAL EXPRESSIONS, but otherwise, for consistency and ease in remembering a rule, always use ‘s if the word does not end in the letter s: Butz’s policies, the fox’s den, the justice’s verdict, Marx’s theories, the prince’s life, Xerox’s profits.

SINGULAR COMMON NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add ‘s unless the next word begins with s: the hostess’s invitation, the hostess’ seat, the witness’s answer, the witness’ story.

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles’ heel, Agnes’ book, Ceres’ rites, Descartes’ theories, Dickens’ novels, Euripides’ dramas, Hercules’ labors, Jesus’ life, Jules’ seat, Kansas’ schools, Moses’ law, Socrates’ life, Williams’ plays, Xerxes’ armies.

SPECIAL EXPRESSIONS: The following exceptions to the general rule for words not ending in s apply to words that end in an s sound and are followed by a word that begins with s: for appearance’ sake, for conscience’ sake, for goodness’ sake. Use ‘s otherwise: the appearance’s cost, my conscience’s voice.

PRONOUNS: Personal interrogative and relative pronouns have separate forms for the possessive. None involves an apostrophe: mine, ours, your, yours, his, hers, its, theirs, whose. Caution: If you are using an apostrophe with a pronoun, always double-check to be sure that the meaning calls for a contraction: you’re, it’s, there’s, who’s. Follow the rules listed above in forming the possessives of other pronouns: another’s idea, others’ plans, someone’s guess.

COMPOUND WORDS: Applying the rules above, add an apostrophe or ‘s to the word closest to the object possessed: the major general’s decision, the major generals’ decisions, the attorney general’s request, the attorneys general’s request. Check the plurals entry for guidelines on forming the plurals of these words. Also: anyone else’s attitude, John Adams Jr.’s father, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania’s motion. Whenever practical, however, recast the phrase to avoid ambiguity: the motion by Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania.

JOINT POSSESSION, INDIVIDUAL POSSESSION: Use a possessive form after only the last word if ownership is joint: Fred and Sylvia’s apartment, Fred and Sylvia’s stocks. Use a possessive form after both words if the objects are individually owned: Fred’s and Sylvia’s books.

DESCRIPTIVE PHRASES: Do not add an apostrophe to a word ending in s when it is used primarily in a descriptive sense: citizens band radio, a Cincinnati Reds infielder, a teachers college, a Teamsters request, a writers guide. Memory Aid: The apostrophe usually is not used if for or by rather than of would be appropriate in the longer form: a radio band for citizens, a college for teachers, a guide for writers, a request by the Teamsters. An ‘s is required however, when a term involves a plural word that does not end in s: a children’s hospital, a people’s republic, the Young Men’s Christian Association.

QUASI POSSESSIVES: Follow the rules above in composing the possessive form of words that occur in such phrases as a day’s pay, two weeks’ vacation, three days’ work, your money’s worth. Frequently, however, a hyphenated form is clearer: a two-week vacation, a three-day job.

DOUBLE POSSESSIVE: Two conditions must apply for a double possessive, a phrase such as a friend of John’s, to occur: 1. The word after of must refer to an animate object, and 2. The word before of must involve only a portion of the animate object’s possessions. Otherwise, do not use the possessive form of the word after of: The friends of John Adams mourned his death. (All the friends were involved.) He is a friend of the college. (Not college’s, because college is inanimate). Memory Aid: This construction occurs most often, and quite naturally, with the possessive forms of personal pronouns: He is a friend of mine.

INANIMATE OBJECTS: There is no blanket rule against creating a possessive form for an inanimate object, particularly if the object is treated in a personified sense. Check some of the earlier examples, and note these: death’s call, the wind’s murmur. In general, however, avoid excessive personalization of inanimate objects, and give preference to an of construction when it fits the makeup of the sentence. For example, the earlier references to mathematics’ rules and measles’ effects would better be phrased: the rules of mathematics, the effects of measles.

OMITTED LETTERS: I’ve, it’s, don’t, rock ‘n’ roll, ‘tis the season to be jolly. He is a ne’er-do-well. See contractions.

OMITTED FIGURES: The class of ‘62. The Spirit of ‘76. The ‘20s.

PLURALS OF A SINGLE LETTER: Mind your p’s and q’s. He learned the three R’s and brought home a report card with four A’s and two B’s. The Oakland A’s won the pennant. BUT, no apostrophe in plural forms or with numerals: ABCs, 747s, crazy 8s.

app Short for application. A program that runs inside another service. Many cellphones allow applications to be downloaded to expand their functions. App is acceptable on second reference.

Appalachia In the broadest sense, the word applies to the entire region along the Appalachian Mountains, which extend from Maine into northern Alabama.

Appalachian Mountains Or simply the Appalachians.

apposition A decision on whether to put commas around a word, phrase or clause used in apposition depends on whether it is essential to the meaning of the sentence (no commas) or not essential (use commas).

April Fools’ Day

Aqua-Lung A trademark for an underwater breathing apparatus.

AquaSox Note the ‘S’ is up.

Arabic names



In general, use an English spelling that approximates the way a name sounds in Arabic.

If an individual has a preferred spelling in English, use that. If usage has established a particular spelling, use that.

Problems in transliteration of Arabic names often are traceable to pronunciations that vary from region to region. The g, for example, is pronounced like the g of go in North Africa, but like the j of joy in the Arab Peninsula. Thus it is Gamal in Egypt and Jamal in nations on the peninsula. Follow local practice in deciding which letter to use.

Arabs commonly are known by two names (Hassan Nasrallah), or by three (Mohammed Mahdi Akef). Follow the individual’s preference on first reference. On second reference, use only the final name in the sequence.

The articles al- or el- may be used or dropped depending on the person’s preference or established usage. (Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Zawahri, or Moammar Gadhafi, Gadhafi). The article al- or el- should not be capitalized.

The Arabic word for son (ibn or bin) is sometimes part of a name. On second reference, it is often dropped, using only the final name. In cases of personal preference or common usage, it should be retained. (Osama bin Laden, bin Laden; Abdul-Aziz bin Baz, bin Baz).

The word abu or abou, meaning father of, occasionally is used as a last name (Abdel-Halim Abou Ghazala). Capitalize and repeat it on second reference: Abou Ghazala.

The word abdul, meaning “servant of (God),” generally does not stand alone as a name, except sometimes in South Asia and Afghanistan. It is used in combination with a second name (an Arabic word for an attribute of God). This combination should be hyphenated, unless the individual prefers otherwise, and capitalized (Adil Abdul-Mahdi, Abdul-Mahdi). In Egypt and some other countries, Abdul is often written Abdel, reflecting local pronunciation.

For royalty, the titles king, emir, sheik and imam are used, but prince usually replaces emir. Some Arabs are known only by the title and a given name on first reference (King Abdullah). Others are known by a complete name (Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum). Follow the common usage on first reference. On second reference, drop the title and use only the first name (Abdullah, Mohammed). The full names of many Gulf royals include the word Al, which in their case should be capitalized without a hyphen since it means family of.

The al, when found in front of many newspaper names, means the. It should be capitalized, as in Al-Ahram daily, just as in The New York Times, El Pais, Die Welt.



Arabic numerals The numerical figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. In general, use Arabic forms unless denoting the sequence of wars or establishing a personal sequence for people or animals.

arbitrate, mediate Both terms are used in reports about labor negotiations, but they should not be interchanged. One who arbitrates hears evidence from all people concerned, then hands down a decision. One who mediates listens to arguments of both parties and tries by the exercise of reason or persuasion to bring them to an agreement.

arch- No hyphen after this prefix unless it precedes a capitalized word: archbishop, arch- Republican, archenemy, archrival.

archaeology Not archeology.

archbishop

archbishop of Canterbury In general, lowercase archbishop unless it is used before the name of the individual who holds the office. Capitalize Archbishop of Canterbury standing alone only when it is used in a story that also refers to members of Britain’s nobility.

archdiocese Capitalize as part of a proper name: the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Chicago Archdiocese. Lowercase when it stands alone. Check the entry for the particular denomination in question.

arctic Lowercase for the adjectice meaning frigid; capitalize for the region around the North Pole. Arctic Circle, arctic fox, Arctic Ocean

are A unit of surface measure in the metric system, equal to 100 square meters. An are is equal to approximately 1,076.4 square feet or 119.6 square yards.

area codes Use figures: 425-339-3000. If extension numbers are given: ext. 2, ext. 364, ext. 4071. Use area codes with all phone numbers, but do not precede the number with a 1 to indicate long distance. All phone numbers should be verified and include a cq.

Arizona Abbrev.: Ariz.

Argentine The preferred term for the people and culture of Argentina.

Arkansas Abbrev.: Ark.

Armenian Church of America The term encompasses two independent dioceses that cooperate in some activities: the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, for areas outside California, and the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, which serves California.

Armistice Day It is now Veterans Day.

army Capitalize when referring to U.S. forces: the U.S. Army, the Army, Army regulations. Do not use the abbreviation USA. Use lowercase for the forces of other nations: the French army.

arrest To avoid any suggestion that someone is being judged before a trial, do not use a phrase such as arrested for killing. Instead, use arrested on a charge of killing.

arrive It requires the preposition at. Do not omit, as airline dispatchers often do in: He will arrive La Guardia.

artificial intelligence Ideally, computers that think like humans.

artisanal Artisanal refers to foods and drinks produced in small batches, often using traditional techniques and local ingredients.

artworks

ASAP All caps, no periods for the abbreviation for as soon as possible.

as if The preferred form, but as though is acceptable.

Ash Wednesday The first day of Lent, 46 days before Easter.

ashcan, ashtray

Ashoura The Shiite Muslim holiday marking the death of Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq in the 7th century.

Asian flu

Asian subcontinent In popular usage the term applies to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sikkim and the island nation of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) at the southeastern tip of India.

Asian, Asiatic Use Asian or Asians when referring to people. Some Asians regard Asiatic as offensive when applied to people. Orientals are rugs.

Asian-American A person of Asian birth or descent who lives in the U.S. When possible, refer to a person’s country of origin. For example: Filipino- American or Indian-American. Follow the person’s preference. See nationalities and race, and race entries.

Asperger’s syndrome

assassin, killer, murderer An assassin is a politically motivated killer. A killer is anyone who kills with a motive of any kind. A murderer is one who is convicted of murder in a court of law.

assassination, date of A prominent person is shot one day and dies the next. Which day was he assassinated? The day he was attacked.

assault, battery Popularly, assault almost always implies physical contact and sudden, intense violence. Legally, however, assault means simply to threaten violence, as in pointing a pistol at an individual without firing it. Assault and battery is the legal term when the victim was touched by the assaulter or something the assaulter put in motion.

assault rifle A rifle that is capable of being fired in fully automatic and semi-automatic modes, at the user’s option. Designed for, and used by, military forces. Also used by some law enforcement agencies. The form: an M16 assault rifle, an AK-47 assault rifle.

assault weapon A semi-automatic firearm similar in appearance to a fully automatic firearm or military weapon. Not synonymous with assault rifle, which can be used in fully automatic mode. Wherever possible, be specific about the type of weapon: semi-automatic rifle, semi-automatic shotgun or semi-automatic pistol.

assembly Capitalize when part of the proper name for the lower house of a legislature: the California Assembly. Retain capitalization if the state name is dropped but the reference is specific: SACRAMENTO,

Calif. The state Assembly ... If a legislature is known as a general assembly: the Missouri General Assembly, the General Assembly, the assembly. Legislature also may be used as the proper name, however. Lowercase all plural uses: the California and New York assemblies.

assemblyman, assemblywoman Do not abbreviate.

asset-backed security A financial security backed by loans, leases, credit-card debt, royalties, a company’s accounts receivables, etc. ABS should not be used in copy.

assistant Do not abbreviate. Capitalize only when part of a formal title before a name: Assistant Secretary of State Edward Walker. Whenever practical, however, an appositional construction should be used: George Ball, assistant secretary of state.

associate Never abbreviate. For capitalization norms see assistant.

Association Do not abbreviate. Capitalize as part of a proper name: American Medical Association.

astronaut It is not a formal title. Do not capitalize when used before a name: astronaut John Glenn.

at large Usually two words for an individual representing more than a single district: congressman at large, councilman at large. But it is ambassadorat- large for an ambassador assigned to no particular country.

AT&T This is now the full name of the business formerly known as American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Headquarters is in New York.

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway A subsidiary of Santa Fe Industries. Headquarters is in Chicago.

ATF Acronym for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

athlete’s foot

Atlanta The city in Georgia stands alone in datelines.

Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Richfield Co. Arco is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Los Angeles. Atlantic Standard Time, Atlantic Daylight Time -- Used in the Maritime Provinces of Canada and in Puerto Rico.

Atomic Age It began Dec. 2, 1942, at the University of Chicago with the creation of the first selfsustaining nuclear chain reaction.

Atomic Energy Commission It no longer exists.

attache It is not a formal title. Always lowercase.

attorney general, attorneys general Never abbreviate. Capitalize only when used as a title before a name: Attorney General John Ashcroft.

attorney, lawyer Technically, an attorney is someone (not necessarily a lawyer) empowered to act for another. Such an individual occasionally is called an attorney in fact. A lawyer is a person admitted to practice in a court system. Such an individual occasionally is called an attorney at law. Do not abbreviate. Do not capitalize unless it is an officeholder’s title: defense attorney Perry Mason, attorney Perry Mason, District Attorney Hamilton Burger.

attribution Always attribute a quote, even if there is only one person in the story. Once you have attributed the quote, continue as long as you like, following the rules of paragraph and punctuation. But if you interrupt with another sentence, phrase or whatever, establish the attribution again. Avoid said he and said Smith. Use Smith said unless a phrase follows to describe Smith. Avoid the phrases said in an interview or told the Associated Press, unless they are needed to differentiate from something said in a different venue, such as a speech.

audiotape One word.

augur A transitive verb. Do not follow it with the preposition for: The tea leaves augur a time of success.

author A noun used for both men and women. Do not use it as a verb.

automaker, automakers

automatic

automobiles Capitalize brand names: Buick, Ford, Mustang, MG, Impala, Lowercase generic terms: a Volkswagen van, a Mack truck.

autoworker, autoworkers One word.when used generically. But Auto Worker when referring specifically to the membership and the activities of the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America.

autumn Do not capitalize.

avenue Abbreviate only with a numbered address.

average of The phrase takes a plural verb in a construction such as: An average of 100 new jobs are created daily.

average, mean, median, norm Average refers to the result obtained by dividing a sum by the number of quantities added together: The average of 7, 9, 17 is 33 divided by 3, or 11. Mean commonly designates a figure intermediate between two extremes: The mean temperature of the day with a high of 56 and a low of 34 is 45. Median is the middle number of points in a series arranged in order of size: The median grade in the group of 50, 55, 85, 88, 92 is 85. The average is 74. Norm implies a standard of average performance for a given group: The child was below the norm for his age in reading comprehension.

averse

Avianca The headquarters of this airline is in Bogota, Columbia.

aviator Use for both men and women.

awards and decorations Capitalize them: Bronze Star, Medal of Honor, etc.

awe-struck

awhile, a while Awhile is an adverb and is never used with for, after or other prepositions. A while is a noun phrase and generally is used as part of a prepositional phrase. He plans to stay awhile. He plans to stay for a while.

AWOL Absent without leave. Acceptable on first reference if later spelled out.

ax Not axe. The verb forms: ax, axed, axing.

Axis The alliance of Germany, Italy and Japan during World War II.

B.C. Acceptable in all references to a calendar year in the period before Christ. Because the full phrase would be in the year 43 before Christ, the abbreviation B.C. is placed after the figure for the year: 43 B.C. Acceptable as an abbreviation for British Columbia.

Baby Bells A collective description of the regional telephone companies formed out of the breakup of the Bell System of AT&T. Avoid except in quotes.

baby boomer Lower case, no hyphen.

baby-sit, baby-sitting, baby-sat, baby sitter

baccalaureate

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science A bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s is acceptable in any reference.

back up (v.) backup (n. and adj.)

back yard, backyard Two words as a noun, solid as an adjective.

backcountry One word in all uses.

backward Not backwards.

bad, badly Bad should not be used as an adverb. It does not lose its status as an adjective, however, in a sentence such as I feel bad. Such a statement is the idiomatic equivalent of I am in bad health. An alternative, I feel badly, could be interpreted as meaning that your sense of touch was bad.

Baghdad The city in Iraq stands alone in datelines and articles.

Bagram Air Field The preferred spelling for the U.S. Air Force base in Afghanistan.

Bahamas In datelines, give the name of the city or town followed by Bahamas: NASSAU, Bahamas. In stories, use Bahamas, the Bahamas or the Bahama Islands as the construction of a sentence dictates. Identify a specific island in the text if relevant.

bail Bail is money or property that will be forfeited to the court if an accused individual fails to appear for trial. It may be posted as follows: The accused may deposit with the court the full amount or its equivalent in collateral such as a deed to property. A friend or relative may make such a deposit with the court. The accused may pay a professional bail bondsman a percentage of the total figure. The bondsman, in turn, guarantees the court that it will receive from him the full amount in the event the individual fails to appear for trial. It is correct in all cases to say that an accused posted bail or posted a bail bond (the money held by the court is a form of bond). When a distinction is desired, say that the individual posted his own bail, that bail was posted by a friend or relative, or that bail was obtained through a bondsman.

Bakelite A trademark for a type of plastic resin.

baker’s dozen It means 13. Bakery and Confectionery Workers’ International

Union of America The shortened form Bakery Workers union is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington.

balance of payments, balance of trade The balance of payments is the difference between the amount of money that leaves a nation and the amount that enters it during a period of time. The balance of payments is determined by computing the amount of money a nation and its citizens send abroad for all

purposes including goods and services purchased,

travel, loans, foreign aid, etc. and subtracting from it the amount that foreign nations send into the nation for similar purposes. The balance of trade is the difference between the monetary value of the goods a nation imports and the goods it exports. An example illustrating the difference between the two: The United States and its citizens might send $10 billion abroad -- $5 billion for goods, $3 billion for loans and foreign aid, $1 billion for services and $1 billion for tourism and other purposes. Other nations might send $9

billion into the United States $6 billion for U.S. goods, $2 billion for services and $1 billion for tourism and other purposes. The United States would have a balance-of-payments deficit of $1 billion but a balanceof- trade surplus of $1 billion.

ball carrier

ball field Two words.

ballclub, ballgame ballpark, ballplayer, ballroom

baloney Foolish or exaggerated talk. The sausage or luncheon meat is bologna.

Baltimore The city in Maryland stands alone in datelines.

Band-Aid A trademark for a type of adhesive bandage.

BankAmerica Corp. Headquarters is in Charlotte, N.C.

Bankruptcy tutorial Bankruptcy categories -- personal and business Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases and each of the 94 federal judicial districts handles bankruptcy matters. The primary purposes of the federal bankruptcy laws are to give an honest debtor a “fresh start” in life by relieving the debtor of most debts, and to repay creditors in an orderly manner to the extent that the debtor has property available for payment. Bankruptcies can also be voluntary or involuntary.

Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code is available to both individual and business debtors. Its purpose is to achieve a fair distribution to creditors of the debtor’s available non-exempt property. It provides a fresh financial start for individuals, although not all debt is wiped away; debts for certain taxes, fraudulently incurred credit card debt, family support obligations - including child support and alimony - and most student loans must still be repaid. And the new bankruptcy law that took effect in October 2005 limits Ch. 7 as an option for many Americans: Those deemed by a “means test” to have at least $100 a month left over after paying certain debts and expenses will have to file a 5-year repayment plan under the more restrictive Chapter 13 instead. When a company files for Chapter 7, it usually leads to liquidation. But a company in Chapter 7 proceedings can continue to operate under the direction of a court trustee until the matter is settled, and if it can settle with creditors in the interim, it may not have to be liquidated.

Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for both business and consumer debtors. Its purpose is to rehabilitate a business as a going concern or reorganize an individual’s finances through a courtapproved reorganization plan. When we refer to such a filing, we should say the company is seeking Chapter 11 protection. This action frees a company from the threat of creditors’ lawsuits while it reorganizes its finances. The debtor’s reorganization plan must be accepted by a majority of its creditors. Unless the court rules otherwise, the debtor remains in control of the business and its assets.

Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code is designed to give special debt relief to a family farmer with regular income from farming.

Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code is likely to be required for an increasing percentage of individuals seeking to wipe the slate clean. As mentioned above, those deemed by a “means test” to have at least $100 a month left over after paying certain debts and expenses will have to file a 5-year repayment plan under Chapter 13 that allows unsecured creditors to recover part of all of what they are owed. Supporters believe the changes will help rein in consumers who pile up credit card debt only to wipe it out with a Chapter 7 filing. Opponents say the law will hurt those who incur debt unexpectedly such as with health problems or lost jobs.

Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code is a new section added in the 2005 reforms that deals with foreign bankruptcies. It is a way for companies with U.S. assets that are organized or nominally headquartered overseas to file bankruptcy in that foreign jurisdiction and in the U.S. as well, and have the U.S. court recognize the foreign bankruptcy as the primary one. The chapter is based on a model law developed by the United Nations in 1997. It has thus far been relatively uncommon, but may be used more in the future, particularly by hedge funds that are organized overseas but operate in the U.S.

How to prepare if a big corporate bankruptcy filing seems imminent:

Burdensome debt and the refusal of lenders to extend new loans are the common denominators for most companies seeking bankruptcy court protection. Those tend not to crop up suddenly, which means you should be able to judge the likelihood that one of your companies may be filing. That’s why we encourage all reporters to set up SEC filing alerts for your key companies using their own user name and password on the 10kWizard service. Bankruptcy should be one of the keywords you choose because outside auditors often force companies to tip their hands by flagging to investors the possibility of a bankruptcy filing. One expression you’ll want to add to your company alert setup is “going concern.” That’s the term companies use when they note that their outside auditor is questioning their ability to remain in business.

Beyond that, you need to have a good understanding of the balance sheet and the income statement of the major companies you cover to answer these questions: How much debt do they have and how much of it must be repaid or refinanced in this quarter or the quarters to come? Have they demonstrated an inability to raise fresh cash through the sale of stock or debt financing? Has cash flow gone negative?

After a company seeks Ch. 11 protection, holders of the company’s debt are often your best source of information about the status of bankruptcy negotiations since they often stand to gain control of the company in the reorganization process.

Few companies will be chatty about bankruptcy filings ahead of time, but it’s still a good idea to plant the seed with company spokesmen that you want to be alerted as soon as a filing is made, that you want to know in which court it will come (more and more of the big ones seem to be ending up in the Southern District of New York in downtown Manhattan), and that you would like a full set of documents if possible.

Another question to ask is: What will happen to the company’s employees? When a company seeks bankruptcy protection, it often pushes for job cuts, pay cuts and reductions in benefits. If any workers are represented by unions, those unions will likely fight those cuts. A company seeking Ch. 11 protection will sometimes try to use bankruptcy court to achieve concessions if it can’t reach an agreement on its own with unions. So stay in contact with union representatives to keep up with out-of-court negotiations, and check docket reports on Pacer for requests for permission to impose wage concessions, to reject union contracts, or anything similar.

Also, companies seeking bankruptcy protection often turn over their pension plans to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the federal pension insurance agency (http://www.pbgc.gov). But eliminating pension plans altogether is also common - UAL Corp.’s United Airlines, US Airways Group Inc., TWA and Pan Am, among others, all canceled their pension plans in bankruptcy.

And a reminder on tracking a company’s stock after it files for bankruptcy: Companies are usually delisted by the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock market after they seek bankruptcy court protection. That means they usually begin trading on the over-thecounter market known as the pink sheets. The letter Q at the end of a ticker signifies that it is a bankrupt company and PK means it trades on the pink sheets. (Ex: Calpine went from CPN on the New York Stock Exchange to CPNLQ.PK -- four letters required in the ticker symbol for bankrupt companies -- on the Pink Sheets)

Is it a reorganization or a liquidation?

Knowing the answer to this question is key to how we describe the filing in our story. If it’s a Chapter 11 filing and the company hopes to stay in business, don’t say “Company XX filed for bankruptcy on DATE TK ...” Instead, we should say “Company XX sought bankruptcy court protection on DATE TK ...”

If a company closes its doors, says it’s unable to raise new cash and is going out of business via a Chapter 7 filing, spell that out in the lede.

Secured and unsecured creditors

When you borrow money to buy a car, the lender is a secured creditor; they get to reclaim the car if you stop making payments. Similarly, companies usually have to pledge some kind of collateral when they sell bonds or otherwise borrow money. There can be several levels or rankings of security pledged for various categories of a company’s debt. For our purposes, we need to know who stands first, second and so on in line for repayment if a company files for bankruptcy because their claims and desires often conflict with what management wants to happen.

In a bankruptcy reorganization, secured lenders and debt holders obviously want to be repaid 100 cents on the dollar. Management often is against that idea, because they need whatever money they still have to continue operating the company. What often happens is that after extensive negotiations (and big lawyer bills) secured debt holders agree to exchange their securities for new shares of stock (i.e., equity) in the postbankruptcy company, which emerges as a consequence with a much-reduced debt load.

So what happens to existing shareholders? In most cases, their shares become worthless. But every so often, secured debt holders’ claims can be satisfied in a way that leaves some residual equity value in the company. But even then, existing shareholders’ ownership stake in the company is often severely diluted by the issuance of new shares to former debt holders. That’s why you often see the stocks of company’s seeking bankruptcy protection continuing to trade at a few dollars a share. It’s mostly a fool’s game, but something we need to be able to explain as part of our reporting and writing.

Prepackaged bankruptcies and DIP financing

Companies heading toward bankruptcy sometimes start negotiations with major secured creditors on what is known as a prepackaged bankruptcy filing. If they can reach agreement on key details before the bankruptcy court supervision begins, it can speed the company’s eventual reorganization and exit from bankruptcy. Known as an out-of-court restructuring plan, it is filed simultaneously with a Chapter 11 petition. But such plans require the approval of at least two-thirds in amount and more than one-half in the number of allowed claims held by creditors.

One study makes the case that the pre-packaged bankruptcy approach is taken most often by companies that had a higher ratio of operating income to total debt in the years before financial stress set in, and when long-term debt represents a larger percentage of total debt (which makes sense because there typically would be fewer debt holders to negotiate with).

These pre-packaged plans, as well as regular Chapter 11 reorganizations, often are accompanied by what is known as debtor-in-possession financing. This is a term for new money extended by a lender in Chapter 11 cases. Investopedia.Com describes DIP financing as being unique from other financing methods in that it usually has priority over existing debt, equity and other claims.

Why should we care about DIP financing? It’s a profitable line of business for banks like JPMorgan Chase and Wachovia. And companies’ ability to obtain it often is a critical factor in whether they continue to operate or have to shut down.

Emerging from bankruptcy.

When the reorganization is completed and a company emerges from bankruptcy, we should be able to spell out how much of the company debt has been wiped away. If debt holders swap their holdings for shares of the reorganized company, spell that out and explain what role they will play. And did the company attract new equity holders as part of the reorganization?

Baptist churches It is incorrect to apply the term church to any Baptist unit except the local church. The largest of the more than 20 Baptist bodies in the United States is the Southern Baptist Convention. It has more than 12 million members, most of them in the South, although it has churches in 50 states. The largest Northern body is American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., with about 1.5 million members. Blacks predominate in three other large Baptist bodies, the National Baptist Convention of America, the National Baptist Convention U.SA. Inc. and the Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc. The roster of Baptist bodies in the United States also includes the Baptist General Conference, the Conservative Baptist Association of America, the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, the General Association of General Baptists and the North American Baptist General Conference. The Baptist World Alliance, a voluntary association of Baptist bodies throughout the world, organizes the Baptist World Congress meetings generally held every five years. Headquarters is in Washington. CLERGY: All members of the Baptist clergy may be referred to as ministers. Pastor applies if a minister leads a congregation. On first reference, use the Rev. before the name of a man or woman. On second reference, use only the last name.

baptist, Baptist A person who baptizes is a baptist (lowercase). A Baptist (uppercase) is a person who is a member of the Protestant denomination.

bar mitzvah The Jewish religious ritual and family celebration that marks a boy’s 13th birthday. Judaism regards the age of 13 as the benchmark of religious maturity. Bar mitzvah translates as one who is responsible for the Commandments. Conservative congregations have instituted the bas mitzvah or bat mitzvah, a similar ceremony for girls.

barbecue Not barbeque or Bar-B-Q.

barrel A standard barrel in U.S. measure contains 31.5 gallons. A standard barrel in British and Canadian measure contains 36 imperial gallons. In international dealings with crude oil, a standard barrel contains 42 U.S. gallons or 35 imperial gallons. For guidelines on computing the volume and weight of petroleum products, see the AP Stylebook oil equivalency tables.

barrel, barreled, barreling battalion Capitalize when used with a figure to form a name: the 3rd Battalion, the 10th Battalion.

battlefield Also: battlefront, battleground, battleship. But battle station.

baud A unit for measuring the speed of data transmission by computer.

bay Capitalize as an integral part of a proper name: Hudson Bay, San Francisco Bay. Capitalize San Francisco Bay Area or the Bay Area. Bays in Snohomish County: Port Gardner (no bay in title), Port Susan (no bay in title), Possession Sound, Skagit Bay, Tulalip Bay. Bays in Island County include Utsaldady Bay, Elger Bay, Penn Cove, Holmes Harbor and Oak Harbor.

bazaar A fair. Bizarre means unusual.

B.C. Acceptable in all references to a calendar year in the period before Christ. Because the full phrase would be in the year 43 before Christ, the abbreviation B.C. is placed after the figure for the year: 43 B.C.

beach Here is a list of Snohomish County beaches: Edgewater Park, Harborview Park, Hermosa Beach, Hermosa Point, Howarth Park, Jetty Island, Kayak Point, McKee’s Beach, Meadowdale County Park, Mission Beach, Mukilteo State Park, Naketa Beach, Norma Beach, Picnic Point, Priest Point, Spee-bi-dah, Sunny Shores, Sunset Beach Park, Tulalip Shores, Tulare Beach, Totem Beach, Warm Beach.

because, since Use because to denote a specific cause-effect relationship: He went because he was told. Since is acceptable in a causal sense when the first event in a sequence led logically to the second but was not its direct cause: They went to the game, since they had been given the tickets.

bedbug One word.

Beijing The city in China (formerly Peking) stands alone in datelines.

Bekaa Valley In Lebanon and Syria.

Belize The former British Honduras.

bellwether

benefit, benefited, benefiting

Benelux The economic union of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, established by treaty in 1958. If Benelux is used, explain that it is an inclusive word for these three nations.

Ben-Gurion International Airport Located at Lod, Israel, about 10 miles south of Tel Aviv.

Benzedrine A trademark for a type of stimulant.

Berlin Stands alone in datelines. Bermuda collar, Bermuda grass, Bermuda shorts --

beside, besides Beside means at the side of. Besides means in addition to.

besiege

best-seller Hyphenate in all uses.

betting odds Use figures and a hyphen: The odds were 5-4, he won despite 3-2 odds against him. The word to seldom is necessary, but when it appears it should be hyphenated in all constructions: 3-to-2 odds, odds of 3-to-2, the odds were 3-to-2.

bettor A person who bets. Not better.

between See the among, between entry.

bi- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: bifocal, bimonthly, bilateral, bipartisan, bilingual.

biannual, biennial Biannual means twice a year and is a synonym for the word semiannual. Biennial means every two years.

Bible Capitalize, without quotation marks, when referring to the Scriptures in the Old Testament or the New Testament. Capitalize also related terms such as the Gospels, Gospel of St. Mark, the Scriptures, the Holy Scriptures. Lowercase biblical in all uses. Lowercase bible as a nonreligious term: My dictionary is my bible. Do not abbreviate individual books of the Bible. The books of the Old Testament, in order, are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. The books of the New Testament, in order: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, Epistles of James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation. Proper form for chapter and verse(s): Matthew 3:16, Luke 21:1- 13, 1 Peter 2:1.

Bible Belt Those sections of the United States, especially in the South and Middle West, where fundamentalist religious beliefs prevail. In certain contexts it can give offense, so don’t use unless the point would be lost without it. Let context be the guide.

Big Board Acceptable on second reference for the New York Stock Exchange.

big brother One’s older brother is a big brother. Big Brother (capitalized) means under the watchful eye of big government, from George Orwell’s 1984. Capitalize also in reference to members of Big Brothers-Big Sisters of America Inc. The organization has headquarters in Philadelphia.

Big Three automakers General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler (a unit of DaimlerChrysler).

big-bang theory The theory that the universe began with the explosion of a superdense primeval atom and has been expanding ever since. The oscillating theory, another hypothesis, maintains that expansion eventually will stop, followed by contraction to a superdense atom, followed by another big bang. The steady-state theory, an alternative hypothesis, maintains that the universe always has existed and that matter constantly is being created to replace matter that is constantly being destroyed.

Bigfoot Up in all references to Sasquatch (also up).

bigwig

Bill of Rights The first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

billion A thousand million.

bills Lowercase the names of proposed legislation. Abbreviations: SB 4168, HB 332, HR 757.

bimonthly Means every other month. Semimonthly means twice a month.

bird flu Preferred term for avian influenza, the virus that infects mostly poultry and birds. The deadly form is caused by the H5N1 strain.

birthday Capitalize as part of the name for a holiday: Washington’s Birthday. Lowercase in other uses.

bishop

biweekly Means every other week. Semiweekly means twice a week.

bizarre Unusual. A fair is a bazaar.

black Acceptable for a person of the black race. (Use Negro only in names of organizations or in quotations.) Do not use colored as a synonym. See colored, nationalities and races, and race entries.

black box No quotes neeed in reference to an airplane’s cockpit voice recorder.

Black Muslims

BlackBerry

Blackmans Lake A lake in the city of Snohomish. No possessive in the name.

blackout, brownout A blackout is a total power failure over a large area or the concealing of lights that might be visible to enemy raiders. The term rotating blackout is used by electric companies to describe a situation in which electric power to some sections temporarily is cut off on a rotating basis to assure that voltage will meet minimum standards in other sections. A brownout is a small, temporary voltage reduction, usually from 2 percent to 8 percent, implemented to conserve electric power.

blast off, blastoff blast off (v.) blastoff (n. and adj.)

Blessed Sacrament, Blessed Virgin

blizzard Wind speeds of 35 mph or more and considerable falling and/or blowing of snow with visibility near zero. A severe blizzard has wind speeds of 45 mph or more, great density of falling and/or blowing snow with visibility frequently near zero and a temperature of 10 degrees or lower.

bloc, block A bloc is a coalition of people, groups or nations with the same purpose or goal. Block has more than a dozen definitions, but a political alliance is not one of them.

blond (exception to AP) Use as noun or adjective in all applications. Don’t use blonde as a noun for a woman.

blood alcohol level Blood alcohol percent must not be used. Blood alcohol concentrations are measured in grams per deciliter (or sometimes milligrams per milliliter). It is impossible to generate a percent from a weight-per-volume measurement. Either blood alcohol level or blood alcohol concentration are acceptable. No hyphen is needed.

bloodbath One word, an exception to Webster’s.

bloodhound

Bloody Mary A drink made of vodka and tomato juice. The name is derived from the nickname for Mary I of England.

blue chip stock No hyphen. Stock in a company known for its long-established record of making money and paying dividends.

Bluetooth A standard for short-range wireless transmissions, such as in headsets, that enable hands-free use of cellphones.

Blu-ray A successor to the DVD, Blu-ray is a standard used to deliver high-definition video and other digital content.

B’nai B’rith American Jewish service organization.

board Capitalize only when an integral part of a proper name.

board of aldermen Elected body in Chicago and some other cities.

board of directors, board of trustees Always lowercase.

board of supervisors

Bobcat Trademark for a brand of skid-steer loaders, excavators and backhoes.

Boeing Co., the Don’t capitalize the article the before the name. Headquarters is in Chicago. Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Subsidiaries include the Boeing Capital Corp., Air Traffic Management, Connexion by Boeing, Integrated Defense Systems, and Commercial Airplanes, headquartered in Renton and including the Everett manufacturing plant. The 747, 767 and 777 models are assembled in Everett from components shipped in from around the world. The 737 and 757 models are produced in Renton. Boeing’s major passenger jets at a glance: 707: No longer in production, but the plane that made Boeing what it is today and revolutionized world air travel. It was not, however, the first successful commercial jetliner. That was a plane called the BOAC Comet, made by the predecessor of British Aerospace, the British Overseas Aircraft Corp. The 707 is still flown, though mostly by freight companies or foreign carriers. It is a long-range, four-jet, 165-passenger plane. 717: A former McDonnell-Douglas design built in Long Beach, Calif. A short- to medium-range twin-jet that carries 106-125 passengers. 727: No longer in production, but many still in service. A medium-range tri-jet, 94 to 145 passengers. 737: Renton-based program. World’s largest-selling commercial jetliner. Latest versions are the 737-400 ,737-500, 737-600, 737-700, 737-800. Short-range, twinjet, 103 to 159 passengers. 747: One of three families of Everett-assembled Boeing jetliners. Latest versions are the 747-300 and 747-400 models. Long-range (up to 8,380 miles) tour jet, 276-550 passengers. Boeing also makes freighter and Combi (part cargo, part passenger) versions of the 747.757: Renton program. Long-range twin-jet, 186-220 passengers. 767: Everett-based program. Long-range, widebody twin-jet, 174 to 290 passengers. Versions include 767-200, 767-200ER, 767-300, 767-300ER, (ER stands for extended range), 767-400 ERX and 767 Freighter. 777: Everett program. Long-range twin-jet, up to 440 passengers. 787: Everett-based program. Next-generation jetliner, currently under development. Mid-size jet set for launch in May 2008. First Boeing jetliner to make extensive use of composites. (February 2007). Story selection guideline: Boeing stories about commercial aviation belong to business. Stories about Boeing’s space or military programs go to general news because nearly all these stories involve Congress or another government agency. There’s an exception for the military refueling tanker stories because they involve the 767, a local commercial aircraft.

bologna The sausage. Baloney is foolish or exaggerated talk.

bona fide

bonbon

bondholder

bonds You don’t issue just one: the bond issue will be used for; the bonds will be used for. Don’t say the bond will be used for.

boo-boo

Boogie A trademark for a type of surfing bodyboard. Use the generic term.

book(-), book It’s: bookcase, book club, bookend, book jacket, bookmark, bookshelf, bookshop, bookstore. Also: bankbook, checkbook, notebook, pocket book (a small book), pocketbook (a handbag), reference book, schoolbook, storybook (n. and adj.), textbook.

book publishers Major publishers are: HarperCollins, owned by News Corp.; Penguin, Putnam, Viking, owned by Pearson PLC; Random House, owned by Bertelsmann AG; Simon & Schuster Inc., owned by CBS Corp.

book titles See composition titles.

Books on Tape A trademark for a brand of audiotapes. Use a generic term such as audiotape.

borscht

Bosporus, the Not the Bosporus Strait.

Boston The city in Massachusetts stands alone in datelines. Boston brown bread, Boston cream pie, Boston

terrier

Bothell UW campus Use University of Washington’s Bothell campus rather than University of Washington, Bothell. UW Bothell is OK on second reference.

bottomfish, bottom fishing

boulevard Abbreviate only with a numbered address.

-bound He was traveling northbound ... driving westbound ... and such are redundant, with double verbs. Get rid of one of them and make it just northbound or driving west.

box- It’s boxcar, box kite, box lunch, box office (n.), box-office (adj.), box score, box seat, box spring (n.) box-spring (adj.), boxwood.

boy Applicable until 18th birthday. Use man or young man afterward.

Boy Scouts The full name of the national organization is Boy Scouts of America. Headquarters is in Irving, Texas.

BP Amoco PLC Formerly British Petroleum. BP is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in London.

bra Acceptable in all references for brassiere.

Brahman, Brahmin Brahman applies to the priestly Hindu caste and a breed of cattle. Brahmin applies to aristocracy in general: Boston Brahmin.

brand names When they refer to the specific product, capitalize them. But use the lowercase generic if it has been recognized by Webster. Some examples: frisbee, sheetrock, seeing eye dog, baggie, dumpster. Brand names normally should be used only if they are essential to a story. Sometimes the use of a brand name may not be essential but is acceptable because it lends an air of reality to a story: He fished a Camel from his shirt pocket may be preferable to the less specific cigarette. When a company sponsors an event such as a tennis tournament, use the company’s name for the event in first reference and the generic term in subsequent references: The Buick Women’s Open; the $200,000 women’s tennis tournament, the tournament. Also use a separate paragraph to provide the name of a sponsor when the brand name is not part of the formal title. Brand name is a nonlegal term for service mark or trademark.

brand-new (adj.)

break in (v.) break-in (n. and adj.)

break up (v.) breakup (n. and adj.)

breast-feed, breast-feeding, breast-fed

Breathalyzer Trademarked name for a device to test blood alcohol level. Use a generic description if the brand is unknown.

Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers’ International Union The shortened form Bricklayers union is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington.

bride, bridegroom, bridesmaid Bride is appropriate in wedding stories, but use wife or spouse in other circumstances.

Bright’s disease After Dr. Richard Bright, the London physician who first diagnosed this form of kidney disease.

Brill’s disease After Nathan Brill, a U.S. physician. A form of epidemic typhus fever in which the disease recurs years after the original infection.

Britain Acceptable in all references for Great Britain, which consists of England, Scotland and Wales.

British Airways The successor to British European Airways and British Overseas Airways Corp. Headquarters is in Hounslow, England.

British Broadcasting Corp. BBC is acceptable in all references within contexts such as a television column.

British Columbia (exception to AP) B.C. is acceptable in datelines and in stories after the names of cities in the province, as well as in headlines.

British Commonwealth

British Petroleum See BP Amoco PLC.

British thermal unit The amount of heat required to increase the temperature of a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. On second reference, btu (the same for singular and plural).

British ton

British Virgin Islands Use with a community name in datelines on stories from these islands. Do not abbreviate. Specify an individual island in the text if relevant.

British, Briton(s) The people of Great Britain: the English, the Scottish, the Welsh.

broadcast The past tense also is broadcast, not broadcasted.

broadcast networks Major networks are: ABC, owned by The Walt Disney Co.; CBS, owned by CBS Corp.; NBC, majority owned by General Electric Co.; Fox, owned by News Corp.; The CW, joint venture between Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. unit and CBS Corp.; MyNetworkTV, owned by News Corp.; Telemundo, part of General Electric Co.’s NBC; and Univision, owned by Univision Communications Inc. Broadway, off-Broadway, off-off-Broadway -- When applied to stage productions, these terms refer to distinctions made by union contracts, not to location of a theater. Actors’ Equity Association and unions representing craft workers have one set of pay scales for Broadway productions (generally those in New York City theaters of 300 or more seats) and a lower scale for smaller theaters, classified as off-Broadway houses. The term off-off-Broadway refers to workshop productions that may use Equity members for a limited time at substandard pay. Other unions maintain a hands-off policy, agreeing with the Equity attitude that actors should have an opportunity to whet their talents in offbeat roles without losing their Equity memberships.

broccoli

Bromo Seltzer A trademark for a brand of bicarbonate of soda.

Bronze Age The age characterized by the development of bronze tools and weapons, from 3500 to 1000 B.C. Regarded as coming between the Stone Age and the Iron Age.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Headquarters is in Cleveland.

brothers Abbreviate as Bros. in formal company names: Warner Bros. For possessives: Warner Bros.’ profits.

brownout

brunet (exception to AP) Use as noun or adjective in all applications. Don’t use brunette as a noun when referring to women.

brussels sprouts

Budapest The capital of Hungary. In datelines, follow it with Hungary.

Buddha, Buddhism A major religion founded in India about 500 B.C. by Buddha. Buddha, which means enlightened one, was the name given to Gautama Siddhartha by his followers. Buddhism has about 250 million followers, mostly in India, Tibet, China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. About 250,000 practice Buddhism in North America. Buddhists believe that correct thinking and self-denial will enable the soul to reach nirvana, a state of release into ultimate enlightenment and peace. Until nirvana is reached, believers cannot be freed from the cycle of death and rebirth. There are four major groups within Buddhism. Hinayana or Theravada: Followers stress monastic discipline and attainment of nirvana by the individual through meditation. It is dominant among Buddhists in Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Mahayana: Followers lay stress on idealism. The ideal life is that of virtue and wisdom. The sect is found mostly in Japan, Korea and eastern China. Mantrayana: Major centers for this group are in the Himalayas, Mongolia and Japan. It is similar to Mahayana but also has a structure of spiritual leaders and disciples, believes in various evil spirits and deities, uses magic, and has secret rituals. Zen: Followers seek enlightenment through introspection and intuition. The doctrines are again similar to Mahayana and like Mantrayana there is a loose structure of leaders and disciples. This group is found mostly in Japan.

Bufferin A trademark for buffered aspirin.

bug, tap A concealed listening device designed to pick up sounds in a room, an automobile, etc. is a bug. A tap is a device attached to a telephone circuit to pick up conversations on the line.

build up (v.) buildup (n. and adj.)

building Never abbreviate. Capitalize the proper names of buildings, including the word building if it is an integral part of the proper name: the Empire State Building.

bullfight, bullfighter, bullfighting

bullpen One word, for the place where baseball pitchers warm up, and for a pen that holds cattle.

bull’s-eye

bureau Capitalize when part of the formal name for an organization or agency: the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Newspaper Advertising Bureau. Lowercase when used alone or to designate a corporate subdivision: the Washington bureau of The Associated Press. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and

Explosives ATF on second reference.

burglary, larceny, robbery, theft Legal definitions of burglary vary, but in general a burglary involves entering a building (not necessarily by breaking in) and remaining unlawfully with the intention of committing a crime. Larceny is the legal term for the wrongful taking of property. Its nonlegal equivalents are stealing or theft. Robbery in the legal sense involves the use of violence or threat in committing larceny. In a wider sense it means to plunder or rifle, and may thus be used even if a person was not present: His house was robbed while he was away. Theft describes a larceny that did not involve threat, violence or plundering. USAGE NOTE: You rob a person, bank, house, etc., but you steal the money or the jewels.

Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Corp. Freight railroad, with headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.

burn To copy data or a digital sound file onto a compact disc by means of a laser.

bus, buses Transportation vehicles. The verb forms: bus, bused, busing.

bushel A unit of dry measure equal to 4 pecks or 32 dry quarts. The metric equivalent is approximately 352 liters. To convert to liters, multiply by 35.2 (5 bushels x 35.2 equals 176 liters).

businessman, businessmen Do not use generically unless you know that none are women.

buss, busses Kisses The verb forms: buss, bussed, bussing.

by- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: byline, byproduct, bypass, bystreet. By-election is an exception.

by-election A special election held between regularly scheduled elections. The term most often is associated with special elections to the British House of Commons.

bylaw

bylines On local stories, bylines are used at the discretion of supervising editors. If one reporter gets a byline and others contribute to the story, their names can be added at the end of the story. All local stories that have no byline should have a Herald staff credit line. Exception: Some stories are rewrites of press releases and take no credit line. Bylines from Enterprise reporters should have the credit “For The Herald.”

c.o.d. Acceptable in all references for cash on delivery or collect on delivery. (The use of lowercase is an exception to the first listing in Webster’s New World.)

cabinet Capitalize references to a specific body of advisers heading executive departments for a president, king, governor, etc.: The president-elect said he has not made his Cabinet selections. Cabinet-level agencies in the United States: Department of Agriculture; Department of Commerce; Department of Defense; Department of Education; Department of Energy; Department of Health and Human Services (formerly the Department of Health, Education and Welfare); Department of Homeland Security; Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD acceptable on second reference); Department of the Interior; Department of Justice; Department of Labor; Department of State; Department of Transportation; Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA on second reference). If, as is common practice, the title is flopped, drop the of and retain the capitalization: the State Department, the Treasury Department. Avoid acronyms when possible. A phrase such as the department is preferable on second reference because it is more readable and avoids alphabet soup. Lowercase department in plural uses, but capitalize the proper name element: the departments of Labor and Justice. A shorthand reference to the proper name element also is capitalized: Kissinger said, State and Justice must resolve their differences. But: Henry Kissinger, the secretary of state. Lowercase the department whenever it stands alone. Do not abbreviate department in any usage.

Cabinet titles Capitalize the full title when used before a name; lowercase in other uses: Secretary of State Christopher Warren, but Juanita Kreps, secretary of commerce.

cable networks A&E, owned by A&E Television Networks, a joint venture of Hearst Corp., The Walt Disney Co. and General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal; AMC (also WE Women’s Entertainment, fuse and IFC) owned by Cablevision Systems Corp.; Animal Planet, owned by Discovery Communications; Bravo, owned by General Electric’s NBC cable unit; Cartoon Network, owned by Time Warner Inc.; CNBC, owned by General Electric’s NBC cable unit; CNN, owned by Time Warner Inc.; Comedy Central, owned by Viacom Inc.; Discovery, owned by Discovery Communications Inc.; ESPN, owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Fox News Channel, owned by News Corp.; HBO, owned by Time Warner Inc.; History Channel, owned by A&E Television Networks, a joint venture of Hearst Corp., The Walt Disney Co. and General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal; MSNBC, owned by General Electric’s NBC cable unit; MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, owned by Viacom Inc.; PBS, private, non-profit organization owned and operated by public television stations; Sci Fi, owned by General Electric Co.’s NBC; Showtime, owned by CBS Corp.; TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, owned by Time Warner Inc.; Travel Channel, owned by Discovery Communications Inc.; USA Network, owned by General Electric Co.’s NBC; and Weather Channel, owned by Landmark Communications Inc.

cactus, cactuses

cesarean section

caldron Not cauldron.

caliber A measurement of the diameter of the inside of a gun barrel except for most shotguns. Measurement is in either millimeters or decimal fractions of an inch. The word caliber is not used when giving the metric measurement. The forms: a 9 mm pistol, a .22-caliber rifle. The form: .38-caliber pistol.

California Abbrev.: Calif.

California roll An American variety of rolled sushi (called maki), now popular worldwide. Generally contains avocado, crab and vegetables.

call letters Use all caps. Use hyphens to separate the type of station from the basic call letters: KIROAM, KIRO-FM, KIRO-TV. Use call numbers on first reference: KPLU (88.5 FM). The following is a list of local radio stations and their call numbers:

call up (v.) call-up (n. and adj.)

Cambodia Use this rather than Kampuchea in datelines since the country continues to be known more widely by this name. In the body of stories Kampuchea may be used as long as it is identified as another name for Cambodia.

Cameroon Not Camerouns or Cameroun.

Camp Fire The full name of the national organization is Camp Fire Inc. Founded in 1910 as Camp Fire Girls, the name was changed in 1979 to reflect the inclusion of boys. Headquarters is in Kansas City, Mo. Both girls and boys are included in all levels of the organization. Boys and girls 6 through 8 are Camp Fire Blue Birds. Children 9 through 11 are Camp Fire Adventure members, or Adventurers. Children 12 and 13 are Camp Fire Discovery members. Youths 14 through 17 are Camp Fire Horizon members.

campaign manager Do not treat as a formal title. Always lowercase.

Canada Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec and Toronto stand alone in datelines. For all other datelines, use the city name and the name of the province or territory spelled out. The 10 provinces of Canada are Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland (includes Labrador), Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan. The two territories are the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. The provinces have substantial autonomy from the federal government. The territories are administered by the federal government, although residents of the territories do elect their own legislators and representatives to Parliament.

Canada goose Not Canadian goose.

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. CBC is acceptable in all references within contexts such as a television column.

Canadian Press, The Canada’s not-for-profit, multimedia news agency. Along with its Frenchlanguage counterpart, La Presse Canadienne, serves about 100 daily newspapers and more than 500 radio and TV stations in Canada. Do not use CP.

canal Capitalize as integral part of a proper name: the Suez Canal.

Canal Zone Do not abbreviate. No longer used except when referring to the Panama Canal area during the time it was controlled by the United States, 1904 to 1979.

cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation Generally canceled means event won’t be held at all. A meeting that is put off to later is postponed or called off but not canceled.

cannon, canon A cannon is a weapon. A canon is a law or rule, particularly of a church.

cannot

cant The distinctive stock words and phrases used by a particular sect or class.

can’t hardly A double negative is implied. Better is: can hardly.

cantor

Canuck It means a French Canadian, and can be considered a slur, depending on usage. Avoid the word except in formal names (the Vancouver Canucks, a professional hockey team) or in quoted matter.

canvas, canvass Canvas is heavy cloth. Canvass is a noun and a verb denoting a survey.

cape Capitalize as part of a proper name: Cape Cod, Cape Hatteras. Lowercase when standing alone. Although local practice may call for capitalizing the Cape when the rest of the name is clearly understood, always use the full name on first reference in wire copy. On second reference in wire copy, either repeat the full name or use the cape in lowercase.

Cape Canaveral, Fla. Formerly Cape Kennedy.

capital, capitol A capital is the city where a seat of government is located. Do not capitalize. When used in a financial sense, capital describes money, equipment or property used in a business by a person or corporation. A capitol is the building that houses a seat of government. Uppercase in U.S. Capitol or when referring to the building in Washington, D.C. The meeting was held on Capitol Hill in the west wing of the Capitol. Same for state capitols: The Washington state Capitol is in Olympia.

captain Lowercase and spell out in such uses as team captain Carl Yastrzemski.

car pool (n.), carpool (v.)

carat, caret, karat The weight of precious stones, especially diamonds, is expressed in carats. A carat is equal to 200 milligrams or about 3 grains. A caret is a writer’s and a proofreader’s mark. The proportion of pure gold used with an alloy is expressed in karats.

carbine

cardinal numbers The figures 1, 2, 10, 101, etc.

and the corresponding words one, two, ten, one

hundred one, etc. are called cardinal numbers. The term ordinal number applies to 1st, 2nd, 10th, 101st, first, second, tenth, one hundred first, etc.

cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR is acceptable on all references for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

CARE Acceptable in all references for Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere Inc. Headquarters is in New York.

carefree

caregiver

caretaker

Caribbean The islands from the tip of Florida to the continent of South America, plus, particularly in politics, French Guiana, Guyana and Surinam on the northeastern coast of South America. Major elements are the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republican, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the West Indies islands.

carjacking One word.

carmaker, carmakers

carpool Solid.

carry-on (adj.)

carry-over (n. and adj.)

Cascade Range Not “Cascade Mountains.”

caseload

Cash for Clunkers

cash on delivery c.o.d. is preferred in all references.

caster, castor Caster is a roller. Castor is the spelling for the oil and the bean from which it is derived.

CAT scan Now called CT scan. Computerized axial tomography. This is an X-ray technique that allows painless and rapid diagnosis in previously inaccessible areas of the body, especially the brain. Don’t spell out unless crucial to the story. catalog, cataloged, cataloger, cataloging, catalogist --

Caterpillar A trademark for a brand of crawler tractor. Use lowercase for the wormlike larva of various insects.

Catholic, Catholicism Use Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic or Roman Catholicism in the first references to those who believe that the pope, as bishop of Rome, has the ultimate authority in administering an earthly organization founded by Jesus Christ. Most subsequent references may be condensed to Catholic Church, Catholic or Catholicism. Roman Catholic should continue to be used, however, if the context requires a distinction between Roman Catholics and members of other denominations who often describe themselves as Catholic. They include some high church Episcopalians (who often call themselves Anglo-Catholics), members of Eastern Orthodox churches, and members of some national Catholic churches that have broken with Rome. Among churches in this last category are the Polish National Catholic Church and the Lithuanian National Catholic Church. Lowercase catholic where used in its generic sense of general or universal, meanings derived from a similar word in Greek. Those who use Catholic in a religious sense are indicating their belief that they are members of a faith that Jesus Christ left on Earth.

Caucasian

cauliflower ears No need for quotes; it’s a wellestablished term.

cave in (v.) cave-in (n. and adj.)

Cavelero Mid High School

CB

CBS Acceptable in all references for CBS Inc., the former Columbia Broadcasting System. Divisions include CBS News, CBS Radio and CBS-TV.

CD-ROM Abbreviation for a compact disc acting as a read-only device. Note: Disk with a k in all other computer applications but disc here to remain consistent on CD.

cease-fire, cease-fires (n. and adj.) The verb form is cease fire.

celebrant, celebrator Reserve celebrant for someone who conducts a religious rite: He was the celebrant of the Mass. Use celebrator for someone having a good time: The celebrators kept the party going until 3 a.m.

cellphone One word, per AP’s current style

cellblock One word.

cellophane Formerly a trademark, now a generic term.

Celsius Use this term rather than centigrade for the temperature scale that is part of the metric system. The Celsius scale is named for Anders Celsius, a Swedish astronomer who designed it. In it, zero represents the freezing point of water, and 100 degrees is the boiling point at sea level. To convert to Fahrenheit, multiply a Celsius temperature by 9, divide by 5 and add 32 (25 x 9 equals 225, divided by 5 equals 45, plus 32 equals 77 degrees Fahrenheit). When giving a Celsius temperature, use these forms: 40 degrees Celsius or 40 C (note the space and no period after the capital C) if degrees and Celsius are clear from the context.

cement Cement is the powder mixed with water and sand or gravel to make concrete. The proper term is concrete (not cement) pavement, blocks, driveways, etc.

censer, censor, censure A censer is a container in which incense is burned. To censor is to prohibit or restrict the use of something. To censure is to condemn.

center around Doesn’t work. Since the center is the middle, it can’t go around the rest. Try center on or revolve around.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The centers, located in Atlanta, are the U.S. Public Health Service’s national agencies for control of infectious and other preventable disease. It works with state health departments to provide specialized services that they are unable to maintain on an everyday basis. The normal form for first reference is the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC is acceptable on second reference.

centi- A prefix denoting one-hundredth of a unit. Move a decimal point two places to the left in converting to the basic unit: 155.6 centimeters equals 1.556 meters.

centigrade

centimeter One-hundredth of a meter. There are 10 millimeters in a centimeter. To convert to inches, multiply by .4 (5 centimeters x .4 equals 2 inches).

Central America The narrow strip of land between Mexico and Columbia.

Central Conference of American Rabbis

Central Intelligence Agency CIA is acceptable in all references. The formal title for the individual who heads the agency is director of central intelligence. On first reference: CIA Director George Tenet. Central Standard Time (CST), Central Daylight

Time (CDT)

cents Spell out the word cents and lowercase, using numerals for amounts less than a dollar: 5 cents, 12 cents. Use the $ sign and decimal system for larger amounts: $1.01, $2.50. Numerals alone, with or without a decimal point as appropriate, may be used in tabular matter.

century Lowercase, spelling out numbers less than 10: the first century, the 20th century. For proper names, follow the organization’s practice: 20th Century Fox, Twentieth Century Fund, Twentieth Century Limited.

CEO Acceptable in all references for chief executive officer. Use chief financial officer and chief operating officer on first reference, and CFO and COO thereafter. Always spell out lesser-known “C-level” positions like chief administrative officer or chief risk officer.

Ceylon It is now Sri Lanka, which should be used in datelines and other references to the nation. The people may be referred to as Ceylonese (n. or adj.) or Sri Lankans. The language is Sinhalese.

cha-cha

Chagas’ disease After Charles Chagas, a Brazilian physician who identified the chronic wasting disease caused by the parasite that is carried by insects.

chain saw Two words.

chairman, chairwoman Capitalize as a formal title before a name: company Chairman Henry Ford, committee Chairwoman Margaret Chase Smith. Do not capitalize as a casual, temporary position: meeting chairman Robert Jones. Do not use chairperson unless it is an organization’s formal title for an office. Use chair as a noun only as a last resort, generally when gender of person is not known. Chamber of Commerce (AP exception) -- Uppercase Everett Area Chamber of Commerce and other full chamber names. Downcase on second reference or when standing alone: chamber or chamber of commerce.

chamber of deputies

chancellor The translation to English for the first minister in the governments of Germany and Austria. Capitalize when used before a name.

Change to Win An affiliation of unions launched in 2005. Its members are the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, the Service Employees International Union, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the United Farm Workers of America, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and UNITE HERE.

change up (v.) change-up (n. and adj.)

changeable

changeover

channel Capitalize when used with a figure; lowercase elsewhere: She turned to Channel 3. No channel will broadcast the game. Also: the English Channel, but the channel on second reference.

chapters Capitalize chapter when used with a numeral in reference to a section of a book or legal code. Always use Arabic figures: Chapter 1, Chapter 20. Lowercase when standing alone.

character, reputation Character refers to moral qualities. Reputation refers to the way a person is regarded by others.

Charleston, Charlestown, Charles Town Charleston is the name of the capital of West Virginia and a port city in South Carolina. Charlestown is a section of Boston. Charles Town is the name of a small city in West Virginia.

chauffeur

chauvinism, chauvinist The words mean unreasoning devotion to one’s race, sex, country, etc., with contempt for other races, sexes, countries, etc. The terms come from Nicolas Chauvin, a soldier of Napoleon I, who was famous for his devotion to the lost cause.

check-in (n. and adj.), check in (v.)

checkout (n. and adj.), check out (v.)

check up (v.) checkup (n.)

cheddar

Chemical Mace A trademark, usually shortened to Mace, for a brand of tear gas that is packaged in an aerosol canister and temporarily stuns its victims.

chess



In stories, the names and pieces are spelled out, lowercase: king, queen, bishop, pawn, knight, rook, kingside, queenside, white, black.

Use the algebraic notation in providing tabular summaries.

In algebraic notation, the “ranks” are the horizontal rows of squares. The ranks take numbers, 1 to 8, beginning on white’s side of the board.

The “files” are the vertical rows of squares. They take letters, a through h, beginning on white’s left.

Thus, each square is identified by its file letter and rank number.

In the starting position, white’s queen knight stands on b1, the queen on d1, the king on e1; black’s queen knight stands on b8, the queen on d8, the king on e8, and so on.

Other features of the system follow:
DESIGNATION OF PIECES: The major pieces are shown by a capital letter: K for king, Q for queen, R for rook, B for bishop and N for knight. No symbol is used for the pawn.
MOVES BY PIECES: Shown by the letter of the piece (except for the pawn) and the destination square. For instance, Bb5 means the bishop moves to square b5.
MOVES BY PAWNS: Pawn moves are designated only by the name of the destination square. Thus, e4 means the pawn on the e file moves to e4.
CASTLING: It is written as 0-0 for the kingside and 0-0-0 for the queenside. Kingside is the side of the board (right half from white’s point of view, left half from black’s), on which each player’s king starts. The other half is queenside.
CAPTURES BY PIECES: A capture is recorded using an x after the letter for the capturing piece. For instance, if white’s bishop captures the black pawn at the f6 square, it is written Bxf6.
CAPTURES BY PAWNS: When a pawn captures a piece, the players name the file the pawn was on and the square where it made the capture. If white’s pawn on a g file captured black’s pawn on f6 square, the move would be gxf6. If black’s pawn on an f file captured white’s, it would be fxg5.
CHECK: Use plus sign.
AMBIGUITY: If more than one piece of the same type can move to a square, the rank number or file letter of the origination square is added. Thus, if a rook on d1 were to move to d4, but another rook also could move there, instead of Rd4 the move would be given as R1d4. If there are black knights on c6 and e6, and the one on e6 moves to d4, the move is given as Ned4.





Chevron Corp. Created by the merger of Chevron (formerly Standard Oil Co. of California) and Texaco in 2001. Headquarters is in San Ramon, Calif. (Name changed from ChevronTexaco in 2005.)

Chevy Not Chevie or Chevvy. This nickname for the Chevrolet should be used only in automobile features or in quoted matter.

Chicago The city in Illinois stands alone in datelines.

Chicano Sometimes used by Mexican-Americans in the Southwest. Not interchangeable with Mexican- American. Use only if a person’s preference. See Hispanic, Latino, nationalities and races, and race entries.

chickenpox

chief Capitalize as a formal title before a name: She spoke to Police Chief Michael Codd. He spoke to Chief Michael Codd of the New York police. Lowercase when it is not a formal title: union chief Walter Reuther.

chief justice Capitalize only as a formal title before a name: Chief Justice Warren Burger. The officeholder is the chief justice of the United States, not of the Supreme Court.

child care Two words, no hyphen, in all cases.

children In general, call children 15 or younger by their first name on second reference. Use the last name, however, if the seriousness of the story calls for it, as in a murder case, for example. For ages 16 and 17, use judgment, but generally go with the surname unless it’s a light story. Use the surname for those 18 and older.

Avoid kids as a universal synonym, unless the tone of the story dictates less formal usage.

Seattle Children’s Hospital This Seattle institution used to be called Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center

Chile The nation.

chili, chilies The peppers.

chilly Moderately cold.

China When used alone, it refers to the mainland nation. Use it in datelines and other routine references. Use People’s Republic of China, Communist China, mainland China or Red China only in direct quotations. For datelines on stories from the island of Taiwan, use the name of a community and Taiwan. In the body of a story, use Nationalist China or Taiwan for references to the government based on the island. Use the formal name of the government, the Republic of China, when required for legal precision.

China Eastern Airlines Headquarters is in Shanghai, China.

China Southern Airlines Headquarters is in Guangzhou, China.

Chinaman A patronizing term. Confine it to quoted matter.

Chinese names For most Chinese place names and personal names, use the official Chinese spelling system known as Pinyin: Senior leader Deng Xiaoping, Beijing, or Zhejiang province. Note that the Chinese usually give the family name first (Deng) followed by the given name (Xiaoping). Second reference should be the family name only: Deng. The Pinyin spelling system eliminates the hyphen and/or apostrophe previously used in many given names. If the new Pinyin spelling of a proper noun is so radically different from the traditional American spelling that a reader might be confused, provide the Pinyin spelling followed by the traditional spelling in parentheses. For example, the city of Fuzhou (Foochow). Or use a descriptive sentence: Fuzhou is the capital of Fujian province, on China’s eastern coast. Use the traditional American spellings for these place names: Canton (now Guangzhou), China, Inner Mongolia, Shanghai, Tibet. And use the traditional American spellings for well-known deceased people such as Chou En-lai, Mao Tse-tung, Sun Yat-sen. Follow local spellings in stories dealing with Hong Kong and Taiwan. Some Chinese have westernized their names, putting their given names or the initials for them first: P.Y. Chen, Jack Wang. In general, follow an individual’s preferred spelling. Normally Chinese women do not take their husbands’ surnames.

Chinook Uppercase the Indians, lowercase the salmon and the wind.

chip chipotle Spicy chili.

An integrated computer circuit.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) The parentheses and the words they surround are part of the formal name. The body owes its origins to an early 19th-century frontier movement to unify Christians. The Disciples, led by Alexander Campbell in western Pennsylvania, and the Christians, led by Barton Stone in Kentucky, merged in 1832. The local church is the basic organizational unit. National policies are developed by the General Assembly, made up of representatives chosen by local churches and regional organizations. The church lists more than 1 million members. All members of the clergy may be referred to as ministers. Pastor applies if a minister leads a congregation. On first reference, use the Rev. before the name of a man or woman.

Christian Science Church

Christmas, Christmas Day Dec. 25. The federal legal holiday is observed on Friday if Dec. 25 falls on a Saturday, on Monday if it falls on a Sunday. Never abbreviate Christmas to Xmas or any other form.

church Capitalize as part of the formal name of a building, a congregation or a denomination; lowercase in other uses: St. Mary’s Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic and Episcopal churches, a Roman Catholic church, a church. Lowercase in phrases where the church is used in an institutional sense: She believes in the separation of church and state. The pope said the church opposes abortion. Check individual denominations.

Church of Christ, Scientist This denomination was founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy, who attributed her recovery from an illness to insights she gained from reading Scripture. The Mother Church in Boston is the international headquarters. Its board of directors guides all of the approximately 3,200 branch churches throughout the world. A branch church, governed by its own democratically chosen board, is named First Church of Christ, Scientist, or Second Church, etc. according to the order of its establishment in a community.

The terms Christian Science Church or Churches of Christ, Scientist, are acceptable in all references to the denomination. Christian Science describes God as the source of all real being, so that nothing except what he has created can ultimately be real. Death, disease and sin are regarded as having no real existence because they are not created by God. The word Christian is used because New Testament writings are an integral element of the denomination’s teachings. The word science denotes the concept that reality can be understood and proved in Christian experience.

The church is composed entirely of lay members and does not have clergy in the usual sense. Either men or women may hold the three principal offices: reader, practitioner or lecturer. Readers are elected from congregations to conduct worship services. Practitioners devote full time to the public healing ministry of the church. Lecturers, appointed by the directors of the Mother Church, give public lectures on Christian Science. The preferred form for these titles is to use a construction that sets them off from a name with commas. Capitalize them only when used as a formal title immediately before a name. Do not continue use of the title in subsequent references. The terms pastor and minister are not applicable. Do not use the Rev. in any reference.

Church of England Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Note the capitalization and punctuation of Latter-day. Mormon Church is acceptable in all references, but always include the proper name in a story dealing primarily with church activities. However, Mormon is not properly applied to the other Latter Day Saints churches that resulted from the split after Joseph Smith’s death. The largest is the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (note the lack of a hyphen and the capitalized Day), with headquarters in Independence, Mo. It has about 1,000 churches and 150,000 members.

The church is based on revelations that Joseph Smith said were brought to him in the 1820s by heavenly messengers. Today, the church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, directs more than 12,000 congregations with more than 6 million members worldwide. Mormons believe that Jesus Christ established one church on earth, that it was taken away upon his death, and not restored until the revelations to Smith. They believe that Jesus came to America after his resurrection, visiting its people, who had immigrated to the continent in ancient times. Church hierarchy is composed of men known as general authorities. Among them, the policymaking body is the First Presidency, made up of a president and two or more counselors. It has final authority in all spiritual and worldly matters.

CLERGY: All faithful male members over the age of 11 are members of the priesthood. They become elders sometime after their 18th birthdays. They may later become seventies, high priests, or bishops. The only formal titles are president (for the head of the First Presidency), bishop (for members of the Presiding Bishopric and for local bishops) and elder (for other general authorities and church missionaries). Capitalize these formal titles before a name on first reference; use only the last name on second reference. The terms minister or the Rev. are not used. diocese Capitalize as part of a proper name: the Diocese of Rochester, the Rochester Diocese, the diocese.

Churches of Christ Approximately 18,000 independent congregations with a total U.S. membership of more than 2 million cooperate under this name. They sponsor numerous educational activities, primarily radio and television programs. Each local church is autonomous and operates under a governing board of elders. The minister is an evangelist, addressed by members as Brother. The ministers do not use clergy titles. Do not precede their names by a title. The churches do not regard themselves as a denomination. Rather, they stress a nondenominational effort to preach what they consider basic Bible teachings. The churches also teach that baptism is an essential part of the salvation process.

churchgoer

CIA Acceptable in all references for Central Intelligence Agency.

cigarette

Cincinnati The city in Ohio stands alone in datelines.

Citibank The former First National City Bank. The parent holding company is Citicorp of New York.

cities and towns Capitalize them in all uses. Datelines: Capitalize official titles, including separate political entities such as East St. Louis, Ill., or West Palm Beach, Fla. The preferred form for the section of a city is lowercase: the west end, northern Los Angeles. But capitalize widely recognized names for the sections of a city: South Side (Chicago), Lower East Side (New York). Spell out the names of cities unless in direct quotes: A trip to Los Angeles, but: We’re going to L.A.

citizen, resident, subject, national, native A citizen is a person who has acquired the full civil rights of a nation either by birth or naturalization. Cities and states in the United States do not confer citizenship. To avoid confusion, use resident, not citizen, in referring to inhabitants of states and cities. Subject is the term used when the government is headed by a monarch or other sovereign. National is applied to a person living away from the nation of which he or she is a citizen, or to a person under the protection of a specified nation Native is the term denoting that an individual was born in a given location.

citizens band Without an apostrophe after the s, an exception to Webster’s New World based on widespread practice. CB is acceptable on second reference. The term describes a group of radio frequencies set aside by the Federal Communications Commission for local use at low power by individuals or businesses.

city commission

city council Capitalize both with the name of a city and standing alone. Marysville City Council and the City Council. Capitalize councilman or councilwoman before a name, but lowercase if standing alone.

city hall Capitalize with the name of a city, or without the name of a city if the reference is specific: Boston City Hall, City Hall. Lowercase plural uses: the Boston and New York city halls. Lowercase generic uses, including: You can’t fight city hall.

citywide

Civil Aeronautics Board The board is acceptable on second reference.

civil cases, criminal cases A civil case is one in which an individual, business or agency of government seeks damages or relief from another individual, business or agency of government. Civil actions generally involve a charge that a contract has been breached or that someone has been wronged or injured. A criminal case is one that the state or the federal government brings against an individual charged with committing a crime.

Civil War

claim Use say instead, unless you mean to assert ownership. She claimed the property or he claimed the statement. When used for say, as in the defendant claimed she was innocent, claim implies disbelief, which is out of line.

claptrap

class of ... Lowercase standing alone without name of school.

clean up (v.) cleanup (n. and adj.)

clear-cut (n. adj.) Logging technique in which a designated area of land is cleaned completely of all trees.

clearinghouse

clerical titles Capitalize pope when used as a title before a name: Pope Paul VI, Pope Paul. Lowercase in all other uses. The first-references forms for other titles follow. Use only last names on second reference. Cardinals: Cardinal Timothy Manning. The usage Timothy Cardinal Manning, a practice traceable to the nobility’s custom of identifications such as William, Duke of Norfolk, is still used in formal documents but otherwise is considered archaic. Archbishops: Archbishop Joseph Bernardin, or the Most Rev. Joseph Bernardin, archbishop of Cincinnati. Bishops: Bishop Bernard Flanagan, or the Most Rev. Bernard Flanagan, bishop of Worcester. Monsignors: Monsignor Joseph Vogt. Do not use the abbreviation Msgr. Do not use

the Rt. Rev. or the Very Rev. this distinction between types of monsignors no longer is made. Priests: the Rev. John Paret.

Cleveland The city in Ohio stands alone in datelines.

clientele

cloak-and-dagger

Clorox A trademark for a brand of bleach.

closed shop A closed shop is an agreement between a union and an employer that requires workers to be members of a union before they may be employed. A union shop requires workers to join a union within a specified period after they are employed. An agency shop requires that the workers who do not want to join the union pay the union a fee instead of union dues. A guild shop, a term often used when the union is The Newspaper Guild, is the same as a union shop.

close-up (n. and adj.)

cloture Not closure, for the parliamentary procedure for closing debate. Whenever practical, use a phrase such as closing debate or ending debate instead of the technical term.

CME Group Inc. Parent of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which operates the Globex electronic trading platform and live trading floors. Its products include futures and options based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, agricultural commodities, energy and alternative investment products, such as weather and real estate. Headquarters is in Chicago.

CNN Acceptable in all references for the Cable News Network.

co- Retain the hyphen when forming nouns, adjectives and verbs that indicate occupation or status: co-author, co-pilot, co-chairman, co-respondent (in a co-defendant divorce suit), co-host, co-signer, co-owner, co-star, co-partner, co-worker (Several are exceptions to Webster’s New World in the interests of consistency.) Use no hyphen in other combinations: coed cooperate, coeducation, cooperative, coequal, coordinate, coexist, coordination, coexistence. NOTE: The term coed may be used only to describe a group or school. It is never acceptable as a label for a female student. Cooperate, coordinate and related words are exceptions to the rule that a hyphen is used if a prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel.

Co.

coast Lowercase when referring to the physical shoreline: Atlantic coast, Pacific coast, east coast (but east coast will look like a mistake and is best avoided). Capitalize when referring to regions of the United States lying along such shorelines: the Atlantic Coast states, a Gulf Coast city, the West Coast, the East Coast. Do not capitalize when referring to smaller regions: the Virginia coast.

coast guard Capitalize when referring to the U.S. Coast Guard. Do not use the abbreviation USCG. Use lowercase for similar forces of other nations.

Coast Guardsman Note spelling. Capitalize as a proper noun when referring to an individual in a U.S. Coast Guard unit: He is a Coast Guardsman. Lowercase guardsman when it stands alone.

coastal waters The waters within about 20 miles of the coast, including bays, harbors and sounds.

coastline

coattails

Coca-Cola, Coke Trademarks for a brand of cola drink. Avoid using Coke in a headline when referring to the soft drink. Also, don’t refer to the Coca-Cola Co. as Coke on second reference.

cocaine The slang term coke is acceptable in copy and headlines, but lowercase. Crack is a refined cocaine in crystalline rock form.

coed The preferred term as a noun is female student, but coed is acceptable as an adjective to describe coeducational institutions. No hyphen.

Cold War Capitalize when referring specifically to the post-World War II rivalry between the United States and the former Soviet Union. Use only in the historic sense.

coldblooded One word.

collarbone

collateralized debt obligations Debt, including bonds or mortgages, that is pooled, sliced up and resold to investors.

collectibles Not collectables.

collective nouns Nouns that denote a unit take singular verbs and pronouns: class, committee, crowd, family, group, herd, jury, orchestra, team. Some usage examples: The committee is meeting to set its agenda. The jury reached its verdict. A herd of cattle was sold. PLURAL IN FORM: Some words that are plural in form become collective nouns and take singular verbs when the group or quantity is regarded as a unit. Right: A thousand bushels is a good yield. (A unit.) Right: A thousand bushels were created. (Individual items.) Right: The data is sound. (A unit.) Right: The data have been carefully collected. (Individual items.) The same applies when the word represents an amount, or aggregate: Six inches of rain was recorded. Four thousand gallons of oil was released in the spill.

collectors’ item

college Capitalize when part of a proper name: Dartmouth College. Consult special sections of the Webster’s New World for lists of junior colleges, colleges and universities in the United States and Canadian colleges and universities.

College of Cardinals

collide, collision Two objects must be in motion before they can collide. An automobile cannot collide with a utility pole, for example.

colloquialisms The word describes the informal use of a language. It is not local or regional in nature, as dialect is. Webster’s New World Dictionary identifies many words as colloquial with the label Colloq.

colonel

colonial Capitalize as a proper adjective in references to the original 13 Colonies. Examples: Colonial Virginia, in Colonial days. Lowercase when referring to the style characteristic of the period: a colonial house.

colonies Capitalize only for the British dependencies that declared their independence in 1776, now known as the United States.

colons Do not use a colon to indicate attribution in a headline, such as NOAA: Asteroid to strike Earth. Use colons in headlines sparingly, and only for special emphasis. See the Punctuation section.

Colorado Abbrev.: Colo.

colorblind

colored In some societies, including the United States, the word is considered derogatory and should not be used. In some countries of Africa, it is used to denote individuals of mixed racial ancestry. Whenever the word is used, place it in quotation marks and provide an explanation of its meaning.

Columbia Broadcasting System It no longer exists.

Columbus Day Oct. 12. The federal legal holiday is the second Monday in October.

coma A state of unconsciousness in which the eyes are closed and the patient can’t be aroused as if simply asleep. There is no sign of a sleep-wake cycle, or of any awareness of self or environment. The patient cannot communicate or hear, and shows no emotion. Any movement is purely reflex. This is the first stage following a severe brain injury, and it usually lasts only a couple of weeks. Depending on the type and extent of injury, a patient in a coma may recover completely, die, or progress to a vegetative or minimally conscious state.

combat, combated, combating

Comcast Arena at Everett Formerly Comcast Arena at the Everett Events Center. Truncate new name to Comcast Arena. For events at the conference center, first reference is Hansen Conference Center at Comcast Arena. Second reference is conference center. The ice rink is Comcast Community Ice Rink.

comedian Use for both men and women.

comma See the punctuation section.

commander in chief Capitalize only if used as a formal title before a name.

commissioner Do not abbreviate. Capitalize when used as a formal title.

committee Do not abbreviate. Capitalize when part of a formal name: the House Appropriations Committee. Do not capitalize committee in shortened versions of long committee names: The Special Senate Select Committee to Investigate Improper Labor- Management Practices, for example, became the rackets committee.

commodity When used in a financial sense, the word describes the products of mining and agriculture before they have undergone extensive processing.

Common Market Now it’s the European Union, or EU on second reference.

commonwealth A group of people united by their common interests. Four states are legally commonwealths rather than states: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The distinction is necessary only in formal uses: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania sued to block the sale.

Commonwealth, the Formerly the British Commonwealth. The members of this free association of sovereign states recognize the British sovereign as head of the Commonwealth. Some also recognize the sovereign as head of their state; others do not. The members are: Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana, Canada, Cyprus, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, St. Lucia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, Western Samoa and Zambia. Nauru, a special member, participates in activities but not in meetings of government heads.

Communicable Disease Center The former name of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Communications Workers of America The shortened form Communications Workers union is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington.

communism, communist Lowercase communism. Capitalize Communist only when referring to a political party that has the word in its name: The Communists won the election. She ran on the Communist ticket. North Vietnam is a communist country.

commutation

compact disc Also: compact disc player, CD, CD player.

company (military) Capitalize only when part of a name: Company B. Do not abbreviate.

company names For a company’s formal name, consult the national stock exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange, www.nyse.com; Nasdaq, www.nasdaq.com; or the American Stock Exchange, www.amex.com. AP staffers may also reference an alphabetical list of all company names, with stock ticker abbreviations, at http://biz.ap.org.

Do not use a comma before Inc. or Ltd., even if it is included in the formal name. The formal name need not be used on first reference - for example, Wal-Mart is acceptable for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. - but it should be contained in the body of any story in which the subject matter could affect a company’s business. For example, include the corporate name in a story on an earnings report, or in a story on a plane crash that could affect the airline’s stock price. However, the corporate name might be irrelevant in a story about a political candidate’s appearance at a local retail outlet. When the full corporate name is NOT in the story, it should be included in a self-contained paragraph separated from the bottom of the story by a dash: American Airlines is a unit of AMR Corp., or Disney’s full corporate name is The Walt Disney Co. If more than one company is listed, each should be in a selfcontained paragraph below the dash. Generally, follow the spelling and capitalization preferred by the company: eBay. But capitalize the first letter if it begins a sentence. Do not use all-capital-letter names unless the letters are individually pronounced: BMW. Others should be uppercase and lowercase. Ikea, not IKEA; USA Today, not USA TODAY.

Do not use symbols such as exclamation points, plus signs or asterisks that form contrived spellings that might distract or confuse a reader. Use Yahoo, not Yahoo!; Toys R Us, not Toys “R” Us; E-Trade, not E*Trade. Use an ampersand only if it is part of the company’s formal name, but not otherwise in place of and. Use the lowercase unless it is part of the company’s formal name. See organizations and institutions.

company, companies Use Co. or Cos. when a business uses either word at the end of its proper name: Ford Motor Co., American Broadcasting Cos. But: Aluminum Company of America. If company or companies appears alone in second reference, spell the word out. The forms for possessives: Ford Motor Co.’s profits, American Broadcasting Cos.’ profits. THEATRICAL: Spell out company in names of theatrical organizations: the Martha Graham Dance Company.

compared to, compared with Use compared to when the intent is to assert, without the need for elaboration, that two or more items are similar: She compared her work for women’s rights to Susan B. Anthony’s campaign for women’s suffrage. Use compared with when juxtaposing two or more items to illustrate similarities and/or differences: His time was 2:11:10, compared with 2:14 for his closest competitor.

compatible

complacent, complaisant Complacent means self-satisfied. Complaisant means eager to please.

complement, compliment Complement is a noun and a verb denoting completeness or the process of supplementing something: The ship has a complement of 200 sailors and 20 officers. The tie complements his suit. Compliment is a noun or a verb that denotes praise or the expression of courtesy: The captain complimented the sailors. She was flattered by the compliments on her outfit.

complementary, complimentary The husband and wife have complementary careers. They received complimentary tickets to the show.

compose, comprise, constitute Compose means to create or put together. It commonly is used in both the active and passive voices: She composed a song. The United States is composed of 50 states. The zoo is composed of many animals. Comprise means to contain, to include all or embrace. It is best used only in the active voice, followed by a direct object: The United States comprises 50 states. The jury comprises five men and seven women. The zoo comprises many animals. It is never followed by the word of. Constitute, in the sense of form or make up, may be the best word if neither compose nor comprise seems to fit: Fifty states constitute the United States. Five men and seven women constitute the jury. A collection of animals can constitute a zoo. Use include when what follows is only part of the total: The price includes breakfast. The zoo includes lions and tigers.

composition titles



Apply the guidelines listed here to book titles, computer game titles, movie titles, opera titles, play titles, poem titles, album and song titles, radio and television program titles, and the titles of lectures, speeches and works of art.

The guidelines, followed by a block of examples:
Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters.
Capitalize an article -- the, a, an -- or words of fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in a title.
Put quotation marks around the names of all such works except the Bible and books that are primarily catalogs of reference material. In addition to catalogs, this category includes almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers, handbooks and similar publications. Do not use quotation marks around such software titles as WordPerfect or Windows.
Translate a foreign title into English unless a work is generally known by its foreign name. An exception to this is reviews of musical performances. In those instances, generally refer to the work in the language it was sung in, so as to differentiate for the reader. However, musical compositions in Slavic languages are always referred to in their English translations.
Reference works: Names of most websites and apps are capitalized without quotes: Facebook, Foursquare. Exception: “FarmVille” and similar computer game apps are in quotes.

EXAMPLES: “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” “Gone With the Wind,” “Of Mice and Men,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Time After Time,” the NBC-TV “Today” program, the “CBS Evening News,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” See television program names for further guidelines and examples.

Reference works: Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft; Encyclopaedia Britannica; Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second Edition.

Foreign works: Rousseau’s “War,” not Rousseau’s “La Guerre.” But: Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” if sung in English but “Le Nozze di Figaro” if sung in Italian. Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” if sung in English but “Die Zauberfloete” if sung in German. “Die Walkuere” and “Gotterdammerung” from Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” if sung in German but “The Valkyrie” and “The Twilight of the Gods” from “The Ring of the Nibelungen” if sung in English. Janacek’s “From the House of the Dead,” not Janacek’s “Z Mrtveho Domu.”

For other classical music titles, use quotation marks around the composition’s nicknames but not compositions identified by its sequence.

EXAMPLES: Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9.

compound adjectives Go to the hyphen entry in Punctuation chapter

comptroller, controller Comptroller generally is the accurate word for government financial officers. The U.S. comptroller of the currency is an appointed official in the Treasury Department who is responsible for the chartering, supervising and liquidation of banks organized under the federal government’s National Bank Act. Controller generally is the proper word for financial officers of businesses and for other positions such as aircraft controller. Capitalize comptroller and controller when used as the formal titles for financial officers. Use lowercase for aircraft controller and similar occupational applications of the word.

computer terminology It’s online, no hyphen, and email, all lowercase. Likewise home page, two words, lowercase. Web stands alone on first reference as an abbreviation for World Wide Web. Lowercase website. Shortened form of Internet is the Net.

Comsat Corp Formerly Communications Satellite Corp Headquarters in Bethesda, Md.

conclave A private or secret meeting. In the Roman Catholic Church it describes the private meeting of cardinals to elect a pope.

concrete

Confederate States of America The formal name of the states that seceded during the Civil War. The shortened form the Confederacy is preferred in all references.

Conference Board, The The capitalized article is part of the formal name of the business organization.

confess, confessed May be loaded or wrong. Use with care.

confirmation

Congo River Not the Zaire River. But when appropriate, stories may mention that Zaire, the nation on one of its banks, calls the river the Zaire.

Congregationalist churches The word Congregational still is used by some individual congregations. The principal national body that used the term dropped it in 1961 when the Evangelical and Reformed Church merged with the Congregational Christian Churches to form the United Church of Christ. It has some 18 million members. The word church is correctly applied only to an individual local church. Each such church is responsible for the doctrine, ministry and ritual of its congregation. A small body of churches that did not enter the United Church of Christ is known as the National Association of Congregational Churches. Churches in the association have more than 100,000 members. Jesus is regarded as man’s savior, but no subscription to a set creed is required for membership. Members of the clergy are known as ministers. Pastor applies if a minister leads a congregation. On first reference, use the Rev. before the name of a man or woman.

Congress



Capitalize U.S. Congress and Congress when referring to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Although Congress sometimes is used as a substitute for the House, it properly is reserved for reference to both the Senate and House.

Capitalize Congress also if referring to a foreign body that uses the term, or its equivalent in a foreign language, as part of its formal name: the Argentine Congress, the Congress.

See foreign legislative bodies.

Lowercase when used as a synonym for convention or in second reference to an organization that uses the word as part of its formal name: the Congress of Racial Equality, the congress.

congressional Lowercase unless part of a proper name: congressional salaries, the Congressional Quarterly, the Congressional Record.

Congressional Directory Use this as the reference source for questions about the federal government that are not covered by this stylebook.

congressional districts Use figures and capitalize district when joined with a figure: the 1st Congressional District, the 1st District. Lowercase district whenever it stands alone.

Congressional Record A daily publication of the proceedings of Congress including a complete stenographic report of all remarks and debates.

congressman, congresswoman Use only in reference to members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Use members of Congress when referring to a mixed group or when the gender isn’t clear.

Connecticut Abbrev.: Conn.

connote, denote Connote means to suggest or imply something beyond the explicit meaning: To some people, the word yuppie connotes selfishness. Denote means to be explicit about the meaning: The word demolish denotes destruction.

consensus

Conservative Judaism

constable Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name.

constitute

constitution



Capitalize references to the U.S. Constitution, with or without the U.S. modifier: The president said he supports the Constitution. When referring to constitutions of other nations or of states, capitalize only with the name of a nation or a state: the French Constitution, the Massachusetts Constitution, the nation’s constitution, the state constitution, the constitution.

Lowercase in other uses: the organization’s constitution.

Lowercase constitutional in all uses.

consul, consul general, consuls general Capitalize when used as a formal title before a noun.

consulate A consulate is the residence of a consul in a foreign city. It handles the commercial affairs and personal needs of citizens of the appointing country. Capitalize with the name of a nation; lowercase without it: the French Consulate, the U.S. Consulate, the consulate. An embassy is the official residence of an ambassador in a foreign country and the office that handles the political relations of one nation with another. Capitalize with the name of a nation; lowercase without it: the French Embassy, the U.S. Embassy, the embassy.

consumer price index A measurement of changes in the retail prices of a constant marketbasket of goods and services. It is computed by comparing the cost of the marketbasket at a fixed time with its cost at subsequent or prior intervals. Capitalize when referring to the U.S. index, issued monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency of the Labor Department. The U.S. Consumer Price Index should not be referred to as a cost-of-living index, because it does not include the impact of income taxes and Social Security taxes on the cost of living, nor does it reflect changes in buying patterns that result from inflation. It is, however, the basis for computing cost-of-living raises in many union contracts. The preferred form for second reference is the index. Confine CPI to quoted material.

Consumer Product Safety Commission

contagious

contemptible

continent The seven continents, in order of their land size: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Antarctica and Australia. Capitalize the Continent and Continental only when used as synonyms for Europe or European. Lowercase in other uses such as: the continent of Europe, the European continent, the African and Asian continents. Never refer to Africa as the Dark Continent.

Continental Airlines Use this spelling of Airlines, which Continental has adopted for its public identity. Headquarters is in Los Angeles.

Continental Divide The ridge along the Rocky Mountains that separates rivers flowing east from those that flow west.

continental shelf, continental slope Lowercase. The shelf is the part of a continent that is submerged in relatively shallow sea at gradually increasing depths, generally up to about 600 feet below sea level. The continental slope begins at the point where the descent to the ocean bottom becomes very steep.

continual, continuous Continual means a steady repetition, over and over again: The merger has been the source of continual litigation. Continuous means uninterrupted, steady, unbroken: All she saw ahead of her was a continuous stretch of desert.

contractions Avoid overusing, especially the ones that clang on the ear and eye. In general, go with what sounds natural. There are times when not using them seems a little stilted: He said he would not think of doing it’ somehow doesn’t seem as smooth as He said he wouldn’t think of doing it. Remember that some contractions (can’t) will slip more gracefully into a sentence than others (would’ve). And be careful not to create ambiguity. In he said he’d come out when the officers arrived, you have to read on to know whether he’d means he had or he would.

contrasted to, contrasted with Use contrasted to when the intent is to assert, without the need for elaboration, that two items have opposite characteristics: He contrasted the appearance of the house today to its ramshackle look last year. Use contrasted with when juxtaposing two or more items to illustrate similarities and/or differences: He contrasted the Republican platform with the Democratic platform.

control, controlled, controlling

controller

controversial An overused word; avoid it. All issues are controversial. A noncontroversial issue is impossible. A controversial issue is redundant.

convention Capitalize as part of the name for a specific national or state political convention: the Democratic National Convention, the Republican State Convention. Lowercase in other uses: the national convention, the state convention, the convention, the annual convention of the American Medical Association.

convict (v.) Follow with preposition of, not for: He was convicted of murder.

convince, persuade You may be convinced that something or of something. You must be persuaded to do something. Right: The robbers persuaded him to open the vault. Wrong: The robbers convinced him to open the vault. Right: The robbers convinced him that it was the right thing to do. Wrong: The robbers persuaded him that it was the right thing to do.

cooperate, cooperative But co-op as a short term of cooperative, to distinguish it from coop, a cage for animals. Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere -- CARE

coordinate, coordination

cop OK to use in headlines and stories, except when the subject is alleged police misconduct. (Exception to AP style.)

copter Acceptable shortening of helicopter. But use it only as a noun or adjective. It is not a verb.

copyright (n., v. and adj.)



WORD USAGE: The disclosure was made in a copyright story. Use copyrighted only as the past tense of the verb: He copyrighted the article. When copyright lines appear at the bottom of wire stories, never include a comma. Correct: (C) 1998 New York Times News Service

COPYRIGHT STORY GUIDELINES: To offset story piracy, we’ll use copyright slugs on high-interest A1 stories with original reporting, such as information from FOI requests or interviews not easily duplicated with a quick phone call by our competitors. The city editor (or ACE in charge of the story) should initiate the copyright discussion, but the news editor also should weigh in if no one else thinks of it. The copyright line should read this way: (C) 2007 The Daily Herald Co.

co-respondent In a divorce suit.

Corn Belt The region in the north-central Midwest where much corn and corn-fed livestock are raised. It extends from western Ohio to eastern Nebraska and northeastern Kansas.

Corp.

corporate names

corporation An entity that is treated as a person in the eyes of the law. It is able to own property, incur debts, sue and be sued. Abbreviate corporation as Corp. when a company or government agency uses the word at the end of its name: Gulf Oil Corp., the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Spell out corporation when it occurs elsewhere in a name: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Spell out and lowercase corporation whenever it stands alone. The form for possessives: Gulf Oil Corp.’s profits.

corps Capitalize when used with a word or a figure to form a proper name: the Marine Corps, the Signal Corps, the 9th Corps. Capitalize when standing alone only if it is a shortened reference to U.S. Marine Corps. The possessive form is corps’ for both singular and plural: one corps’ location, two corps’ assignments.

corral, corralled, corralling

Corsica Use instead of France in datelines on stories from communities on this island.

Cortes The Spanish parliament.

cosmonaut The applicable occupational term for astronauts of the former Soviet Union. Always use lowercase.

cost of living The amount of money needed to pay taxes and to buy the goods and services deemed necessary to make up a given standard of living, taking into account changes that may occur in tastes and buying patterns. The term often is treated incorrectly as a synonym for the U.S. Consumer Price Index, which does not take taxes into account and measures only price changes, keeping the quantities constant over time. Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: The cost of living went up, but he did not receive a costof- living raise.

Cotton Belt The region in the South and Southwestern sections of the United States where much cotton is grown.

Council of Economic Advisers A group of advisers who help the U.S. president prepare his or her annual economic report to Congress and recommend economic measures throughout the year. Capitalize councilman or councilwoman before a name, but lowercase if standing alone.

council, council member A deliberative body and those who are members of it. Council member is accceptable in reference to specific individuals. Lowercase council member with or without a name. Avoid the use of councilor. counsel, counseled, counseling, counselor,

counselor at law To counsel is to advise. A counselor is one who advises. A counselor at law (no hyphens for consistency with attorney at law) is a lawyer.

count, countess

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

countryside

county court In some states, it is not a court but the administrative body of a county. In most cases, the court is presided over by a county judge, who is not a judge in the traditional sense but the chief administrative officer of the county. The terms should be explained if they are not clear in the context. Capitalize all references to a specific county court, and capitalize county judge when used as a formal title before a name. Do not use judge alone before a name except in direct quotations. Examples: SEVIERVILLE,

Tenn. A reluctant County Court approved a school budget today that calls for a 10 percent tax increase for property owners. The chief administrative officer, County Judge Ray Reagan, said ...

coup d’etat The word coup usually is sufficient.

couple When used in the sense of two people, the word takes plural verbs and pronouns: The couple were married Saturday and left Sunday on their honeymoon. They will return in two weeks. In the sense of a single unit, use a singular verb: Each couple was asked to give $10. When used in the sense of two separate people, or two people doing separate things, use plural verb forms: The couple were in different parts of the country when they heard the news. The couple take separate vacation sometimes. Don’t rely on a rule, but rather on your sense of the words.

couple of The of is necessary. A couple tomatoes is as wrong as a piece cake. The phrase takes a plural verb in constructions such as: A couple of tomatoes were stolen.

couples Repeat both names of a married couple with the same last name in full on second reference. Use first names on second reference only in special contexts such as a feature story of to indicate special familiarity. Use first names of second references if the person is under 15.

course numbers Use Arabic numerals and capitalize the subject when used with a numeral: History 6, Philosophy 209. Otherwise, lowercase: calculus, world history.

court decisions Use figures and a hyphen: The Supreme Court ruled 5-4, a 5-4 decision. The word to is not needed, but use hyphens if it appears in quoted matter: the court ruled 5-to-4, the 5-to-4 decision.

court names Capitalize the full proper names of courts at all levels. Retain capitalization if U.S. or a state name is dropped: the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court, the state Superior Court, the Superior Court, Superior Court. For courts identified by a numeral: 2nd District Court, 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Check separate listings under specific court names.

Court of St. James’s Note the ‘s. The formal name for the royal court of the British sovereign. Derived from St. James’s Palace, the former scene of royal receptions.

courtesy titles In general, do not use courtesy titles Mr., Mrs. or Ms.; use first and last names of the person: Donald Rumsfeld, Joyce Rumsfeld. At times, such as crime and feature stories, repeat both names in full rather than using courtesy titles on subsequent references. Use first names on second reference only on rare occasions when the writer has established a close personal relationship with subject, such as a member of family or a close friend. Use first names for children on second reference only if the child is 14 or younger.

courthouse Capitalize with the name of a jurisdiction: the Cook County Courthouse, the U.S. Courthouse. Lowercase in other uses: the county courthouse, the courthouse, the federal courthouse. Court House (two words) is used in the proper names of some communities: Appomattox Court House, Va.

court-martial, court-martialed, courts-martial

courtroom

courts The federal court system is composed of the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Court of Claims, the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, the U.S. Customs Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Court of Military Appeals are not part of the judicial branch. Washington Court of Appeals handles appeals from lower courts. Snohomish and Island counties are in Division I (along with King, Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan counties). The rest of Western Washington is in Division II, and Eastern Washington is in Division III. Washington Supreme Court handles direct appeals involving the actions of state officials, the constitutionality of a statute, conflicting statutes or rules, and issues of broad public interest. Reversals by the state Court of Appeals can also be reviewed. County courts include: Snohomish County Superior Court, in the Snohomish County Courthouse. Handles felony criminal cases, civil lawsuits involving monetary disputes over $10,000, real estate disputes, tax challenges of county or state taxes, divorces, custody fights and appeals of lower court decisions. Everett District Court, in the Snohomish County Courthouse. Cascade District Court, in Arlington. Evergreen District Court, in Monroe. South District Court, in Lynnwood. The District courts handle misdemeanors, civil traffic infractions with no jail time, criminal matters with sentences up to one year in jail, and smaller civil claims up to $10,000. Municipal courts are in Arlington, Brier, Darrington, Edmonds, Everett, Gold Bar, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Stanwood and Sultan. Municipal courts handle local ordinance violations.

cover up (v.) coverup (n. and adj.) He tried to cover up the scandal. He was prosecuted for the coverup.

Cox Enterprises Inc. Privately held communications company with headquarters in Atlanta. Units include Cox Newspapers, which owns 17 daily newspapers including The Atlanta Journal- Constitution; cable TV provider Cox Communications and the broadcasting companies Cox Television and Cox Radio.

CPR Acceptable on all references for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

crack up (v.) crackup (n. and adj.)

crawfish Not crayfish. An exception to Webster’s New World based on the dominant spelling in Louisiana, where it is a popular delicacy.

crewman Avoid. Use crew member, the crew, member of the crew.

crimes Never say someone was arrested for assault, which finds a person guilty. Even in headlines, do not assume the readers will guess the intended sense.

Crisco A trademark for a brand of vegetable shortening.

crisis, crises

crisscross

criterion, criteria

cross country (n.) cross-country (adj.)

crossfire

cross section (n.) cross-section (v.)

cross-examine, cross-examination

cross-eye (n.) cross-eyed (adj.)

crossover (n. and adj.)

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease A rare degenerative brain disorder. Another form, variant Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease, is related to mad cow disease. The word “variant” is needed to distinguish it from the classic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is not related to mad cow disease. See mad cow disease.

CRT Abbreviation for cathode ray tube. Do not use. Display unit is among the terms preferred.

CSX Corp. Freight railroad, with headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.

CT scan Computerized tomography, a method of making multiple X-ray images of the body or parts of the body and using a computer to construct, from those images, cross-sectional views. (Formerly known as CAT scan.)

Cub Scouts Part of Boy Scouts of America, for boys age 8-10.

Cuban missile crisis Note that the ‘m’ and ‘c’ are down.

cuckoo clock

cup Equal to 8 fluid ounces. The approximate metric equivalents are 240 milliliters or .24 of a liter. To convert to liters, multiply by .24 (14 cups x .24= 3.36 liters, or 3,360 milliliters).

cupful, cupfuls Not cupsful.

curate

cure-all

Curia

currency conversions



Currency conversions are necessary in stories that use non-U.S. currency to make clear for readers how a number translates into dollars. But conversions should be used sparingly and preferably not in the lead unless it’s a significant part of a story. A conversion is generally needed only the first time a currency is mentioned. The reader can make the necessary conversions after that.

Do not convert amounts that are not current because exchange rates change over time.

When conversions are needed, use the $ sign to report U.S. dollar amounts and the € sign for euros. Examples:

LONDON (AP) -- BT Group PLC, Britain’s largest phone company, on Thursday reported quarterly earnings rose 18 percent but said it would slash 6,000 more jobs by March to keep costs down and maintain its profits.

Net profit for the three months to Sept. 30 was 400 million pounds ($595 million), compared with 339 million pounds a year earlier, when profits were hit by a 232 million-pound one-time restructuring charge. Restructuring charges this year were 72 percent lower at just 65 million pounds.

PARIS (AP) -- Airbus parent company EADS said Friday it rebounded to a profit in the third quarter thanks to lower costs for restructuring and fewer delays to aircraft programs. But it warned that continued setbacks in production of its military transporter will make achieving its full-year target challenging.

European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. NV made a net profit of €679 million ($850 million) in the July-September period, compared with a €776 million loss a year ago.

For all other currencies, following the amount, spell out the name of the currency followed in parentheses by the equivalent in U.S. dollars. Japan approved a 1.8 trillion yen ($18 billion) extra budget to partially finance an economic stimulus package.

When dealing with a dollar currency of a country other than the United States, use the following abbreviations before the amount on second and subsequent references:
AU$ Australian dollars
CA$ Canadian dollars
SG$ Singapore dollars
NZ$ New Zealand dollars
HK$ Hong Kong dollars
NT$ New Taiwan dollars
ZW$ Zimbabwe dollars



Treasurer Wayne Swan approved a 16 billion Australian dollar ($10.74 billion) deal. Swan said AU$8 billion would be reserved for capital expenditure.

currency depreciation, currency devaluation A nation’s money depreciates when its value falls in relation to the currency of other nations or in relation to its own prior value. A nation’s money is devalued when its government deliberately reduces its value in relation to the currency of other nations. When a nation devalues its currency, the goods it imports tend to become more expensive. Its exports tend to become less expensive in other nations and thus more competitive.

curtain raiser

customs Capitalize U.S. Customs Service, or simply the Customs Service. Lowercase elsewhere: a customs official, a customs ruling, she went through customs.

cut back (v.) cutback (n. and adj.) He cut back spending. The cutback will require frugality.

cut off (v.) cutoff (n. and adj.) He cut off his son’s allowance. The cutoff date for applications is Monday.

cutlines Cutlines should describe the action in a picture in the present tense. Keep the picture’s focal point in mind, and always provide complete information. Photographers should always provide complete information, especially names. Include any publicity brochures that go with some assignments. Don’t scribble information on photo. Instead, supply typed information attached to the photo and/or send the information through city desk. When identifying people in photographs, set off their placement in parenthesis: John Smith (left) clobbers Harry Johnson (center) while Homer Jones (right) watches. In a package of photos, set off each photo separately in cutline like this: ABOVE: The poor people throw eggs at Laura Bush. LEFT: Dick Cheney smiles amid the melee. Photo credits from Herald staffers are formatted: Joe Smith / The Herald Photo credits from Enterprise staffers are formatted: Photo by Joe Smith

cyber-, cyberspace Cyberspace is a term popularized by William Gibson in the novel “Neuromancer” to refer to the digital world of computer networks. It has spawned numerous words with cyber- prefixes, but try to avoid most of these coinages. When the combining form is used, follow the general rule for prefixes and do not use a hyphen before a word starting with a consonant: cyberbullying, cybercafe.

cyclone A storm with strong winds rotating around a moving center of low atmospheric pressure. The word sometimes is used in the United States to mean tornado and in the Indian Ocean area to mean hurricane.

cynic, skeptic A skeptic is a doubter. A cynic is a disbeliever.

czar Not tsar. It was a formal title only for the ruler of Russia and some other Slavic nations. Lowercase in all other uses.

Dacron A trademark for a brand of polyester fiber.

dalai lama Capitalize Dalai Lama in references to the holder of the title, in keeping with the principles outlined in the nobility entry.

Dallas The city in Texas stands alone in datelines.

Dalles, The A city in Oregon.

dam Capitalize when part of a proper name: Hoover Dam.

damage, damages Damage is destruction: Authorities said damage from the storm would total more than $1 billion. Damages are awarded by a court as compensation for injury, loss, etc.: The woman received $25,000 in damages.

damn it Use instead of dammit, but like other profanity it should be avoided unless there is a compelling reason.

dangling modifiers Avoid modifiers that do not refer clearly and logically to some word in the sentence. Dangling: Taking our seats, the game started. (Taking does not refer to the subject, game, nor to any other word in the sentence.) Correct: Taking our seats, we watched the opening of the game. (Taking refers to we, the subject of the sentence.)

Danish pastry

Dardanelles, the Not the Dardanelles Strait.

Dark Ages The period beginning with the sack of Rome in A.D. 476 and ending about the end of the 10th century. The term is derived from the idea that this period in Europe was characterized by intellectual stagnation, widespread ignorance and poverty.

dark horse

dash The basic rule: If commas will do, do not use dashes. See Punctuation chapter.

data A plural noun, it normally takes plural verbs and pronouns.

data processing (n. and adj.) Do not hyphenate the adjective.

database One word. The collection of all data used and produced by a computer program.

date line Two words for the imaginary line that separates one day from another.

datelines



Datelines on stories should contain a city name, entirely in capital letters, followed in most cases by the name of the state, county or territory where the city is located.

LOCAL DATELINES: In Washington state, use only the city name (no Wash.) in datelines, but locate obscure places for the reader. The only exception: Vancouver, Wash. For the city of Lakewood in Pierce County, use LAKEWOOD, Pierce County, to avoid confusion with the Snohomish County area of the same name.

Local datelines are used to identify the community in which an event occurs. If an event does not take place within or adjacent to a community, the story does not carry a dateline. These communities are presumed to be generally known throughout the circulation area and may be used in datelines:
ALDERWOOD MANOR
ARLINGTON
BOTHELL
BRIER
CAMANO ISLAND
CARNATION
CLEARVIEW
CLINTON
COUPEVILLE
DARRINGTON
DUVALL
EDMONDS
EVERETT
FREELAND
GOLD BAR
GRANITE FALLS
HAT ISLAND
INDEX
LAKE STEVENS
LAKEWOOD
LANGLEY
LYNNWOOD
MARYSVILLE
MILL CREEK
MONROE
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE
MUKILTEO
OAK HARBOR
PAINE FIELD
SKYKOMISH
SMOKEY POINT
SNOHOMISH
STEVENS PASS
STANWOOD
STARTUP
SULTAN
TULALIP (entire res.)
WOODINVILLE
WOODWAY

These communities may be used as datelines, but the copy should locate the community:
ISLAND CROSSING
LAKE GOODWIN
MACHIAS
MALTBY
MISSION BEACH
OSO
PICNIC POINT
PRIEST POINT
ROBE
SILVANA
VERLOT
WARM BEACH

Wire copy concerning subjects in The Herald’s readership area is datelined as if it were a local story. Local news stories ordinarily carry datelines. The exceptions are:
Stories arising from Snohomish County government, Snohomish County Superior Court, the Snohomish County PUD, the Snohomish Health District or the Edmonds School District do not carry datelines.
Stories that transcend community boundaries do not carry datelines. A story about several sewer districts would not carry a LYNNWOOD dateline just because the lead reported on a Lynnwood development.
Locally written stories do not carry a dateline outside Snohomish, Island or north King counties unless the reporter has been to the datelined community to gather information for the story. But if a reporter develops substantial information in Marysville on a local issue and calls sources in Spokane, the story would be datelined MARYSVILLE. Stories in which a reporter goes outside Snohomish, Island or north King counties to gather substantial information carry the dateline of the nonlocal community. Note: When using a local dateline, follow with the full name of any council or agency even if the town name is part of the title. E.g.: MARYSVILLE - The Maryville City Council today ...

DATELINES ABOARD SHIPS: Use the dateline ABOARD THE (ship name) only if the reporter was aboard the ship while it was underway. Do not use this dateline if the reporter visited the ship while it was anchored or moored.

SPORTS: Road-game stories carry the dateline of the city in which the game was played whether a reporter attended the game or not. Datelines on all other locally written sports stories follow the guidelines for news pages.

FEATURES: Stories appearing on the features pages usually do not carry a dateline. Exceptions are concert reviews and other limited events that take place in a specific place. A movie review normally would not carry a dateline. Reviews of movies shown at a film festival limited to one place would be datelined.

DOMESTIC DATELINES: A list of domestic cities that stand alone in datelines follows. The norms that influenced the selection were the population of the city, the population of its metropolitan region, the frequency of the city’s appearance in the news, the uniqueness of its name, and experience that has shown the name to be almost synonymous with the state or nation where it is located.

No state with the following:
ATLANTA
MILWAUKEE
BALTIMORE
MINNEAPOLIS
BOSTON
NEW ORLEANS
CHICAGO
NEW YORK
CINCINNATI
OKLAHOMA CITY
CLEVELAND
PHILADELPHIA
DALLAS
PHOENIX
DENVER
PITTSBURGH
DETROIT
ST. LOUIS
HONOLULU
SALT LAKE CITY
HOUSTON
SAN ANTONIO
INDIANAPOLIS
SAN DIEGO
LAS VEGAS
SAN FRANCISCO
LOS ANGELES
SEATTLE
MIAMI
WASHINGTON

Stories from all other U.S. cities should have both the city and state name in the dateline, including KANSAS CITY, Mo., and KANSAS CITY, Kan.

Spell out Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. Abbreviate others as listed in this book under the full name of each state.

Use Hawaii on all cities outside Honolulu. Specify the island in the text if needed.

Follow the same practice for communities on islands within the boundaries of other states: EDGARTOWN, Mass., for example, not EDGARTOWN, Martha’s Vineyard.

REGIONAL CIRCUITS: On state wires, additional cities in a state or region may stand alone if requested by the newspapers served.

U.S. POSSESSIONS: Apply the guidelines listed below in the ISLAND NATIONS AND TERRITORIES section and the OVERSEAS TERRITORIES section.

INTERNATIONAL CITIES: These international locations stand alone in datelines:
AMSTERDAM
MEXICO CITY
BAGHDAD
MILAN
BANGKOK
MADRID
BEIJING
MONACO
BEIRUT
MONTREAL
BERLIN
MOSCOW
BOGOTA
MUNICH
BRUSSELS
NEW DELHI
CAIRO
OSLO
COPENHAGEN
OTTAWA
DJIBOUTI
PANAMA CITY
DUBLIN
PARIS
FRANKFURT
PRAGUE
GENEVA
QUEBEC CITY
GIBRALTAR
RIO DE JANEIRO
GUATEMALA CITY
ROME
HAMBURG
SAN MARINO
HAVANA
SAO PAULO
HELSINKI
SHANGHAI
HONG KONG
SINGAPORE
ISLAMABAD
STOCKHOLM
ISTANBUL
SYDNEY
JERUSALEM
TOKYO
JOHANNESBURG
TORONTO
KABUL
VANCOUVER
KUWAIT CITY
VATICAN CITY
LONDON
VIENNA
LUXEMBOURG
ZURICH
MACAU

In addition, use UNITED NATIONS alone, without a N.Y. designation, in stories from U.N. headquarters.

BALKANS: With the independence of Montenegro from Serbia-Montenegro formalized in 2006, use a Montenegro-only dateline, such as PODGORICA, Montenegro. Stories originating in Serbia carry a Serbia-only dateline: BELGRADE, Serbia. With the independence of Kosovo in 2008, use Kosovo in the dateline, such as PRISTINA, Kosovo.

CANADIAN DATELINES: Datelines on stories from Canadian cities other than Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Toronto should contain the name of the city in capital letters followed by the name of the province. Do not abbreviate any province or territory name.

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES: For cities in the former Soviet Union, datelines include city and republic name: ALMATY, Kazakhstan.

OTHER FOREIGN NATIONS: Stories from other foreign cities that do not stand alone in datelines should contain the name of the country or territory (see the next section) spelled out.

SPELLING AND CHOICE OF NAMES: In most cases, the name of the nation in a dateline is the conventionally accepted short form of its official name: Argentina, for example, rather than Republic of Argentina. (If in doubt, look for an entry in this book. If none is found, follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary.)

Note these special cases:
Instead of United Kingdom, use England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
For divided nations, use the commonly accepted names based on geographic distinctions: North Korea, South Korea.
Use an article only with El Salvador. For all others, use just a country name ? Gambia, Netherlands, Philippines, etc.

See geographic names for guidelines on spelling the names of foreign cities and nations not listed here or in separate entries.

ISLAND NATIONS AND TERRITORIES: When reporting from nations and territories that are made up primarily of islands but commonly are linked under one name, use the city name and the general name in the dateline. Identify an individual island, if needed, in the text:

Examples:
British Virgin Islands
Netherlands Antilles
Indonesia
Philippines

OVERSEAS TERRITORIES: Some overseas territories, colonies and other areas that are not independent nations commonly have accepted separate identities based on their geographic character or special status under treaties. In these cases, use the commonly accepted territory name after a city name in a dateline.

Examples:
Bermuda
Martinique
Corsica
Puerto Rico
Faeroe Islands
Sardinia
Greenland
Sicily
Guadeloupe
Sikkim
Guam
Tibet

WITHIN STORIES: In citing other cities within the body of a story:
No further information is necessary if a city is in the same state as the datelined city. Make an exception only if confusion would result.
Follow the city name with further identification in most cases where it is not in the same state or nation as the dateline city. The additional identification may be omitted, however, if no confusion would result. There is no need, for example, to refer to Boston, Mass., in a story datelined NEW YORK.
Provide a state or nation identification for the city if the story is undated. However, cities that stand alone in datelines may be used alone in undated stories if no confusion would result.



dates Use Arabic figures. Use comma to set off date and year: It was June 10, 1982, when they met. No commas between month and year: It was June 1982. To tell when something happened or will happen, use the day of the week if it’s within seven days of publication day. Otherwise, use date.

dates, times, places When telling when and where something will happen, follow the order of time, date, place. The Lynnwood Elks will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the clubhouse, 199 S. 85th St. In stories and calendar listings, always describe time like this: The open house will run from 7 to 10 p.m. When an event takes place within seven days of the date of publication, use the day (Monday, Tuesday, etc.), not the date. Don’t use tomorrow or yesterday in stories. Avoid last when referring to an earlier month or day. Just say, The jet crashed in May. Not: The jet crashed last May. When referring to the current month a year earlier, and all months before that, use the month and year: May 1994.

daughter-in-law, daughters-in-law

Daughters of the American Revolution DAR is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Washington.

day care (n.) (adj.) Two words, no hyphen, in

all uses. Be careful about using the word center it doesn’t apply to homes.

Day One Capitalize and spell out as a chronological device for summarizing multi-day events such as Day One, Day Two. Lowercase in casual or conversational references.

day to day, day-to-day Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: They have extended the contract on a day-to-day basis.

daylight saving time Not savings. No hyphen. When linking the term with the name of a time zone, use only the word daylight: Eastern Daylight Time, Pacific Daylight Time, etc. Lowercase daylight saving time in all uses and daylight time whenever it stands alone. A federal law specifies that, starting in 2007, daylight time applies from 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March until 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November in areas that do not specifically exempt themselves.

daylong

days of the week Capitalize them. Do not abbreviate, except when needed in a tabular format: Sun., Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri., Sat.

daytime

D-Day June 6, 1944, the day the Allies invaded Europe in World War II.

DDT Preferred in all references for the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane.

de-

De Niro Actor’s last name is two words, both capitalized.

dead center

dead end (n.) dead-end (adj.) She reached a dead end. He has a dead-end job.

Dead Sea Scrolls

deaf Use with care. Often, hearing-impaired is a better choice. Never use deaf-mute or deaf and dumb. Instead of mute, use speech-impaired.

dean Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name: Dean John Jones, Deans John Jones and Susan Smith. Lowercase in other uses: John Jones, dean of the college; the dean.

dean’s list Lowercase in all uses: He is on the dean’s list. She is a dean’s list student.

death row Lowercase

deathbed (n. and adj.)

decades Use Arabic figures to indicate decades of history. Use an apostrophe to indicate numerals that are left out; show plural by adding the letter s: the 1890s, the ‘90s, the 1920s, the mid-1930s.

deci- A prefix denoting one-tenth of a unit. Move a decimal point one place to the left in converting to the basic unit: 15.5 decigrams= 1.55 grams.

decimal units Use a period and numerals to indicate decimal amounts. Decimalization should not exceed two places in textual material unless there are special circumstances.

Declaration of Independence Lowercase the declaration whenever it stands alone.

Deep South Capitalize both words when referring to the region that consists of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina. (An exception to Webster’s.)

deep water (n.) deep-water (adj.) The creature swam in deep water. The ship needs a deep-water port.

Deepfreeze A trademark for a brand of home freezer. If something is being postponed indefinitely, use two words: The project is in the deep freeze.

deep-sea (adj.)

defense Do not use it as a verb.

defense attorney Always lowercase, never abbreviate.

defense spending Military spending usually is the more precise term.

definitely Overused as a vague intensifier. Avoid it.

degree-day A degree-day is a computation that gauges the amount of heating or cooling needed for a building. An uninsulated building will maintain an inside temperature of 70 degrees if the outside temperature is 65 degrees. A degree-day is a onedegree difference in this equilibrium for one day (a temperature of 64 degrees for 24 hours), or its equivalent such as a two-degree difference for half a day (a temperature of 63 for 12 hours). A temperature of 10 below zero for 24 hours yields 75 degree-days. A temperature of 85 degrees for six hours yields five degree-days.

degrees Do not use for a high school diploma.

deity Lowercase. dek- (before a vowel), deka- (before a consonant) -- A prefix denoting 10 units of a measure. Move a decimal point one place to the right to convert to the basic unit: 15.6 dekameters= 156 meters.

Delaware Abbrev.: Del. Only Rhode Island is smaller in area.

delegate The formal title for members of the lower houses of some legislatures. Do not abbreviate. Capitalize only before their names. Always lowercase in other uses: convention delegate Richard Henry Lee.

Delta Air Lines Headquarters is in Atlanta.

demagogue, demagoguery Not demagog.

Democrat, Democratic Party Capitalize when you mean the party or its programs or candidates. “Dem” or “Dems” are acceptable only in one-column headlines. “Demos” is no longer acceptable. Lowercase democracy, democratic in other uses.

Democratic Governors’ Conference Note the apostrophe.

Democratic National Committee On the second reference: the national committee, the committee. Similarly: Democratic State Committee, Democratic County Committee, Democratic City Committee, the state committee, the city committee, the committee.

demolish, destroy Both mean to do away with something completely. Something cannot be partially demolished or destroyed. It is redundant to say totally demolished or totally destroyed.

Denney Juvenile Justice Center New name for Denney Youth Center. Note second e.

Denney Youth Center Named for Judge Charles Denney. Now called Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

denote Connote means to suggest or imply something beyond the explicit meaning: To some people, the word yuppie connotes selfishness. Denote means to be explicit about the meaning: The word demolish denotes destruction.

Denver The city in Colorado stands alone in datelines.

depart Follow it with a preposition: He will depart from Sea-Tac. She will depart at 11:30 a.m. Do not drop the preposition as some airline dispatchers do.

department Department of Agriculture; Department of Commerce; Department of Defense; Department of Education; Department of Energy; Department of Health and Human Services (formerly the Department of Health, Education and Welfare); Department of Homeland Security; Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD acceptable on second reference); Department of the Interior; Department of Justice; Department of Labor; Department of State; Department of Transportation; Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA on second reference). If, as is common practice, the title is flopped, drop the of and retain the capitalization: the State Department, the Treasury Department. Avoid acronyms when possible. A phrase such as the department is preferable on second reference because it is more readable and avoids alphabet soup. Lowercase department in plural uses, but capitalize the proper name element: the departments of Labor and Justice. A shorthand reference to the proper name element also is capitalized: Kissinger said, State and Justice must resolve their differences. But: Henry Kissinger, the secretary of state. Lowercase the department whenever it stands alone. Do not abbreviate department in any usage.

dependent (n. and adj.) Not dependant.

depreciation The reduction in the value of capital goods due to wear and tear or obsolescence. Estimated depreciation may be deducted from income each year as one of the costs of doing business.

depression Capitalize Depression and the Great Depression when referring to the worldwide economic hard times generally regarded as having begun with the stock market collapse of Oct. 28-29, 1929. Lowercase in other uses: the depression of the 1970s.

deputy Capitalize as a formal title before a name.

derogatory terms Do not use derogatory terms except in direct quotes, and then only when their use is an integral, essential part of the story.

-designate Hyphenate: chairman-designate. Capitalize only the first word if used as a formal title before a name.;

destroy It means to do away with completely. Something cannot be partially destroyed and totally destroyed is redundant.

detective Do not abbreviate. Capitalize before a name only if it is a formal rank: police Detective Frank Serpico, private detective Richard Diamond. In our area, it’s a rank only in the Washington State Patrol.

detente

Detroit The city in Michigan stands alone in datelines. Deutsche Lufthansa AG

devil But capitalize Satan.

Dexedrine A trademark for a brand of appetite suppressant. It also may be called dextroamphetamine sulfate.

diacritical marks Diacritical marks, added to a letter to indicate its pronunciation, are not used in American English. Do not allow entr?e, resum? and the like to appear in the newspaper. An exception may be made for a person’s name, but not for rock band names or movie and book titles.

dialect Dialect should be avoided, even in quoted matter, unless it is clearly pertinent to a story. When there is a compelling reason to use dialect, words or phrases are spelled phonetically, and apostrophes show missing letters and sounds: Din’t ya yoosta live at Toidy- Toid Street and Sekun’ Amya? Across from da moom pitchers?

dialogue (n.)

diarrhea

dictionaries For spelling, style and usage questions not covered in this stylebook, consult Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, published by Wiley. The dictionary is online at www.yourdictionary.com.

Use the first spelling listed in Webster’s New World College Dictionary unless a specific exception is listed in this book.

If Webster’s New World College Dictionary provides different spellings in separate entries (tee shirt and T-shirt, for example), use the spelling that is followed by a full definition (T-shirt).

If Webster’s New World College Dictionary provides definitions under two different spellings for the same sense of a word, either use is acceptable. For example, although or though.

If there is no listing in either this book or Webster’s New World College Dictionary, the backup dictionary is Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, published by Merriam-Webster Inc.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary is also the first reference for geographic names not covered in this stylebook. See geographic names.

die Takes the preposition of, not from.

die-hard (n. and adj.)

Diet The Japanese parliament.

dietitian Not dietician.

differ from, differ with To differ from means to be unlike. To differ with means to disagree.

different Takes the preposition from, not than.

dilemma It means more than a problem. It implies a choice between unattractive alternatives.

dimensions Use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc., to indicate depth, height, length and width. Hyphenate adjectival forms before nouns. EXAMPLES: He is 5 feet 6 inches tall, the 5-foot-6-inch man, the 5-foot man, the basketball team signed a 7-footer. The car is 17 feet long, 6 feet wide and 5 feet high. The rug is 9 feet by 12 feet, the 9-by-12 rug. The storm left 5 inches of snow. Use an apostrophe to indicate feet and quote marks to indicate inches (5’6’’) only in very technical contexts.

Diners Club No apostrophe, in keeping with the practice the company has adopted for its public identity. Only its incorporation papers still read Diners’ Club. Headquarters is in New York.

directions and regions



In general, lowercase north, south, northeast, northern, etc., when they indicate compass direction; capitalize these words when they designate regions. Some examples:

COMPASS DIRECTIONS: He drove west. The cold front is moving east.

REGIONS: A storm system that developed in the Midwest is spreading eastward. It will bring showers to the East Coast by morning and to the entire Northeast by late in the day. High temperatures will prevail throughout the Western states. The North was victorious. The South will rise again. Settlers from the East went West in search of new lives. The customs of the East are different from those of the West. The Northeast depends on the Midwest for its food supply. She has a Southern accent. He is a Northerner. Nations of the Orient are opening doors to Western businessmen. The candidate developed a Southern strategy. She is a Northern liberal. The storm developed in the South Pacific. European leaders met to talk about supplies of oil from Southeast Asia.

WITH NAMES OF NATIONS: Lowercase unless they are part of a proper name or are used to designate a politically divided nation: northern France, eastern Canada, the western United States. But: Northern Ireland, South Korea.

WITH STATES AND CITIES: The preferred form is to lowercase compass points only when they describe a section of a state or city: western Texas, southern Atlanta. But capitalize compass points: When part of a proper name: North Dakota, West Virginia. When used in denoting widely known sections: Southern California, the South Side of Chicago, the Lower East Side of New York. If in doubt, use lowercase. Also Western Washington, Eastern Washington, but there is no Central Washington in the sense of a region.

IN FORMING PROPER NAMES: When combining with another common noun to form the name for a region or location: the North Woods, the South Pole, the Far East, the Middle East, the West Coast (the entire region, not the coastline itself), the Eastern Shore, the Western Hemisphere.

director The formal title for the individuals who head the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency. Capitalize when used immediately before their names or those of others for whom director is a formal title: FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Most uses of director, however, involve an occupational description not capitalized in any use: company director Joseph Warren.

dis- The rules in prefixes apply , but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: dismember, disservice, dissemble, dissuade

disabled In general do not describe an individual as disabled or handicapped unless it is clearly pertinent to a story. If such a description must be used, make it clear what the handicap is and how much the person’s physical or mental performance is affected. Handicap It should be avoided in describing a disability. Blind describes a person with complete loss of sight. For others use terms such as visually impaired or person with low vision. Deaf describes a person with total hearing loss. Use the term with care. Often, hearingimpaired is a better choice. People can be mildly to profoundly hearing-impaired. Never use deafmute or deaf and dumb. Mute describes a person who physically cannot speak. Others with speaking difficulties are speech-impaired. Use wheelchair-user. Do not use confined to a wheelchair or wheelchairbound. If a wheelchair is needed, say why.

disc, disk Use the disc spelling for phonograph records and related terms (disc jockey), optical and laser-based devices (a Blu-ray disc) and for disc brake. Use disk for computer-related references and medical references, such as a slipped disk.

DJ is acceptable on second reference and in headlines if the meaning is clear. Not synonymous with announcer.

discreet, discrete Discreet means prudent, circumspect: I’m afraid I was not very discreet, she wrote. Discrete means detached, separate: There are four discrete sounds from a quadraphonic system.

diseases Do not capitalize arthritis, emphysema, leukemia, pneumonia, etc. When a disease is known by the name of a person identified with it, capitalize only the individual’s name: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc. Avoid such expressions as: He is battling cancer. She is a stroke victim. Use neutral, precise descriptions: He has stomach cancer. She is a stroke patient.

disinterested, uninterested Disinterested means impartial, which is usually the better word to convey the thought. Uninterested means that someone lacks interest.

disk Use this spelling, not disc, for the thin, flat plate on which computer data can be stored. However, compact disc.

dispel, dispelled, dispelling

disposable personal income The income that person retains after deductions for income taxes, Social Security taxes, property taxes and for other payments such as fines and penalties to various levels of government.

Disposall A trademark for a type of mechanical garbage disposer.

dissociate Not disassociate.

distances Use figures for 10 and above, spell out one through nine: He walked four miles.

Distant Early Warning Line DEW line is acceptable on second reference for this series of radar stations near the 70th parallel in North America.

district Always spell it out. Use a figure and capitalize district when forming a proper name: the 2nd District.

district attorney Do not abbreviate. Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name: District Attorney Hamilton Burger. Use DA (no periods) only in quoted matter.

District of Columbia Abbreviate as D.C. when the context requires that it be used in conjunction with Washington. Spell out on subsequent references and when used alone. DC (no periods) is acceptable in headlines.

ditto marks They can be made with quotation marks, but their use in newspapers, even in tabular material, is confusing. Don’t use them.

dive, dived, diving Not dove for the past tense.

divided nations Entries under the names of these nations.

divorcee Don’t use this word. Mention a person’s divorce only if it’s absolutely essential to the story.

Dixie cup A trademark for a paper drinking cup.

Djibouti Stands alone in datelines for the East African country and capital.

doctor Use Dr. in first reference as a formal title before the name of an individual who holds a doctor of dental surgery, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, or doctor of podiatric medicine degree: Dr. Jonas Salk. The form Dr., or Drs., in a plural construction, applies to all first-reference uses before a name, including direct quotations. If appropriate in the context, Dr. also may be used on first reference before the names of individuals who hold other types of doctoral degrees. However, because the public frequently identifies Dr. only with physicians, care should be taken to assure that the individual’s specialty is stated in first or second reference. The only exception would be a story in which the context left no doubt that the person was a dentist, psychologist, chemist, historian, etc. In some instances it also is necessary to specify that an individual identified as Dr. is a physician. One frequent case is a story reporting on joint research by physicians, biologists, etc. Do not use Dr. before the names of individuals who hold only honorary doctorates. Do not continue the use of Dr. in subsequent references.

dollars Always lowercase. Use figures and the $ sign in all except casual references or amounts without a figure: The book cost $4. Dad, please give me a dollar. Dollars are flowing overseas. For specified amounts, the word takes a singular verb: He said $500,000 is what they want. For amounts of more than $1 million, use the $ and numerals up to two decimal places. Do not link the numerals and the word by a hyphen: It is worth $4.35 million. It is worth exactly $4,351,242. He proposed a $300 billion budget. The form for amounts less than $1 million: $4, $25, $500, $1,000, $650,000.

domino, dominoes

”don’t ask, don’t tell” The policy that has barred gays from serving openly in the military since 1993.

door to door, door-to-door Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: He is a door-to-door salesman. But: He went from door to door.

DOS An acronym for disk operating system. Spell out.

do’s and don’ts

dot-com Hyphenate.

double- Hyphenate these expressions, check Webster’s New World for others: double-breasted, double-check, double-cross, double-dealing, doubledecker, double-digit, double-edged, double-entendre, double-faced, double-jointed, double-knit, doubleminded, double-park, double-space.

doubleheader Solid, no hyphen.

doughnut Not donut.

Dow Jones & Co. The company publishes the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s National Business and Financial Weekly. It also operates the Dow Jones News Service. For stock market watchers, it provides the Dow Jones industrial average, the Dow Jones transportation average, the Dow Jones utility average, and the Dow Jones composite average. Headquarters is in New York.

-down Follow Webster’s New World. Some examples, all nouns and/or adjectives: breakdown, countdown, sit-down; All are two words when used as verbs.

down- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: downgrade, downtown.

Down East Use only in reference to Maine.

down payment

Down syndrome A genetic, chromosomal disorder first reported in 1866 by Dr. J. Langdon Down. Not Down’s syndrome.

Down Under Australia, New Zealand and environs.

downstate Lowercase unless part of a proper name: downstate Illinois. But: the Downstate Medical Center.

DPA Deutsche Presse-Agentur is an international news agency with headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. It was founded in 1949 and has 800 editorial employees. Transmits news in German, English, Spanish and Arabic. DPA is acceptable in all references.

Dr Pepper A trademark (no period after Dr) for a brand of soft drink. Headquarters is in Dallas.

draft beer Not draught beer

Dramamine A trademark for a brand of motion sickness remedy.

Drambuie A trademark for a brand of Scottish liqueur

driftnet

drive-in (n.)

driver’s license

drive-thru (n. and adj.)

drop out (v.) dropout (n.)

drought

drowned, was drowned If a person suffocates in water or other fluid, the proper statement is that the individual drowned. To say that someone was drowned implies that another person caused the death by holding the victim’s head under the water.

drugmaker

drugs Because the word drugs has come to be used as a synonym for narcotics in recent years, medicine is frequently the better word to specify that an individual is taking medication.

drugstore

drunk, drunken Drunk is the spelling of the adjective used after a form of the verb to be: He was drunk. Drunken is the spelling of the adjective used before nouns: a drunken driver, drunken driving.

drunkenness

DSHS Department of Social and Health Services

du Pont, E.I. Note the spelling of the name of the U.S. industrialist born in France. Use du Pont on second reference.; The company named after him is E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. of Wilmington, Del. Capitalize the shortened form DuPont (no space, capital P) in keeping with company practice. The shortened form is acceptable in all references.

due to Cannot be used with an active verb. Use because of instead. Incorrectly used for through, because of, or owing to, in adverbial phrases. Wrong: He lost the first game, due to carelessness. In correct use related as predicate or as modifier to a particular noun: This invention is due to Edison; losses due to preventable fires.

duel A contest between two people. Three people cannot duel.

duffel Not duffle.

dumpster (exception to AP) Trademark, but dictionary now accepts lower-case generic. Alternative is trash bin or trash container.

Dunkirk Use this spelling rather than Dunkerque, in keeping with widespread practice.

dust storm Visibility of one-half mile or less because of dust and wind speeds of 30 mph or more.

Dutch auction A bidding process where the price is lowered until the lowest price at which all securities will sell becomes the set price. Used on Treasury auctions and in risk arbitrage.

Dutch oven, Dutch treat, Dutch uncle

dyed-in-the-wool (adj.)

dwarf The preferred term for people with a medical or genetic condition resulting in short stature. Plural is dwarfs.

dyeing, dying Dyeing refers to changing colors. Dying refers to death.

each Takes a singular verb.

each other, one another Two people look at each other. More than two look at one another. Either phrase may be used when the number is indefinite: We help each other. We help one another.

EADS European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., parent of Airbus.

earmark

earth Generally lowercase; capitalize when used as the proper name of the planet. Examples: She is down to earth. He hopes to move heaven and earth. The space shuttle is orbiting Earth.

earthquakes



The Richter scale is no longer used. Magnitudes are usually reported simply with the word magnitude preceding the reading, such as magnitude 6.7, as opposed to including the type of scale being used. Every increase of one number, say from 5.5 to 6.5, means that the quake’s magnitude is 10 times greater. Theoretically there is no upper limit to the scales. A quake of magnitude 2.5 to 3 is the smallest generally felt by people. Magnitude 4: The quake can cause moderate damage. Magnitude 5: The quake can cause considerable damage. Magnitude 6: The quake can cause severe damage. Magnitude 7: A major earthquake, capable of widespread, heavy damage. Magnitude 8: A great earthquake, capable of tremendous damage.

NOTABLE QUAKES: Earthquakes noted for both their magnitude (listed with Richter scale measurements) and the amount of damage they caused include: Shensi province of China, January 1556: Killed 830,000 people, the largest number of fatalities on record from an earthquake. Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan, September 1923: Highest Richter reading later computed as 8.3. The quake and subsequent fires destroyed most of both cities, killing an estimated 200,000 people. Until the China quake of 1976, this was the highest fatality toll in the 20th century. San Francisco, April 1906: Highest Richter reading later computed as 8.3. The quake and subsequent fire were blamed for an estimated 700 deaths. Alaska, March 1964: Highest Richter reading 8.5. Killed 114 people. Guatemala, February 1976: Highest Richter reading later computed as 7.5. Authorities reported more than 234,000 deaths. Hopeh province of northern China, July 28, 1976: Highest Richter reading 8.3. A government document later said 655,237 people were killed and 779,000 injured. The fatality total was second only to the toll in the Shensi quake of 1556. Mexico, Sept. 19, 1985: A quake registered at 8.1 left 9,500 people dead.

OTHER TERMS: The word temblor (not tremblor) is a synonym for earthquake.

East Coast Capitalize as region of the United States

east, eastern Capitalize for region, lowercase for direction. She lives in the East. He’s a member of an Eastern family. They traveled east.

Easter In the computation used by the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church and by Protestant churches, it falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21. If the full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter is the next Sunday. Easter may fall, therefore, between March 22 and April 25 inclusive.

Eastern Europe No longer a separate political unit, but can be used in specific references to the region. Use only in historic sense. (Also Western Europe.)

Eastern Hemisphere The half of the Earth made up primarily of Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe.

Eastern Orthodox churches The term applies to a group of churches that have roots in the earliest days of Christianity and do not recognize papal authority over their activities. The autonomous churches that constitute Eastern Orthodoxy are organized along mostly national lines. Eastern orthodox churches today count about 200 million members. They include the Greek Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church.

Eastern Rite churches These churches accept the authority of the pope, but they have considerable autonomy in ritual and questions of discipline such as

married clergy a married man may be ordained, but marriage is not permitted after ordination. Worldwide membership totals more than 10 million.

eastern seaboard Synonym for East Coast.

Eastern Shore A region on the east side of Chesapeake Bay, including parts of Maryland and Virginia. Eastern Shore is not a synonym for East Coast.

Eastern Standard Time (EST), Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) Eastern Washington Uppercase. Western Washington is also up.

easygoing

eBay Inc. The online auctioneer is based in San Jose, Calif. Lowercase “e” unless it’s the start of a sentence.

Ebola Ebola virus uppercase. It’s named for the Ebola River, believed to be the origin.

E. coli Acceptable in all references for Escherichia coli 0157:H7 bacteria.

ecology Do not use standing alone as a reference to the Department of Ecology, as in Ecology opposes that action. The same goes for other government agencies.

Ecstasy Use the normal spelling of Ecstasy for the drug, but capitalize to distinguish from plain old ecstasy.

ecotourism ecumenical lowercase

editor Not capitalized as a job description, such as managing editor or city editor. Might be as a formal organizational title.

editor in chief No hyphens.

editorial, news In references to a newspaper, reserve news for the news department, its employees and news articles. Reserve editorial for the department that prepares the editorial page, its employees and articles that appear on the editorial page.

EFE An international news agency with headquarters in Madrid, Spain. It was founded in 1939 and has 3,000 employees. Transmits information in Spanish, Portuguese, English, Arabic and Catalan. EFE is acceptable in all references.

Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Not Elgin.

Eid al-Adha Meaning “Feast of Sacrifice,” this most important Islamic holiday marks the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham to Christians and Jews) to sacrifice his son. During the holiday, which in most places lasts four days, Muslims slaughter sheep or cattle, distribute part of the meat to the poor and eat the rest. The holiday begins on the 10th day of the Islamic lunar month of Dhul-Hijja, during the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Eid al-Fitr A three-day holiday marking the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting.

either Use it to mean one or the other, not both. Right: She said to use either door. Wrong: There were lions on either side of the door. Right: There were lions on each side of the door. There were lions on both sides of the door.

either ... or, neither ... nor The nouns that follow these words do not constitute a compound subject; they are alternate subjects and require a verb that agrees with the nearer subject: Neither they nor he is going. Neither he nor they are going.

El Al Israel Airlines An El Al airliner is acceptable in any reference. Headquarters in Tel Aviv

El Salvador The use of the article in the name of the nation helps to distinguish it from its capital, San Salvador. Use Salvadoran(s) in references to citizens of the nation.

elder For its use in religious contexts, check the entry for an individual’s denomination.

elderly Avoid the terms elderly or senior citizen unless a person’s age has something to do with the story. Never use for someone under age 65. Elderly is acceptable in generic phrases that do not refer to specific individuals: The county program brings together children and elderly people.

-elect Always hyphenate and lowercase: President-elect Reagan.

Election Day Capitalize for federal elections only, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

election returns Use figures, with commas every three digits starting at the right and counting left. Use the word to (not a hyphen) in separating different totals listed together: Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford 40,827,292 to 39,146,157 in 1976. Use the word votes if there is any possibility that the figures could be confused with a ratio: Nixon defeated McGovern 16 votes to 3 votes in Dixville Notch. Do not attempt to create adjectival forms such as the 40,827,292- 39,146,157 vote.

Electoral College But electoral votes(s).

Electrocardiogram EKG is acceptable on second reference.

eleventh hour (n.) eleventh-hour (adj.) Always spell out.

ellipsis See Punctuation chapter.

email It’s now one word, lowercase.

embargo A legal restriction against trade. embarrass, embarrassing, embarrassed,

embarrassment

embassy An embassy is the official residence of an ambassador in a foreign country and the office that handles the political relations of one nation with another. A consulate, the residence of a consul in a foreign city, handles the commercial affairs and personal needs of citizens of the appointing country. Capitalize with the name of a nation; lowercase without it: the French Embassy, the U.S. Embassy, the embassy.

emcee, emceed emceeing Master of ceremonies is preferred, but emcee is acceptable if it best fits the tone of the story.

emeritus This word often is added to formal titles to denote that individuals who have retired retain their rank or title. When used, place emeritus after the formal title, in keeping with the general practice of academic institutions: Professor Emeritus Samuel Morrison, or Samuel Morrison, professor emeritus of history.

emigrate, immigrate One who leaves a country emigrates from it. One who comes into a country immigrates. The same principle holds for emigrant and immigrant.

Emirates Airlines Headquarters is in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Emmy, Emmys (Tony, Grammy) The annual awards by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Award is not part of the name and is thus lowercase, as with Tonys. It’s up in Academy Awards because it is part of the name and the short form is Oscars, not Academys.

Empirin A trademark for a brand of aspirin compound.

employee Not employe.

empty-handed

en route Always two words.

enact

encyclopedia But follow the spelling of formal names: Encyclopaedia Britannica.

enforce But reinforce.

engine, motor An engine develops its own power, usually through internal combustion or the pressure of air, steam or water passing over vanes attached to a wheel: an airplane engine, an automobile engine, a jet engine, a missile engine, a steam engine, a turbine engine. A motor receives power from an outside source: an electric motor, a hydraulic motor.

England London stands alone in datelines. Use England after the names of other English communities in datelines.

English muffin, English setter, English sparrow

Enovid A trademark for a brand of birth control pill. It also may be called norethynodrel with mestranol.

enquire, enquiry The preferred words are inquire, inquiry.

enroll, enrolled, enrolling

ensure, insure, assure Use ensure to mean guarantee: Steps were taken to ensure accuracy. Use insure for references to insurance: The policy insures his life. Use assure to mean to make sure or give confidence: She assured us the statement was accurate..

enthused It’s a verb, and only that. The adjective is enthusiastic.

entitled Use it to mean a right to do or have something. Do not use it to mean titled. Right: She was entitled to the promotion. Right: The book was titled Gone With the Wind.’

envelop Other verb forms: enveloping, enveloped. But: envelope (n.)

environment Environment is not synonymous with ecology, which is the study of the relationship between organisms and their surroundings. Right: The laboratory is studying the ecology of man and the desert. Wrong: Even so simple an undertaking as maintaining a lawn affects ecology. (Use the environment instead.)

Environmental Protection Agency EPA is acceptable on first reference but spell out later in story.

envoy Not a formal title. Lowercase.

epicenter The point on the Earth’s surface above the underground center, or focus, of an earthquake.

epidemic, pandemic An epidemic is the rapid spreading of disease in a certain population or region; pandemic is an epidemic that has spread worldwide.

epidemiology

Episcopal Church Acceptable in all references for the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, the U.S. national church that is a member of the Anglican Communion.

Episcopal, Episcopalian Episcopal is the adjective form; use Episcopalian only as a noun referring to a member of the Episcopal Church: She is an Episcopalian. But: She is an Episcopal priest. Capitalize Episcopal when referring to the Episcopal Church. Use lowercase when the reference is simply to a body governed by bishops.

epoch

equal An adjective without comparative forms. When people speak of a more equal distribution of wealth, what is meant is more equitable. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- EEOC is acceptable on second reference.

equal time, fairness doctrine Equal time applies to the Federal Communications Commission regulation that requires a radio or television station to provide a candidate for political office with air time equal to any time that an opponent receives beyond the coverage of news events. If a station broadcasts material that takes a stand on a issue, the FCC’s fairness doctrine may require it to give advocates of a different position an opportunity to respond.

equal, equaled, equaling

equally as Do not use the words together; one is sufficient. Omit the equally shown here in parentheses: She was (equally) as wise as Marilyn. Omit the as shown here in parentheses: She and Marilyn were equally (as) liberal.

equator Always lowercase.

equitable

ERA Acceptable in all references to baseball’s earned run average. Acceptable on second reference for Equal Rights Amendment.

eras

escalator Formerly a trademark, now a generic term.

escalator clause A clause in a contract providing for increases or decreases in wages, prices, etc., based on fluctuations in the cost of living, production, expenses, etc.

escapee The preferred words are escaped convict or fugitive.

Eskimo, Eskimos Some, especially in Canada, prefer the term Inuit for these native peoples of northern North America.

ESOP employee stock ownership plan. Spell out on first reference.

ESP Acceptable on first reference and in headlines for extrasensory perception, but should be spelled out later.

espresso The coffee is espresso, not expresso.

essential clauses, nonessential clauses These terms are used in this book instead of restrictive clause and nonrestrictive clause to convey the distinction between the two in a more easily remembered manner. Both types of clauses provide additional information about a word or phrase in the sentence. The difference between them is that the essential clause cannot be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence it so restricts the meaning of the word or phrase that its absence would lead to a substantially different interpretation of what the author meant. The nonessential clause, however, can be eliminated without altering the basic meaning of the sentence -- it does not restrict the meaning so significantly that its absence would radically alter the author’s thought.

PUNCTUATION: An essential clause must not be set off from the rest of a sentence by commas. A nonessential clause must be set off by commas. The presence or absence of commas provides the reader with critical information about the writer’s intended meaning. Note the following examples: Reporters who do not read the stylebook should not criticize their editors. (The writer is saying that only one class of reporters, those who do not read the stylebook, should not criticize their editors. If the who ... stylebook phrase were deleted, the meaning of the sentence would be changed substantially.) Reporters, who do not read the stylebook, should not criticize their editors. (The writer is saying that all reporters should not criticize their editors. If the who ... stylebook phrase were deleted, this meaning would not be changed.)

USE OF WHO, THAT, WHICH: When an essential or nonessential clause refers to a human being or animal with a name, it should be introduced by who or whom. Do not use commas if the clause is essential to the meaning; use them if it is not.

essential phrases, nonessential phrases These terms are used in this book instead of restrictive phrase and nonrestrictive phrase to convey the distinction between the two in a more easily remembered manner. The underlying concept is the one that also applies to clauses: An essential phrase is a word or group of words critical to the reader’s understanding of what the author had in mind. A nonessential phrase provides more information about something. Although the information may be helpful to the reader’s comprehension, the reader would not be misled if the information were not there.

PUNCTUATION: Do not set an essential phrase off from the rest of a sentence by commas: We saw the award-winning movie A Beautiful Mind. (No comma, because many movies have won awards, and without the name of the movie the reader would not know which movie was meant.) They ate dinner with their daughter Mary. (Because they have more than one daughter, the inclusion of Mary’s name is critical if the reader is to know which daughter is meant.) Set off nonessential phrases by commas: We saw the 2001 winner in the Academy Award competition for best movie, A Beautiful Mind. (Only one movie won the award. The name is informative, but even without the name no other movie could be meant.) They ate dinner with their daughter Mary and her husband, David. (Mary has only one husband. If the phrase read and her husband David, it would suggest that she had more than one husband.)

DESCRIPTIVE WORDS: Do not confuse punctuation rules for nonessential clauses with the correct punctuation when a nonessential word is used as a descriptive adjective. The distinguishing clue often is the lack of an article or pronoun: Right: Mary and husband David went shopping. Mary and her husband, David, went shopping.

ETF exchange-traded fund A security that tracks a benchmark much as a mutual fund does, but trades throughout market days like a stock on the exchange. Spell out on first reference.

ethanol Fuel additive distilled from mashed and fermented grain. Gasoline blends are written as a percentage of ethanol, e.g. E85 for 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

Ethics Committee The formal name of the House panel is House Committee on Standards of Officials’ Conduct, but for consistency capitalize Ethics Committee for both House and Senate.

Eurasian Of European and Asian descent.

European Community

European Union The European Union, based in Brussels, Belgium, was created by the Treaty on European Union signed in February 1992 and took effect Nov. 1, 1993. EU is acceptable on second reference if the full name has appeared earlier in the story. The EU’s executive body is the European Commission in Brussels. It proposes EU laws and regulations for adoption by the member states. These

meet monthly by category for example, finance ministers, foreign ministers, agriculture ministers. The EU heads of government meet at least twice a year at a summit meeting known as the European Council. The EU presidency rotates every six months among the member states.

evangelist Capitalize only in reference to the men credited with writing the Gospels: The four Evangelists were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In lowercase, it means a preacher who makes a profession of seeking conversions.

eve Capitalize when used after the name of a holiday: New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve. But: the eve of Christmas.

even-steven Not even-stephen.

Everett Largest city in Snohomish County, with estimated population of about 96,000 in 2000. Also the county seat. City Hall is at 3002 Wetmore Ave.

Everett Avenue overpass Call it the overpass at the western end of Everett Avenue. The city of Everett calls it the California Street bridge, which is not accurate.

Everett Community College EvCC is acceptable on second reference and in headlines.

Everett Marina Uppercase M. Official name is Port of Everett Marina.

Evergreen hospital The name of the Evergreen hospital is now Evergreen Healthcare.

every day (adv.) everyday (adj.) She goes to work every day. He wears everyday shoes.

every one, everyone Two words when it means each individual item: Every one of the clues was worthless. One word when used as a pronoun meaning all persons: Everyone wants his life to be happy. (Note that everyone takes singular verbs and pronouns.)

ex- Use no hyphen for words that use ex- in the sense of out of: excommunicate, expropriate. Hyphenate when using ex- in the sense of former: ex-convict, ex-president. Do not capitalize ex- when attached to a formal title before a name: ex-President Clinton. The prefix modifies the entire term: ex-New York Gov. Mario Cuomo; not New York ex-Gov. Usually former is better.

exaggerate

Excedrin A trademark for a brand of aspirin compound.

execute To execute a person is to kill him in compliance with a military order or judicial decision.

executive branch Always lowercase.

executive director Capitalize before a name only of it is a formal corporate or organizational title.

executive mansion Lowercase.

executor Use for both men and women. Not a formal title. Always lowercase.

exit Lowercase exit 193 and such in freeway and other references.

exorcise, exorcism Not exorcize.

expel, expelled, expelling

Explorers A separate program from Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts open to boys and girls from high school age through 20. Members are Explorers, not Explorer Scouts. Members of units that stress nautical programs are Sea Explorers.

Export-Import Bank of the United States Export- Import is acceptable in all references; Ex-Im Bank is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Washington.

ExpressJet Headquarters is in Dallas.

extol, extolled, extolling

extra- Do not use a hyphen when extra means outside of unless the prefix is followed by a word beginning with a or a capitalized word: extralegal, extramarital, extraterrestrial, extraterritorial. But: extra-alimentary, extra-Britannic. Follow extra- with a hyphen when it is part of a compound modifier describing a condition beyond the usual size, extent or degree: extra-base hit, extra-large book, extra-dry drink, extra-mild taste.

extrasensory perception ESP is acceptable on first reference and in headlines, but should be spelled out later.

extreme unction

eye to eye, eye-to-eye Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: an eye-to-eye confrontation.

eye, eyed, eyeing

eyestrain

eyewitness F-word

f.o.b. Acceptable on first reference for free on board. The concept should be explained, however, in contexts not addressed to business-oriented audiences: The seller agrees to put an item on a truck, ship, etc., at no charge, but the transportation costs must be paid by the buyer.

facade

face to face When a story says two people meet for discussions, talks or debate, it is unnecessary to say they met face to face.

facelift One word, an exception to Webster’s.

fact-finding (adj.)

Faeroe Islands Use in datelines after a community name in stories from this group of Danish islands in the northern Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and the Shetland Islands.

Fahrenheit The temperature scale commonly used in the United States. The scale is named for Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, a German physicist who designed it. In it, the freezing point of water is 32 degrees and the boiling point is 212 degrees. To convert to Celsius, subtract 32 from Fahrenheit figure, multiply by 5 and divide by 9 (77 - 32= 45, times 5= 225, divided by 9= 25 degrees Celsius). In cases that require mention of the scale, use these forms: 86 degrees Fahrenheit or 86 F (note the space and no period after the F) if degrees and Fahrenheit are clear from the context. Remember, temperatures are higher or lower, not warmer or colder. For guidelines on when Celsius temperatures should be used, check metric system entry.

fall seasons

falling-out (n.)

fallout (n.)

false titles Often derived from occupational titles or other labels. Always lowercase.

family names Capitalize words denoting family relationships only when they precede the name of a person or when they stand unmodified as a substitute for a person’s name: I wrote to Grandfather Smith. I wrote Mother a letter. I wrote my mother a letter.

Fannie Mae Fannie Mae is acceptable on first reference for the Federal National Mortgage Association, but it should be identified as the nickname for the agency if the story is not being written primarily for business-oriented readers. The association’s bonds are known as Fannie Maes.

Fannie May A trademark for a brand of candy.

far- faraway, far-fetched, far-flung, far-off, farranging, farsighted, far-out

Far East Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, North Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Far West For the U.S. region, generally west of the Rocky Mountains.

farmers market No apostrophe.

farther, further Farther refers to physical distance: He walked farther into the woods. Further refers to an extension of time or degree: She will look further into the mystery.

FASB Financial Accounting Standards Board. Spell out on first reference.

fascism, fascist

fast food (n.), fast-food (adj.)

fastball

father Use the Rev. in first reference before the names of Episcopal, orthodox and Roman Catholic priests. Use Father before a name only in direct quotations.

Father Time

father-in-law, fathers-in-law

Father’s Day The third Sunday in June.

fax (n.) or (v.) Acceptable as short version of facsimile or facsimile machine in all uses.

faze, phase Faze means to embarrass or disturb: The snub did not faze her. Phase denotes an aspect or stage: They will phase in a new system.

FBI Acceptable in all references for Federal Bureau of Investigation.

feather bedding, featherbedding Feather bedding is a mattress stuffed with feathers. Featherbedding is the practice of requiring an employer to hire more workers than needed to handle a job.

features They are not exempt from style rules, but there are special contexts for guidelines on limited exceptions.

federal Use a capital letter for the architectural style and for corporate or governmental bodies that use the word as part of their formal names: Federal Express, the Federal Trade Commission. (Check separate entries for governmental agencies.) Lowercase when used as an adjective to distinguish something from state, county, city, town or private entities: federal assistance, federal court, the federal government, a federal judge. Also: federal District Court (but U.S. District Court is preferred) and federal Judge Ann Aldrich (but U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich is preferred).

Federal Aviation Administration FAA is acceptable on second reference.

Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI is acceptable in all references. To avoid alphabet soup, however, use the bureau in some references.

Federal Communications Commission FCC is acceptable on second reference.

federal court Always lowercase. The preferred form for first reference is to use the proper name of the court. See entries under U.S. and the court name. Do not create nonexistent entities such as Manhattan Federal Court. Instead, use a federal court in Manhattan.

Federal Crop Insurance Corp. Do not abbreviate.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. FDIC is acceptable on second reference.

Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA is acceptable on second reference.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission This agency replaced the Federal Power Commission in 1977. It regulates interstate natural gas and electricity transactions. FERC is acceptable on second reference, but the agency or the commission is preferred.

Federal Farm Credit Board Do not abbreviate.

federal funds rate The interest rate banks charge each other for overnight loans. Its target rate is set by the Federal Reserve’s policymaking panel, the Federal Open Market Committee. See Federal Reserve.

Federal Highway Administration Reserve the FHA abbreviation for the Federal Housing Administration.

Federal Home Loan Bank Board Do not abbreviate.

Federal Housing Administration FHA is acceptable on second reference.

federal legal holidays See the holidays entry.

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Do not abbreviate. Use the service on second reference.

Federal National Mortgage Association Fannie Mae is acceptable on first reference, but it should be identified as the nickname for agency if the story is not being written primarily for business-oriented readers. The association’s bonds are known as Fannie Maes.

Federal Register This publication, issued every workday, is the legal medium for recording and communicating the rules and regulations established by the executive branch of the federal government. Individuals or corporations cannot be held legally responsible for compliance with a regulation unless it has been published in the Register. In addition, executive agencies are required to publish in advance some types of proposed regulations. Federal Reserve System, Federal Reserve Board -- On second reference, use the Federal Reserve, the Reserve, the Fed, the system or the board. Also: the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (Boston, etc.), the bank.

Federal Trade Commission FTC is acceptable on second reference.

FedEx Corp. Headquarters is in Memphis, Tenn.

feds Acceptable in headlines when referring to federal government or its officials. The Fed (capitalized) refers only to the Federal Reserve.

felony, misdemeanor A felony is a serious crime. A misdemeanor is a minor offense against the law. A fuller definition of what constitutes a felony or misdemeanor depends on the governmental jurisdiction involved. At the federal level, a misdemeanor is a crime that carries a potential penalty of no more than a year in jail. A felony is a crime that carries a potential penalty of more than a year in prison. Often, however, a statute gives a judge options such as imposing a fine or probation in addition to or instead of a jail or prison sentence. A felon is a person who has been convicted of a felony, regardless of whether the individual actually spends time in confinement or is given probation or a fine instead.

female This is the preferred adjective, not woman.

Ferris wheel

ferryboat

fertility rate As calculated by the federal government, it is the number of live births per 1,000 females age 15 through 44 years.

fewer, less In general, use fewer for individual items, less for bulk or quantity. Wrong: The trend is toward more machines and less people. (People in this sense refers to individuals.) Wrong: She was fewer than 60 years old. (Years in this sense refers to a period of time, not individual years.) Right: Fewer than 10 applicants called. (Individuals.) Right: I had less than $50 in my pocket. (An amount.) But: I had fewer than 50 $1 bills in my pocket. (Individual items.)

Fez The preferred spelling for the city in Morocco.

FFA Acceptable on first reference for the National FFA Organization, previously the Future Farmers of America.

fiance Use for both men and women.

Fiberglas A trademark for fiberglass or glass fiber. Note the single s.

fiberglass Generic. Note double s.

field house

figuratively, literally Figuratively means in an analogous sense, but not in the exact sense. He bled them white. Literally means in an exact sense. Do not use it figuratively. Wrong: He literally bled them white. (Unless the blood was drained from their bodies.)

figure The symbol for a number: the figure 5.

filibuster To filibuster is to make long speeches to obstruct the passage of legislation. A legislator who used such methods also is a filibuster, not a filibusterer.

Filipinos The people of the Philippines.

film ratings

filmmaker

fiord (exception to AP) Not fjord.

fire Use care. This isn’t always a correct substitute for dismiss or discharge.

fire districts See the governmental bodies entry for the basic rules on capitalization. In Snohomish County, these communities have fire departments: Arlington, Edmonds, Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Stanwood, Sultan, Woodway. Fire districts: Fire District 1: (11 merged/1999) unincorporated Lynnwood, Edmonds and Everett. Fire District 3: Monroe. Fire District 4: Snohomish. Fire District 5: Sultan. Fire District 7: Clearview. Fire District 8: Lake Stevens. Fire District 10: unincorporated north Bothell. Fire District 12: Marysville. Fire District 14: Warm Beach, Freeborn. Fire District 15: Tulalip. Fire District 16: Lake Roesiger. Fire District 17: Granite Falls. Fire District 18: Bryant. Fire District 19: Silvana. Fire District 20: Lake Goodwin. Fire District 21: Arlington. Fire District 22: Getchell. Fire District 23. Verlot. Fire District 24: Darrington. Fire District 25: Oso Fire District 26: Gold Bar. Fire District 27: Hat Island. Fire District 28: Index. Island County fire departments: Clinton, Coupeville, Oak Harbor. Island County fire districts: Fire District 1, Fire District 4 (both Camano Island).

firearms

firebomb One word.

firefight One word.

firefighter Do not use fireman. One exception: a person who tends fires in a furnace, as on a train crew.

firetruck One word.

firm It is a partnership, and therefore not synonymous with corporation. Acceptable in headlines as a synonym for business.

first class, first-class Hyphenate as a modifier before a noun. The restaurant was first class. It was a first-class restaurant.

first degree, first-degree Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: It was murder in the first degree. He was convicted of first-degree murder.

first family Always lowercase.

first lady Not a formal title. Do not capitalize, even when used before the name of a chief of state’s wife.

first quarter, first-quarter Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: He scored in the first quarter. The team took the lead on his first-quarter goal.

firsthand

fiscal year The 12-month period that a corporation or governmental body uses for bookkeeping purposes. The federal government’s fiscal year starts three months ahead of the calendar year -- fiscal 2002, for example, runs from Oct. 1, 2001, to Sept. 30, 2002.

fiscal, monetary Fiscal applies to budgetary matters. Monetary applies to money supply.

fitful It means restless, not a condition of being fit.

flack, flak Flack is unacceptable slang for press agent. Flak is a type of antiaircraft fire, hence figuratively a barrage of criticism.

flagger Not flagman.

flagpole, flagship

flail, flay To flail is to swing the arms widely. To flay is, literally, to strip off the skin by whipping. Figuratively, to flay means to tongue-lash a person.

flair, flare Flair is conspicuous talent. Flare is a verb meaning to blaze with sudden, bright light or to burst out in anger. It is also a noun meaning a flame.

flak

flare up (v.) flare-up (n.) flair, flare

flash flood A sudden, violent flood. It typically occurs after a heavy rain or the melting of a heavy snow. A flash flood warning warns that flash flooding is imminent or in progress. People in the affected area should take necessary precautions immediately. A flash flood watch alerts the public that flash flooding is possible. Those in the affected area are urged to be ready to take additional precautions if a flash flood warning is issued or if flooding is observed.

flat-panel TV, flat-screen TV A flat-panel television set contains no cathode-ray tube or optical path, which means it can be thinner than a tube-based TV set. The two most popular technologies are plasma displays and liquid-crystal displays, or LDCs. Flatscreen TVs have a flat front glass surface, as opposed to the convex surfaces of older CRT sets. The term can apply to CRT sets and rear-projection sets that are not flat panels.

flaunt, flout To flaunt is to make an ostentatious or defiant display: She flaunted her intelligence. To flout is to show contempt for: He flouts the law.

flautist The preferred word is flutist.

fleet Use figures and capitalize fleet when forming a proper name: the 6th Fleet. Lowercase fleet whenever it stands alone.

flier, flyer Flier is the preferred term for an aviator or a handbill. Flyer is the proper name of some trains and buses: The Western Flyer.

flimflam, flimflammed

flip-flop

flip-flopped names Retain capitalization when the name of an agency of institution is flip-flopped and drops the word of: Department of Ecology; Ecology Department.

floatplane

flood Stories about floods usually tell how high the water is and where it is expected to crest. Such a story should also, for comparison, list flood stage and how high the water is above, or below, flood stage. Wrong: The river is expected to crest at 39 feet. Right: The river is expected to crest at 39 feet, 12 feet above flood stage.

flood plain

floods, flood stage

floodwaters

floor leader Treat it as a job description, lowercased, rather than a formal title: Republican floor leader John Smith. Do not use when a formal title such as majority leader, minority leader or whip would be the accurate description.

floppy disk

Florida Abbrev.: Fla.

Florida Keys A chain of small islands extending southwest from the southern tip of mainland Florida. Cities, or the islands themselves, are followed by Fla. in datelines: KEY WEST, Fla.

flounder, founder A flounder is a fish; to flounder is to move clumsily or jerkily, to flop about: The fish floundered on land. To founder is to bog down, become disabled or sink: The ship floundered in the heavy seas for hours, then foundered.

flout

flowers

fluid ounce Equal to 1.8 cubic inches, two tablespoons or six teaspoons. The metric equivalent is approximately 30 milliliters. To convert to milliliters, multiply by 30 (3 ounces X 30 equals 90 milliliters).

flu-like

fluorescent

flush To become red in the face.

flutist The preferred term, rather than flautist.

flyer Flyer is the proper name of some trains and buses: The Western Flyer.

FM Acceptable in all references for the frequency modulation system of radio transmission.

-fold No hyphen: twofold, fourfold

folk singer, folk song

follow up (v.) follow-up (n. and adj.)

following The word usually is a noun, verb or adjective: He has a large following. He is following his conscience. The following statement was made. Although Webster’s New World records its use as a preposition, the preferred word is after: He spoke after dinner. Note: He spoke following dinner.

food Most food names are lowercase: apples, cheese, peanut butter. Capitalize brand names and trademarks: Roquefort cheese, Tabasco sauce. Most proper nouns or adjectives are capitalized when they occur in a food name: Boston brown bread, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, Waldorf salad. Lowercase is used, however, when the food does not depend on the proper noun or adjective for its meaning: french fries, graham crackers, manhattan cocktail. If a question arises, check the separate entries in this book. If there is no entry, follow Webster’s New World. Use lowercase if the dictionary lists it as an acceptable form for the sense in which the word is used. The same principles apply to foreign names for foods: mousse de saumon (salmon mousse), pomme de terre (literally, apple of the earth-- for potato), salade Russe (Russian salad).

Food and Agriculture Organization Not Agricultural. FOA is aceptable on second reference to this U.N. agency.

Food and Drug Administration FDA is acceptable on second reference. food terms Usage on some food terms: (singular, plural) antipasto, antipasti lasagna, lasagne

foodborne (adj.)

foot The basic unit of length in the measuring system that has been used in the United States. Its origin was a calculation that this was the length of the average human foot. The metric equivalent is exactly 30.48 centimeters, which may be rounded to 30 centimeters for most comparisons. For most conversions to centimeters, it is adequate to multiply 30 (5 feet x 30 equals 150 centimeters). For more exact figures, multiply by 30.48 (5 feet x 30 .48 equals 152.4 centimeters). To convert to meters, multiply by .3 (5 feet x .3 equals 1.5 meters).

foot-and-mouth disease

forbear, forebear To forbear is to avoid or shun. A forebear is an ancestor.

forbid, forbade, forbidding

forcible rape A redundancy that usually should be avoided. It may be used, however, in stories dealing with both rape and statutory rape, which does not necessarily involve the use of force.

Ford Motor Co. Do not abbreviate. Headquarters is in Dearborn, Mich.

fore- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: forebrain, foregoing, forefather, foretooth. There are three nautical exceptions, based on longstanding practice: foretopgallant, fore-topsail, fore-topmast

forecast Use forecast also for the past tense, not forecasted.

foreclosure The process by which a lender seizes property from a mortgage holder who has failed to make payments and is in default.

forego, forgo To forego means to go before, as in foregone conclusion. To forgo means to abstain from.

foreign governmental bodies See non-U.S. governmental bodies.

foreign legislative bodies Capititalize Parliament, Congress or such only when that is the name, in English, of a country’s top legislative body. Lowercase as a generic or translation, but uppercase Knesset, Bundestag, etc.

PLURALS: Lowercase parliament and similar terms in plural constructions: the parliaments of England and France, the English and French parliaments.

INDIVIDUAL HOUSES: The principle applies also to individual houses of the nation’s legislature, just as Senate and House are capitalized in the United States: ROME -- New leaders have taken control in the Chamber of Deputies. Lowercase assembly when used as a shortened reference to national assembly. In many countries, national assembly is the name of a unicameral legislative body. In some, such as France, it is the name for the lower house of a legislative body known by some other name such as parliament.

foreign money Generally, amounts of foreign money mentioned in news stories should be converted to dollars. If it is necessary to mention the foreign amount, provide the dollar equivalent in parentheses. The basic monetary units of nations are listed in Webster’s New World Dictionary under Monetary Units of All Nations. Do not use the exchange rates listed in the dictionary. Instead, use, as appropriate, the official exchange rates, which change from day to day on the world’s markets.

foreign names For foreign place names, use the primary spelling in Webster’s New World Dictionary. If it has no entry, follow the National Geographic Atlas of the World. For personal names, follow the individual’s preference for an English spelling if it can be determined. Otherwise, use the nearest phonetic equivalent in English if one exists: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, for example, rather than Aleksandr, the spelling that would result from a transliteration of the Russian letters into the English alphabet. If a name has no close phonetic equivalent in English, express it with an English spelling that approximates the sound in the original language: Anwar Sadat. When wire services differ, go with Associated Press spelling.

foreign particles Lowercase particles such as de, la, and von when part of a name: Charles de Gaulle, Baron Manfred von Richthofen. Capitalize the particles only when the last name starts a sentence: De Gaulle spoke to von Richthofen.

foreign words Some foreign words and abbreviations have been accepted universally into the English language: bon voyage; versus, vs.; et cetera, etc. They may be used without explanation if they are clear in the context. Many foreign words and their abbreviations are not understood universally, although they may be used in special applications such as medical or legal terminology. Such words are marked in Webster’s New World by a double dagger. If such a word or phrase is needed in a story, place it in quotation marks and provide an explanation: ad astra per aspera, a Latin phrase meaning to the stars through difficulty.

foreign words-pronunciation Diacritical marks, umlauts and other guides to pronunciation are not used in American English. Do not allow r?sum? and the like to appear in the paper. An exception may be made for a person’s name, but not for rock bands or movie and book titles.

foreman, forewoman Seldom a formal title. Use supervisor instead, unless it would be unclear, as in jury foreman. Do not use forewoman.

formally charged Don’t use. Just say charged.

former Always lowercase. But retain capitalization for a formal title used immediately before a name: former President Clinton.

Formica A trademark for a brand of laminated plastic.

Formosa

Formosa Strait Not the straits of Taiwan.

formula, formulas Use figures in writing formulas, as illustrated in the entries on metric units.

forsake, forsook, forsaken

fort Do not abbreviate, for cities or for military installations. In datelines for cities: FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. In datelines for military installations: FORT BRAGG, N.C.

fortnight The expression two weeks is preferred.

fortuneteller, fortunetelling

forty, forty-niner ’49er is acceptable, except when referring to the football team: the San Francisco 49ers.

forward Not forwards.

foul, fowl Foul means offensive, out of line. A fowl is a bird, especially the larger domestic birds used as food: chickens, ducks, turkeys.

founder See the flounder, founder entry.

Founding Fathers Applies only to signers of the Constitution.

four-flush (stud poker)

Four-H Club 4-H Club is preferred. Members are 4-H’ers.

four-star general

Fourth Estate Capitalize when used as a collective name for journalism and journalists. The description is attributed to Edmund Burke, who is reported to have called the reporters’ gallery in Parliament a Fourth Estate. The three estates of early English society were the Lords Spiritual (the clergy), the Lords Temporal (the nobility) and the Commons (the bourgeoisie).

Fourth of July, July Fourth, Independence Day The federal legal holiday is observed on Friday if July 4 falls on a Saturday, on Monday if it falls on a Sunday.

fractions Spell out amounts less than 1 in stories, using hyphens between the words: seven-sixteenths, etc., for those not included in our glossary. Use figures for precise amounts larger than 1, converting to decimals whenever practical.

fragment, fragmentary Fragment describes a piece or pieces broken from the whole: She sang a fragment of the song. Fragmentary describes disconnected and incomplete parts: Early returns were fragmentary.

frame up (v.) frame-up (n.)

frankfurters They were first called hot dogs in 1906 when a cartoonist, T.A. Tad Dorgan, showed a dachshund inside an elongated bun.

fraternal organizations and service clubs Capitalize the proper names: American Legion, Lions Club, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Rotary Club. Capitalize also words describing membership: He is a Legionnaire, a Lion, an Odd Fellow, an Optimist and a Rotarian.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

free (-) free fall, free-form (adj.), free-for-all (n. and adj.) free hand (n.), freehand (adj.) freelance (v. and adj.), freelancer (n.), freeload, free-spoken, freestanding, freestyle, freethinker, free throw, free trade, freeway, freewheeling, free will (n.), free-will (adj.)

Free World An imprecise description. Use only in quoted matter.

Freedom County The courts have all ruled that Freedom County doesn’t exist, so if this issue turns up again, we shouldn’t treat the “county” as if it’s real by introducing the term without a qualifier of some sort. Say so-called Freedom County or put it in quotes or better yet, write around it in some way on first reference. Drop the quotes on Freedom County after first reference to it.

freelance (exception to AP) Solid, as in freelance writer.

freeze Describes conditions when the temperature at or near the surface is expected to be below 32 degrees during the growing season. Adjectives such as severe or hard are used if a cold spell exceeding two days is expected. A freeze may or may not be accompanied by the formation of frost. However, use of the term freeze usually is restricted for occasions when wind or other conditions prevent frost.

freeze-dry, freeze-dried, freeze-drying

freezing drizzle, freezing rain

French Canadian, French Canadians Without a hyphen. An exception to the normal practice in describing a dual ethnic heritage.

french door

French Foreign Legion Retain capitalization if shortened to the Foreign Legion. Lowercase the legion and legionnaries. Unlike the situation with the American Legion, the French Foreign Legion is a group of active soldiers.

french fries

frequency modulation FM is acceptable in all references. frequent flier

fresh water, salt water Both two words as noun, one as adjective.

Freshman Academy The Arlington school. Not Freshmen Academy.

Friends General Conference, Friends United Meeting Frigidaire A trademark for a brand of refrigerator.

frisbee (exception to AP) Lowercase frisbee is acceptable for any flying disk toy. Use Frisbee for the trademarked version.

front As a suffix, it frequently does not take a hyphen, in such words as riverfront, waterfront, lakefront.

front line (n.) front-line (adj.)

front page (n.) front-page (adj.)

Frontier Airlines Headquarters is in Denver.

frontman In reference to a band’s lead singer, write around it when you can, saying the lead singer for or turn it into a verb, who fronts the band, or find some other similar solution. If you’re stuck with it in a quote, make it one word, which sounds and looks more natural.

front-runner

frost Describes the formation of thin ice crystals, which might develop under conditions similar to dew except for the minimum temperatures involved. Phrases such as frost in low places or scattered light frost are used when appropriate. The term frost seldom appears in state forecasts unless rather heavy frost is expected over an extensive area.

fruits

fulfill, fulfilled, fulfilling

full- Hyphenate when used to form compound modifiers: full-dress, full-page, full-fledged, full-scale, full-length. Check the listings that follow and Webster’s New World Dictionary for the spelling of other combinations.

full house (poker) full time, full-time, part time, part-time Hyphenate when used as a compund modifier: He works full time. She has a full-time job. Same with part time.

fully automatic A firearm that fires continuously as long as the trigger is depressed. Examples include machine guns and submachine guns.

fulsome It means disgustingly excessive. Do not use it to mean lavish or profuse.

fundamentalist Try to avoid, especially as a religious designation. This word can have a pejorative connotation suggesting a closed mentality rather than a theological position.

fundraising It’s fundraising, fundraiser. No hyphen.

funnel cloud A violent, rotating column of air that does not touch the ground. It is only a tornado if it touches the ground.

furlough

further Use further in the sense of additional or continued, farther for distance.

fuselage

fusillade

G The general audience rating.

G-20 Use a hyphen in the abbreviated form for the Group of Twenty, made up of representatives of industrial and emerging-market nations. A general description rather than the full name is preferred on first reference: Leading rich and developing nations. Members are the European Union and the following 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United States.

GAAP generally accepted accounting principles. Spell out on first reference.

gage, gauge A gage is security or a pledge. A gauge is a measuring device. Gauge is also a term used to designate the size of shotguns.

gaiety

gale Sustained winds within range of 39 to 54 mph (34 to 47 knots).

gallon Equal to 128 fluid ounces. The metric equivalent is approximately 3.8 liters. To convert to liters, multiply by 3.8 (3 gallons X 3.8= 11.4 liters).

Gallup Poll Prepared by the Gallup Organization, Princeton, N.J. The separate Gallup Youth Survey is prepared by the George H. Gallup International Institute.

gambling Preferred term for playing games of chance. Avoid use of the term gaming except in quotations or proper names.

game plan

gaming See gambling.

gamut, gantlet, gauntlet A gamut is a scale or notes of any complete range or extent. A gantlet is a flogging ordeal, literally or figuratively. The punishment course that is run is the gantlet. A gauntlet is a glove. To throw down the gauntlet means to issue a challenge. To take up the gauntlet means to accept a challenge.

gamy, gamier, gamiest

Gannett Co. The largest owner of U.S. newspapers, with 85 dailies including USA Today, the largest U.S. newspaper. Headquarters is in McLean, Va.

GAO The Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, was formerly called the General Accounting Office. GAO OK on second reference.

garnish, garnishee Garnish means to adorn or decorate. As a verb, garnishee (garnisheed, garnisheeing) means to attach a debtor’s property or wages to satisfy a debt. As a noun, it identifies the individual whose property was attached.

gauge

gauntlet

gay Used to describe men and women attracted to the same sex, though lesbian is the more common term for women. Preferred over homosexual except in clinical contexts or references to sexual activity. Include sexual orientation only when it is pertinent to a story, and avoid references to sexual preference or to a gay or alternative lifestyle.

Gaza settlements Northern Gaza: Elei Sinai, Nissanit, Dugit Central Gaza: Netzarim, Kfar Darom Main Gush Katif bloc: Netzer Hazani, Ganei Tal, Tel Katifa, Shirat Hayam, Katif, Kfar Yam , Neve Dekalim ( largest settlement), Gadid, Gan Or, Bedolah, Atzmona, Kerem Atzmona, Morag, Peat Sadeh Southern Gaza: Slav, Rafiah Yam West Bank: Ganim, Kadim, Homesh, Sanur Crossings from Israel into Gaza: Erez, Karni, Kissufim Israeli border communities: Sderot, communal farms of Nahal Oz, Kissufim, Ein Hashlosha Palestinian towns close to Gush Katif settlements: Rafah, Khan Younis

Gazprom Headquarters is in Moscow.

GED A trademark abbreviation for General Educational Development Tests, a battery of five exams designed by the American Council on Education to measure high school equivalency. GED should be used as an adjective, not as a noun. Those passing the tests earn a GED diploma or certificate, not a GED.

General Accounting Office The General Accounting Office is a nonpartisan congressional agency that audits federal programs. GAO is acceptable on second reference.

general assembly Check legislature for its treatment as the name of a state’s legislative body. Capitalize when it is the formal name for the ruling or consultative body of an organization: the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches.

general court Part of the official proper name for the legislatures in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Capitalize specific references with or without the state name: the Massachusetts General Court, the General Court. In keeping with the accepted practice, however, Legislature may be used instead and treated as a proper name. Lowercase legislature in a generic use: The General Court is the legislature in Massachusetts.

General Dynamics Corp. Headquarters is in Falls Church, Va.

General Electric Co. GE is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Fairfield, Conn.

General Motors Corp. GM is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Detroit.

General Services Administration GSA is acceptable on second reference. general, general of the air force, general of the army

Geneva The city in Switzerland stands alone in datelines.

genie Not jinni, the spelling under which Webster’s New World gives the definition.

gentile Generally, any person not a Jew; often, specifically a Christian. But to Mormons it is anyone not a Mormon.

gentleman Do not use as a synonym for man.

geographic names

The basic guidelines:

DOMESTIC: Do not use the postal abbreviations for state names. For acceptable abbreviations, see entries in this book under each state’s name. See state names for rules on when the abbreviations may be used.

Abbreviate Saint as St. (But abbreviate Sault Sainte Marie as Sault Ste. Marie.)

FOREIGN: The first source for the spelling of all foreign place names is Webster’s New World College Dictionary as follows:
Use the first-listed spelling if an entry gives more than one.
If the dictionary provides different spellings in separate entries, use the spelling that is followed by a full description of the location.
If the dictionary does not have an entry, use the first-listed spelling in the National Geographic Atlas of the World. www.nationalgeographic.com



NEW NAMES: Follow the styles adopted by the United Nations and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names on new cities, new independent nations and nations that change their names.

DATELINES: See the datelines entry.

CAPITALIZATION: Capitalize common nouns when they form an integral part of a proper name, but lowercase them when they stand alone: Pennsylvania Avenue, the avenue; the Philippine Islands, the islands; the Mississippi River, the river.

Lowercase common nouns that are not a part of a specific name: the Pacific islands, the Swiss mountains, Zhejiang province.

For additional guidelines, see addresses; capitalization; directions and regions and island.

Georgia Abbrev.: Ga.

German measles Also known as rubella.

getaway (n.)

get-together (n.)

ghetto, ghettos Do not use indiscriminately as a synonym for the sections of cities inhabited by minorities or the poor. In most cases, section, district, slum area or quarter is the more accurate word. Sometimes a place name alone has connotations that make it best: Harlem, Watts.

GI, GIs Believed to have originated as an abbreviation for government issue supplies, it describes military personnel in general, but normally is used for the Army. (No periods is an exception to the general rule for two-letter abbreviations.) Soldier is preferred unless the story contains the term in quoted matter or involves a subject such as the GI Bill of Rights.

gibe, jibe To gibe means to taunt or sneer: They gibed him about his mistakes. Jibe means to shift direction or, colloquially, to agree: They jibed their ship across the wind. Their stories didn’t jibe.

Gibraltar, Strait of Not Straits. The entrance to the Mediterranean from the Atlantic Ocean. The British colony on the peninsula that juts into the strait stands alone in datelines as GIBRALTAR.

giga- A prefix denoting 1 billion units of a measure. Move a decimal point nine places to the right, adding zeros if necessary, to convert to the basic unit: 5.5 gigatons= 5,500,000,000 tons.

gillnet Solid, an exception to Webster’s New World.

Ginnie Mae Commonly used for Government National Mortgage Association.

girl Applicable until 18th birthday is reached. Use woman or young woman afterward.

Girl Scouts The full name of the national organization is Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Headquarters is in New York. Girls 6 through 8 are Brownie Girl Scouts or Brownies. Girls 9 through 11 are Junior Girl Scouts or Juniors. Girls 12 through 14 are Cadette Girl Scouts or Cadettes. Girls 15 through 17 are Senior Girl Scouts or Seniors.

glamour One of the few our endings still used in American writing. But the adjective is glamorous.

GlaxoSmithKline Headquarters is in Brentford, United Kingdom.

global warming, climate change The terms can be used interchangeably.

globe-trotter, globe-trotting But the proper name of the basketball team is the Harlem Globetrotters.

GMT For Greenwich Mean Time.

gobbledygook

go-between (n.)

godchild, goddaughter Also: godfather, godliness, godmother, godsend, godson, godspeed. Always lowercase.

gods and goddesses Capitalize God in references to the deity of all monotheistic religions. Capitalize all noun references to the deity: God the Father, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit. Lowercase personal pronouns: he, him, thee, thou. Lowercase gods and goddesses in references to the deities of polytheistic religions. Lowercase god, gods and goddesses in references to false gods: He made money his god.

goer No hyphen. Churchgoer, moviegoer, partygoer, operagoer, theatergoer.

go-go

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Headquarters is in New York.

Good Conduct Medal

Good Friday The Friday before Easter.

good, well Good is an adjective that means something is as it should be or is better than average. When used as an adjective, well means suitable, proper, healthy. When used as an adverb, well means in a satisfactory manner or skillfully. Good should not be used as an adverb. It does not lose its status as an adjective in a sentence such as I feel good. Such a statement is the idiomatic equivalent of I am in good health. An alternative, I feel well, could be interpreted as meaning that your sense of touch was good.

goodbye Not goodby.

good will (n.) goodwill (adj.)

GOP Accepted abbreviation for Republican Party. Stands for Grand Old Party.

Gospel(s), gospel Capitalize when referring to any or all of the first four books of the New Testament: the Gospel of St. John, the Gospels. Lowercase in other references: She is a famous gospel singer.

gourmand, gourmet A gourmand is a person who likes good food and eats heartily. A gourmet is a person who likes fine food and is an excellent judge of food and drink.

Gov. Chris Gregoire Per her request, AP is no longer using Christina Gregoire. 1/26/06

government Always lowercase, never abbreviate: the federal government, the state government, the U.S. government.

Government Accountability Office Formerly called the General Accounting Office. GAO OK on second reference.

government, junta, regime A government is an established system of political administration: the U.S. government. A junta is a group or council that often rules after a coup: A military junta controls the nation. A junta becomes a government after it establishes a system of political administration. The word regime is a synonym for political system: a democratic regime, an authoritarian regime. Do not use regime to mean government or junta. For example, use the Franco government in referring to the government of Spain under Francisco Franco, not Franco regime. But: The Franco government was an authoritarian regime. An administration consists of officials who make up the executive branch of a government: the Bush administration.

governmental bodies



Follow these guidelines:

FULL NAME: Capitalize the full proper names of governmental agencies, departments, and offices: The U.S. Department of State, the Georgia Department of Human Resources, the Boston City Council, the Chicago Fire Department.

WITHOUT JURISDICTION: Retain capitalization in referring to a specific body if the dateline or context makes the name of the nation, state, county, city, etc. unnecessary: The Department of State (in a story from Washington), the Department of Human Resources or the state Department of Human Resources (in a story from Georgia), the City Council (in a story from Boston), the Fire Department or the city Fire Department (in a story from Chicago).

Lowercase further condensations of the name: the department, the council, etc.

For additional guidance see assembly; city council; committee; congress; legislature; House of Representatives; Senate; Supreme Court of the United States; and supreme courts of the states.

FLIP-FLOPPED NAMES: Retain capital names for the name of a governmental body if its formal name is flopped to delete the word of: the State Department, the Human Resources Department.

GENERIC EQUIVALENTS: If a generic term has become the equivalent of a proper name in popular use, treat it as a proper name: Walpole State Prison, for example, even though the proper name is the Massachusetts Correctional Institute-Walpole.

For additional examples, see legislature; police department; and prison, jail.

PLURALS, NONSPECIFIC REFERENCES: All words that are capitalized when part of a proper name should be lowercased when they are used in the plural or do not refer to a specific, existing body. Some examples:

All states except Nebraska have a state senate. The town does not have a fire department. The bill requires city councils to provide matching funds. The president will address the lower houses of the New York and New Jersey legislatures.

FOREIGN BODIES: The same principles apply. See foreign governmental bodies and foreign legislative bodies.

governor Capitalize and abbreviate as Gov. or Govs. when used as a formal title before one or more names in regular text. Capitalize and spell out when used as a formal title before one or more names in direct quotations. Lowercase and spell out in all other uses.

governor general, governors general The formal title for the British sovereign’s representatives in Canada and elsewhere. Do not abbreviate in any use. \\ GPA Acceptable in all references for grade-point average.

GPS Acceptable in all references to Global Positioning System. If a descriptive word is used following, use it in lowercase: The GPS satellite.

grade, grader Hyphenate both the noun forms (first-grader, second-grader, 10th-grader, etc.) and the adjectival forms (a fourth-grade pupil, a 12th-grade student).

graduate (v.) Graduate is correctly used in the active voice: She graduated from the university. It is correct, but unnecessary, to use the passive voice: He was graduated from the university. Do not, however, drop from: John Adams graduated from Harvard. Not: John Adams graduated Harvard.

graham, graham crackers The crackers are made from a finely ground whole-wheat flour named for Sylvester Graham, a U.S. dietary reformer.

grain The smallest unit in the system of weights that has been used in the United States. It originally was defined as the weight of one grain of wheat. It takes 437.5 grains to make an ounce. There are 7,000 grains to a pound.

gram The basic unit of weight in the metric system. It is the weight of one cubic centimeter of water at 4 degrees Celsius. A gram is roughly equivalent to the weight of a paper clip, or approximately one-twentyeighth of an ounce. To convert to ounces, multiply by .035 (86 grams x .035 equals 3 ounces).

grammar

grand jury Always lowercase: a Los Angeles County grand jury, the grand jury.

Grand Old Party GOP is acceptable as a secondreference synonym for Republican Party without first spelling out Grand Old Party.

granddad, granddaughter Also: grandfather, grandmother, grandson. NOTE: Use grandmother to identify only when appropriate and when, if the subject were a man, grandfather would be used.

grant writing That’s what folks say they do, but it’s jargon. What they do is apply for a grant, or write applications.

grant-in-aid, grants-in-aid

grass roots (n); grass-roots (adj.)

gray Not grey. But: greyhound.

great- Hyphenate great-grandfather, great-greatgrandmother, etc.

Great Britain Great Britain (or Britain) consists of England, Scotland and Wales. Ireland is independent of the United Kingdom. The abbreviation U.K. is acceptable as a noun or adjective. Use UK (no periods) in headlines.

Great Depression

Great Lakes The five, from the largest to the smallest: Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario.

Great Plains Capitalize Great Plains or the Plains when referring to the U.S. prairie lands that extend from North Dakota to Texas and from the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains. Use northern Plains, southwestern Plains, etc., when referring to a portion of the region.

greater Capitalize when used to define a community and its surrounding region: Greater Boston. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South

America

Greek Orthodox Church

Green Berets See Special Forces.

Green Revolution The substantial increase in agricultural yields that resulted from the development of new varieties of grains.

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

gringo Never use.

grisly, grizzly Grisly is horrifying, repugnant. Grizzly means grayish or is a short form for grizzly bear.

grits Ground hominy. The word normally takes plural verbs and pronouns: Grits are to country ham what Yorkshire pudding is to roast beef.

gross national product The total value at retail prices of all the goods and services produced by a nation’s economy in a given time period. As calculated quarterly by the Department of Commerce, the gross national product of the United States is considered the broadest available measure of the nation’s economic activity. Lowercase in all uses.

ground zero

groundbreaking One word.

Groundhog Day Feb. 2. If the groundhog sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter.

groundskeeper

groundswell

groundwater One word.

group Takes singular verbs and pronouns: The group is reviewing its position.

grown-up (n. and adj.)

G-string

Guadalupe (Mexico)

Guadeloupe (West Indies)

Guam Use in datelines after the name of a community.

Guangzhou Formerly known as Canton.

guarantee Preferred to guaranty, except in proper names.

guard Usually a job description, not a formal title.

guardrail One word.

guardsman

Guatemala City Stands alone in datelines.

gubernatorial

guerrilla Unorthodox soldiers and their tactics.

guest Do not use as a verb except in quoted matter. (An exception to a use recorded by Webster’s New World.)

Guild, The

Guinness Book of Records

Gulf Coast Capitalize only when referring to the region of the United States lying along the Gulf of Mexico.

Gulf Oil Corp. Headquarters is in Pittsburgh.

Gulf Stream But the racetrack is Gulfstream Park.

Gulf War Persian Gulf War. Gulf War acceptable on first reference.

gunbattle, gunboat, gunfight, gunfire, gunpoint,

gung-ho A colloquialism to be used sparingly.

guns See weapons.

guru

gypsy moth

Gypsy, Gypsies Capitalize references to the nomadic ethnic group also known as Roma. Either is acceptable. In Europe, where most Gypsies live, they are widely referred to as Roma. The word should be explained: Gypsies, also known as Roma. Lowercase otherwise: gypsy cab, gypsy-cab driver, gypsy moth..

habeas corpus A writ ordering a person in custody to be brought before a court. It places the burden of proof on those detaining the person to justify the detention. When habeas corpus is used in a story, define it.

Hades But lowercase hell.

Hague, The In datelines: THE HAGUE, Netherlands. In text: The Hague.

hajj The pilgrimage to Mecca required of every Muslim who can afford it. The person making the hajj is a hajji.

half It is not necessary to use the preposition of: half the time is correct, but half of the time is not wrong.

half- Follow Webster’s New World Dictionary. Hyphenate if not listed there. Some frequently used words without a hyphen: halfway, halfback, halfhearted, halftone, halftrack Also: halftime, an exception to the dictionary in keeping with widespread practice in sports copy. Some frequently used combinations that are two words without a hyphen: half brother, half dollar, half note, half size, half sole (n.), half tide. Some frequently used combinations that include a hyphen: half-baked, half-blood, half-cocked, half-hour, half-life, half-moon, half-sole (v.), half-truth

half-mast, half-staff On ships and at naval stations ashore, flags are flown at half-mast. Elsewhere ashore, flags are flown at half-staff.

hallelujah

Halley’s comet After Edmund Halley, an English astronomer who predicted the comet’s appearance once every 75 years, last seen in 1985-86.

Halloween

halo, halos

Hamas The Palestinian Islamic political party, which has an armed wing of the same name. The word is an acronym for the Arabic words for Islamic Resistance Movement.

hand to hand, hand-to-hand, hand to mouth, hand-to-mouth Hyphenate when used as compound modifiers: The cup was passed from hand to hand. They live a hand-to-mouth existence.

hand-washing

handgun

handicapped, disabled, impaired In general do not describe an individual as disabled or handicapped unless it is clearly pertinent to a story. If such a description must be used, make it clear what the handicap is and how much the person’s physical or mental performance is affected.

handheld (n.) hand-held (adj.) handmade

handpicked

hands off, hands-off Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: He kept his hands off the matter. He follows a hands-off policy.

hangar, hanger A hangar is a building. A hanger is used for clothes.

hanged, hung A person is hanged. A picture is hung.

hangover

hanky-panky

hantavirus One word, lowercase.

Hanukkah The Jewish Festival of Lights, an eightday commemoration of re-dedication of the Temple by the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians. Usually occurs in December but sometimes falls in late November.

hara-kiri

Haram al-Sharif Arabic for Noble Sanctuary, the Muslim name for the walled, elevated area in Jerusalem’s Old City that was the site of the ancient Jewish temples. Better known as the Temple Mount, the area now houses the centuries-old Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques. Muslims believe Prophet Muhammed made his night journey to heaven from the site.

harass, harassment

hard (-) hard-bitten, hard-boiled, hard-earned, hardhat, hardhearted, hard-line (adj.), hard-liner, hardwood

hard line hard line (n.), hard-line (adj.), hard-liner (n.)

harebrained Not hair.

harelip Avoid. Cleft lip is preferred.

Harris Poll Prepared by Louis Harris & Associates of New York.

Harry S. Truman The period follows the initial, even though the initial doesn’t stand for a name. Follow this style for other such names.

Havana The city in Cuba stands alone in datelines.

Hawaii Do not abbreviate the state name. Hawaiians are members of an ethnic group indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands, also called Native Hawaiians. Use Hawaii resident or islander for anyone living in the state. The state comprises 132 islands about 2,400 miles southwest of San Francisco. Collectively, they are the Hawaiian Islands. The largest island in land area is Hawaii. Honolulu and Pearl Harbor are on Oahu, where more than 80 percent of the state’s residents live. Honolulu stands alone in datelines. Use Hawaii after all other cities in datelines, specifying the island in the text, if needed.

Hawaii Standard Time The time zone used in Hawaii. There is no daylight time in Hawaii.

Hawaiian Airlines Headquarters is in Honolulu.

Hawthorne Street The Thomas Guide contains an error for Everett’s Hawthorne Street. It’s Hawthorn on their map.

H-bomb It may be used, but in stories hydrogen bomb is preferred, unless the context seems to call for H-bomb.

he Never use he when you mean he or she, or when you are referring to someone who could be a man or a woman. Make your sentence plural or write around it.

he, him, his, thee, thou Personal pronouns referring to the deity are lowercase.

headscarf, headscarves

headlines



Here are some guidelines:
Maximum number of lines: 2 for three- through six-column heds; 3 for two-column heds, and 4 for one-column heds.
Colon heads: Do not use a colon to introduce attribution, as in Study: Cancer cure found. Use colons sparingly, and only for special effect.
Question-mark heads: Use only under special circumstances, where there is a need to speak to the reader or to frame an issue. Never use on live news stories.
Jump heads: The boldface jump word stands alone. It should not read into the rest of the head, as in Agency: Looks to a new director. Use Agency: New director appointed.
Abbreviations: Common nouns should never be abbreviated in headlines. With proper nouns, they should be abbreviated only as a last resort. Initial abbreviations are generally less a problem than abbreviated words because they are more recognizable: LA vs Calif. Also, FBI, JFK, U.S. and U.N. are more acceptable because they are common in copy, compared to abbreviations such as Miss. Stick to the familiar ones. Exception to AP style: Use periods in U.S., U.N. L.A., D.C., N.Y., B.C. and all references where sense is a governing factor. Do not use abbreviations of county towns, such as M’ville for Marysville and MLT for Mountlake Terrace.
Hanging modifiers or prepositions: They are acceptable at the end of a one-column headline and allowable if desperate at the end of two columns, but impermissible beyond that. Do not split modifiers except in one-column heads and extremely tight twocolumn heads. Label and other nonverb headlines: Do not use unless it’s a mood piece, feature or analysis. Don’t use these on hard-news stories unless it gives them a special flavor, such as Attacked! on the Sept. 11, 2001, special edition.
Nonhousehold names: Use sparingly. Remember, context is a factor: Bolton stepping down at U.N. But not: Bolton calls for new investigation.



headlong

head-on (adj., adv.)

headquarters May take a singular or a plural verb. Do not use headquarter as a verb.

health care Two words.

hearing examiner

hearsay

heart attack, heart failure, cardiac arrest A heart attack (myocardial infarction) occurs when one or more arteries supplying blood to the heart becomes blocked. Heart failure is a chronic condition that occurs when a weakened heart can no longer effectively pump blood. Cardiac arrest, or sudden cardiac arrest, occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. It can be due to a heart attack, a heart rhythm problem, or as a result of other trauma.

heaven

heavenly bodies Capitalize the proper names of planets, stars, constellations: Mars, Arcturus, the Big Dipper, Aries. For comets, capitalize only the proper noun element of the name: Halley’s comet. Lowercase sun and moon, but capitalize them if their Greek or Latin names are used: Helios, Luna. Lowercase nouns and adjectives derived from the proper names of planets and other heavenly bodies: jovian, lunar, martian, solar, venusian.

heavy snow It generally means an accumulation of 4 inches or more in 12 hours, or 6 inches or more in 24 hours. hect- (before a vowel), hecto- (before a consonant) -- A prefix denoting 100 units of a measure. Move a decimal point two places to the right, adding zeros if necessary, to convert to the basic unit: 5.5 hectometers = 550 meters.

hectare A unit of surface measure in the metric system equal to 100 ares or 10,000 square meters. A hectare is equal to 2.47 acres, 107,639.1 square feet or 11,959.9 square yards. To convert to acres, multiply by 2.47 (5 hectares x 2.47= 12.35 acres).

hedge fund Unregulated funds that pool money from wealthy investors and trade in everything from commodities to real estate to complex derivative investments.

heights

heliport

hell But capitalize Hades.

helter-skelter

hemisphere Capitalize Northern Hemisphere, Western Hemisphere, etc. Lowercase hemisphere in other uses: the Eastern and Western hemispheres, the hemisphere.

hemorrhage

hemorrhoid

her Do not use this pronoun in reference to nations or ships, except in quoted matter. Use it instead.

Her Majesty Capitalize when it appears in quotations. For other purposes, use the woman’s name or the queen.

here The word is frequently redundant, particularly in the lead of a datelined story. Use only if there is some specific need to stress that the event being reported took place in the community. If the location must be stressed in the body of the story, repeat the name of the datelined community, both for the reader’s convenience and to avoid problems if the story is topped with a different dateline.

heroes

heroin The narcotic, originally a trademark.

hertz Tthe international unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second. In contexts where it would not be understood by most readers, it should be followed by a parenthetical explanation: 15,400 hertz (cycles per second). Do not abbreviate.

Hewitt Avenue trestle Lowercase trestle.

Hewlett-Packard The abbreviation has no hyphen: HP.

Hezbollah The Lebanese Shiite Muslim political party, which has an armed wing of the same name. The word means party of God in Arabic.

hide-and-seek

hideaway

hideout

hi-fi

high definition The term refers to moving-image hardware and content that produces at least 720 lines of vertical resolution. HD is acceptable on second reference. HDTV is acceptable on second reference for a high-definition television set. A U.S. DVD or analog TV broadcast has 480 lines of vertical resolution - neither is HD.

high-five (n.), high-fived (v.)

high jinks high-rise (n. and adj.)

high-tech

high wind Normally indicates that sustained winds of 39 mph or greater are expected to persist for one hour or longer.

high-tech Overuse has pushed this term to the brink of cliche.

highway designations For interstate highways in our area, use I-5, I-90 and I-405 in all references. For others, spell out on first reference: Interstate 64. For U.S. highways, it’s U.S. 2 (not Highway 2). For state highways, it’s Highway 522 (not State Route 522), Highway 99 (formerly a U.S. highway, now a state road). In quoted material, it’s all right to have SR 522 (no periods).

highway patrol Capitalize if used in the formal name of a police agency: the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Highway Patrol. Lowercase highway patrolman in all uses.

hijab The headscarf worn by Muslim women.

hike People take hikes through the woods, but they increase prices.

Hindu, Hinduism The dominant religion of India. It has about 470 million followers, making it the world’s third largest religion after Christianity and Islam. There are more than 300,000 followers in North America. The basic teaching is that the soul never dies, but is reborn each time the body dies. The soul may be reborn in either human or animal form. The following rule is that of karma and states that no matter how small the action or thought of an individual it will affect how the soul will be reborn in the next generation.

hip-hop Abbreviated as shown.

hire Not a noun.

Hiroshima On Aug. 6, 1945, this Japanese city and military base were the targets of the first atomic bomb dropped as a weapon. The explosion had the force of 20,000 tons (20 kilotons) of TNT. It destroyed more than four square miles and killed or injured 160,000 people.

His Majesty Capitalize when it appears in quotations. For other purposes, use the man’s name or king.

his, her (exception to AP) Don’t use his when it might refer to either a man or a woman. Replace with plural form or write around it.

Hispanic A person from - or whose ancestors were from - a Spanish-speaking land or culture. Latino and Latina are sometimes preferred. Follow the person’s preference. Use a more specific identification when possible, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican or Mexican-American. See Latino, nationalities and races, and race entries.

Hispaniola The island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

historic, historical A historic event is an important occurrence, one that stands out in history. Any occurrence in the past is a historical event.

historical periods and events Capitalize the names of widely recognized epochs in anthropology, archaeology, geology and history: the Bronze Age, the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Pliocene Epoch. (Ice age lowercase because there were several.) Capitalize also widely recognized popular names for the periods and events: the Atomic Age, the Boston Tea Party, the Civil War, the Exodus (of the Israelites from Egypt), the Great Depression, Prohibition. Lowercase century: the 18th century. Capitalize only the proper nouns or adjectives in general descriptions of a period: ancient Greece, classical Rome, the Victorian era, the fall of Rome. For additional guidance, check separate entries in this book for epochs, events and historical periods. If this book has no entry, follow the capitalization in Webster’s New World Dictionary, using lowercase if the dictionary lists it as an acceptable form for the sense in which the word is used.

history Avoid the redundant past history.

hit and run (v.) hit-and-run (n. and adj.) The coach told him to hit and run. He scored on a hit-andrun. She was struck by a hit-and-run driver.

hitchhike, hitchhiker

hocus-pocus

hodgepodge

Hodgkin’s disease After Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, the English physician who first described the disease of the lymph nodes and other lymphoid tissues.

ho-hum

hold up (v.) holdup (n. and adj.)

hole-in-one (n. and adj.) An exception to Webster’s.

holidays and holy days Capitalize them: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Groundhog Day, Easter, Hanukkah, etc. The legal holidays in federal law are New Year’s, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The designation of a day as a federal legal holiday means that federal employees receive the day off or are paid overtime if they must work. Other requirements that may apply to holidays generally are left to the states. Many follow the federal lead in designating holidays, but they are not required to do so. The following are legal holidays in Washington state: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving (instead of Columbus Day) and Christmas.

Hollywood Stands alone in dateline when used instead of Los Angeles on stories about films and the film industry.

Holocaine A trademark for a type of local anesthetic.

Holy See The headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican City.

Holy Communion

Holy Father The preferred form is to use the pope or the pontiff, or to give the individual’s name. Use Holy Father in direct quotations or special contexts where a particular literary effect is desired.

holy orders

Holy Spirit Preferred over Holy Ghost in most usage.

Holy Week The week before Easter.

home port (n.) home-port (adj.)

home(-) homemade, homemaker, homeowner, homebuyer, homeownership, home plate, home rule, home run, homespun, homestretch, hometown, homework, home-school, home-schooled, home-schooler, homegrown

home equity line of credit (HELOC) A line of credit secured by a home. Borrowers can draw on it for a fixed period set by the lender, usually five to 10 years.

homicide, murder, manslaughter Homicide is a legal term for slaying or killing. Murder is malicious, premeditated homicide. Some states arbitrarily define certain homicides as murder if the killing occurs in the course of armed robbery, rape, etc. Manslaughter is homicide without malice or premeditation. A person should not be described as a murderer until convicted of the charge. Unless authorities say premeditation was obvious, do not say that a victim was murdered until someone has been convicted in court. Instead, say that a victim was killed or slain.

Hong Kong Stands alone in datelines.

Honolulu The city in Hawaii stands alone in datelines. It is on the island of Oahu.

hoof-and-mouth disease Use foot-and-mouth disease.

hooky Not hookey.

hors d’oeuvre(s)

horse races Capitalize their formal names: Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes, etc.

horse(-) horse chestnut, horsefly, horsehair, horseman, horseplay, horsepower, horse race, horse racing, horseradish, horse sense, horseshoe, horse trade (n.), horse-trade (v.), horse trading, horsewoman.

horses’ names Capitalize.

hotbed One word.for an environment that fosters growth.

hotel Capitalize as part of the proper name for a specific hotel: the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Lowercase when standing alone or used in an indefinite reference to one hotel in a chain: The city has a Sheraton hotel. Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders

International Union The shortened forms Hotel and Restaurant Employees union and Bartenders union acceptable in all references. Headquarters in Cincinnati.

hotline A telephone line for use in an emergency crisis, especially between government leaders.



House of Commons, House of Lords The two houses of the British Parliament. On second reference: Commons or the Commons, Lords or the Lords.

house of delegates

House of Representatives Capitalize when referring to a specific governmental body: the U.S. House of Representatives, the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Capitalize shortened reference that deletes the word Representatives: the U.S. House, the Massachusetts House. Retain capitalization if U.S. or the name of a state is dropped but the reference is to a specific body.

BOSTON -- The House has adjourned for the year.

Lowercase plural uses: the Massachusetts and Rhode Island houses.

Apply the same principle to similar legislative bodies such as the Virginia House of Delegates.

See the organizations and institutions entry for guidelines on how to handle the term when it is used by a nongovernmental body.

household, housing unit In the sense used by the Census Bureau, a household is made up of all occupants of a housing unit. A household may contain more than one family or may be used by one person. A housing unit, as defined by the bureau, is a group of rooms or single room occupied by people who do not live and eat with any other person in the structure. It must have either direct access from the outside or through a common hall, or have a kitchen or cooking equipment for the exclusive use of the occupants.

Houston The city in Texas stands alone in datelines.

Hovercraft A trademark for a vehicle that travels on a cushion of air.

howitzer

human, human being Human is preferred, but either is acceptable.

hurly-burly

hurricane



Capitalize hurricane when it is part of the name that weather forecasters assign to a storm: Hurricane Hazel.

But use it and its -- not she, her or hers or he, him or his -- in pronoun references.

And do not use the presence of a woman’s name as an excuse to attribute sexist images of women’s behavior to a storm. Avoid, for example, such sentences as: The fickle Hazel teased the Louisiana coast.

See weather terms.

husband, widower Use husband, not widower, in referring to the spouse of a woman who dies.

hush-hush

Hussein Saddam Hussein was president of Iraq. Use Hussein on second reference.

Hyannis Port, Mass.

hydro- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: hydroelectric, hydrophobia.

hymns Quote their titles and capitalize principal words.

hyper- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: hyperactive, hypercritical.

hyphen Go to Punctuation section.

IAM International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Machinists union is acceptable in all references. Formal name for the local is the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local No. 751.

Iberia Air Lines of Spain An Iberia airliner is acceptable in any reference. Headquarters is in Madrid.

IBM Acceptable as first reference for International Business Machines. Headquarters is in Armonk, N.Y.

ICBM, ICBMs Acceptable on first reference for intercontinental ballistic missile, but the term should be defined in the body of a story. Avoid the redundant ICBM missiles.

ice age Lowercase, because it denotes not a single period but any of a series of cold periods marked by glaciation alternating with periods of relative warmth. Capitalize the proper nouns in the names of individual ice ages, such as the Wisconsin ice age. The most recent series of ice ages happened during the Pleistocene epoch, which began about 1.6 million years ago. During that time, glaciers sometimes covered much of North America and northwestern Europe. The present epoch, the Helocene or Recent, began about 10,000 years ago when the continental glaciers retreated to Antarctica and Greenland.

ice storm Describes the freezing of drizzle or rain on objects as it strikes them. Freezing drizzle and freezing rain are synonyms for ice storm. An ice storm warning is reserved for occasions when significant, and possibly damaging, accumulations of ice are expected.

ice(-) iceberg, iceboat, icebound, icebreaker, icecap, ice-cold, ice cream, ice floe, ice hockey, ice pack, ice pick, ice water. But it’s iced tea.

Icelandair Headquarters is in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Idaho Do not abbreviate.

ID’d Use (sparingly) with apostrophe. Use only in headlines and direct quotes. Same with ID’s.

ID’s Use with apostrophe.

iftar The breaking of the daily fast during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.

ill(-) Use the hyphenated forms when they serve as adjectives before nouns: ill-advised, ill-defined, illfated, ill-gotten, ill-humored, ill-mannered, ill-natured, ill-tempered, ill-timed, ill-treated. The hyphen is not used when the words follow the nouns they modify: The move was ill timed. She was ill tempered.

illegal Use illegal only to mean a violation of the law. Be especially careful in labor-management disputes, where one side often calls an action by the other side illegal. Usually it is a charge that a contract or rule, not a law, has been violated.

illegal aliens The simplest and briefest term that can be applied to citizens of foreign countries who have come to the United States illegally, with no passport, visa, or other document to show they are entitled to visit, work or live in this country. Illegal migrants and illegal immigrants are appropriate synonyms. Alien is acceptable in headlines only if meaning is clear: Border crackdown aims at aliens. Don’t use alien alone in a story because it can be confused with legal aliens who have documents. Avoid the euphemisms undocumented workers and undocumented aliens. A person must be ruled illegal by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to be called an illegal alien. The label is libelous if untrue. Only label a person if it is pertinent to the story.

Illinois Abbrev.: Ill.

illusion

imam Lowercase when describing the leader of a prayer in a Muslim mosque. Capitalize before a name when used as the formal title for a Muslim leader or ruler.

immigrate

impact Never use as a verb. Use affect instead.

impassable, impassible, impassive Impassable means that passage is impossible: The bridge was impassable. Impassible and impassive describe lack of sensitivity to pain or suffering. Webster’s New World notes, however, that impassible suggests an inability to be affected, while impassive implies only that no reaction was noticeable: She was impassive throughout the ordeal.

impeachment The constitutional process accusing an elected official of a crime in an attempt to remove the official from office. Do not use as a synonym for convicted or removed from office.

impel, impelled, impelling

imperial gallon The standard British gallon, equal to 277.42 cubic inches or about 1.2 U.S. gallons. The metric equivalent is approximately 4.5 liters.

imperial quart One-fourth of an imperial gallon.

implausible

imply, infer Writers or speakers imply in the words they use. A listener or reader infers something from the words.

impostor Not imposter.

impromptu It means without preparation or advance thought.

in When employed to indicate that something is in vogue, use quotation marks only if followed by a noun: It was the in thing to do. Raccoon coats are in again.

-in Precede with a hyphen: break-in, walk-in, cave-in, write-in.

in- No hyphen when it means not: inaccurate, insufferable. Often solid in other cases: inbound, infighting, indoor, inpatient (n., adj.), infield. A few combinations take a hyphen, however: in-depth, inhouse, in-group, in-law. Follow Webster’s New World when in doubt.

in spite of Despite means the same thing and is shorter.

in, into In indicates location: He was in the room. Into indicates motion: She walked into the room.

inasmuch as

Inauguration Day Capitalize only when referring to the total collection of events that include inauguration of a U.S. president; lowercase in other uses: Inauguration Day is Jan. 20. The inauguration day for the change has not been set.

inch Equal to one-twelfth of a foot. The metric equivalent is 2.54 centimeters. To convert to centimeters, multiply by 2.54 (6 inches x 2.54 equals 15.24 centimeters).

inches per second A rating used for the speed of tape recorders. The abbreviation ips (no periods) is acceptable on first reference in specialzed contexts such as a record column; otherwise do not use ips until second reference.

include Use include to introduce a series when the items that follow are only part of the total: The price includes breakfast. The zoo includes lions and tigers. Use comprise when the full list on individual elements is given: The zoo comprises 100 types of animals, including lions and tigers.

incorporated Abbreviate and capitalize as Inc. when used as part of a corporate name. It usually is not needed, but when it is used, do not set off with commas: J.C. Penney Co. Inc. announced ...

incorporator Do not capitalize when used before a name.

incredible, incredulous Incredible means unbelievable. Incredulous means skeptical.

incur, incurred, incurring

Independence Day July Fourth or Fourth of July also are acceptable. The federal legal holiday is observed on Friday if July 4 falls on a Saturday, on Monday if it falls on a Sunday.

Index of Leading Economic Indicators A composite of 12 economic measurements that was developed to help forecast likely shifts in the U.S. economy as a whole. It is compiled by the Commerce Department.

inbox

index, indexes

Indian Ocean Indiana Abbrev.: Ind.

Indianapolis The city in Indiana stands alone in datelines.

Indians American Indian is the preferred term for those in the United States. Where possible, be precise and use the name of the tribe: He is a Navajo commissioner. Native American is acceptable in quotations and names of organizations. In news stories about American Indians, such words as wampum, warpath, powwow, tepee, brave, squaw, etc., can be disparaging and offensive. Be careful and certain of their usage.

indict Use indict only in connection with the legal process of bringing charges against an individual or corporation. To avoid any suggestion that someone is being judged before a trial, do not use phrases such as indicted for killing or indicted for bribery. Instead, use indicted on a charge of killing or indicted on a bribery charge.

indigenous A term used to refer to original inhabitants of a place. Aboriginal leaders welcomed a new era of indigenous relations in Australia. Bolivia’s indigenous peoples represent some 62 percent of the population. See nationalities and races, and race entries.

indiscreet, indiscrete Indiscreet means lacking prudence. Its noun form is indiscretion. Indiscrete means not separated into distinct parts. Its noun form is indiscreteness.

indiscriminate, indiscriminately

indispensable

Individual Retirement Account Capitalize. IRA is acceptable on second reference.

indo- Usually hyphenated and capitalized: Indo- Aryan, Indo-Hittite, Indo-German, Indo-Iranian. But: Indochina.

Indochina Formerly French Indochina, now divided into Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Indochinese peninsula Located here are the nations of Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

Indonesia Use after the name of a community in datelines on stories from this nation. Specify an individual island, if needed, in the text.

indoor (adj.) indoors (adv.) He plays indoor tennis. He went indoors.

infant Applicable to children through 12 months old.

infantile paralysis The preferred term is polio.

inflation A sustained increase in prices. The result is a decrease in the purchasing power of money. There are two basic types of inflation: Cost-push inflation occurs when rising costs are the chief reason for the increased prices. Demand-pull inflation occurs when the amount of money available exceeds the amount of goods and services available for sale.

infra- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: infrared, infrastructure.

initials Use periods and no space when an individual uses initials instead of a first name: H.L. Mencken. This format has been adopted to assure that in typesetting the initials are set on the same line. Do not give a name with a single initial (J. Jones) unless it is the individual’s preference or a first name cannot be learned. Use middle initial only in local crime stories or when it always is part of a well-known person’s name. Edward R. Murrow, Edward G. Robinson. Also use to distinguish between two people: Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, son of the late Richard J. Daley.

injured Preferable to wounded for accidents.

injuries They are suffered, not sustained or received.

in-law

inline skates Generic for Rollerblades. Inline solid.

Inner Light

inner tube

innocent, not guilty In court cases, plea situations and trials, not guilty is preferable to innocent, because it is more precise legally. (However, special care must be taken to prevent omission of the word not.) When possible, say a defendant was acquitted of criminal charges.

innocuous

innuendo

inoculate

input Do not use as a verb in describing the introduction of data into a computer.

inquire, inquiry Not enquire, enquiry.

insignia Same form for singular and plural.

insofar as

Institute for Supply Management Produces monthly reports on manufacturing and service sectors. ISM acceptable on second reference.

intefadah An Arabic term for the Palestinian uprising against Israel.

intifada An Arabic term for the Palestinian uprising against Israel.

intelligence quotient IQ is acceptable in all references.

Intelsat Acceptable on first reference for International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, but spell out later in story.

inter- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: inter-American, interstate, interracial

intercontinental ballistic missile

Intermec

Internal Revenue Service IRS is acceptable on first reference, but use full name somewhere in story. Capitalize also Internal Revenue, but lowercase the revenue service. International Associaton of Machinists and

Aerospace Workers The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The shortened form Machinists union is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington. Capitalize Machinist in reference to a union member. Formal name for the local is the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local No. 751. International Bank for Reconstruction and

Development World Bank is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Use the full name on first reference to avoid confusion with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. IBEW is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Washington.

International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades of the United States and Canada The shortened form Painters union is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America The shortened form Teamsters union (note that union is down) is acceptable in all references. Capitalize Teamsters and the Teamsters in references to the union or its members. Lowercase teamster when no specific reference to the union is intended. Headquarters is in Washington.

International Court of Justice The principal judicial organ of the United Nations, established at The Hague in 1945. The court is not open to individuals. It has jurisdiction over all matters specifically provided for either in the U.N. charter or in treaties and conventions in force. It also has jurisdiction over cases referred to it by U.N. members and by nonmembers such as Switzerland that subscribe to the court statute. The court serves as the succesor to the Permanent Court of International Justice of the League of Nations, which also was known as the World Court. On second reference use international court or world court in lowercase. Do not abbreviate. International Criminal Police Organization -- Interpol is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Paris.

international date line The imaginary line drawn north and south through the Pacific Ocean, largely along the 180th meridian. By international agreement, when it is 12:01 a.m. Sunday just west of the line, it is 12:01 a.m. Saturday just east of it.

International Energy Agency Paris-based energy adviser for developed nations. IEA acceptable on second reference.

International Labor Organization ILO is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland. International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union -- The shortened forms Ladies’ Garment Workers and Ladies’ Garment Workers union are acceptable in all references. Do not use ILGWU. Lowercase garment workers when no specific reference to the union is intended. Headquarters is in New York.

International Longshoremen’s Association Do not use ILA. Headquarters is in New York. International Longshores and Warehousemen’s

Union Do not use ILWU. Headquarters is in San Francisco.

International Monetary Fund The fund is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Washington.

International Space Station

International Telecommunications Satellite Organization Intelsat is acceptable on first reference, but the body of the story should identify it as the shortened form of the full name. (The original name was International Telecommunications Satellite Consortium.) Headquarters is in Washington. International Telephone and Telegraph Corp. -- Note the and, not an ampersand. ITT is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in New York.

International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America This is the full, formal name for the union known more commonly as the United Auto Workers.

Internet A decentralized network of host computers that are linked by high-speed lines. In later references, the Net is acceptable. Internet addresses are no longer published in italics.

Interpol Acceptable in all references for International Criminal Police Organization.

Interstate Commerce Commission The commission is acceptable on second reference.

intra- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: intramural, intrastate

IOU, IOUs

Iowa Do not abbreviate.

iPad A touch-screen computer that is much like an iPod but is larger and can be connected to cellular data networks. Use IPad when the word starts a sentence or headline.

IQ Acceptable in all references for intelligence quotient.

Iran The nation formerly called Persia. It is not an Arab country. The official name of the country is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Uppercase Islamic Revolution when referring to the 1979 event. The people are Iranians, not Persians or Irani. The official language is Persian, also known as Farsi.

Iraq The Arab nation coinciding roughly with ancient Mesopotamia. Its people are Iraqis. The dialect of Arabic is Iraqi.

Ireland Acceptable in most references to the independent nation known formally as the Irish Republic. Use Irish Republic when a distinction must be made between this nation and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom.

Irish coffee Brewed coffee containing Irish whiskey, topped with cream or whipped cream.

Irish International Airlines The preferred name is Aer Lingus. Headquarters is in Dublin, Ireland.

Irish Republican Army A group that has fought to wrest Northern Ireland from British rule and unite it with the Irish Republic. IRA is acceptable on second reference.

Iron Curtain

irregardless A double negative. Regardless is correct.

ISC International Speedway Corp., owner of 12 NASCAR tracks in the U.S., soon to be 13 with the Marysville track. Use ISC on second reference to avoid confusion with Seattle International Raceway. Use SIR on second reference for the Seattle course.

Islam



Followers are called Muslims. Their holy book is the Koran, which according to Islamic belief was revealed by Allah to the prophet Muhammad in the seventh century in Mecca and Medina. Their place of worship is a mosque. Their weekly holy day, equivalent of the Christian sabbath, is Friday. Although Arabic is the language of the Koran and Muslim prayers, not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs.

There are two major divisions in Islam: Sunni is the biggest single sect in Islam, comprising about 85 percent of all Muslims. Nations with Sunni majorities include Egypt, Saudi Arabia and most other Arab nations, as well as non-Arab Turkey and Afghanistan. Most Palestinian Muslims and most West African Muslims are Sunnis. The Saudis sometimes are referred to as Wahhabi Muslims. This is a subgroup within the Sunni branch of Islam. Shiite The second-largest sect, after the Sunni. Iran, home of militant Islamic fundamentalism, is the only nation with an overwhelming Shiite majority. Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain have large Shiite communities, in proportion to their overall populations.

Islamic holy days See separate entries for Eid al- Adha, Eid al-Fitr and Ramadan.

Islamic Jihad or Islamic Holy War Its members are believed to be Shiite Muslim extremists with ties to Iran.

island



Capitalize island or islands as part of a proper name: Prince Edward Island, the Hawaiian Islands.

Lowercase island and islands when they stand alone or when the reference is to the islands in a given area: the Pacific islands.

Lowercase all “island of” constructions: the island of Nantucket.

U.S. DATELINES: For communities on islands within the boundaries of the United States, use the community name and the state name:
EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) --
Honolulu stands alone, however.

DATELINES ABROAD: If an island has an identity of its own (Bermuda, Prince Edward Island, Puerto Rico, Sardinia, Taiwan, etc.) use the community name and the island name:
HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) --
Havana, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore stand alone, however.

If the island is part of a chain, use the community name and the name of the chain:
MANILA, Philippines (AP) --

Identify the name of the island in the text if relevant: Manila is on the island of Luzon.

For additional guidelines, see datelines.

Island Crossing This area stands alone in datelines.

it Use this pronoun, rather than she, in references to nations and ships.

it’s, its It’s is a contraction for it is or it has: It’s up to you. It’s been a long time. Its is the possessive form of the neuter pronoun: The company lost its assets.

ITT Acceptable on first reference for International Telephone and Telegraph Corp, but must be spelled out later in story.

IUD Acceptable on first reference for intrauterine device. Spell out later in story.

IV Acceptable in all references for intravenous . Ivy League Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.

jail Not interchangeable with prison.

Jamaica rum Not Jamaican rum. Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, Jane’s Fighting

Ships The reference sources for questions about aircraft and military ships not covered in this book. The reference for nonmilitary ships is Lloyd’s Register of Shipping.

Japan Airlines JAL is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Tokyo.

Japan Current A warm current flowing from the Philippine Sea east of Taiwan and northeast past Japan.

jargon The special vocabulary and idioms of a particular class or occupational group. In general, avoid jargon. When it is appropriate in a special context, include an explanation of any words likely to be unfamiliar to most readers.

Jaycees Members of the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, affiliated with the worldwide body, Junior Chamber International. U.S. headquarters is in Tulsa, Okla., international headquarters in Coral Gables, Fla.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. Note periods. Use Penney’s only in quotes.

jeep, Jeep Lowercase the military vehicle. Capitalize if referring to the four-wheel drive civilian vehicle so trademarked.

Jehovah’s Witnesses The denomination was founded in Pittsburgh in 1872 by Charles Taze Russell, a former Congregationalist layman. Witnesses do most of their work through three legal corporations: the Watch Tower and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc., and, in England, the International Bible Students Association. A governing body consisting largely of the principal officers of the corporations oversees the denomination. Jehovah’s Witnesses regard civil authority as necessary and obey it as long as its laws do not contradict God’s law. Witnesses refuse to bear arms, salute the flag or participate in secular government. They refuse blood transfusions as being against the Bible, citing the section of Leviticus that reads: Whatsoever man ... eats any manner of blood, I will cut him off from among his people. There are no formal titles, but there are four levels of ministry: publishers (part-time workers expected to devote 60 hours a month to distributing literature), general pioneers and special pioneers (terms for part-time workers who devote more than 60 hours a month to activities) and pioneers (full-time workers).

Jell-O A trademark for a brand of gelatin dessert.

Jerusalem Stands alone in datelines.

Jesus The central figure of Christianity. Also may be referred to as Jesus Christ or Christ. Personal pronouns referring to him are lowercase.

Jet fighter Not fighter jet. Generally delete jet because the U.S. Air Force stopped using propellerdriven fighter aircraft more than 50 years ago.

jet ski A registered trademark of Kawasaki for a type of personal watercraft, but now acceptable as a lowercase generic, preferable unless specifically referring to the brand. Use personal watercraft in any negative story, such as accident reports or legislation to ban them.

jet, jetliner, jet plane

Jew Use for men and women. Do not use Jewess.

Jewish congregations A Jewish congregation is autonomous. No synods, assemblies or hierarchies control the activities of an individual synagogue. In the United States, there are three major expressions of Judaism: 1. Orthodox Judaism. Most of its congregations are represented nationally by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. Most of its rabbis are members of the Rabbinical Council of America. 2. Reform Judaism. Its national representatives are the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. 3. Conservative Judaism. Its national representatives are the United Synagogue of America and the Rabbinical Assembly. Jews generally believe that a divine kingdom will be established on earth, opening a messianic era that will be marked by peace and bliss. They also believe that they have a mandate from God to work toward this kingdom. The only formal titles in use are rabbi, for the spiritual leader of a congregation, and cantor, for the individual who leads the congregation in song. Capitalize these titles before an individual’s full name on first reference.

Jewish holy days Hanukkah, Passover, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Shavuot, Sukkot, Purim. The High Holy Days are Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

jibe

Jiddah, Saudi Arabia

John F. Kennedy Space Center Located in Cape Canaveral, Fla., it is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s principal launch site for manned spacecraft. Kennedy Space Center is acceptable in all references. For datelines on launch stories: CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.

Johns Hopkins University No apostrophes.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Also: the Joint Chiefs. But lowercase the chiefs or the chiefs of staff.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Formed from the 2000 merger of J.P. Morgan & Co. with Chase Manhattan Corp. and the 2004 merger with Bank One Corp. Acquired Bear Stearns Cos. and Washington Mutual Inc. in 2008. Headquarters is in New York.

Jr.

judge Capitalize before a name when it is the formal title for an individual who presides in a court of law. Do not continue to use the title in second reference. Do not use court as part of the title unless confusion would result without it: U.S. District Judge John Sirica, District Judge John Sirica, federal Judge John Sirica, Judge John Sirica, U.S. Circuit Judge Homer Thornberry, appellate Judge John Blair. Court needed in the title: Juvenile Court Judge John Jones, Criminal Court Judge John Jones, Superior Court Judge Robert Harrison, state Supreme Court Judge William Cushing. When the formal title chief judge is relevant, put the court name after the judge’s name: Chief Judge John Sirica of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.; Chief Judge Clement F. Haynsworth Jr. of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Do not pile up long court names before the name of a judge. Make it Judge John Smith of Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. Not: Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge John Smith. Lowercase judge as an occupational designation in phrases such as beauty contest judge Bert Parks.

judge advocate The plural: judge advocates. Also: judge advocate general, judge advocates general. Capitalize as a formal title before a name.

judgment Not judgement.

judicial branch Always lowercase. The federal court system that exists today as the outgrowth of Article 3 of the Constitution is composed of the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Courts and the U.S. Customs Court. There are also four district judges for U.S. territories. The U.S. Tax Court and the U.S Court of Military Appeals are not part of the judicial branch as such. For more detail on all federal courts, check separate entries under the names listed here.

Judicial Conference of the United States This rule-making body for the courts of the judicial branch meets twice a year. Its 25 members are the chief justice, the chief judges of the 11 circuit courts, one district judge from each of the circuits, and the chief judges of the U.S. Court of Claims and the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals. Day-to-day functions are handled by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts.

jukebox

jumbo jet Any very large jet plane, including the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A340.

jumbo loan A commercial or residential mortgage which exceeds the limit of $417,000, as of November 2007, set by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). Because jumbo loans cannot be funded by these two agencies, they usually carry a higher interest rate.

Junior Chamber of Commerce It no longer exists.

junior, senior Use only after full name. Abbreviate as Jr. and Sr. Use only in local crime stories, when always part of a person’s name (Ken Griffey Jr.) or when needed to distinguish between a father and son. Do not precede by a comma: Joseph Kennedy Jr. The notation II or 2nd may be used if it is the individual’s preference. Note, however, that II and 2nd are not necessarily the equivalent of junior; they often are used by a grandson or nephew.

junk bonds Also known as non-investment grade bonds, these corporate debt securities provide high yields to investors to compensate for their higher than normal credit risk. They are typically issued by companies with a lot of debt to repay loans, fund takeovers or buy out stockholders.

junta

jury The word takes singular verbs and pronouns: The jury has been sequestered until it reaches a verdict. Do not use awkward phrases such as seven-man, five-woman jury. Make it: a jury of seven men and five women. Do not capitalize: a U.S. District Court jury, a federal jury, a Massachusetts Superior Court jury, a Los Angeles county grand jury.

justice Capitalize before a name when it is the formal title. It is the formal title for members of the U.S. Supreme Court and for jurists on some state courts. In such cases, do not use judge in first or subsequent references.

justice of the peace Capitalize as a formal title before a name. Do not abbreviate.

juvenile Usually, children are not to be identified or identifiable if they are admitting to crimes or activities that are regarded as morally questionable. If a story talks about kids breaking the law and we identify kids who aren’t involved, we must explain that they aren’t. Children who are victims of sex crimes will not be named except under the most extraordinary circumstances, even when their parents agree.

juvenile delinquent Never use this expression.

K (or k) Abbreviation for kilobyte. It means 1,024

bytes. Similarly, 64k means 64 times 1,024 bytes, or 65,536 bytes (not 64,000). Leave no space between K and the preceding number, as in 128K of RAM. The abbreviation K should not be used to mean 1,000. 10K is an acceptable abbreviation for a 10-kilometer running event.

Kansas Abbrev.: Kan.

Kansas City Use KANSAS CITY, Kan., or KANSAS CITY, Mo., in datelines to avoid confusion between the two.

Kansas City Southern Freight railroad, with headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. It is the parent of Kansas City Southern Railway Co. and Kansas City Southern de Mexico SA and it holds a 50 percent stake in Panama Canal Railway Co.

karat

Katmandu Preferred spelling for the capital of Nepal.

Kelvin scale A scale of temperature based on, but different from, the Celsius scale. It is used primarily in science to record very high and very low temperatures. The Kelvin scale starts at zero and indicates the total absence of heat (absolute zero). Zero on the Kelvin scale is equal to minus 273.15 degrees Celsius and minus 460 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezing point of water is 273.16 degrees Kelvin. The boiling point of water is 373.16 degrees Kelvin. To convert from Celsius to Kelvin, add 273.15 to the Celsius temperature.

Kennedy Space Center

Kentucky Abbrev.: Ky. Legally a commonwealth, not a state.

kerosene Formerly a trademark, now a generic term.

keynote address Also: keynote speech.

Keystone Kops

KGB Acceptable on first reference, but the story should contain a phrase identifying it as the former Russian secret police and intelligence agency. The initials stand for the Russian words meaning Committee for State Security.

kibbutz An Israeli collective settlement. The plural is kibbutzim.

kickoff, kick off One word as noun or adjective, two as verb.

kidnap, kidnapped, kidnapping, kidnapper

killer

kilo- A prefix denoting 1,000 units of a measure. Move a decimal point three places to the right, adding zeros if necessary, to convert to the basic unit: 10.5 kilograms equals 10,500 grams.

kilocycles The new term is kilohertz.

kilogram The metric term for 1,000 grams. A kilogram is equal to approximately 2.2 pounds or 35 ounces. To convert to pounds, multiply by 2.2 (9 kilograms x 2.2 equals 19.8 pounds).

kilohertz Equals 1,000 hertz (1,000 cycles per second), replacing kilocycles as the correct term in applications such as broadcast frequencies. The official abbreviation kHz is acceptable on second reference if clear in the context.

kilometer The metric term for 1,000 meters. A kilometer is equal to approximately 3,281 feet, or fiveeighths (0.62) of a mile. To convert to miles, multiply by 0.62 (5 kilometers x 0.62 equals 3.1 miles). Kilometer is abbreviated km (a 9 km trail, note space), but use a 5K race to describe a specific event.

kiloton, kilotonnage A unit used to measure the power of nuclear explosions. One kiloton has the explosive force of 1,000 tons of TNT. The atomic bomb dropped Aug. 6, 1945, on Hiroshima, Japan, in the first use of the bomb as a weapon had an explosive force of 20 kilotons. A megaton has the force of a million tons of TNT. A gigaton has the force of a billion tons of TNT.

kilowatt-hour The amount of electrical energy consumed when 1,000 watts are used for one hour. The abbreviation kwh is acceptable on second reference.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. The maker of paper products has a manufacturing plant in Everett (the former Scott Paper Co. facility).

kindergarten, kindergartner

king Capitalize only when used before the name of royalty: King George VI. Continue in subsequent references that use the king’s given name: King George, not George. Lowercase king when it stands alone. Capitalize in plural uses before names: Kings George and Edward. Lowercase in phrases such as former chess king Bobby Fischer.

King County Sheriff’s Office Formerly King County police.

Klan in America

Kleenex A trademark for a brand of facial tissue.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines A KLM airliner is acceptable in any reference. Headquarters is in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Kmart No hyphen, no space, lowercase. Headquarters is in Troy, Mich.

Knesset The Israeli parliament.

knickknack

knight

Knights of Columbus Catholic men’s organization. On second reference, the group or the organization.

knot A knot is one nautical mile (6,076 feet) per hour. It is redundant to say knots per hour. To convert knots into approximate statute miles per hour, multiply knots by 1.15. Always use figures: Winds were at 7 to 9 knots; a 10-knot wind.

know-how

Kodak A trademark for cameras and other photographic products made by Eastman Kodak Co. of Rochester, N.Y.

Kolkata Indian city formerly known as Calcutta.

Koran Use the spelling Koran for the Muslim holy book only if preferred by a specific organization or in a specific title or name. Use Quran in all other instances.

Korean Airlines Headquarters is in Seoul, Korea.

Korean names In all cases, the family name comes first.

Korean War But Korean conflict.

Kosovo The capital is Pristina.

kosher Always lowercase.

kowtow

Kriss Kringle Not Kris.

Ku Klux Klan On second reference and in headlines, the Klan, not KKK. Also, use Klan members, not Klansmen. There are 42 separate organizations known as the Klan in America. The two largest Klan organizations are the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the United Klans of America. Capitalize formal titles before a name: Imperial Wizard James Venable, Grand Dragon Dale Reusch.

kudos It means credit or praise for an achievement. The word is singular and takes singular verbs.

Kuomintang The Chinese Nationalist political party. Do not follow with the word party. Tang means party.

Kuril islands Use in datelines after a community name in stories from these islands. Name an individual island, if needed, in the text. Explain in the text that part of the archipelago is claimed by Japan but occupied by the former Soviet Union since 1945.

Kuwait Stands alone in datelines.

Kyodo News The nonprofit international news agency is based in Tokyo. It was founded in 1961 and has 1,000 journalists and photographers. Transmits news in Japanese and English.

la

La Conner Town in Skagit County. Two words.

Labor Day The first Monday in September.

Labor Party Not labour, even if British. Laborers’ International Union of North America -- The shortened form Laborers’ union is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington.

Labrador The mainland portion of the Canadian province of Newfoundland. Use Newfoundland in datelines after the name of a community. Specify in the text that it is in Labrador. Also, the dog is a Labrador retriever.

Ladies’ Home Journal

lady Do not use as a synonym for woman. May be used as a courtesy title or when a specific reference to fine manners is appropriate.

lager (beer)

laissez-faire

lake Capitalize as part of a proper name: Lake Roesiger, Lake Washington, Lake Union, Martha Lake, the Finger Lakes. Lowercase in plural uses: lakes Erie and Ontario; Canandaigua and Seneca lakes.

Lake Stevens L. Stevens is acceptable in headlines.

Lakewood An unincorporated area northwest of Marysville that includes the Lakewood School District. Pierce County also has a city named Lakewood, near Tacoma. When referring to the latter, be sure the context makes its location clear: The commuter rail line would run from Everett to Lakewood in Pierce County. In datelines, use LAKEWOOD, Pierce County.

lame duck (n.) lame-duck (adj.)

lamebrain

landowner

Land-Rover With a hyphen. A trademark for a brand of all-terrain vehicle.

languages Capitalize the proper names of languages and dialects: Aramaic, Cajun, English, Gullah, Persian, Serbo-Croatian, Yiddish.

lanolin Formerly a trademark, now a generic term.

larceny

last Never use last when it might force the reader, and an editor, to guess which month or day you are talking about. Avoid last when referring to an earlier month or day. Just say, The jet crashed in May. Not: The jet crashed last May. When referring to the current month a year earlier, and all months before that, use the month and year: May 1994. If it’s May and you say last August, you haven’t done any harm. While that’s still not preferred style, there are times when it may seem appropriate, such as when you are tracking a series of events over a prolonged period of time. When it is a problem is if in May you write last March. Now are you talking about March of this year or last year? Same goes for last Sunday used on a Tuesday, etc. Avoid the use of last as a synonym for latest if it might imply finality. The last time it rained, I forgot my umbrella, is acceptable. But: The last announcement was made at noon today may leave the reader wondering whether the announcement was the final announcement, or whether others are to follow.

Last Supper

Lastex A trademark for a type of elastic yarn.

late Do not use it to describe someone’s actions while alive. Wrong: Only the late senator opposed this bill. (The senator was not dead at that time.) In general, use the late only in reference to a person who died recently.

latex A resin-based substance used in making elastic materials and paints.

Latin America The area of the Americas south of the United States where Romance languages are dominant.

Latin Rite

Latino Often the preferred term for a person from - or whose ancestors were from - a Spanish-speaking land or culture or from Latin America. Latina is the feminine form. Follow the person’s preference. Use a more specific identification when possible, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian or Mexican-American. See Hispanic, nationalities and races, and race entries.

latitude and longitude Latitude, the distance north or south of the equator, is designated by parallels. Longitude, the distance east or west of Greenwich, England, is designated by meridians. Use these forms to express degrees of latitude and longitude: New York City lies at 40 degrees 45 minutes north latitude and 74 degrees 0 minutes west longitude; New York City lies south of the 41st parallel north and along the 74th meridian west.

Latter Day Saints, Latter-day Saints

Laundromat A trademark for a coin-operated laundry.

law- law-abiding, lawbreaker, lawmaker, lawsuit

Law Enforcement Assistance Administration Do not use LEAA on second reference.

lawn mower Two words.

laws Capitalize legislative acts but not bills: the Taft-Hartley Act, the Kennedy bill.

lawyer A generic term for all members of the bar. An attorney is someone legally appointed or empowered to act for another, usually, but not always, a lawyer. An attorney at law is a lawyer. A barrister is an English lawyer who is specially trained and appears exclusively as a trial lawyer in higher courts. He is retained by a solicitor, not directly by the client. There is no equivalent term in the United States. Counselor, when used in a legal sense, means a person who conducts a case in court, usually, but not always, a lawyer. A counselor at law is a lawyer. Counsel frequently is used collectively for a group of counselors. A solicitor in England is a lawyer who performs legal services for the public. A solicitor appears in lower courts but does not have the right to appear in higher courts, which are reserved to barristers. A solicitor in the United States is a lawyer employed by a governmental body. Solicitor is generally a job description, but in some agencies it is a formal title. Solicitor general is the formal title for a chief law officer (where there is no attorney general) or for the chief assistant to the law officer (when there is an attorney general). Capitalize when used before a name. Do not use lawyer as a formal title.

lay, lie Lay means in general to place, to put, to deposit; it requires a direct object. Lie means in general to be in a reclining position, to be situated; it does not take a direct object. Some examples of correct usage: Lay: He always lays his hat on the hall table. He laid his hat on the table. At this time, I imagine, he is laying his hat on the table. He already had laid his hat on the table. Lie: Oregon lies to the south and Idaho to the east. He lay quietly, waiting for her to return. The demonstrators spent the next three hours lying in the street. Having lain there for three hours, they decided it was futile to remain.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Learjet

leatherneck Lowercase this nickname for a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. It is derived from the leather lining that was formerly part of the collar on the Marine uniform.

leave alone, let alone Leave alone means to leave in solitude. Let alone means to refrain from disturbing.

lectern, podium, pulpit, rostrum A speaker stands behind a lectern, on a podium or rostrum, or in the pulpit. Be watchful for podium, which is often misused.

lecturer A formal title in the Christian Science Church. An occupational description in other uses.

lectures Capitalize and use quotation marks for their formal titles.

left- left field, left fielder, left guard, left hand (n.), left-hand (adj.), left-handed, left-hander, leftover, left wing (n.), left-winger (n.), left-wing (adj.)

leftist, ultraleftist In general, avoid these terms, except in direct quotes. As popularly used today, leftist often applies to someone who is merely liberal or believes in a form of democratic socialism. Ultraleftist suggests an individual who subscribes to a communist view or one holding that liberal or socialist change cannot come within the present form of government.

legal holiday

legerdemain

legion, legionnaire

Legionnaires’ disease The disease takes its name from an outbreak at the Pennsylvania American Legion convention held at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia in July 1976. Thirty-four people died. The bacterium believed to be responsible is found in soil and grows in water, such as air conditioning ducts, storage tanks and rivers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta estimates that 25,000 people a year in the United States get the disease, whose pneumonialike symptoms begin 2-3 days after exposure.

legislative bodies Lowercase parliament only when it is used to identify a foreign legislative body: The Diet, Japan’s parliament ... Uppercase parliament in all other uses. But don’t have it both ways in one story. So if first reference is to Japan’s Parliament, don’t use lowercase identifier later with Diet. Instead say something like the vote in the Diet to indicate Diet and Parliament are the same.

legislative titles



FIRST REFERENCE FORM: Use “Rep.”, Reps., Sen. and Sens. as formal titles before one or more names. Spell out and lowercase representative and senator in other uses.

Spell out other legislative titles in all uses. Capitalize formal titles such as assemblyman, assemblywoman, city councilor, delegate, etc., when they are used before a name. Lowercase in other uses.

Add U.S. or state before a title only if necessary to avoid confusion: U.S. Rep. Don Young of Alaska now has a Republican primary opponent, state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux of Kodiak.

FIRST REFERENCE PRACTICE: The use of a title such as Rep. or Sen. in first reference is normal in most stories. It is not mandatory, however, provided an individual’s title is given later in the story.

Deletion of the title on first reference is frequently appropriate, for example, when an individual has become well known: Barack Obama declared Americans were ready to “cast aside cynicism” as he looked for a convincing win in the Democratic contest. The Illinois senator was leading in the polls.

SECOND REFERENCE: Do not use legislative titles before a name on second reference unless they are part of a direct quotation.

CONGRESSMAN, CONGRESSWOMAN: Rep. and U.S. Rep. are the preferred first-reference forms when a formal title is used before the name of a U.S. House member. The words congressman or congresswoman, in lowercase, may be used in subsequent references that do not use an individual’s name, just as senator is used in references to members of the Senate. Congressman and congresswoman should appear as capitalized formal titles before a name only in direct quotation.

ORGANIZATIONAL TITLES: Capitalize titles for formal, organizational offices within a legislative body when they are used before a name: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader John Boehner, Republican Whip Lamar Alexander, Chairman Patrick Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Pro Tem Robert C. Byrd.

See party affiliation and titles.

legislature Capitalize when preceded by the name of a state: the Kansas Legislature. Capitalize also when the state name is dropped but the reference is specifically to that state’s legislature: TOPEKA, Kan. -- Both houses of the Legislature adjourned today. Capitalize legislature in subsequent specific references and in such constructions as: the 100th Legislature, the state Legislature. Although the word legislature is not part of the formal, proper name for the lawmaking bodies in many states, it commonly is used that way and should be treated as such in any story that does not use the formal name. If a given context or local practice calls for the use of a formal name such as Missouri General Assembly, retain the capital letters if the name of the state can be dropped, but lowercase the word assembly if it stands alone. Lowercase legislature if a story uses it in a subsequent reference to a body identified as a general assembly. Lowercase legislature when used generically: No legislature has approved the amendment. Use legislature in lowercase for all plural references: The Arkansas and Colorado legislatures are considering the amendment. In 49 states the separate bodies are a senate and a house or assembly. The Nebraska Legislature is a unicameral body.

Lent The period from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. The 40-day Lenten period for penance, suggested by Christ’s 40 days in the desert, does not include the six Sundays between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

lesbian, lesbianism Lowercase in references to homosexual women, except in names of organizations.

less Use less for bulk or amount: I had less than $50 in my pocket. Use fewer for individual items. Fewer than 10 applicants called. I had fewer than 50 $1 bills in my pocket.

-less No hyphen before this suffix: childless, waterless, tailless

let up (v.) letup (n. and adj.)

letters Capitalize and use apostrophe with plural: She got A’s and B’s on her report card. But not with multiple letters: ABCs.

Levi’s A trademark for a brand of jeans.

liaison

liberal, liberalism Do not capitalize as noun or adjective unless the reference is to a specific political party or movement or to a member of such a group.

Libor The rate that international banks charge for short-term loans to each other. Libor, an acronym for the London Interbank Offered Rate, is calculated every business day.

lie

lie in state Only people who are entitled to a state funeral may formally lie in state. In the United States, this occurs in the rotunda in the Capitol. Those entitled to a state funeral are a president, a former president, a president-elect or any other person designated by the president. Members of Congress may lie in state, and a number have done so. The decision is either house’s to make, although the formal process normally begins with a request from the president. Those entitled to an official funeral, but not to lie in state, are the vice president, the chief justice, Cabinet members and other government officials when designated by the president.

lieutenant

lieutenant governor Capitalize and abbreviate as Lt. Gov. or Lt. Govs. when used as a formal title before one or more names in regular text. Capitalize and spell out when used as a formal title before one or more names in direct quotations. Lowercase and spell out in all other uses.

Life Saver, Life Savers Trademarks for a brand of roll candy.

life(-) lifeblood, lifeboat, life cycle, life force, lifeguard, life jacket, lifelike, lifeline, lifelong, life preserver, life raft, lifesaver, lifesaving, life-size, lifespan, lifestyle, lifetime, life vest, lifework

lift off (v.) liftoff (n. and adj.) light- lighthearted, lighthouse, lightning, lightship, lightweight (n.), light-year. Also: firelight, flashlight, gaslight, highlight, lamplight, limelight, searchlight, sidelight, sunlight

light, lighted, lighting Do not use lit as the past tense form.

lightning The electrical discharge.

light-year The distance the light travels in one year at the rate of 186,282 miles per second. It works out to about 5.88 trillion miles (5,878,612,800,000 miles).

likable Not likeable.

-like Do not precede this suffix by a hyphen unless the letter l would be tripled: bill-like, lifelike, businesslike, shell-like. Note: flu-like

like- Follow with a hyphen when used as a prefix meaning similar to: like-minded, like-natured. No hyphen in words that have meanings of their own: likelihood, likewise, likeness.

like, as Do not use like as a conjunction unless it introduces a noun not followed by a verb: He deals cards like a riverboat gambler. Tom, like his father, is a fierce competitor. The gingersnap tastes good, as a cookie should. The piano sounded as if it had been properly tuned. She treated him like a slave. He treated her as a loyal subject treats a monarch. You can easily build one, as I did. You can build one exactly like the one I built.

limited Abbreviate as Ltd. when part of a firm’s proper name. Do not precede with a comma.

limousine

linage, lineage Linage is the number of lines. Lineage is ancestry or descent.

Lincoln’s Birthday Capitalize birthday in references to the holiday. Lincoln was born Feb. 12. His birthday is not a federal legal holiday.

line numbers Use figures and lowercase the word line in naming individual lines of a text: line 1, line 9. But: the first line, the 10th line.

linoleum Formerly a trademark, now a generic term.

Linotype A trademark for a brand of typesetting machine that casts an entire line of type in one bar or slug.

lion’s share The term comes from an Aesop fable in which the lion took all the spoils of a joint hunt. Use it to mean the whole of something, or the best and biggest portion. Do not use it to mean majority.

liquefy

Listserv A trademark for a software program for setting up and maintaining discussion groups through email.

liter The basic unit of volume in the metric system. It is defined as the volume occupied by one kilogram of distilled water at 4 degrees Celsius. It works out to a total of 1,000 cubic centimeters (one cubic decimeter). It takes 1,000 milliliters to make a liter. A liter is equal to approximately 34 fluid ouncess or 1.06 liquid quarts. A liter equals .91 of a dry quart. The metric system makes no distiction between dry volume and liquid volume. To convert to liquid quarts, multiply by 1.06 (4 liters x 1.06 equals 4.24 liquid quarts). To convert to dry quarts, multiply by .91 (4 liters x .91 equals 3.64 dry quarts). To convert to liquid gallons, multiply by .26 (8 liters x .26 equals 2.08 gallons).

literally This word is often used incorrectly for figuratively: The Communist Party leaders in China literally are walking a tightrope. Even when used correctly, it is usually superfluous.

literature

Little League

livable Not liveable.

livid It is not a synonym for fiery, bright, crimson, red or flaming. If a person turns livid with rage, his face becomes ashen or pale. It can mean blue, bluish gray, gray, dull white, dull purple or grayish black.

Lloyds Bank International Ltd. A prominent bank with headquarters in London.

Lloyd’s of London A prominent group of insurance companies with headquarters in London.

Lloyd’s Register of Shipping The reference source for questions about nonmilitary ships not covered in this book. It is published by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping Trust Corp. Ltd. in London.

loan (n.), lend (v.) The preferred usage.

local Don’t use this word when referring to any place in Snohomish County. Name the area or community instead. Avoid the irrelevant use of the word in all copy. Irrelevant: The injured were taken to a local hospital. Better: The injured were taken to a hospital.

local of a union Always use a figure and capitalize local when giving the name of a union subdivision: Local 222 of The Newspaper Guild. Lowercase local standing alone in plural uses: The local will vote Tuesday. He spoke to locals 2, 4 and 10.

locals Use this sparingly to describe residents of a particular area. May be acceptable in a casual, scenesetting sense: locals use it as a shortcut. But do not say police are questioning the locals about the murder or use it to refer to a specific, identifiable person.

lockdown One word.when used as a noun.

Lockheed Martin Corp. Headquarters in Bethesda, Md.

lodges

London The city in England stands alone in datelines.

long longboat, long-drawn-out (adj.), longhaired, longshoreman, long shot, longstanding, long-suffering, longtime, long term (n.) long-term (adj.), long ton, longwave. Also: daylong, hourlong, monthlong, weeklong, yearlong.

long distance, long-distance Always a hyphen in reference to telephone calls: We keep in touch by longdistance. He called long-distance. She took the longdistance call. In other uses, hyphenate only when used as a compound modifier: She traveled a long distance. She made a long-distance trip. Do not precede longdistance numbers with a 1-, as in 1-800-123-4567.

long term, long-term Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: We will win in the long term. He has a long-term assignment.

long time, longtime They have known each other a long time. They are longtime partners.

long ton Also known as a British ton. Equal to 2,240 pounds.

longhouse One word in reference to tribal events.

longitude

longshoreman Usually dockworkers. Capitalize longshoreman only if the intended meaning is that the individual is a member of the International Longshore and Warehousemen’s Union or the International Longshoremen’s Association.

longstanding One word.

loophole A vague area or hole in law. It’s a pejorative term, so don’t confuse with tax write-off, tax shelter or other provisions of tax law.

Lord’s Supper

Los Angeles The city in California stands alone in datelines. Confine L.A. to quoted matter. No periods in LA in headlines.

LOT Polish Airlines Headquarters is in Warsaw, Poland.

Louisiana Abbrev.: La.

Low Countries Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands.

Lower Ninth Ward Capitalize the name of the New Orleans ward hard hit by Hurricane Katrina.

lowercase One word.(n., v., adj.) when referring to the absence of capital letters.

lowlife(s) One word.

LSD Acceptable in all references for lysergic acid diethylamide.

Lt. Gov.

Lucite A trademark for an acrylic plastic.

Lufthansa German Airlines A Lufthansa airliner is acceptable in any reference. Headquarters is in Cologne, Germany.

lumber, timber Lumber is term for planks, boards and beams made from timber, which is the raw tree before processing.

Lutheran churches The basic unit of government in Lutheran practice is the congregation. It normally is administered by a council, headed either by the senior pastor or a lay person elected from the membership of the council. The council customarily consists of a congregation’s clergy and elected lay persons. The three major Lutheran bodies in the United States merged on Jan. 1, 1988, into a new organization, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with about 5.3 million members in more than 11,000 congregations.

Luxembourg Stands alone in datelines.

-ly Do not use a hyphen between adverbs ending in -ly and adjectives they modify: an easily remembered rule, a badly damaged island, a fully informed woman. Go to Punctuation, the compound modifiers section of the hyphen entry.

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Formerly the Manned Spacecraft Center. Located in Houston, it is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s principal control and training center for manned spaceflight. Johnson Space Center is acceptable in all references. In datelines: HOUSTON (AP) - See John F. Kennedy Space Center.

Lynnwood

M.D. A word such as physician or surgeon is preferred.

M-1, M-14

Macao Stands alone in datelines.

Mace A trademark, shortened from Chemical Mace, for a brand of tear gas that is packaged in an aerosol canister and temporarily stuns its victims.

Mach number Named for Ernst Mach, an Austrian physicist, the figure represents the ratio of the speed of an object to the speed of sound in the surrounding medium, such as air, through which the object is moving. A rule of thumb for speed of sound is approximately 750 miles per hour at sea level and approximately 660 miles per hour at 30,000 feet above sea level. A body traveling at Mach 1 would be traveling at the speed of sound. Mach 2 would equal twice the speed of sound.

machine gun (n.) submachine gun But: machinegun (v. and adj.), machine-gunner.

Machinists union No apostrophe, lowercase union. Acceptable in all references to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Headquarters is in Washington. Capitalize Machinist in reference to a union member. Formal name for the local is the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local No. 751.

mad cow disease Acceptable for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a progressive neurological disease that afflicts cattle. The disorder caused in humans by eating meat from diseased cattle is called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. See Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease.

MADD Acceptable on first reference for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but it should be spelled out later in story.

Mafia, Mafiosi The secret society of criminals and its members. Do not use as a synonym for organized crime or the underworld.

magazine names Capitalize the name but do not place it in quotes. Lowercase magazine unless it is part of the publication’s formal title: Harper’s Magazine, Newsweek magazine, Time magazine. Check the masthead if in doubt.

magistrate Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name.

Magna Carta Not Magna Charta. The charter the English barons forced King John of England to grant at Runnymede in June 1215. It guaranteed certain civil and political liberties.

mail carrier Not mailman.

Mailgram A trademark for a telegram sent to a post office near the recipient’s address and delivered to the address by letter carrier.

Maine Do not abbreviate.

mainland China

major

Majorca Use instead of Spain in datelines on stories from communities on this island.

majority leader Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name: Majority Leader Richard Gephardt. Lowercase elsewhere.

majority, plurality Majority means more than half of an amount. Plurality means more than the next highest number. COMPUTING MAJORITY: To describe how large a majority is, take the figure that is more than half and subtract everything else from it: If 100,000 votes were cast in an election and one candidate received 60,000 while opponents received 40,000, the winner would have a majority of 20,000 votes. COMPUTING PLURALITY: To describe how large a plurality is, take the highest number and subtract from it the next highest number: If, in the election example above, the second-place finisher had 25,000 votes, the winner’s plurality would be 35,000 votes. Suppose, however, that no candidate in this example had a majority. If the first-place finisher had 40,000 votes and the second-place finisher had 30,000, for example, the leader’s plurality would be 10,000 votes. USAGE: When majority and plurality are used alone, they take singular verbs and pronouns: The majority has made its decision. If a plural word follows an of construction, the decision on whether to use a singular or plural verb depends on the sense of the sentence: A majority of two votes is not adequate to control the committee. The majority of the houses on the block were destroyed.

make- make-believe, makeshift, makeup (n. and adj.), make over (verb), makeover (noun)

malarkey Not malarky.

Malaysia Airlines Headquarters is in Subang, Malaysia.

Maldives Use this official name with a community name in a dateline. The body of the story should note that the nation frequently is called the Maldive Islands.

man, mankind Frequently the best choice is a substitute such as humanity, a person or an individual. Man or mankind may be used when both men and women are involved and no other term is convenient. In these cases, do not use duplicate phrases such as a man or a woman or mankind and womankind.

manageable

Manitoba A province of central Canada. Do not abbreviate.

manslaughter In Washington state, first-degree manslaughter is a killing resulting from reckless conduct, or disregard that a wrongful act may occur. Second-degree manslaughter is a killing caused by criminal negligence.

mantel, mantle A mantel is a shelf. A mantle is a cloak.

Maoism (Maoist) The philosophy and policies of Mao Zedong, leader of the Chinese Communist rebellion following World War II.

Mardi Gras Literally fat Tuesday, the term describes a day of merrymaking on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. In New Orleans and many Roman Catholic countries, the Tuesday celebration is preceded by a week or more of parades and parties.

marijuana Not marihuana.

Marines Capitalize when referring to U.S. forces: the U.S. Marines, the Marines, the Marine Corps, Marine regulations. Do not use the abbreviation USMC. Capitalize Marine when referring to an individual in a Marine Corps unit: He is a Marine. Do not describe Marines as soldiers, which is generally associated with the Army. Use troops or personnel if a generic term is needed.

Maritime Provinces The Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Market Capitalize when referring to Pike Place Market.

marketbasket, marketplace

marquess, marchioness, marquis, marquise

Marseille

Preferred spelling for the French city.

marshal, marshaled, marshaling, Marshall

Marshal is the spelling for both the verb and the noun: Marilyn will marshal her forces. Erwin Rommel was a field marshal. Also as law officer. Marshall is used in proper names: George C. Marshall, John Marshall, the Marshall Islands.

Marshall Islands Named for John Marshall, a British explorer. In datelines, give the name of a city and Marshall Islands. List the name of an individual island in the text.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., who was born Jan. 15, 1929, is on the third Monday in January. It was first celebrated in 1986.

Marxism (Marxist) The system of thought developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Don’t apply these terms haphazardly to people or governments perceived to be left-leaning.

Maryland Abbrev.: Md.

Marysville M’ville no longer is acceptable in headlines.

Marysville Towne Center not “centre.”

Marysville-Pilchuck High School M-P (note the hyphen) is acceptable in headlines, but try to avoid.

Mason-Dixon Line The boundary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland, generally regarded as separating the North from the South.

Masonite A trademark for a brand of hardboard.

Mass It is celebrated, said or sung. Capitalize: High Mass, Mass, Requiem Mass. In Eastern Orthodox churches the correct term is Divine Liturgy.

Massachusetts Abbrev.: Mass. Legally a commonwealth, not a state.

Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration Abbreviated M.A., M.S. but MBA. A master’s degree or a master’s is acceptable in any reference.

master of ceremonies Use MC only when in quotes. Emcee is acceptable if it best fits the tone of the story.

matrimony

maturity In a financial sense, the date on which a bond, debenture or note must be repaid. Go to loan terminology in Business Guidelines.

May Day, mayday May Day is May 1, often observed as a festive or political holiday. Mayday is the international distress signal, from the French m’aidez, a reflexive verb meaning help me.

mayors’ conference

MC For master of ceremonies, but only in quoted matter.

McClatchy Co. U.S. newspaper publisher with headquarters in Sacramento, Calif. Owns 31 dailies including The Miami Herald, The Charlotte Observer and The Sacramento Bee.

mean Designates a figure intermediate between two extremes: The mean temperature of a day with a high of 56 and a low of 34 is 45.

mecca Lowercase except for the city near the Red Sea.

Medal of Freedom It is now the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Medal of Honor The nation’s highest military honor, given by Congress for risk of life in combat beyond the call of duty. There is no Congressional Medal of Honor.

Medfly Mediterranean fruit fly. The capital M is an exception to Webster’s.

media In the sense of mass communication, such as magazines, newspapers, the news services, radio and television, the word is plural: The news media are resisting attempts to limit their freedom.

MediaNews Group Inc. Privately held U.S. newspaper publisher with headquarters in Denver. Owns 57 dailies including The Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News and The Detroit News.

median The middle number in a series: The median grade in the group of 50, 55, 85, 88 and 92 is 85. The average is 74.

mediate One who mediates listens to arguments of both parties and tries by the exercise of reason to bring them to agreement.

Medicaid A federal-state program that helps pay for health care for the needy, aged, blind and disabled, and for low-income familes with children. A state determines eligibility and which health services are covered. The federal government reimburses a percentage of the state’s expenditures.

Medicare The federal health care insurance program for people aged 65 and over, and for the disabled. Eligibility is based mainly on eligibility for Social Security. Medicare helps pay charges for hospitalization, for stays in skilled nursing facilities, for physician’s charges and for some associated health costs. There are limitations on the length of stay and type of care. In Canada, Medicare refers to the nation’s national health insurance program.

medicine

medieval

melee

Melkite Church

memento, mementos

memo, memos

memorandum, memorandums

Memorial Day Formerly May 30. The federal legal holiday is the last Monday in May.

menage a trois No accent marks.

menswear Not men’s wear.

mentally disabled The preferred term for mentally retarded.

mentally retarded Mentally disabled is the preferred term. See disabled, handicapped, impaired.

Mercalli scale

Mercurochrome A trademark for a brand of antiseptic for wounds.

merger Few business combinations are truly a merger of equals, so be precise and sparing in the use of the word merger. It is not a synonym for acquisition or takeover, which should be the preferred descriptive in most stories. Use the following rules for deciding whether it’s a merger or acquisition, and as a guide in concluding who is the acquirer and the company being taken over:
Is one of the companies’ stock being used as the currency? If the answer is yes, that’s usually a good sign that company is the acquirer and it is not a merger.
What is the message from the exchange ratio in stock transactions? Typically when shareholders of Company A are offered new shares in a combined company at a 1-for-1 ratio, and Company B shares are exchanged at something less or more (i.e., each Company B will be exchanged for 0.47 percent of a share of the new company), it’s an indication that Company A’s stock is being used as the basis for the transaction. But it also could be a sign that the companies’ boards have agreed to a merger that uses a formula to compensate for the differing market value (total number of shares multiplied by the closing stock price the day before the announcement) of the two companies to come up with an exchange ratio for stock in the new company.
What is the message from the stock movements after the announcement? Shares of companies being acquired typically rise and shares of the acquirer often fall after the announcement. Not always, of course, but that’s usually the case because most bidders pay a premium, or an above-market price, for the shares of the company being acquired, and investors often are worried about the amount of debt the acquirer is taking on to complete the transaction.
Whose cash is being used to fund the cash portion of a transaction? If the announcement says Company A’s cash will be used or that its existing lines of credit will be tapped to pay for Company B’s shares, that’s a strong indication that Company A is the acquirer.
Which company’s executives are filling most of the top management rolls? The key distinction usually is who gets the CEO slot. But if one of the two CEOs is named to head the company for a limited period (say two years or less) before his fellow CEO takes over, that’s a good sign of a political compromise to paper over the fact that the second CEO’s company is going to be in charge long term.
Which company will end up with the majority of the seats on the new board of directors? This is often a key tie breaker. When Company A and Company B insist it’s a merger of equals and other checklist items are inconclusive, if one ends up with 60 percent of the board seats and the other gets 40 percent, that’s a good indication of which is going to be in charge. Also, make sure you get not only the short-term makeup of the board of the combined company, but also whether there were any deals cut for some members to retire in short order.
Where will the company be headquartered? Since CEOs typically do the negotiating and they typically aren’t anxious to move, this can be an informative tell.

meridians Use numerals and lowercase to identify the imaginary locater lines that ring the globe from north to south through the poles. They are measured in units of 0 to 180 degrees east and west of the prime meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England. Examples: 33rd meridian (if location east or west of Greenwich is obvious), 1st meridian west, 100th meridian.

merry-go-round

Mesa Air Headquarters is in Phoenix.

messiah Capitalize in religious uses. Lowercase when used generically to mean a liberator.

metadata Data about data. Examples of metadata include descriptors indicating when information was created, by whom and in what format. Do not use in a story without an explanation of what information is being revealed in a given set of metadata: Investigators determined that Johnson wrote the document by analyzing its metadata, which indicated that it had been saved on his computer.

meter The basic unit of length in the metric system. It is equal to approximately 39.37 inches, which may be rounded off to 39.5 inches in most comparisons. It takes 100 centimeters to make a meter. It takes 1,000 meters to make a kilometer. To convert to inches, multiply by 39.37 (5 meters X 39.37--196.85 inches). To convert to yards, multiply by 1.1 (5 meters X 1.1--5.5 yards).

Methodist churches The term Methodist originated as a nickname applied to a group of 18thcentury Oxford University students known for their methodical application to Scripture study and prayer. The principal Methodist body in the United States is the United Methodist Church, which also has some member conferences outside the United States. It was formed in 1968 by the merger of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church. It has about 10 million members.

metric system Use metric terms when they are the primary form in which the source of a story has provided statistics. Follow the metric units with equivalents in the terms more widely known in the United States. Normally, the equivalent should be in parentheses after the metric figure. Conversions: o Fahrenheit to Celsius: Subtract 32, then multiply by .55. o Celsius to Fahrenheit: Multiply by 1.8, then add 32. To avoid the need for long strings of figures, prefixes are added to the metric units to denote fractional elements or large multiples. The prefixes are: pico- (one-trillionth), nano- (one-billionth), micro- (one-millionth), milli- (one-thousandth), centi- (one-hundredth), deci- (one-tenth), deka- (10 units), hecto- (100 units), giga- (1 billion units), tera- (1 trillion units). Entries for each prefix show how to convert a unit preceded by the prefix to the basic unit. ABBREVIATIONS: The abbreviation mm for millimeter is acceptable in references to film widths (8mm film) and weapons (a 105mm cannon). (No space between numeral and abbreviation.) Do not otherwise use metric abbreviations in news copy. The principal abbreviations, for reference in the event they are used by a source, are: g (gram), kg (kilogram), t (metric ton), m (meter), cm (centimeter), km (kilometer), mm (millimeter), L (liter, capital L to avoid confusion with the figure 1) and mL (milliliter).

metric ton Equal to approximately 2,204.62 pounds.

Metro Acceptable in references to the King County Department of Transportation, which is the proper name after the merger in January 1996 with the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle. The intergovernmental agency administers transit and sewer services in King County. When referring to the transit operations, use Metro Transit.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. MGM is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Culver City, Calif.

Mexico There are 31 states and Mexico City, the capital and an independent federal district run by a city government. The states are Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Coahuila, Colima, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatan and Zacatecas. Mexican states elect their own governor and legislators. Congress is made up of two houses: the lower House of Deputies, with 500 members, and the Senate, with 128 members. In datelines, use only the city and country.

Mexico City The city in Mexico stands alone in datelines.

MGM Acceptable in all uses for Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer Inc.

Miami The city in Florida stands alone in datelines.

Michigan Abbrev.: Mich.

micro A prefix denoting 1 million units of a measure. Move a decimal point six places to the right, adding zeros if necessary, to convert to the basic unit: 5.5 megatons--5,500,000 tons. No hyphen.

micro- A prefix denoting one-millionth of a unit. No hyphen in microsecond, micromanage, etc. Move a decimal point six places to the left in converting to the basic unit: 2,999,888.5 microseconds--2.9998885 seconds.

microwave Adjective, noun and verb forms the same: A microwave recipe. Put it in the microwave. Microwave on high power for 20 minutes.

mid(-) midafternoon, midair, mid-America, Mid-Atlantic, midchannel, midcontinent, midday, Mideast, midfield, midland, midmorning, midocean, midsection, midship, midtown, midway, midweek, Midwest, midwife, mid-30s

Middle Ages A.D. 476 to approximately A.D. 1450.

Middle Atlantic States As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, they are New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Less formal references often consider Delaware part of the group.

Middle East The term applies to southwest Asia west of Pakistan and Afghanistan (Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Yemen, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen), northeastern Africa (Egypt and Sudan), and the island of Cyprus. Popular usage once distinguished between the Near East (the westerly nations in the listing) and the Middle East (the easterly nations), but the two terms now overlap, with current practice favoring Middle East for both areas. Use Middle East unless Near East is used by a source in a story. Mideast is also acceptable, but Middle East is preferred.

middle initials (exception to AP) Use middle initial only in crime stories or when it always is part of a well-known person’s name: Edward R. Murrow, Edward G. Robinson. Also use to distinguish between two people: Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, son of the late Richard J. Daley.

middle(-) middle age (n.), middle-aged (adj.), middle class (n.), middle-class (adj.), middleman, middle-of-the-road, middleweight

middleman

midget Considered offensive when used to describe a person of short stature. Dwarf is the preferred term for people with that medical or genetic condition. See dwarf.



midnight Do not put a 12 in front of it. It is part of the day that is ending, not the one that is beginning.

midshipman Proper title for men and women enrolled at the Naval Academy.

Midwest, Midwestern Don’t use Middle West.

MiG The i in this designation for a type of Soviet fighter is lowercase because it is the Russian word for and. The initials are from the last names of the designers, Arten Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich. The forms: MiG-19, MiG-21s.

mike (n.) Shortened form of microphone. Microphone preferred on first reference. Use miked, miking as the verb forms.

mile Also called a statute mile, it equals 5,280 feet. The metric equivalent is approximately 1.6 kilometers. To convert to kilometers, multiply by 1.6 (5 miles x 1.6 equals 8 kilometers). Use figures for amounts under 10 in dimensions, formulas and speeds: The farm measures 5 miles by 4 miles. The car slowed to 7 mph. The new model gets 4 miles more per gallon. Spell out below 10 in distances: He drove four miles.

miles per gallon The abbreviation mpg (no periods) is acceptable on second reference.

miles per hour The abbreviation mph (no periods) is acceptable in all references.

military academies Capitalize U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy. Retain capitalization if the U.S. is dropped: the Air Force Academy, etc. Lowercase academy whenever it stands alone. Cadet is the proper title on first reference for men and women enrolled at the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard academies. Midshipman is the proper title for men and women enrolled at the Naval Academy. Use the appropriate title on first reference. On second reference, use last name.

military titles



Capitalize a military rank when used as a formal title before an individual’s name. See the lists that follow to determine whether the title should be spelled out or abbreviated in regular text. Spell out any title used before a name in a direct quotation. On first reference, use the appropriate title before the full name of a member of the military. In subsequent references, do not continue using the title before a name. Use only the last name. Spell out and lowercase a title when it is substituted for a name: Gen. John J. Pershing arrived today. An aide said the general would review the troops. In some cases, it may be necessary to explain the significance of a title: Army Sgt. Maj. John Jones described the attack. Jones, who holds the Army’s highest rank for enlistees, said it was unprovoked. In addition to the ranks listed on the next page, each service has ratings such as machinist, radarman, torpedoman, etc., that are job descriptions. Do not use any of these designations as a title on first reference. If one is used before a name in a subsequent reference, do not capitalize or abbreviate it.

ABBREVIATIONS: The abbreviations, with the highest ranks listed first:

MILITARY TITLES Rank Usage before a name ARMY Commissioned Officers general Gen. lieutenant general Lt. Gen. major general Maj. Gen. brigadier general Brig. Gen. colonel Col. lieutenant colonel Lt. Col. major Maj. captain Capt. first lieutenant 1st Lt. second lieutenant 2nd Lt. Warrant Officers chief warrant officer Chief Warrant Officer warrant officer Warrant Officer Enlisted Personnel sergeant major of the Army Sgt. Maj. of the Army command sergeant major Command Sgt. Maj. sergeant major Sgt. Maj. first sergeant 1st Sgt. master sergeant Master Sgt. sergeant first class Sgt. 1st Class staff sergeant Staff Sgt. sergeant Sgt. corporal Cpl. specialist Spc. private first class Pfc. private Pvt.

NAVY, COAST GUARD Commissioned Officers admiral Adm. vice admiral Vice Adm. rear admiral upper half Rear Adm. rear admiral lower half Rear Adm. captain Capt. commander Cmdr. lieutenant commander Lt. Cmdr. lieutenant Lt. lieutenant junior grade Lt. j.g. ensign Ensign Warrant Officers chief warrant officer Chief Warrant Officer Enlisted Personnel master chief petty officer of the Navy Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy master chief petty officer Master Chief Petty Officer senior chief petty officer Senior Chief Petty Officer chief petty officer Chief Petty Officer petty officer first class Petty Officer 1st Class petty officer second class Petty Officer 2nd Class petty officer third class Petty Officer 3rd Class seaman Seaman seaman apprentice Seaman Apprentice seaman recruit Seaman Recruit

MARINE CORPS Ranks and abbreviations for commissioned officers are the same as those in the Army. Warrant officer ratings follow the same system used in the Navy. There are no specialist ratings. Others sergeant major of the Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps sergeant major Sgt. Maj. master gunnery sergeant Master Gunnery Sgt. first sergeant 1st Sgt. master sergeant Master Sgt. gunnery sergeant Gunnery Sgt. staff sergeant Staff Sgt. sergeant Sgt. corporal Cpl. lance corporal Lance Cpl. private first class Pfc. private Pvt.

AIR FORCE Ranks and abbreviations for commissioned officers are the same as those in the Army. Enlisted Designations chief master sergeant of the Air Force Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force chief master sergeant Chief Master Sgt. senior master sergeant Senior Master Sgt. master sergeant Master Sgt. technical sergeant Tech. Sgt. staff sergeant Staff Sgt. senior airman Senior Airman airman first class Airman 1st Class airman Airman airman basic Airman PLURALS: Add s to the principal element in the title: Majs. John Jones and Robert Smith; Maj. Gens. John Jones and Robert Smith; Spcs. John Jones and Robert Smith.

RETIRED OFFICERS: A military rank may be used in first reference before the name of an officer who has retired if it is relevant to a story. Do not, however, use the military abbreviation Ret. Instead, use retired just as former would be used before the title of a civilian: They invited retired Army Gen. John Smith.

FIREFIGHTERS, POLICE OFFICERS: Use the abbreviations listed here when a military-style title is used before the name of a firefighter or police officer outside a direct quotation. Add police or fire before the title if needed for clarity: police Sgt. William Smith, fire Capt. David Jones. Spell out titles such as detective that are not used in the armed forces.

military units Use Arabic figures and capitalize the key words when linked with the figures: 1st Infantry Division (or the 1st Division), 5th Battalion, 395th Field Artillery, 7th Fleet. But: the division, the battalion, the artillery, the fleet.

Mill Creek

millennium Watch spelling: two l’s and two n’s.

milli- A prefix denoting one-thousandth of a unit. Move a decimal three places to the left in converting to the basic unit: 1,567.5 millimeters equals 1.5675 meters.

milligram One-thousandth of a gram. Equal to approximately one-twenty-eight-thousandth of an ounce. To convert to ounces, multiply by 0.000035 (140 milligrams x 0.000035 equals 0.0049 ounces).

milliliter One-thousandth of a liter. Equal to approximately one-fifth of a teaspoon. Thirty milliliters equal 1 fluid ounce. To convert to teaspoons, multiply by .2 (5 milliliters x .2 equals 1 teaspoon).

millimeter One-thousandth of a meter. It takes 10 millimeters to make a centimeter. A millimeter is roughly equal to the thickness of a paper clip. To convert to inches, multiply by .04 (5 millimeters x .04 is .2 of an inch). May be abbreviated as mm when used with a numeral in first or subsequent references to film or weapons: 35mm film, 105mm artillery piece. (No space after numeral.)

millions, billions Use figures with million or billion in all except casual uses: I’d like to make a billion dollars. But: The nation has 1 million citizens. I need $7 billion. Do not go beyond two decimals: 7.51 million people, $256 billion, 7,542,500 people, $2,565,750,000. Decimals are preferred where practical: 1.5 million. Not: 1 1/2 million. Do not mix millions and billions in the same figure: 2.6 billion. Not: 2 billion 600 million. Do not drop the word million or billion in the first figure of a range: He is worth from $2 million to $4 million. Not: $2 to $4 million, unless you really mean $2. Note that a hyphen is not used to join the figures and the word million or billion, even in this type of phrase: The president submitted a $300 billion budget.

milquetoast Not milk toast when referring to a shrinking, apologetic person. Derived from Caspar Milquetoast, a character in a comic strip by Harold T. Webster.

Milwaukee The city in Wisconsin stands alone in datelines.

mimeograph Formerly a trademark, now a generic term.

mindset

mini- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: minibus, minicamp, miniskirt, miniseries, minimart.

minimally conscious state



In this condition, the eyes are open but the patient shows only minimal and intermittent signs of awareness of himself and his environment. He responds only inconsistently when asked to gesture, move or speak. At times, he may be able to:
reach for objects and hold them appropriately
smile or cry appropriately in response to what he hears or sees
indicate Yes or No by word or gesture
follow moving objects with his eyes.

But again, these abilities come and go, and a given patient may not be able to do all these things.

An Arkansas man named Terry Wallis lingered in a minimally conscious state for almost 20 years before suddenly emerging from it in 2003.

minister It is not a formal title. Do not use it before the name of a member of the clergy.

ministry

Minneapolis The city in Minnesota stands alone in datelines.

Minnesota Abbrev.: Minn.

Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Its products are known under the names 3M and Scotch. The company is popularly known as 3M. Headquarters is in St. Paul, Minn.

minority leader Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name: Minority Leader Bob Dole.

minus sign Use a hyphen, not a dash, but use the word minus if there is any danger of confusion. Use a word, not a minus sign, to indicate temperatures below zero: minus 10 or 5 below zero.

minuscule Not miniscule.

mips Acronym for million instructions per second. Spell out on first reference.

MIRV, MIRVs Acceptable on first reference for multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle(s).

misdemeanor

mishap A minor misfortune. People are not killed in mishaps.

mismatches The Marysville City Council is looking down the road at saving money as they pin their hopes ... This is a pronoun mismatch. If it starts out singular, or plural, keep it that way. There are occasions for exceptions for effect, but generally not in a straight news story.

missile names Use Arabic figures and capitalize the proper name but not the word missile: Pershing 2 missile.

missing elements Government entities generally should be preceded by an article. The city council. The planning board. He will take it up with council is jargon.

mission Lowercase when standing alone, but: The United States Mission, the French Mission.

Mississippi Abbrev.: Miss.

Missouri Abbrev.: Mo.

mix up (v.) mix-up (n. and adj.)

mixed martial arts Generic term for bouts featuring boxing, wrestling, taekwondo and judo. Don’t use ultimate fighting, a registered trademark, unless the event is sanctioned by Ultimate Fighting Championship.

MLT Acceptable as an abbreviation for Mountlake Terrace in very tight head counts. But include the full name in a deck or summary head to help the reader.

Moammar Gadhafi Col. Moammar Gadhafi, Libyan leader

mock-up (n.)

model numbers Use figures and capital letters in solid form: A12345.

modem Modulator/demodulator.

Mohammed Muhammad is the preferred spelling for the name of the founder of the Islamic religion. Use Mohammed or other spellings only if preferred by a specific person for his own name or in a title or the name of an organization.

Molotov cocktail

mom, dad Do not use welfare mom or deadbeat dad. Use mom or dad appropriately, but not in crime news. Capitalize mom or dad if used as a substitute for a parent’s name, as in : You know what Mom always says ... But as a general reference, My dad has all these sayings that he lives by.

Monaco After the Vatican, the world’s smallest state. The Monaco section stands alone in datelines. The other two sections, La Condamine and Monte Carlo, are followed by Monaco: MONTE CARLO, Monaco

Monday morning quarterback One who second guesses.

monetary Monetary applies to money supply. Fiscal applies to budgetary matters.

monetary units

moneymaker

Monroe

monsignor

Montana Abbrev.: Mont.

Montessori method After Maria Montessori, a system of training young children. It emphasizes training of the senses and guidance to encourage selfeducation.

monthlong

months Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone. When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas. EXAMPLES: January 1992 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. His birthday is May 8. Feb. 14, 1996, was the target date. In tabular material, use these three-letter forms without a period: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec.

Montreal The city in Canada stands alone in datelines.

monuments Capitalize the popular names of monuments and similar public attractions: Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty, Washington Monument, Leaning Tower of Pisa, etc.

moon Lowercase.

mop up (v.) mop-up (n. and adj.)

moped Not mo-ped.

more than Usually preferred to over. But if it is preceded by a modifier, over may be preferable. Well more than mangles the idiom. Likewise, just under an hour reads better than just less than an hour. Over may also read better with ages: She is over 30.

Mormon Church Acceptable in all references for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but always include the full name in a story dealing primarily with church activities.

mortgage-backed security A bond backed by home or commercial mortgage payments. These provide income from payments of the underlying mortgages.

Moscow The city in Russia stands alone in datelines.

Moslem(s) The preferred term to describe adherents of Islam is Muslim(s).

mosquito, mosquitoes

Mother Nature Use sparingly, if at all.

mother-in-law, mothers-in-law

Mother’s Day The second Sunday in May.

motor

motor home Two words.

mount Spell out in all uses, including the names of communities and of mountains: Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, Mount Vernon. Mountain Standard Time (MST), Mountain

Daylight Time (MDT)

Mountain States As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, the eight are Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

mountains Capitalize as part of a proper name: Appalachian Mountains, Ozark Mountains, Rocky Mountains. Or simply: the Appalachians, the Ozarks, the Rockies.

Mountlake Terrace Terrace is acceptable in very tight head counts. But use the full name in a deck or summary head to help the reader.

movie studios Major studios are: Artisan, owned by Lionsgate Entertainment Corp.; Columbia, owned by Sony Corp.; Dimension, owned by The Weinstein Co.; Disney, owned by The Walt Disney Co.; DreamWorks SKG, part of Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures unit; DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.; Fine Line, part of Time Warner Inc.’s First Look Pictures, owned by First Look Media Inc.; Focus Features, unit of Universal Pictures, part of General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal; Twentieth Century Fox, owned by News Corp.; Fox Searchlight, owned by News Corp.; IFC Films, owned by Cablevision Systems Corp.; Lionsgate, owned by Lionsgate Entertainment Corp.; MGM Pictures and United Artists, owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., owned by a group of investors headed by Sony Corp.; Miramax, owned by The Walt Disney Co.; New Line, owned by Time Warner Inc.; Newmarket, independent; Paramount, owned by Viacom Inc.; Pixar Animation Studios, owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Screen Gems, owned by Sony Corp.; Sony Pictures Classics, owned by Sony Corp.; THINKFilm, independent; Touchstone, owned by The Walt Disney Co.; TriStar, owned by Sony Corp.; Universal, owned by NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric Co.; Warner Bros., owned by Time Warner Inc.; and The Weinstein Co.

movie ratings The ratings used by the Motion Picture Association of America are:

G General audiences. All ages admitted.

PG Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

PG-13 Special parental guidance strongly suggested for children under 13. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.

R Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

NC-17 No one under 17 admitted. When the ratings are used in news stories or reviews, use these forms as appropriate: the movie has an R rating, an R-rated movie, the movie is R-rated.

movie titles Use quotation marks, capitalize principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. Capitalize the, a, and or words with fewer than four letters when they are the first or last words in title.

MPEG-2 An international standard for digital video compression and decompression. MPEG is an acronym for Moving Picture Experts Group. MPEG-2 is usually sufficient in stories. MPEG-4 applies to a newer video standard.

mpg Acceptable in all references for miles per gallon.

mph Acceptable in all referencess for miles per hour or miles an hour.

Mr., Mrs. These abbreviated spellings apply in all uses, including direct quotations. Don’t use plural forms Messrs., Mmes.

MRI Magnetic resonance imaging, a noninvasive diagnostic procedure used to render images of the inside of an object. It is primarily used in medical imaging to demonstrate pathological or other physiological alterations of living tissues. MRI is acceptable on first reference and in all uses.

Ms. This is the spelling and punctuation for all uses of the courtesy title, including direct quotations. There is no plural.

Muhammad The prophet and founder of the Islamic religion. Use other spellings only if preferred by a specific person for his own name or in a title or the name of an organization.

Mujahedeen

Mukilteo Also: Mukilteo School District.

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

Multigraph A trademark for a brand of dictating machine.

Multilith A trademark for a brand of duplicating machine.

Mumbai India’s largest city, formerly known as Bombay. (Also, Chennai, formerly Madras.)

murder In Washington state, first-degree murder means a premeditated intent to kill. Second-degree murder is the killing of a person with intent but without deliberation and premeditation.

murderer No one is a murderer until convicted in a court of law. Don’t call victim murdered until someone is convicted, or unless no suspect has been named. Use slain or killed instead.

Murphy’s law The law is: If something can go wrong, it will.

mushroom According to the Mushroom Council of America, portabella is the correct spelling of a madeup word for overgrown crimini mushrooms.

music Capitalize, but do not use quotation marks, on descriptive titles for orchestral works: Bach’s Suite No. 1 for Orchestra; Beethoven’s Senerade for Flute, Violin and Viola. If the instrumentation is not part of the title but is added for explanantory purposes, the names of the instruments are lowercased: Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major (the common title) for violin and viola. If in doubt, lowercase the names of the instruments. Use quotation marks for nonmusical terms in a title: Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. If the work has a special full title, all of it is quoted: Symphonie Fantastique, Rhapsody in Blue. In subsequent references, lowercase symphony, concerto, etc.

music companies Major music companies: Arista, owned by Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a joint venture between Sony Corp. and Bertelsmann AG, a German media conglomerate; Bad Boy, owned by Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, a private company founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs and halfowned by Warner Music Group Corp.; Capitol, EMI, Virgin, owned by EMI Group PLC; Columbia, owned by Sony BMG Music Entertainment; Def Jam, owned by Island Def Jam Group, a unit of Universal Music Group, a subsidiary of Vivendi, a French media and telecommunications company; Epic, owned by Sony BMG Music Entertainment; Jive, owned by Sony BMG Music Entertainment; LaFace, owned by Sony BMG Music Entertainment; RCA, owned by SONY BMG Music Entertainment; Sony, owned by Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and Warner, owned by Warner Music Group Corp.

musket

Muslims The preferred term to describe adherents of Islam. A Black Muslim is a member of a predominantly black Islamic sect in the United States. However, the term is considered derogatory by members of the sect, who call themselves Muslims.

mustache

mute Don’t use this term to describe a speechimpaired person.

Mutual Broadcasting System Inc. Mutual Radio is acceptable in all references. Use Mutual, not MBS, in subsequent references.

Muzak A trademark for a type of recorded background music.

M’ville Under the Jim Kjeldsen Memorial Dictate of 2007, this is no longer allowed as an abbreviation for Marysville in very tight head counts.

Myanmar Use this name for the country and the language. Use Myanmar people or Myanmar for the inhabitants. (Formerly Burma.)

MySpace

NAACP Acceptable on first reference to avoid a cumbersome lead but spell out National Association for the Advancement of Colored People later in the story. Headquarters is in Baltimore.

naive

Native American Acceptable for those in the U.S. Follow the person’s preference. Where possible, be precise and use the name of the tribe: He is a Navajo commissioner. In stories about American Indians, such words or terms as wampum, warpath, powwow, teepee, brave, squaw, etc., can be disparaging and offensive. See nationalities and races, and race entries.

names, nicknames A nickname should be used in place of a person’s given name in news stories only when it is the way the individual prefers to be known: Tom Foley, Jimmy Carter, Dick Cheney. When a nickname is used along with the formal name, use quotation marks: Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson. In sports, a nickname may be substituted for a first name: Catfish Hunter, Bubba Smith. Some celebrities’ singleword names stand alone: Sting, Cher, Bono. Capitalize without quotation marks such terms as Sunshine State, the Old Dominion, Motown, the Magic City, Old Hickory, Old Glory.

nano- A prefix denoting one-billionth of a unit. Move a decimal point nine places to the left in converting to the basic unit: 2,999,888,777.5 nanoseconds equals 2.9998887775 seconds.

naphtha

narrow-minded

NASA Acceptable on first reference, but spell out National Aeronautics and Space Administration somewhere in story.

NASCAR Use the acronym in all uses. The NASCAR name is so well-established there’s no need to refer to it as the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing unless the story calls for it to be spelled out.

Nasdaq NASD is the National Association of Securities Dealers. Nasdaq refers to their system of trading stocks. In other words, NASD is the group of dealers, and Nasdaq (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation) is their system for buying and selling stocks. Use lower case.

national

national anthem Lowercase. But “The Star- Spangled Banner.”

National Association of Letter Carriers The shortened form Letter Carriers union is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington.

National Baptist Convention of America

National Baptist Convention U.S.A. Inc.

National Broadcasting Co.

national chairman Capitalize when used before the name of the individual who heads a political party: Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe.

National Conference of Catholic Bishops National Council of the Churches of Christ in the

U.S.A. This interdenominational, cooperative body includes most major Protestant and Eastern Orthodox denominations in the United States. The shortened form National Council of Churches is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in New York.

National Education Association NEA is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Washington.

National Governors’ Association Note the apostrophe. Represents the governors of the 50 states and five territories. Its office is in Washington, D.C.

National Guard Capitalize when referring to U.S. or state-level forces: the National Guard, the Guard, the Iowa National Guard, Iowa’s National Guard, National Guard troops. Use lowercase for the forces of other nations.

National Guardsman Note spelling. Capitalize as a proper noun when referring to an individual in a federal or state National Guard unit: He is a National Guardsman. Don’t use guardsman when it stands alone. Call them troops instead.

National Hurricane Center The National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center in Coral Gables, Fla., has overall responsibility for tracking and providing information about tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. The service’s Eastern Pacific Hurricane Center in San Francisco is responsible for hurricane information in the Pacific Ocean area north of the equator and east of 140 degrees west longitude. The service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu is responsible for hurricane information in the Pacific Ocean area north of the equator from 140 degrees west longitude to 180 degrees.

National Institutes of Health NIH is acceptable on second reference. This agency within the Department of Health and Human Services is the principal biomedical research arm of the federal government. It consists of the National Library of Medicine, 12 separate institutes and various divisions that provide centralized support services for the individual institutes. The 12 institutes are: National Cancer Institute; National Eye Institute; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; National Institute of Dental Research; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; National Institute of General Medical Sciences; National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke; National Institute on Aging.

National Labor Relations Board The board is acceptable on second reference.

National League of Cities Its members are the governments of cities with 30,000 or more residents, and some state and municipal leagues. It is separate from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, whose membership is limited to mayors of cities with 30,000 or more residents. The organizations often engage in joint projects, however. The office is in Washington.

National Organization for Women Not of. NOW is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Washington.

National Rifle Association NRA is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Washington.

National Weather Service No longer the U.S. Weather Bureau. The weather service (lowercase) may be used in any reference.

nationalist Lowercase when referring to a partisan of a country. Capitalize only when referring to alignment with a political party for which this is the proper name.

Nationalist China

nationalities and races Capitalize the proper names of nationalities, peoples, races, tribes, etc.: Arab, Arabic, African, American, Caucasian, Cherokee, Chinese (both singular and plural), Eskimo (plural Eskimos), French Canadian, Japanese (singular and plural), Jew, Jewish, Nordic, Sioux, Swede, etc. See entry on race for guidelines on when racial identification is pertinent in a story. Use derogatory terms only in direct quotes when essential to the story and flag the contents in an editor’s note.

nationwide

native Denotes that an individual was born in a given location: Jane Doe is an Everett native.

NATO Acceptable on first references for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to avoid a burdensome lead, but spell it out later in the story.

Naugahyde A trademark for a brand of simulated leather.

nautical mile It equals one minute of arc of a great circle or 6,076.11549 feet, or 1,852 meters. To convert to approximate statute miles (5,280 feet), multiply the number of nautical miles by 1.15.

naval station Capitalize only as part of a proper name: Naval Station Everett.

naval, navel Naval pertains to a navy. Lowercase naval standing alone. A navel is a bellybutton. A navel orange is a seedless orange, so named because it has a small depression, like a navel, at its apex.

navy Capitalize when referring to U.S. forces: the U.S. Navy, the Navy, Navy policy. Do not use the abbreviation USN. Lowercase when referring to the naval forces of other nations: the British navy. This approach has been adopted for consistency, because many foreign nations do not use navy as the proper name.

Navy bases Our style for our two local Navy bases uses the proper name of one and the common name of the other: Naval Station Everett and Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

navy terminology Ships are identified by their full name on first reference (the USS Abraham Lincoln or the USS Rodney M. Davis) and then just by the last name for subsequent references (the Lincoln or the Davis). Navy personnel need to be identified as such in Navy stories, meaning they need to have at least their rank listed and possibly their rate. The rank is the person’s title, the rate is the person’s job. Example: Petty Officer 1st Class Ariel Whitethorne (rank), a signalman (rate) aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.... Or: Ariel Whitethorne, a petty officer first class on the Lincoln... Enlisted sailors, however, tend to identify themselves by their rate, such as SM2 Doe, meaning Petty Officer 2nd Class Doe, a signalman).

Nazi, Nazism (neo-Nazi) Derived from the German for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, the fascist political party founded in 1919 and abolished in 1945. Under Adolf Hitler, it seized control of Germany in 1933. Capitalize when referring to the party or its adherents, as in neo-Nazi.

NBC Acceptable in all references for the National Broadcasting Co., a subsidiary of RCA Corp. Divisions are NBC News, NBC Radio and NBC-TV.

NC-17 The movie rating that denotes individuals under 17 are not admitted. (Previously, an X rating.)

NCR Corp. Formerly National Cash Register Co. Headquarters is in Dayton, Ohio.

Near East There is no longer a substantial distinction between this term and Middle East.

near miss No hyphen, nor in other near constructions, such as near accident.

nearshore waters The waters extended to five miles from shore.

nearsighted When used in a medical sense, it means an individual can see well at close range but has difficulty seeing objects at a distance.

Nebraska Abbrev.: Neb.

negligee

neither ... nor The nouns that follow these words do not constitute a compound subject. They are alternate subjects and require a verb that agrees with the nearer subject. Neither they nor he is going. Neither he nor they are going.

Nestle Headquarters is in Vevey, Switzerland.

net income, net profit Go to profit terminology in the Business guidelines and style section.

Netherlands In datelines, give the name of the community followed by Netherlands. In stories: the Netherlands or Netherlands as the construction of a sentence dictates.

Netherlands Antilles In datelines, give the name of the community followed by Netherlands Antilles. Do not abbreviate. Identify an individual island, if needed, in the text.

neutron weapon A small warhead designed to be mounted on a missile or fired from an 8-inch gun. It produces twice the deadly radiation of older, tactical nuclear warheads but less than one-tenth as much explosive power, heat and fallout. This means the warhead can kill people while causing little damage to buildings and other structures. It is not a bomb. If neutron bomb is used in a direct quote, explain in a subsequent paragraph that the warhead would be fired on a missile or from artillery and not dropped, like a bomb, from a plane.

Nevada Abbrev.: Nev.

New Age Uppercase in reference to the philosophy or music of the contemporary cultural movement.

New Brunswick One of the three Maritime Provinces of Canada. Do not abbreviate.

New Delhi The city in India stands alone in datelines.

New England Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

New Hampshire Abbrev.: N.H.

New Jersey Abbrev.: N.J.

New Mexico Abbrev.: N.M.

New Orleans The city in Louisiana stands alone in datelines.

New South The era that began in the South in the 1960s with a thriving economy and the election of state officials who advocated the abolition of racial segregation. Old South applies to the South before the Civil War.

New Testament

New World The Western Hemisphere.

New Year New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day. But: What will the new year bring? The federal legal holiday is observed on Friday if Jan. 1 falls on a Saturday, on Monday if it falls on a Sunday.

New York Abbrev.: N.Y. Use New York state when a distinction must be made between state and city.

New York City Use NEW YORK in datelines, not the name of an individual community or borough such as Flushing or Queens. Identify boroughs (Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island) in the body of the story if pertinent.

New York Stock Exchange NYSE is acceptable on second reference as an adjective. Use the stock exchange or the exchange for other second references. Capitalize the nickname Big Board when used.

newspapers The 20 largest U.S. newspapers by circulation, with owners, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations: USA Today, Gannett Co. The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Co., a division of News Corp. The New York Times, The New York Times Co. Los Angeles Times, Tribune Co. New York Daily News, real estate billionaire Mortimer B. Zuckerman New York Post, News Corp. The Washington Post, The Washington Post Co. Chicago Tribune, Tribune Co. Houston Chronicle, Hearst Corp. Newsday, Tribune Co. The Arizona Republic, Gannett Co. Dallas Morning News, A.H. Belo Corp. San Francisco Chronicle, Hearst Corp. The Boston Globe, The New York Times Co. The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., Advance Publications Inc. The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Avista Capital Partners The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Advance Publications Inc. Detroit Free Press, Gannett Co. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cox Newspapers, a division of Cox Enterprises Inc.

Newfoundland This Canadian province comprises the island of Newfoundland and the mainland section known as Labrador. Do not abbreviate. In datelines, use Newfoundland after the names of all cities and towns. Specify in the text whether the community is on the island or in Labrador.

Newspaper Association of America Formerly the American Newspaper Publishers Association. Do not use NAA.

Newspaper Guild, The Formerly the American Newspaper Guild, it is a union for newspaper and news service employees, generally those in the news and business departments. On second reference: the Guild. Headquarters is in Washington.

newspaper names Do not place in quotes. Capitalize the in a newspaper’s name if that is the way the publication prefers to be known. Uppercase when in doubt. Don’t uppercase “The” in the Associated Press. Lowercase the before newspaper names if a story mentions several papers, some of which use the as part of the name and some of which do not. Where location is needed but is not part of the official name, use parentheses: The Huntsville (Ala.) Times. Consult the International Year Book published by Editor & Publisher to determine whether a two-name combination is hyphenated.

newsstand

nicknames A nickname should be used in place of a person’s given name in news stories only when it is the way the individual prefers to be known: Jimmy Carter. When a nickname is inserted into the identification of an individual, use quotation marks: Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson. In sports stories and sports columns, commonly used nicknames may be substituted for a first name without the use of quotation marks: Woody Hayes, Bear Bryant, Catfish Hunter, Bubba Smith. But in sports stories where the given name is used, and in all news stories: Paul Bear Bryant. Capitalize without quotation marks such terms as Sunshine State, the Old Dominion, Motown, the Magic City, Old Hickory, Old Glory, Galloping Ghost.

night- nightcap, nightclothes, nightclub, nightdress, nightfall, nightgown, night life, nightlong, nightmare, night owl, night school, nightstick, nighttime, night watch.

nitpicking

nitty-gritty

no man’s land

No. Use as the abbreviation for number in conjunction with a figure to indicate position or rank: No. 1 man, No. 3 choice. Do not use in street addresses, with this exception: No. 10 Downing St., the residence of Britain’s prime minister. Do not use in the names of schools: Public School 19.

NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Nobel Prize, Nobel Prizes The five established under terms of the will of Alfred Nobel are: Nobel Peace Prize, Nobel Prize in chemistry, Nobel Prize in literature, Nobel Prize in physics, Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. (Note the capitalization styles.) The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences is not a Nobel Prize in the same sense. The Central Bank of Sweden established it in 1968 as a memorial to Alfred Nobel. References to this prize should include the word Memorial to help make this distinction. Explain the status of the prize in the story when appropriate. Nobel Prize award ceremonies are held on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896. The award ceremony for peace is in Oslo and the other ceremonies are in Stockholm. Capitalize prize in references that do not mention the category: He is a Nobel Prize winner. She is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist. Lowercase prize when not linked with the word Nobel: The peace prize was awarded Monday.

nobility References to members of the nobility in nations that have a system of rank present special problems because nobles frequently are known by their titles rather than their given or family names. Their titles, in effect, become their names. The guidelines here relate to Britain’s nobility. Adapt them as appropriate to members of nobility in other nations. Orders of rank among British nobility begin with the royal family. The term royalty is reserved for the families of living and deceased sovereigns. Next, in descending order, are dukes, marquesses (also called marquises), earls, viscounts and barons. Many hold inherited titles; others have been raised to the nobility by the sovereign for their lifetimes. Occasionally the sovereign raises an individual to the nobility and makes the title inheritable by the person’s heirs, but the practice is increasingly rare. Sovereigns also confer honorary titles, which do not make an individual a member of the nobility. The principal designations, in descending order, are baronet and knight. Honorary titles and titles of nobility are capitalized when they serve as an alternate name.

ROYALTY: Capitalize king, queen, prince and princess when they are used directly before one or more names; lowercase when they stand alone: Queen Elizabeth II. Also capitalize a longer form of the sovereign’s title when its use is appropriate in a story or it is being quoted: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Use Prince or Princess before the names of a sovereign’s children: Princess Anne, the princess. The male heir to the throne normally is designated Prince of Wales, and the title becomes, in common usage, an alternate name. Capitalize when used: The queen invested her eldest son as Prince of Wales. Prince Charles is now the Prince of Wales. The prince is a bachelor. Charles, Prince of Wales, was married today.

DUKE: The full title, Duke of Wellington, for example, is an alternate name, capitalized in all uses. Lowercase duke when it stands alone. The designation Arthur, Duke of Wellington, is appropriate in some cases, but never Duke Arthur or Lord Arthur. The wife of a duke is a duchess: the Duchess of Wellington, the duchess, but never Duchess Diana or Lady Diana. A duke normally also has a lesser title. It is commonly used for his eldest son if he has one. Use the courtesy titles Lord or Lady before the first names of a duke’s children. Some examples: Lady Jane Wellesley, only daughter of the eighth Duke of Wellington, has been linked romantically with Prince Charles, heir to the British throne. The eldest of Lady Jane’s four brothers is Arthur Charles, the Marquess Douro. The Wellingtons, whose family name is Wellesley, are not of royal blood. However, they rank among the nation’s most famous aristocrats thanks to the first duke, the victor at Waterloo.

MARQUESS, MARQUIS, EARL, VISCOUNT, BARON: The full titles serve as alternate names and should be capitalized. Frequently, however, the holder of such a title is identified as a lord: The Marquess of Bath, for example, more commonly is known as Lord Bath. Use Lady before the name of a woman married to a man who holds one of these titles. The wife of a marquess is a marchioness, the wife of a marquis is a marquise, the wife of an earl is a countess (earl is the British equivalent of count), the wife of a viscount is a viscountess, the wife of a baron is a baroness. Use Lord or Lady before the first names of the children of a marquess. Use Lady before the first name of an earl’s daughter. The Honorable often appears before the names of sons of earls, viscounts and barons who do not have titles. Their names should stand alone in news stories, however. The Honorable also appears frequently before the names of unmarried daughters of viscounts and barons. In news stories, however, use a full name on first reference, a last name preceded by Miss on second. Some examples: Queen Elizabeth gave her sister’s husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, the title Earl of Snowdon. Their son, David, is the Viscount Linley. They also have a daughter, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones. Lord Snowdon, a photographer, was known as Antony Armstrong-Jones before he received his title.

BARONET, KNIGHT: Use Sir before a name if appropriate in the context; otherwise follow routine practice for names: Sir Harold Wilson on first reference, Sir Harold (not Sir Wilson) on second. Or: Prime Minister Harold Wilson on first reference, Wilson on second. Do not use both an honorary title and a title of authority such as prime minister before a name. Use Lady before the name of the wife of a baronet or knight. For a woman who has received an honor in her own right, use Dame before her name if it is the way she is known or it is appropriate in the context: Dame Margot Fonteyn on first reference, Dame Margot on second.

noisome, noisy Noisome means offensive, noxious. Noisy means clamorous.

Nokia Corp. Headquarters is in Espoo, Finland.

nolo contendere, no contest The literal meaning is, I do not wish to contend. Terms such as no contest or no-contest plea are acceptable in all references. When a defendant in a criminal case enters this plea, it means that he is not admitting guilt but is stating that he will offer no defense. The person is then subject to being judged guilty and punished as if he had pleaded guilty or had been convicted. The principal difference is that the defendant retains the option of denying the same charge in another legal proceeding.

non- This prefix takes no hyphen: nonalighned, nonchalance, nonchalant, nondescript, nonentity, nonsense, nonstop, nonsensical and so forth. But it’s non sequitur.

noncombat, noncombatant

noncontroversial All issues are controversial. A noncontroversial issue is impossible. A controversial issue is redundant.

none It usually means no single one. When used in this sense, it always takes singular verbs and pronouns: None of the seats was in its right place. Use a plural verb only if the sense is no two or no amount: None of the consultants agree on the same approach. None of the taxes have been paid.

nonrestrictive clauses

non-U.S. governmental bodies Capitalize the names of the specific governmental agencies and departments, either with the name of the nation or without it if clear in the context: French Foreign Ministry, the Foreign Ministry.

Lowercase “the ministry” or a similar term when standing alone.

noon Do not put a 12 in front of it.

nordic Lowercase when referring to a type of cross-country skiing.

Norfolk Southern Corp. Freight railroad, with headquarters in Norfolk, Va.

norm

North America

North Carolina Abbrev.: N.C.

North Central region As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, the 12-state region is broken into eastern and western divisions. The five East North Central states are Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. The seven West North Central states are Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

North Dakota Abbrev.: N.D.

North Slope The portion of Alaska north of Brooks Range, a string of mountains extending across the northern part of the state.

north, northern, northeast, northwest Capitalize when referring to a region.

Northeast region As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, the nine-state region is broken into two divisions: the New England states and the Middle Atlantic states. Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont are the New England states. New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania are classified as the Middle Atlantic states.

Northern Ireland Use Northern Ireland after the names of all communities in datelines.

Northwest Airlines Headquarters is in St. Paul, Minn.

Northwest Territories A territorial section of Canada. Do not abbreviate. Use in datelines after the names of all cities and towns in the territory. If necessary, specify in the text whether the community is in one of the three territorial subdivisions: Franklin, Keewatin and Mackenzie.

NorthWest Weathernet Note spelling, cap W.

nouns The abbreviation n. is used here to identify the spelling of the noun forms of words frequently misspelled.

Nova Scotia One of the three Maritime Provinces of Canada. Do not abbreviate.

Novocain A trademark for a drug used as a local anesthetic. It also may be called procaine.

nowadays Not nowdays.

NPR Acceptable in all references to National Public Radio. Producer and distributor of noncommercial news, talk and entertainment programming. Headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission This commission has taken over the regulatory functions previously performed by the Atomic Energy Commission. NRC is acceptable on second reference, but the agency or the commission is preferred.

nuclear terminology



In reporting on nuclear energy, include the definitions of appropriate terms, especially those related to radiation.

CORE: The part of a nuclear reactor that contains its fissionable fuel. In a reactor core, atoms of fuel, such as uranium, are split. This releases energy in the form of heat which, in turn, is used to boil water for steam. The steam powers a turbine, and the turbine drives a generator to produce electricity.

FISSION: The splitting of the nucleus of an atom, releasing energy.

MELTDOWN: The worst possible nuclear accident in which the reactor core overheats to such a degree that the fuel melts. If the fuel penetrates its protective housing, radioactive materials will be released into the environment.

RAD: The standard unit of measurement for absorbed radiation. A millirad is a thousandth of a rad. There is considerable debate among scientists whether there is any safe level of absorption.

RADIATION: Invisible particles or waves given off by radioactive material, such as uranium. Radiation can damage or kill body cells, resulting in latent cancers, genetic damage or death.

REM: The standard unit of measurement of absorbed radiation in living tissue, adjusted for different kinds of radiation so that one rem of any radiation will produce the same biological effect. A millirem is a thousandth of a rem. A diagnostic check X-ray involves between 20 millirems and 30 millirems of radiation. Each American, on average, receives 100 millirems to 200 millirems of radiation a year from natural background sources, such as cosmic rays, and man-made sources, such as diagnostic X-rays. There is considerable debate among scientists over the safety of repeated low doses of radiation.

ROENTGEN: The standard measure of X-ray exposure.

URANIUM: A metallic, radioactive element used as fuel in nuclear reactors.

numbers, numerals



Spell out numerals below 10, use figures for 10 and above. In a series, apply the appropriate guidelines: They had 10 dogs, six cats and 97 hamsters. They had four four-room houses, 10 three-room houses and 12 10-room houses. A numeral is a figure, letter, word or group of words expressing a number. Roman numerals use the letters I, V, X, L, C, D and M. Use Roman numerals for wars and to show personal sequence for animals and people: World War II, Native Dancer II, King George VI, Pope John XXIII. Arabic numerals use the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 0. Use Arabic forms unless Roman numerals are specifically required. The figures 1, 2, 10, 101, etc. and the corresponding words one, two, ten, one hundred one, etc. are called cardinal numbers. The term ordinal number applies to 1st, 2nd, 10th, 101st, first, second, tenth, one hundred first, etc.

Follow these guidelines in using numerals:

LARGE NUMBERS: When large numbers must be spelled out, use a hyphen to connect a word ending in y to another word; do not use commas between other separate words that are part of one number: twenty; thirty; twenty-one; thirty-one; one hundred forty-three; one thousand one hundred fifty-five; one million two hundred seventy-six thousand five hundred eightyseven.

SENTENCE START: Try to avoid starting a sentence with a numeral, but if you must, spell it out. There is one exception: a numeral that identifies a calendar year. Wrong: 993 freshmen entered the college last year. Right: Last year 993 freshmen entered the college. Right: 1976 was a very good year.

CASUAL USES: Spell out casual expressions: A thousand times no! Thanks a million. He walked a quarter of a mile.

PROPER NAMES: Use words or numerals according to an organization’s practice: 3M, Twentieth Century Fund, Big Ten.

FRACTIONS: See fractions

DECIMALS: See decimal units

FIGURES OR WORDS? For ordinals: Spell out first through ninth when they indicate sequence in time or location: first base, the First Amendment, he was first in line. Starting with 10th use figures. Use 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. when the sequence has been assigned in forming names. The principal examples are geographic, military and political designations such as 1st Ward, 7th Fleet and 1st Sgt. See examples in the separate entries listed below. For cardinal numbers, consult the following separate entries: act numbers; addresses; designations; ages; aircraft names; amendments to the Constitution; betting odds; century; channel; chapters; congressional districts; course numbers; court decisions; court names; dates; decades; decimal units; dimensions; distances; district; earthquakes; election returns; fleet; formula; fractions; handicaps; heights; highway; latitude and longitude; mile; millions, billions; model numbers; monetary units; No.; page numbers; parallels; percentages; political divisions; proportions; ratios; recipes; room numbers; route numbers; scene numbers; scores; serial numbers; sizes; spacecraft designations; speeds; telephone numbers; temperatures; and years.

SOME PUNCTUATION AND USAGE EXAMPLES: Act 1, Scene 2; a 5-year-old gir;l DC-10 but 747B; a 5-4 court decision; 2nd District Court; the 1980s, the ‘80s; The House voted 230-205.;Fewer than 1,000 votes; 5 cents, $1.05, $650,000, $2.45 million; No. 3 choice; 0.6 percent, 1 percent, 6.5 percent; a pay increase of 12 percent to 15 percent; Or: a pay increase of between 12 percent and 15 percent; Also: from $12 million to $14 million; a ratio of 2-to-1, a 2-1 ratio; a 4-3 score; 212-262-4000; minus 10, zero, 60 degrees.

OTHER USES: For uses not covered by these listings: Spell out whole numbers below 10, use figures for 10 and above. Typical examples: They had three sons and two daughters. They had a fleet of 10 station wagons and two buses.

nuns Capitalize sister in all references before the names of nuns. If no surname is given, the name is the same in all references: Sister Agnes Rita. If a surname is used in first reference, drop the given name on second reference: Sister Clair Regina Torpy on first reference, Torpy in subsequent references. Use mother the same way when referring to a woman who heads a group of nuns.

Nuremberg Use this spelling for the city in Germany, instead of Nuernberg, in keeping with widespread practice.

N-word Use similar style for F-word, L-word and such. Talk to your editor about using euphemisms for offensive words.

nylon Not a trademark.

oasis, oases

obscene, pornographic When referring to sexually explicit materials, use sexually explicit.

obscenities, profanities, vulgarities Avoid them in stories unless they are part of direct quotations and there is a compelling reason to use them. Always check with city editor or copy desk chief. Executive editor has final say. Don’t use euphemistic words for bodily functions. Example: Private parts should be changed to something such as sexual anatomy or the specific anatomical reference.

obscenity See the profanity entry.

Occident, Occidental Capitalize when referring to Europe, the Western Hemisphere or an inhabitant of these regions.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. Headquarters is in Los Angeles. Occupational Safety and Health Administration -- OSHA is acceptable on second reference.

occupational titles They are always lowercase.

occur, occurred, occurring Also: occurrence.

ocean The five, from the largest to the smallest: Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Antarctic Ocean, Arctic Ocean. Lowercase ocean standing alone or in plural uses: the ocean, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

oceangoing

odd- Follow with a hyphen: odd-looking, oddnumbered.

odds Use figures and a hyphen. The odds were 5-4. He won despite 3-2 odds against him. The word to seldom is necessary, but when it appears in should be hyphenated in all construction: 3-to-2 odds, odds of 3-to-2, the odds were 3-to-2.

oddsmaker

off of The of is unnecessary: He fell off the bed. Not: He fell off of the bed.

off-, -off Follow Webster’s New World Dictionary. Hyphenate if not listed there. Some commonly used combinations with a hyphen: off-color, off-limts, off-white, off-peak, send-off, off-season, stop-off. Some combinations without a hyphen: offramp, cutoff, offside, liftoff, offstage, offhand, playoff, offset, standoff, offshore, takeoff

off-Broadway, off-off-Broadway

offering The issue or sale of a company stock or bond. A company usually will sell financial securities to the public to raise capital.

office Capitalize office when it is part of an agency’s formal name: Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Office of Management and Budget. Lowercase all other uses, including phrases such as: the office of the attorney general, the U.S. attorney’s office. But office is never lowercase if the rest of the structure is up: not, for instance, state Insurance Commissioner’s office.

Office of Thrift Supervision U.S. Treasury Department bureau that regulates the nation’s savings and loan industry. OTS is acceptable on second reference.

officeholder

offramp, onramp Both solid.

offshore waters The waters extending to about 250 miles from shore.

Ohio Do not abbreviate.

oil In shipping, oil and oil products normally are measured by the ton. For news stories, convert these tonnage figures to gallons. There are 42 gallons to each barrel of oil. The number of barrels per ton varies, depending on the type of oil product. The Associated Press stylebook has an oil equivalency table to convert tonnage to gallons. Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International

Union The shortened forms Oil Workers union, Chemical Workers union and Atomic Workers union are acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Denver.

OK, OK’d, OK’ing, OKs Do not use okay.

Oklahoma Abbrev.: Okla.

Oklahoma City Stands alone in datelines.

Old City of Jerusalem The walled part of the city.

Old South The South before the Civil War.

Old Testament

Old West The American West as it was being settled in the 19th century.

Old World The Eastern Hemisphere: Asia, Europe, Africa. The term also may be an allusion to European culture and customs.

old(-) old-fashioned, old-school (adj.), old-time, old-timer, old times

Olympic Airways Headquarters is in Athens, Greece.

olympics Capitalize references to the international athletic contests held every four years: the Olympics, the Winter Olympics, the Olympic Games, an Olympic-sized pool. EXCEPTION: The games by itself on second reference is down. An Olympic-sized pool is 50 meters long by 25 meters wide. Lowercase other uses: a beer-drinking olympics.

Olympic Mountains

on Do not use on before a date or day of the week when its absence would not lead to confusion: The meeting will be held Monday. He will be inaugurated Jan. 20. Use on to avoid an awkward juxtaposition of a date and a proper name: John met Mary on Monday. He told Bush on Thursday that the bill was doomed. Use on also to avoid any suggestion that a date is the object of a transitive verb: The House killed on Tuesday a bid to raise taxes. The Senate postponed on Wednesday its consideration of a bill to reduce import duties.

one- Hyphenate when used in writing fractions: one-half, one-third. Use phrases such as a half or a third if precision is not intended.

one another

one man, one vote He supports the principle of one man, one vote. The one-man, one-vote rule.

one time, one-time He did it one time. He is a one-time winner. She is a one-time friend.

one-sided

ongoing Use continuing instead.

online Solid in all cases.

online trading Buying or selling financial securities and/or currencies through a brokerage’s Internet-based proprietary trading platforms.

onramp Solid, to conform with current dictionary use on offramp.

on-site Hyphenated. (Also off-site.)

Ontario This Canadian province is the nation’s first in total population and second to Quebec in area. Do not abbreviate.

OPEC Acceptable on first reference for Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Spell out later in story. The 11 OPEC members: Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela. Headquarters is in Vienna, Austria.

open mike For open microphone.

operas Put title in quotation marks. Capitalize principal words. Capitalize article the, a, an or word of fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in title. Use foreign name if that is how opera is known to American public: Il Trovatore. Otherwise, use English translation: The Barber of Seville. For a piece within an opera: Gotterdammerung from Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelungen.

opinion polls

opossum The only North American marsupial. No apostrophe is needed to indicate missing letters in a phrase such as playing possum.

oral, verbal, written Use oral to refer to spoken words: He gave an oral promise. Use written to refer to words committed to paper: We had a written agreement. Use verbal to compare words with some other form of communication: His tears revealed the sentiments that his poor verbal skills could not express.

ordinal numbers The term ordinal number applies to 1st, 2nd, 10th, 101st, first, second, tenth, one hundred first, etc. The figures 1, 2, 10, 101, etc. and the corresponding words one, two, ten, one hundred one, etc are called cardinal numbers.

Oregon Abbrev.: Ore.

Oreos A trademark for a brand of chocolate sandwich cookies held together by a white filling.

original equipment manufacturer A company that builds components or systems that are used in production of another company’s systems or products. OEM is acceptable on second reference.

organic A federally regulated food labeling term. Organic meat, eggs and dairy products come from animals given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge, bioengineering or ionizing radiation to kill bacteria.

organization names To avoid trying to guess whether an organization name containing an apostrophe has been submitted incorrectly, treat such terms as adjectives unless you know differently: pioneers dinner, not pioneer’s dinner; deputies association, not deputy’s association. We receive a lot of information containing suspect names of organizations. Also, apply same rules as in composition titles in determining which elements to capitalize.

Organization of American States OAS is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Washington.

organizations and institutions



Capitalize the full names of organizations and institutions: the American Medical Association; First Presbyterian Church; General Motors Corp.; Harvard University, Harvard University Medical School; the Procrastinators Club; the Society of Professional Journalists. Retain capitalization if Co., Corp. or a similar word is deleted from the full proper name: General Motors. See company; corporation; and incorporated.

SUBSIDIARIES: Capitalize the names of major subdivisions: the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors.

INTERNAL ELEMENTS: Use lowercase for internal elements of an organization when they have names that are widely used generic terms: the board of directors of General Motors, the board of trustees of Columbia University, the history department of Harvard University, the sports department of the Daily Citizen-Leader. Capitalize internal elements of an organization when they have names that are not widely used generic terms: the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association, the House of Bishops and House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church.

FLIP-FLOPPED NAMES: Retain capital letters when commonly accepted practice flops a name to delete the word of: College of the Holy Cross, Holy Cross College; Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Dental School. Do not, however, flop formal names that are known to the public with the word of: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, not Massachusetts Technology Institute.

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS: Some organizations and institutions are widely recognized by their abbreviations: Alcoa, GOP, NAACP, NATO. For guidelines on when such abbreviations may be used, see the individual listings and the entries under abbreviations and acronyms and second reference.

Orient, Oriental Do not use when referring to East Asian nations and their peoples. Asian is the acceptable term for an inhabitant of those regions. Oriental rug is standard. See nationalities and races and race.

Orlon A trademark for a form of acrylic fiber similar to nylon.

orthodox Capitalize when referring to membership in or the activities of an Eastern Orthodox church. Capitalize also in phrases such as Orthodox Judaism or Orthodox Jew. Do not describe a member of an Eastern Orthodox church as a Protestant. Use a phrase such as Orthodox Christian instead. Lowercase orthodox in nonreligious uses: an orthodox procedure.

Orthodox Church in America

Oscar, Oscars

oscillating theory

Ottawa The capital of Canada stands alone in datelines.

Ouija A trademark for a board used in seances

ounce (dry) Units of dry volume are not customarily carried to this level.

ounce (liquid) Equal to 2 tablespoons or 6 teaspoons. There are 16 ounces to a pint, 32 ounces to a quart. The metric equivalent is about 30 milliliters.

ounce (weight) It is defined as 437.5 grains. The metric equivalent is approximately 28 grams. To

convert to grams, multiply by 28 (5 ounces x 28 140 grams).

-out Follow Webster’s New World. Hyphenate nouns and adjectives not listed there. Some frequently used words (all nouns): cop-out, hideout, fade-out, pullout, fallout, walkout, flameout, washout. Two words for verbs: fade out, walk out, hide out, wash out, pull out.

out- Follow Webster’s New World. Hyphenate if not listed there. Some frequently used words: outargue, outpost, outbox, output, outdated, outscore, outfield, outstrip, outfox, outtalk, outpatient (n., adj.).

out of bounds But as a modifier: out-of-bounds. The ball went out of bounds. He took an out-of-bounds pass.

out of court, out-of-court They settled out of court. He accepted an out-of-court settlement.

Outer Banks The sandy islands along the North Carolina coast.

outsourcing A business practice used by companies to reduce costs by transferring work previously performed in-house to outside suppliers.

outstanding shares Stock held by shareholders of a company.

Oval Office The White House office of the president.

over Generally refers to spatial relationships: The plane flew over the city. Over may also read better than more than does with ages, or when it is preceded by a modifier: She is over 30. It was just over an hour later. Otherwise, use more than with numbers: I paid more than $200 for this suit. Their salaries went up more than $20 a week. Same guidelines generally apply to under and less than.

-over Follow Webster’s New World Dictionary. Hyphenate if not listed there. Some frequently used words (all are nouns, some also are used as adjectives): carry-over, stopover, holdover, walkover, takeover. Use two words when any of these occurs as a verb.

over- A hyphen seldom is used. Some frequently used words: overbuy, overrate, overexert, override.

overall A single word in adjectival and adverbial use: Overall, the Democrats succeeded. Overall policy. The word for the garment is overalls.

owner Not a formal title. Always lowercase: Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner.

Oyez Not oyes. The cry of court and public officials to command silence.

Ozark Mountains Or simply: the Ozarks.

p.m., a.m. Lowercase, with periods. Avoid the redundant 10 p.m. tonight.

Pablum A trademark for a soft, bland food for infants. In lowercase, pablum means any oversimplified or bland writing or idea.

pacemaker Formerly a trademark, now a generic term for a device that electronically helps a person’s heart maintain a steady beat.

Pacific Ocean Pacific Standard Time (PST), Pacific Daylight Time

(PDT)

page numbers Use figures and capitalize page when used with a figure. When a letter is appended to the figure, capitalize it but do not use a hyphen: Page 1, Page 10, Page 20A. One exception: It’s a Page One story, in reference to its magnitude. In cutlines: story, 1B.

paintball The game is solid, no hyphen.

paintings Put quotation marks around title. Capitalize principal words. Capitalize articles the, an, a if they are first or last word in title. Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

palate, palette, pallet Palate is the roof of the mouth. A palette is an artist’s paint board. A pallet is a bed.

pan- Prefix meaning all takes no hyphen when combined with a common noun: panchromatic, pantheism. Most combinations with pan- are proper nouns, however, and both pan- and the proper name it is combined with are capitalized: Pan-African, Pan- Asiatic, Pan-American.

Panama City Use PANAMA CITY, Fla., or PANAMA CITY, Panama, in datelines to avoid confusion between the two.

pantsuit Not pants suit.

pantyhose

Pap test (or smear) After George Papanicolaou, the U.S. anatomist who developed this test for cervical and uterine cancer.

papal nuncio Do not confuse with an apostolic delegate.

paper(-) paperback, paper-backed, paper-bound, paperhanger, paperweight

papier-mache

parallel, paralleled, paralleling

parallels Use figures and lowercase to identify the imaginary locater lines that ring the globe from east to west. They are measured in units of 0 to 90 degrees north or south of the equator. Examples: 4th parallel north, 89th parallel south, or, if location north or south of the equator is obvious: 19th parallel.

pardon, parole, probation The terms often are confused, but each has a specific meaning. Do not use them interchangeably. A pardon forgives and releases a person from further punishment. It is granted by a chief of state or a governor. By itself, it does not expunge a record of conviction, if one exists, and it does not by itself restore civil rights. A general pardon, usually for political offenses, is called amnesty. Parole is the release of a prisoner before the sentence has expired, on condition of good behavior. It is granted by a parole board, part of the executive branch of government, and can be revoked only by the board. Probation is the suspension of sentence for a person convicted, but not yet imprisoned, on condition of good behavior. It is imposed and revoked only by a judge.

parentheses Go to Punctuation chapter.

parent-teacher association PTA is acceptable in all references. Capitalize when part of a proper name: the Franklin School Parent-Teacher Association or the Parent-Teacher Association of the Franklin School.

parimutuel (exception to AP) Not pari-mutuel.

Paris The city in France stands alone in datelines.

parish Capitalize as part of the formal name for a church congregation or a governmental jurisdiction: St. John’s Parish, Jefferson Parish. Lowercase standing alone or in plural combinations: the parish, St. John’s and St. Mary’s parishes, Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes.

parishioner

park-and-ride Lowercase and hyphenate, as noun or adjective, with or without location name.

Parkinson’s disease After James Parkinson, the English physician who described this degenerative disease of later life.

Parkinson’s law After C. Northcote Parkinson, the British economist who came to the satirical conclusion that work expands to fill the time allotted to it.

parliament Capitalize only when that is the name, in English, of the country’s legislative body. Lowercase as a generic or translation but capitalize Knesset, Bundestag, etc.

parliamentary Lowercase unless part of a proper name.

Parmesan cheese Dry, sharp cow’s milk cheese similar to Italy’s Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese Italian Parmesan cheese, used only when referring to cheese produced in specific regions of Italy.

part time, part-time, full time, full-time Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: She works part time. She has a part-time job. Same with full time.

partial-birth abortion Use quotes. Use phrase sparingly and point out that it is opponents’ term: ... a procedure opponents call ‘partial-birth’ abortion. Abortion method is formally called intact dilation and extraction.

partial quotes Go to quotation marks in Punctuation.

particles

partway

party Capitalize with the name of a political party: Democratic Party, Republican Party, Reform Party.

party affiliation



Let relevance be the guide in determining whether to include a political figure’s party affiliation in a story. Party affiliation is pointless in some stories, such as an account of a governor accepting a button from a poster child. It will occur naturally in many political stories. For stories between these extremes, include party affiliation if readers need it for understanding or are likely to be curious about what it is.

GENERAL FORMS: When party designation is given, use any of these approaches as logical in constructing a story: Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington said ... Sen. Patty Murry, D-Wash., said ... Sen. Patty Murray also spoke. The Washington Democrat said ... Rep. George Nethercutt of Washington is seeking the Republican presidential nomination. Not: Rep. George Nethercutt, R-Wash., is seeking the Republican ... In stories about party meetings, such as a report on the Republican National Convention, no specific reference to party affiliation is necessary unless an individual is not a member of the party in question.

SHORT-FORM PUNCTUATION: Set short forms such as D-Minn. off from a name by commas, as illustrated above. Use the abbreviations listed in the entries for each state. (No abbreviations for Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah.) Use R- for Republicans, D- for Democrats and threeletter combinations for other affiliations such as Lib for Libertarian.

FORM FOR U.S. HOUSE MEMBERS: The normal practice for U.S. House members is to identify them by party and state. In contexts where state affiliation is clear and home city is relevant, such as a state election roundup, identify representatives by party and city: U.S. Reps. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, and Doc Hastings, R-Tri-Cities. If this option is used, be consistent throughout the story. When necessary to avoid confusion, identify state lawmakers as state Rep. or state Sen. Example: U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., was criticized by logging interests, but state Rep. Barry Sehlin, D-Oak Harbor, was not caught in the controversy.

pass

passenger lists When providing a list of victims in a disaster, arrange names alphabetically according to last name, include street addresses if available, and use a paragraph for each name: Jones, Joseph, 260 Town St., Sample, N.Y. Williams, Susan, 780 Main St., Example, N.J.

passenger mile One passenger carried one mile, or its equivalent, such as two passengers carried onehalf mile.

passer-by, passers-by

Passover The weeklong Jewish commemoration of the deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. Occurs in March or April.

pasteurize

pastime

pastor Check individual denominations.

patrol, patrolled, patrolling

patrolman, patrolwoman Capitalize before a name only if the word is a formal title. In some cities, the formal title is police officer.

pawnshop

pay(-) paycheck, payday, payload, paymaster, payoff (n.), payroll, pay-as-you-go (n., adj.)

PBS Acceptable on first reference to the Public Broadcasting Service only within contexts such as a television column. Otherwise, do not use PBS until second reference.

peace(-) peacekeeping, peacekeeper, peacemaker, peacemaking, peace offering, peacetime, peace of mind

peacekeeper, peacekeeping

peacock It applies only to the male. The female is a peahen. Both are peafowl.

peck A unit of dry measure equal to 8 dry quarts or one-fourth of a bushel. The metric equivalent is approximately 8.8 liters. To convert to liters, multiply by 8.8 (5 pecks x 8.8-- 44 liters).

pedal, peddle When riding a bicycle or similar vehicle, you pedal it. When selling something, you may peddle it.

peddler

pell-mell

penance

peninsula Capitalize as part of a proper name: the Olympic Peninsula, Kitsap Peninsula, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

penitentiary

Pennsylvania Abbrev.: Pa. Legally a commonwealth, not a state.

Pennsylvania Dutch The individuals are of German descent. The word Dutch is a corruption of Deutsch, the German word for German.

penny-wise

Pentecost The seventh Sunday after Easter.

Pentecostalism

people, persons Use person when speaking of an individual: One person waited for the bus. The word people is preferred to persons in all plural uses. For example: Thousands of people attended the fair. What will people say? There were 17 people in the room. Persons should be used only when it is in a direct quote or part of a title as in Bureau of Missing Persons. People also is a collective noun that takes a plural verb when used to refer to a single race or nation: The American people are united. In this sense, the plural is peoples: The peoples of Africa speak many languages.

people’s Use this possessive form when the word occurs in the formal name of a nation: the People’s Republic of Albania. Use this form also in such phrases as the people’s desire for freedom.

Pepsi, Pepsi-Cola Trademarks for a brand of cola soft drink.

Pepsico Inc. Formerly the Pepsi-Cola Co. Headquarters is in Purchase, N.Y.

per-share earnings Also earnings per share.

percent One word. It takes a singular verb when standing alone or when a singular word follows an of construction: The teacher said 60 percent was a failing grade. He said 50 percent of the membership was there. It takes a plural verb when a plural word follows an of construction: He said 50 percent of the members were there.

percentages Use figures: 1 percent, 2.5 percent (use decimals, not fractions), 10 percent. For amounts less than 1 percent, precede the decimal with a zero: The cost of living rose 0.6 percent. Repeat percent with each individual figure: He said 10 percent to 30 percent of the electorate may not vote.

periods Go to Punctuation chapter.

perk A shortened form of perquisite, often used by legislators to describe fringe benefits. In the state of New York, legislators also use the word lulu to describe the benefits they receive in lieu of pay. When either word is used, define it.

permissible

Persian Gulf Use this long-established name for the body of water off the southern coast of Iran. Some Arab nations call it the Arabian Gulf. Use Arabian Gulf only in direct quotations and explain in the text that the body of water is more commonly known as the Persian Gulf.

Persian Gulf War Gulf War acceptable on first reference.

Person of interest Do not use in crime stories.

personal watercraft Jet Ski is a registered trademark of Kawasaki for a type of personal watercraft, but now acceptable as a lowercase generic, preferable unless specifically referring to the brand. Use personal watercraft in any negative story, such as accident reports or legislation to ban them.

personifications Capitalize them: Grim Reaper, John Barleycorn, Mother Nature, Old Man Winter, Sol, etc.

persons

-persons Do not use coined words such as chairperson or spokesperson in regular text. Instead, use chairman or spokesman if referring to a man or the office in general. Use chairwoman or spokeswoman if referring to a woman. Or, if applicable, use a neutral word such as leader or representative. Use chairperson or similar coinage only in direct quotations or when it is the formal description for an office.

persuade Persuade may be followed by an of phrase, that clause, or to infinitive. Convince may be followed only by of or that.

Peter Principle It is: Each employee is promoted until he reaches his level of incompetence. From the book by Laurence J. Peter.

petty officer Not an officer on second reference.

PG, PG-13 The parental guidance ratings.

Ph.D., Ph.D.s The preferred form is to say a person holds a doctorate and name the individual’s area of specialty. Use Dr. only when referring to medical doctor.

phase Phase denotes an aspect or stage. Faze means to embarrass or disturb.

phaseout No hyphen.

phenomenon (s.), phenomena (pl.)

Philadelphia The city in Pennsylvania stands alone in datelines.

Philippines In datelines, give the name of a city or town followed by Philippines: MANILA, Philippines. Specify the name of an individual island, if needed, in the text. In stories: the Philippines or the Philippine Islands as the construction of a sentence dictates. The people are Filipinos. The language is Filipino, an offshoot of Tagalog.

Phoenix The city in Arizona stands alone in datelines.

piano, pianos

pica A unit of measure in printing, equal to a fraction less than one-sixth of an inch. A pica contains 12 points.

picket, pickets, picketed, picket line Picket is both the verb and the noun. Do not use picketer.

picnic, picnicked, picnicking, picnicker

pico- A prefix denoting one-trillionth of a unit. Move a decimal point 12 places to the left in converting to the basic unit: 2,999,888,777,666.5 picoseconds equals 2.9998887776665 seconds.

pigeon

pigeonhole (n. and v.)

Pikes Peak No apostrophe. After Zebulon Montgomery Pike, a U.S. general and explorer. The 14,110-foot peak is in the Rockies of central Colorado.

pile up (v.) pileup (n., adj.)

pill Do not capitalize in references to oral contraceptives. Use birth control pill on first reference if necessary for clarity.

pilot Not a formal title. Do not capitalize before a name.

pingpong A synonym for table tennis. The trademark name is Ping-Pong; use only in reference to the company, not the game.

Pink Sheets A daily publication compiled by the National Quotation Bureau with bid and ask prices of over-the-counter stocks. See over-the-counter stocks.

pint (dry) Equal to 33.6 cubic inches, or one-half of a dry quart. The metric equivalent is approximately .55 of a liter. To convert to liters, multiply by .55 (5 dry pints x .55 is 2.75 liters).

pint (liquid) Equal to 16 fluid ounces, or two cups. The approximate metric equivalents are 470 milliliters or .47 of a liter. To convert to liters, multiply by .47 (4 pints x .47 is 1.88 liters).

Pinyin The official Chinese spelling system.

pipeline

pistol A pistol can be either an automatic or a revolver, but automatic and revolver are not synonymous. A revolver has a revolving cylinder that holds the cartridges; an automatic does not. Any handgun that does not hold its ammunition in a revolving cylinder is a pistol. It may be a single shot, a semiautomatic or an automatic. Its measurement is in calibers. The form: a .38-caliber pistol.

Pittsburgh The city in Pennsylvania stands alone in datelines. The spelling is Pittsburg (no h) for communities in California, Illinois, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Texas.

plains

planets Capitalize the proper names of planets: Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Pluto, Saturn, Uranus, Venus. Capitalize earth when used as the proper name of our planet: The astronauts returned to Earth. Lowercase nouns and adjectives derived from the proper names of planets and other heavenly bodies: martian, jovian, lunar, solar, venusian.

planning Avoid the redundant future planning.

plants In general, lowercase the names of plants, but capitalize proper nouns or adjectives that occur in a name. Some examples: tree, fir, white fir, Douglas fir, Scotch pine, clover, white clover, white Dutch clover. If a botanical name is used, capitalize the first word; lowercase others: pine tree (Pinus), red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), blue azalea (Callicarpa americana), Kentucky coffee tree (Gymnocladus dioica).

Plastic Wood A trademark for a brand of wood- filler compound.

play titles Put the title in quotation marks. Capitalize principal words. Capitalize articles a, an, the only if they are the first or last word in title. For acts of plays, Act II, Scene 2.

plead, pleaded, pleading Do not use the colloquial past tense form, pled.

Pledge of Allegiance It’s up.

Plexiglas Note the single s. A trademark for plastic glass.

plow Not plough.

plurality Plurality means more than the next highest number. Majority means more than half an amount.

plurals



MOST WORDS: Add s: boys, girls, ships, villages.

WORDS ENDING IN CH, S, SH, SS, X and Z: Add es: churches, lenses, parishes, glasses, boxes, buzzes. (Monarchs is an exception.)

WORDS ENDING IN IS: Change is to es: oases, parentheses, theses.

WORDS ENDING IN Y: If y is preceded by a consonant or qu, change y to i and add es: armies, cities, navies, soliloquies. (See PROPER NAMES below for an exception.) Otherwise add s: donkeys, monkeys.

WORDS ENDING IN O: If o is preceded by a consonant, most plurals require es: buffaloes, dominoes, echoes, heroes, potatoes. But there are exceptions: pianos. See individual entries in this book for many of these exceptions.

WORDS ENDINGS IN F: In general, change f to v and add es: leaves, selves. (Roof, roofs is an exception.)

LATIN ENDINGS: Latin-root words ending in us change us to i: alumnus, alumni. (Words that have taken on English endings by common usage are exceptions: prospectuses, syllabuses.) Most ending in a change to ae: alumna, alumnae (formula, formulas is an exception). Most ending in um add s: memorandums, referendums, stadiums. Among those that still use the Latin ending: addenda, curricula, media. Use the plural that Webster’s New World College Dictionary lists as most common for a particular sense of word.

FORM CHANGE: man, men; child, children; foot, feet; mouse, mice; etc. Caution: When s is used with any of these words it indicates possession and must be preceded by an apostrophe: men’s, children’s, etc.

WORDS THE SAME IN SINGULAR AND PLURAL: corps, chassis, deer, moose, sheep, etc. The sense in a particular sentence is conveyed by the use of a singular or plural verb.

WORDS PLURAL IN FORM, SINGULAR IN MEANING: Some take singular verbs: measles, mumps, news. Others take plural verbs: grits, scissors.

COMPOUND WORDS: Those written solid add s at the end: cupfuls, handfuls, tablespoonfuls. For those that involve separate words or words linked by a hyphen, make the most significant word plural:
Significant word first: adjutants general, aides-de-camp, attorneys general, courts-martial, daughters-in-law, passers-by, postmasters general, presidents-elect, secretaries-general, sergeants major.
Significant word in the middle: assistant attorneys general, deputy chiefs of staff.
Significant word last: assistant attorneys, assistant corporation counsels, deputy sheriffs, lieutenant colonels, major generals.



WORDS AS WORDS: Do not use ‘s: His speech had too many “ifs,” “ands” and “buts.” (Exception to Webster’s New World College Dictionary.)

PROPER NAMES: Most ending in es or s or z add es: Charleses, Joneses, Gonzalezes. Most ending in y add s even if preceded by a consonant: the Duffys, the Kennedys, the two Kansas Citys. Exceptions include Alleghenies and Rockies. For others, add s: the Carters, the McCoys, the Mondales.

FIGURES: Add s: The custom began in the 1920s. The airline has two 727s. Temperatures will be in the low 20s. There were five size 7s. (No apostrophes, an exception to Webster’s New World College Dictionary guideline under “apostrophe.”)

SINGLE LETTERS: Use ‘s: Mind your p’s and q’s. He learned the three R’s and brought home a report card with four A’s and two B’s. The Oakland A’s won the pennant.

MULTIPLE LETTERS: Add s: She knows her ABCs. I gave him five IOUs. Four VIPs were there.

PROBLEMS, DOUBTS: Separate entries in this book give plurals for troublesome words and guidance on whether certain words should be used with singular or plural verbs and pronouns. See also collective nouns and possessives. For questions not covered by this book, use the plural that Webster’s New World College Dictionary lists as most common for a particular sense of a word. Note also the guidelines that the dictionary provides under its “plural” entry.

-plus $50 million-plus

pocket veto Occurs only when Congress has adjourned. If Congress is in session, a bill that remains on the president’s desk for 10 days becomes law without his signature. If Congress adjourns, however, a bill that fails to get his signature within 10 days is vetoed. Many states have similar procedures, but the precise requirements vary.

pocketknife

podium Often misused. A speaker stands on a podium or rostrum, behind a lectern, or in the pulpit.

poetic license It is valid for poetry, not news or feature stories.

poetry Put title in quotation marks and capitalize principal words.

poinsettia Note the ia.

point Do not abbreviate. Capitalize as part of a proper name: Point Pleasant.

point (printing) As a unit of measure in printing, a point equals a fraction less than a seventy-second of an inch. A pica contains 12 points.

point-blank

poison pill In the financial world, a strategy used by corporations to discourage a hostile takeover by another company or investor group.

Polaroid A trademark for Polaroid Land instant-picture cameras and for transparent material containing embedded crystals capable of polarizing light.

police department These Snohomish County communities have police departments: Bothell, Brier, Darrington, Everett, Lynnwood, Edmonds, Granite Falls, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Snohomish, Stanwood, Sultan. Capitalize police department with name of community: Marysville Police Department. But lowercase police department standing alone and Marysville police. Lowercase in plural uses: the Edmonds and Lynnwood police departments.

policymaker (n.) policymaking (n. and adj.)

polio The preferred term for poliomyelitis and infantile paralysis.

Politburo Acceptable in all references for the Political Bureau of the Communist Party.

political divisions Use Arabic figures and capitalize the accompanying word when used with the figures: 1st Ward, 10th Ward, 3rd Precinct, 22nd Precinct, the ward, the precinct.

political parties and philosophies Capitalize both the name of the party and the word party if it is customarily used as part of the organization’s proper name: the Democratic Party, the Republican Party. Capitalize Communist, Conservative, Democrat, Liberal, Republican, Socialist, etc., when they refer to a specific party or its members. Lowercase these words when they refer to political philosophy (check examples below). Lowercase the name of a philosophy in noun and adjective forms unless it is the derivative of a proper name: communism, communist; fascism, fascist. But: Marxism, Marxist; Nazism, Nazi. EXAMPLES: John Adams was a Federalist, but a man who subscribed to his philosophy today would be described as a federalist. The liberal Republican senator and his Conservative Party colleague said they believe that democracy and communism are incompatible. The Communist said he is basically a socialist who has reservations about Marxism.

politicking

politics Usually it takes a plural verb: My politics are my own business. As a study or science, it takes a singular verb: Politics is a demanding profession.

polls and surveys



Stories based on public opinion polls must include basic information for an intelligent evaluation of the results. Carefully word such stories to avoid exaggerating the meaning of poll results. Every story based on a poll should include answers to these questions:

1. Who did the poll and who paid for it? Start with the polling firm, media outlet or other organization that conducted the poll. Be wary of polls paid for by candidates or interest groups; their release of poll results may be done selectively and is often a campaign tactic or publicity ploy. Any reporting of such polls must highlight the poll’s sponsor, so readers can be aware of potential bias from such sponsorship.

2. How many people were interviewed? How were they selected? Only a poll based on a scientific, random sample of a population in which every member of the population has a known probability of inclusion can be considered a valid and reliable measure of that population’s opinions. Among surveys that do not meet this criterion:
Samples drawn from panels of people who volunteer for online polls. These cannot be considered representative of larger populations because panel members are self-selected, often including “professional respondents” who sign up for numerous surveys to earn money or win prizes and exclude people without Internet access. (Online panels recruited randomly from the entire population, with Internet access provided to those who don’t already have it, are valid.)
Balloting via websites, cellphone text messaging or calls to 900 numbers. These too are self-selected samples, and results are subject to manipulation via Web log and email campaigns and other methods. If such unscientific pseudo-polls are reported for entertainment value, they must never be portrayed as accurately reflecting public opinion and their failings must be highlighted.



3. Who was interviewed? A valid poll reflects only the opinions of the population that was sampled. A poll conducted only in urban areas of a country cannot be considered nationally representative; people in rural areas often have different opinions from those in cities. Many political polls are based on interviews with registered voters, since registration is usually required for voting. Polls may be based on “likely voters” closer to an election; if so, ask the pollster how that group was identified and what percentage of the voting population it totaled. Are there far more “likely voters” in the poll than turnout in comparable past elections would suggest?

4. How was the poll conducted by telephone or some other way? Avoid polls in which computers conduct telephone interviews using a recorded voice. Among the problems of these surveys are that they do not randomly select respondents within a household, and they cannot exclude children from adult samples

5. When was the poll taken? Opinion can change quickly, especially in response to events.

6. What are the sampling error margins for the poll and for subgroups mentioned in the story? The polling organization should provide sampling error margins, which are expressed as “plus or minus X percentage points,” not “percent.” The margin varies inversely with sample size: the fewer people interviewed, the larger the sampling error. If the opinions of a subgroup -- women, for example -- are important to the story, the sampling error for that subgroup should be noted. (Some pollsters release survey results to the first decimal place, which implies a greater degree of precision than is possible from a sampling. Round poll results to whole numbers. However, the sampling error margin -- a statistical calculation -- may be reported to the first decimal place.) Also consider the wording and order of the questions asked in the poll. Small differences in question wording can cause big differences in results, and the results for one question may be affected by preceding questions. The exact question wording need not be in every poll story unless it is crucial or controversial.

When writing and editing poll stories, here are areas for close attention:
Do not exaggerate poll results. In particular, with pre-election polls, these are the rules for deciding when to write that the poll finds one candidate is leading another:
If the difference between the candidates is more than twice the sampling error margin, then the poll says one candidate is leading.
If the difference is less than the sampling error margin, the poll says that the race is close, that the candidates are “about even.” (Do not use the term “statistical dead heat,” which is inaccurate if there is any difference between the candidates; if the poll finds the candidates are tied, say they’re tied.)
If the difference is at least equal to the sampling error but no more than twice the sampling error, then one candidate can be said to be “apparently leading” or “ slightly ahead” in the race.
Comparisons with other polls are often newsworthy. Earlier poll results can show changes in public opinion. Be careful comparing polls from different polling organizations. Different poll techniques can cause differing results.
Sampling error is not the only source of error in a poll, but it is one that can be quantified. Question wording and order, interviewer skill and refusal to participate by respondents randomly selected for a sample are among potential sources of error in surveys.
No matter how good the poll, no matter how wide the margin, the poll does not say one candidate will win an election. Polls can be wrong and the voters can change their minds before they cast their ballots.



pontiff Not a formal title. Always lowercase.

Ponzi scheme A fraudulent investing technique that promises high rates of return with little risk to investors. In the scheme, money provided by new investors is used to pay seeming high returns to early stage investors to suggest the enterprise is prosperous. The scheme collapses when required redemptions exceed new investments. Named for Charles Ponzi, who set up such an illegal pyramid scheme in the 1920s as a way for investors to make money through international currency transactions.

pooh-pooh

Pop Soft drink is preferred to avoid the regionalisms pop or soda pop.

pope Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name; lowercase in all other uses: Pope John Paul spoke to the crowd. At the close of his address, the pope gave his blessing.

Popsicle A trademark for a brand of flavored ice on a stick.

popular names

pore, pour The verb pore means to gaze intently or steadily: She pored over her books. The verb pour means to flow in a continuous stream: It poured rain. He poured the coffee.

port, starboard Nautical for left and right. Port is left. Starboard is right. Change to left or right unless in direct quotes.

portabella The Mushroom Council of America says it is a made up word for overgrown crimini mushrooms, which were once dumped.

Portuguese names

possessives



Follow these guidelines:

PLURAL NOUNS NOT ENDING IN S: Add ‘s: the alumni’s contributions, women’s rights.

PLURAL NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add only an apostrophe: the churches’ needs, the girls’ toys, the horses’ food, the ships’ wake, states’ rights, the VIPs’ entrance.

NOUNS PLURAL IN FORM, SINGULAR IN MEANING: Add only an apostrophe: mathematics’ rules, measles’ effects. (But check INANIMATE OBJECTS below.) Apply the same principle when a plural word occurs in the formal name of a singular entity: General Motors’ profits, the United States’ wealth.

NOUNS THE SAME IN SINGULAR AND PLURAL: Treat them the same as plurals, even if the meaning is singular: one corps’ location, the two deer’s tracks, the lone moose’s antlers.

SINGULAR NOUNS NOT ENDING IN S: Add ‘s: the church’s needs, the girl’s toys, the horse’s food, the ship’s route, the VIP’s seat. Some style guides say that singular nouns ending in s sounds such as ce, x, and z may take either the apostrophe alone or ‘s. For consistency and ease in remembering a rule, always use ‘s if the word does not end in the letter s: Butz’s policies, the fox’s den, the justice’s verdict, Marx’s theories, the prince’s life, Xerox’s profits.

SINGULAR COMMON NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add ‘s unless the next word begins with s: the hostess’s invitation, the hostess’ seat; the witness’s answer, the witness’ story.

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles’ heel, Agnes’ book, Ceres’ rites, Descartes’ theories, Dickens’ novels, Euripides’ dramas, Hercules’ labors, Jesus’ life, Jules’ seat, Kansas’ schools, Moses’ law, Socrates’ life, Tennessee Williams’ plays, Xerxes’ armies.

SPECIAL EXPRESSIONS: The following are exceptions to the general rule for words not ending in s apply to words that end in an s sound and are followed by a word that begins with s: for appearance’ sake, for conscience’ sake, for goodness’ sake. Use ‘s otherwise: the appearance’s cost, my conscience’s voice.

PRONOUNS: Personal interrogative and relative pronouns have separate forms for the possessive. None involve an apostrophe: mine, ours, your, yours, his, hers, its, theirs, whose. Caution: If you are using an apostrophe with a pronoun, always double-check to be sure that the meaning calls for a contraction: you’re, it’s, there’s, who’s. Follow the rules listed above in forming the possessives of other pronouns: another’s idea, others’ plans, someone’s guess.

COMPOUND WORDS: Applying the rules above, add an apostrophe or ‘s to the word closest to the object possessed: the major general’s decision, the major generals’ decisions, the attorney general’s request, the attorneys general’s request. Also, anyone else’s attitude, John Adams Jr.’s father, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania’s motion. Whenever practical, however, recast the phrase to avoid ambiguity: the motion by Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania.

JOINT POSSESSION, INDIVIDUAL POSSESSION: Use a possessive form after only the last word if ownership is joint: Fred and Sylvia’s apartment, Fred and Sylvia’s stocks. Use a possessive form after both words if the objects are individually owned: Fred’s and Sylvia’s books.

DESCRIPTIVE PHRASES: Do not add an apostrophe to a word ending in s when it is used primarily in a descriptive sense: citizens band radio, a Cincinnati Reds infielder, a teachers college, a Teamsters request, a writers guide. An ‘s is required, however, when a term involves a plural word that does not end in s: a children’s hospital, a people’s republic, the Young Men’s Christian Association.

DESCRIPTIVE NAMES: Some governmental, corporate and institutional organizations with a descriptive word in their names use an apostrophe; some do not. Follow the user’s practice: Actors’ Equity, Diners Club, the Ladies’ Home Journal, the National Governors’ Association. Check separate entries for these and similar names frequently in the news.

QUASI POSSESSIVES: Follow the rules above in composing the possessive form of words that occur in such phrases as a day’s pay, two weeks’ vacation, three days’ work, your money’s worth. Frequently, however, a hyphenated form is clearer: a two-week vacation, a three-day job.

DOUBLE POSSESSIVE: Two conditions must apply for a double possessive -- a phrase such as a friend of John’s to occur: 1. The word after of must refer to an animate object, and 2. The word before of must involve only a portion of the animate object’s possessions. Otherwise, do not use the possessive form of the word after of: The friends of John Adams mourned his death. (All the friends were involved.) He is a friend of the college. (Not college’s, because college is inanimate). Memory Aid: This construction occurs most often, and quite naturally, with the possessive forms of personal pronouns: He is a friend of mine.

INANIMATE OBJECTS: There is no blanket rule against creating a possessive form for an inanimate object, particularly if the object is treated in a personified sense. Check some of the earlier examples, and note these: death’s call, the wind’s murmur. In general, however, avoid excessive personalization of inanimate objects, and give preference to an of construction when it fits the makeup of the sentence. For example, the earlier references to mathematics’ rules and measles’ effects would better be phrased: the rules of mathematics, the effects of measles.

post- Follow Webster’s New World, hyphenating if not listed there.

postgame, pregame

post office It may be used but it is no longer capitalized because the agency is now the U.S. Postal Service. Use lowercase in referring to an individual office: I went to the post office.

postal abbreviations Use the postal abbreviation only with full addresses, including ZIP code. Continue to use the AP abbreviation in conjunction with the name of a city, town or military base in text. Do not abbreviate a state name standing alone. AP Postal State abbreviation Abbr. Alabama Ala. AL Alaska None AK Arizona Ariz. AZ Arkansas Ark. AR California Calif. CA Colorado Colo. CO Connecticut Conn. CT Delaware Del. DE Florida Fla. FL Georgia Ga. GA Hawaii None HI Idaho None ID Illinois Ill. IL Indiana Ind IN Iowa None IA Kansas Kan. KS Kentucky Ky. KY Louisiana La. LA Maine None ME Maryland Md. MD Massachusetts Mass. MA Michigan Mich. MI Minnesota Minn. MN Mississippi Miss. MS Missouri Mo. MO Montana Mont. MT Nebraska Neb. NB Nevada Nev. NV New Hampshire NH. NH New Jersey N.J. NJ New Mexico N.M. NM New York N.Y. NY North Carolina N.C. NC North Dakota N.D. ND Ohio None OH Oklahoma Okla. OK Oregon Ore. OR Pennsylvania Pa. PA Rhode Island R.I. RI South Carolina S.C. SC South Dakota S.D. SD Tennessee Tenn. TN Texas None TX Utah None UT Vermont Vt. VT Virginia Va. VA Washington Wash. WA West Virginia W.Va. WV Wisconsin Wis. WI Wyoming Wyo. WY

postcard One word.

potato, potatoes

pothole

pound (monetary) The English pound sign is not used. Convert the figures to dollars in most cases. Use a figure and spell out pounds if the actual figure is relevant.

pound (weight) Equal to 16 ounces. The metric equivalent is approximately 454 grams, or .45 kilograms. To convert to kilograms, multiply the number of pounds by .45 (20 pounds x .45 equals 9 kilograms).

pour

poverty level An income level judged inadequate to provide a family or individual with the essentials of life. The figure for the United States is adjusted regularly to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index.

practitioner

pre- A hyphen is used if a prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel: pre-election, pre-establish, pre-eminent, pre-exist, pre-empt. Also hyphenate if a proper noun follows. Otherwise, follow Webster’s New World, hyphenating if not listed there.

preacher A job description, not a formal religious title. Do not capitalize.

precincts

predominant, predominantly Use these primary spellings listed in Webster’s New World for the adjectival and adverbial forms. Do not use the alternates it records, predominate and predominately. The verb form, however, is predominate.

prefixes These take hyphens: all-, anti-, co- (usually), ex-, pro-, self-, wide- (usually). These don’t: anti, bi, by, counter, extra, in, inter, intra, mid (except numbers and capital letters), multi, non, off, out, over, post, pre, re, semi, sub, super, trans, ultra, un, under, uni, up, mini. For examples, check individual entries for the prefixes listed above. Check separate listings for commonly used prefixes. Three rules are constant, although they yield some exceptions to first-listed spellings in Webster’s New World Dictionary: Except for cooperate and coordinate, use a hyphen if the prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel. Use a hyphen if the word that follows is capitalized. Use a hyphen to join doubled prefixes: sub-subparagraph.

premier, prime minister These two titles often are used interchangeably in translating to English the title of an individual who is the first minister in a national government that has a council of ministers. Prime minister is the best or traditional translation from most languages. For consistency, use it throughout the world with these exceptions: Use premier for France; use chancellor in Austria and Germany. Follow the practice of a nation if there is a specific preference that varies from this general practice. Premier is also the correct title for the individuals who lead the provincial governments in Canada and Australia.

premiere A first performance.

Presbyterian churches The Northern and Southern branches of Presbyterianism merged in 1983 to become the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Formerly, Presbyterianism in the United States was concentrated in two bodies. The principal body in the North was the United Presbyterian church in the United States of America. The Presbyterian Church in the United States was the principal Southern body. All Presbyterian clergymen may be described as ministers. Pastor applies if a minister leads a congregation. On first reference, use the Rev. before the name of a man or woman. On second reference, use only the last name.

presently Use it to mean in a little while or shortly, but not to mean now.

presidency Always lowercase.

president



Capitalize president only as a formal title before one or more names: President Ronald Reagan, Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter. Lowercase in all other uses: The president said today. He is running for president. Lincoln was president during the Civil War. See titles.

FULL NAMES: Use the first and family name on first reference to a current or former U.S. president or the president-elect: former President Jimmy Carter, President George W. Bush, President-elect Barack Obama. On subsequent references, use only the last name.

For presidents of other nations and of organizations and institutions, capitalize president as a formal title before a full name: President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, President John Smith of Acme Corp. On second reference, use only the last name.

presidential Lowercase unless part of a proper name.

Presidential Medal of Freedom This is the nation’s highest civilian honor. It is given by the president, on the recommendation of the Distinguished Civilian Service Board, for exceptionally meritorious contribution to the security of the United States or other significant public or private endeavors. Until 1963 it was known as the Medal of Freedom.

Presidents Day No apostrophe. Federal and state holiday on third Monday of February. Not adopted by the federal government as the official name of the Washington’s Birthday holiday. However, some federal agencies, states and local governments use the term.

presiding officer Always lowercase.

press conference News conference is preferred.

press secretary Seldom a formal title. For consistency, always lowercase, even when used before an individual’s name. (The formal title for the person who serves a U.S. president in this capacity is assistant to the president for press relations.)

pretense, pretext A pretext is something that is put forward to conceal a truth: He was discharged for tardiness, but the reason given was only a pretext for general incompetence. A pretense is a false show, a more overt act intended to conceal personal feelings: My profuse compliments were all pretense.

priest A vocational description, not a formal title. Do not capitalize.

prima-facie (adj.)

primary Do not capitalize: the New Hampshire primary, the Democratic primary, the primary.

primary day Use lowercase for any of the days set aside for balloting in a primary.

prime meridian

prime minister

prime rate The interest rate that commercial banks charge on loans to their borrowers with the best credit ratings. Fluctuations in the prime rate seldom have an immediate impact on consumer loan rates. Over the long term, however, consistent increases (or decreases) in the prime rate can lead to increases (or decreases) in the interest rates for mortgages and all types of personal loans.

Prince Edward Island One of the three Maritime Provinces of Canada. Do not abbreviate.

prince, princess Capitalize when used as a royal title before a name; lowercase when used alone: Prince Charles, the prince.

principal, principle Principal is a noun and adjective meaning someone or something first in rank, authority, importance or degree: She is the school principal. He was the principal player in the trade. Money is the principal problem. Principle is a noun that means a fundamental truth, law, doctrine or motivating force: They fought for the principle of selfdetermination.

printout Solid.

prior to Before is less stilted for most uses. Prior to is appropriate, however, when a notion of requirement is involved: The fee must be paid prior to the examination.

prison, jail



Do not use the two words interchangeably.

DEFINITIONS: Prison is a generic term that may be applied to the maximum security institutions often known as penitentiaries and to the medium security facilities often called correctional institutions or reformatories. All such facilities confine persons serving sentences for felonies. A jail is a facility normally used to confine persons serving sentences for misdemeanors, persons awaiting trial or sentencing on either felony or misdemeanor charges, and persons confined for civil matters such as failure to pay alimony and other types of contempt of court.

PRISONS: Many states have given elaborate formal names to their prisons. They should be capitalized when used, but commonly accepted substitutes should also be capitalized as if they were proper names. For example, use either Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Walpole or Walpole State Prison for the maximum security institution in Massachusetts. Do not, however, construct a substitute when the formal name is commonly accepted: It is the Colorado State Penitentiary, for example, not Colorado State Prison. On second reference, any of the following may be used, all in lowercase: the state prison, the prison, the state penitentiary, the penitentiary. Use lowercase for all plural constructions: the Colorado and Kansas state penitentiaries. JAILS: Capitalize jail when linked with the name of the jurisdiction: Los Angeles County Jail. Lowercase county jail, city jail and jail when they stand alone.

FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS: Maximum security institutions are known as penitentiaries: the U.S. Penitentiary at Lewisburg or Lewisburg Penitentiary on first reference; the federal penitentiary or the penitentiary on second reference. Medium security institutions include the word federal as part of their formal names: the Federal Correctional Institution at Danbury, Conn. On second reference: the correctional institution, the federal prison, the prison. Most federal facilities used to house persons awaiting trial or serving sentences of a year or less have the proper name Federal Detention Center. The term Metropolitan Correctional Center is being adopted for some new installations. On second reference: the detention center, the correctional center.

prisoner(s) of war POW(s) is acceptable on second reference. Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: a prisoner-of-war trial.

private

privacy Do not identify juveniles (under 18) who are accused of crimes or are witnesses, or persons who say they have been sexually assaulted, even if other news media do so or police release names. Exceptions may occur when the public needs to be alerted, or if an adult victim of a sex assault publicly identifies himself or herself. When identification questions arise in any AP service, consult with the Standards Center.

privatization The process of transferring a government-owned enterprise to private ownership.

privilege, privileged

pro- Use a hyphen when coining words that denote support for something. Some examples: prolabor, pro-business, pro-peace, pro-war. No hyphen when pro is used in other senses: produce, profile, pronoun, etc.

pro forma In the financial world, it describes a method of calculating a company’s sales and earnings as if changes in circumstances existed throughout an entire period covered by a financial report. Pro forma figures are often given for companies that have been involved in a merger or acquisition, gone public or emerged from bankruptcy reorganization. Unlike earnings based on generally accepted accounting principles, pro forma earnings do not comply with any standardized rules or regulations.

proactive No hyphen.

probation

Procter & Gamble Co. P&G is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Cincinnati.

producer price index An index of changes in wholesale prices, produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, and used as a gauge of inflation.

profanity Avoid profanity and obscenity in stories unless they are part of direct quotations and there is a compelling reason to use them. Always check with the city editor or copy desk chief. The executive editor has the final say. In personal columns and certain kinds of news feature stories, it is allowable to use cartoonlike symbols (#%&#) in place of profanity in quotations or paraphrases. Use this device with discretion. It must never be used in straight news stories. Do not use dysphemisms to describe bodily functions. Example: Pee or piss should be changed to something such as use the bathroom or urinate, depending on the context.

professor Never abbreviate. Lowercase before a name. Do not continue in second reference unless part of a quotation.

profit-sharing (n. and adj.) The hyphen for the noun is an exception to Webster’s New World.

profit-sharing plan A plan that gives employees a share in the profits of the company. Each employee receives a percentage of those profits based on the company’s earnings.

Prohibition Capitalize when referring to the period that began when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the manufacture, sale or transportation of alcoholic liquors. The amendment was declared ratified Jan. 29, 1919, and took effect Jan. 16, 1920. It was repealed by the 21st Amendment, which took effect Dec. 5, 1933, the day it was declared ratified.

propeller

proper nouns

prophecy (n.) prophesy (v.)

proportions Always use figures: 2 parts powder to 6 parts water.

proposition Do not abbreviate. Capitalize when used with a figure in describing a ballot question: He is uncommitted on Proposition 15.

prosecutor Capitalize before a name when it is the formal title. In most cases, however, the formal title is a term such as attorney general, state’s attorney or U.S. attorney. If so, use the formal title on first reference. In Snohomish County it’s prosecuting attorney.

prostate gland Not prostrate.

Protestant Episcopal Church

Protestant, Protestantism Capitalize these words when they refer either to denominations formed as a result of the break from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century or to the members of these denominations. Church groups covered by the term include Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Quaker denominations. Check separate entries for each. Protestant is not generally applied to Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons. Do not use Protestant to describe a member of an Eastern Orthodox church. Use a phrase such as Orthodox Christian instead.

protester Not protestor.

prove, proved, proving Use proven only as an adjective: a proven remedy.

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett Providence Regional Medical Center Everett is sufficient on first reference to our local hospital, which operates a Colby Campus and a Pacific Campus. If the campus needs to be specified, it can be tucked in later.

provinces Names of provinces are set off from community names by commas, just as the names of U.S. states are set off from city names: They went to Halifax, Nova Scotia, on their vacation. Do not capitalize province: They visited the province of Nova Scotia. The earthquake struck Shensi province.

proviso, provisos

provost marshal The plural: provost marshals.

proxy An authorization for someone else to vote on behalf of a shareholder at a company’s annual shareholder meeting. Proxy fight is a strategy used by an acquiring company or investor group in its attempt to gain control of a target company; the acquirer tries to convince other shareholders that the management of the target company should be replaced or a specific corporate action be taken. Proxy statement is a document that disclosed important information about issues to be discussed at an annual meeting. It includes the qualifications of management and board directors, serves as a ballot for elections to the board of directors and provides detailed information about executive compensation.

PT boat It stands for patrol torpedo boat.

PTA

Public Broadcasting Service It is not a network, but an association of public television stations organized to buy and distribute programs selected by a vote of the members. PBS is acceptable on first reference only within contexts such as a television column. Otherwise, do not use PBS until second reference.

public schools Use figures and capitalize public school when used with a figure: Public School 3, Public School 10. If a school has a commemorative name: Benjamin Franklin School.

publisher Capitalize when used as a formal title before an individual’s name: Publisher Isaiah Thomas of the Massachusetts Spy.

Puerto Rico Do not abbreviate.

Puget Sound The body of water outside The Herald’s windows is Port Gardner, with Possession Sound farther out. The waterway between Camano and Whidbey Islands is Saratoga Passage; the bay between Camano and the mainland is Port Susan, and the water north of Camano is Skagit Bay. The waterway between Whidbey and the Olympic Peninsula is Admiralty Inlet. Do not refer to any of the above waters as Puget Sound. Puget Sound begins at the southern end of Whidbey Island and extends south. Do not refer to it as “the Puget Sound.” But the greater metro area from Olympia north to the Snohomish-Skagit county line can be called the Puget Sound region.

Pulitzer Prizes These yearly awards for outstanding work in journalism and the arts were endowed by the late Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the old New York World, and first given in 1917. They are awarded by the trustees of Columbia University on recommendation of an advisory board. Capitalize Pulitzer Prize, but lowercase the categories: Pulitzer Prize for public service, Pulitzer Prize for fiction, etc. Also: She is a Pulitzer Prize winner. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

pull back (v.) pullback (n.)

pull out (v.) pullout (n.)

pulpit A speaker stands in the pulpit, on a podium or behind a lectern.

punctuation Think of it as a courtesy to your readers, designed to help them understand a story. And like any courtesy, too much of it is not a good thing. Inevitably, there are gray areas. Go to Punctuation chapter for separate entries under: colon; comma; dash; ellipsis; exclamation mark; hyphen; parentheses; period; question mark; quotation marks; and semicolon.

Purim The Jewish Feast of Lots, commemorating Esther’s deliverance of the Jews in Persia from a massacre plotted by Haman. Occurs in February or March.

push up (v.) push-up (n., adj.)

push-button (n., adj.)

put out (v.) putout (n.)

pygmy

Pyrex A trademark for a brand of oven glassware.

Q-and-A format Use Q-and-A within the body of a story.

Qantas Airways Headquarters is in Sydney, Australia.

QE2 Acceptable on second reference for the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2. But use a Roman numeral for the monarch: Queen Elizabeth II.

Q-Tips A trademark for a brand of cotton swabs.

Quaalude A trade name for a drug containing methaqualone. Not synonymous with illegal drugs containing methaqualone.

Quakers This informal name may be used in all references to members of the Religious Society of Friends, but always include the full name in a story dealing primarily with Quaker activities. There is no recognized ranking of clergy over lay people. However, there are meeting officers, called elders or ministers. Many Quaker ministers, particularly in the Midwest and West, use the Rev. before their names and describe themselves as pastors. Capitalize elder, minister or pastor when used as a formal title before a name. Use the Rev. before a name on first reference if it is a minister’s practice. On second reference, use only the last name.

quakes

quart (dry) Equal in volume to 67.2 cubic inches. The metric equivalent is approximately 1.1 liters. To convert to liters, multiply by 1.1 (5 dry quarts x 1.1 is 5.5 liters).

quart (liquid) Equal in volume to 57.75 cubic inches. Also equal 32 fluid ounces. The approximate metric equivalents are 950 milliliters or .95 of a liter. To convert to liters, multiply by .95 (4 quarts x .95 is 3.8 liters).

quasar Acceptable in all references for a quasistellar astronomical object, often a radio source. Most astronomers consider quasars the most distant objects observable in the heavens.

Quebec The city in Canada stands alone in datelines. Use Quebec City in the body of a story if the city must be distinguished from the province. Do not abbreviate any reference to the province of Quebec, Canada’s largest in area and second largest in population.

queen Capitalize only when used before the name of royalty: Queen Elizabeth II. Continue in second references that use the queen’s given name: Queen Elizabeth. Lowercase queen when it stands alone. Capitalize in plural uses: Queens Elizabeth and Victoria.

queen mother The mother of a reigning monarch.

questionnaire

quick-witted

quiet period Avoid using this term. In the investing world, it is commonly thought to be the period following a company’s initial public offering or just before earnings are reported in which it is subject to possible sanctions by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for making public disclosures. But since SEC rules only prohibit disclosures that go beyond what the company has stated in SEC filings, the term quiet period is a misnomer.

Quil Ceda Village Quil Ceda Village is not an incorporated place in this state. TheTulalip Tribes doesn’t call it an incorporated town but a consolidated borough. Stick with our style guide and use the Tulalup dateline for casino stories.

quotation



Follow Associated Press style in all cases. In general, avoid unnecessary capitalization. Use a capital letter only if you can justify it by one of the principles listed here. If there is no relevant listing in this book for a particular word or phrase, consult Webster’s New World Dictionary. Lowercase if the dictionary lists it as an acceptable form for the sense in which the word is being used. Some basic principles:

PROPER NOUNS: Capitalize nouns that constitute the unique identification for a specific person, place or thing: John, Mary, America, Boston, England. Some words, such as the examples just given, are always proper nouns. Some common nouns receive proper noun status when they are used as the name of a particular entity: General Electric, Gulf Oil.

ORGANIZATIONS, ETC.: Follow the rules in composition titles for names of organizations, agencies, laws, etc., capitalizing everything except articles, conjunctions and prepositions of fewer than four letters: Aid to Families With Dependent Children. First and last words also always capitalized: For a Fair Shake. Retain capitalization in flip-flopped name: Department of Ecology; Ecology Department.

PROPER NAMES: Capitalize common nouns such as party, river, street and west when they are an integral part of the full name for a person, place or thing: Democratic Party, Mississippi River, Fleet Street, West Virginia. Follow the rules for composition titles in determining what parts of the name of an organization, law, etc. to capitalize: Lowercase only prepositions and conjunctions of fewer than four letters within the body of the name. Pronouns such as it, for instance, are up while prepositions such as in are down unless they are the first or last words. Lowercase these common nouns when they stand alone in subsequent references: the party, the river, the street. Lowercase the common noun elements of names in all plural uses: the Democratic and Republican parties, Main and State streets, lakes Erie and Ontario. See also animals, brand names, buildings, committee, congress, datelines, days of the week, directions and regions, family names, food, foreign governmental bodies, foreign legislative bodies, geographic names, governmental bodies, heavenly bodies, historical periods and events, holidays and holy days, legislature, months, monuments, nationalities and races, nicknames, organizations and institutions, planets, plants, police department, religious references, seasons, trademarks, unions.

POPULAR NAMES: Some places and events lack officially designated proper names but have popular names that are the effective equivalent: the Combat Zone (a section of downtown Boston), the Main Line (a group of Philadelphia suburbs), the South Side (of Chicago), the Badlands (of North Dakota), the Street (the financial community in the Wall Street area of New York). The principle applies also to shortened versions of the proper names of one-of-a-kind events: the Series (for the World Series), the Derby (for the Kentucky Derby). This practice should not, however, be interpreted as a license to ignore the general practice of lowercasing the common noun elements of a name when they stand alone.

DERIVATIVES: Capitalize words that are derived from a proper noun and still depend on it for their meaning: American, Christian, Christianity, English, French, Marxism, Shakespearean. Lowercase words that are derived from a proper noun but no longer depend on it for their meaning: french fries, herculean, manhattan cocktail, malapropism, pasteurize, quixotic, venetian blind.

SENTENCES: Capitalize the first word in a statement that stands as a sentence. See sentences, parentheses. In poetry, capital letters are used for the first words of some phrases that would not be capitalized in prose.

COMPOSITIONS: Capitalize the principal words in the names of books, movies, plays, poems, operas, songs, radio and television programs, works of art, etc. See composition titles, magazine names, newspaper names

TITLES: Capitalize formal titles when used immediately before a name. Lowercase formal titles when used alone or in constructions that set them off from a name by commas. Use lowercase at all times for terms that are job descriptions rather than formal titles. See also academic titles, courtesy titles, job descriptions, legislative titles, military titles, nobility titles, religious titles, titles.

ABBREVIATIONS: Capital letters apply in some cases.

quotation marks Go to Punctuation chapter.

quotations in the news



Never alter quotations even to correct minor grammatical errors or word usage. Casual minor tongue slips may be removed by using ellipses but even that should be done with extreme caution. If there is a question about a quote, either don’t use it or ask the speaker to clarify. But do use the proper form of a word or phrase -- going to, not gonna, driving or lying, not drivin’ or lyin’, shoot them, not shoot ‘em -- in most routine usages. Exceptions, which should be flagged by the editor, are permissible when they are needed to convey the proper sense and the conventional would seem stilted: ‘Gotta go,’ the official said in brushing off reporters; ‘keep ‘em down on the farm.’ Use your good judgment, and your ear, and visualize the quote in print. The sister of a survivor of the Guam 747 crash said this: He said he could still hear the children screaming. The Los Angeles Times did this to the quote: He said he could still hear the children (on the plane) screaming. The heavy hand of an editor has accomplished two things: slaughtered a dramatic quote and insulted the reader, who is being addressed as too stupid to understand a blunt statement. In fact, it is harder to read with the cumbersome inserted matter separating the dramatic elements.

FULL vs. PARTIAL QUOTES: In general, avoid fragmentary quotes. If a speaker’s words are clear and concise, favor the full quote. If cumbersome language can be paraphrased fairly, use an indirect construction, reserving quotation marks for sensitive or controversial passages that must be identified specifically as coming from the speaker. Do not use one- or two-word partial quotes for obvious statements: He said he heard the children screaming.

CONTEXT: Remember that you can misquote someone by giving a startling remark without its modifying passage or qualifiers. The manner of delivery sometimes is part of the context. Reporting a smile or a deprecatory gesture may be as important as conveying the words themselves.

Quran The preferred spelling for the Muslim holy book. Use the spelling Koran only if preferred by a specific organization or in a specific title or name.

R The restricted rating.

rabbi

Rabbinical Assembly

Rabbinical Council of America

raccoon

race Race should be specified only if it is pertinent to the story. Do not use racially or ethnically derogatory terms unless they are part of a quotation that is essential to the story.

rack, wrack The noun rack applies to various types of framework; the verb rack means to arrange on a rack, to torture, trouble or torment: He was placed on the rack. She racked her brain. Thus nerve-racking describes something that strains or tortures the nerves. The noun wrack means ruin or destruction, and generally is confined to the phrase wrack and ruin. Its work is better done by wreck, ruin, destroy. The verb wrack has substantially the same meaning as the verb rack, the latter being preferred.

racket Not racquet, for the light bat used in tennis and badminton.

radar A lowercase acronym for radio detection and ranging.

radical In general, avoid this description. When used, it suggests that an individual believes change must be made by tearing down the present order. Although radical often is applied to individuals who hold strong socialist or communist views, it also is applied at times to individuals who believe an existing form of government must be replaced by a more authoritarian or militaristic one.

radio Capitalize and use before a name to indicate an official voice of the government: Radio Moscow. Lowercase and place after the name when indicating only that the information was obtained from broadcasts in a city. Havana radio, for example, is the form used in referring to reports that are broadcast on various stations in the Cuban capital.

radio station The call letters alone are frequently adequate, but when this phrase is needed, use lowercase: KRKO radio. Use call numbers on first reference, put in parentheses: KPLU (88.5 FM).

railroads Capitalize when part of a name: the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad. Railroad companies vary the spellings of their names, using Railroad, Rail Road, Railway, etc. Consult the Official Railway Guide-Freight Service and the Official Railway Guide-Passenger Service for official spellings. Use the railroad for all lines in second references. Use railroads in lowercase for all plurals: the Penn Central and Santa Fe railroads.

rain(-) rainbow, raincoat, rainfall, rainproof, rain-soaked, rainstorm, rain check, rain forest, rain shadow

raised, reared Only humans may be reared. All living things, including humans, may be raised.

RAM Random access memory, the working memory of a computer into which programs can be introduced and then executed.

Ramadan The Muslim holy month, a period of daily fasting from sunrise to sunset, ending with the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

ranges The form: $12 million to $14 million. Not: $12 to $14 million.

rank and file (n.) The adjective form: rank-and- file.

rape Except in extraordinary circumstances, do not name rape victims. Executive editor’s approval is required in order to use a name. Also, rape is preferred to criminal attack, criminal assault, sexual attack and other imprecise terms.

rarely It means seldom. Rarely ever is redundant, but rarely if ever is often the appropriate phrase.

ratings agency A company that measures the creditworthiness of companies, municipalities and countries. Credit agencies gauge an entity’s ability to repay its debt and assign a rating based on that assessment. The better the rating, the lower the cost for an entity to borrow money. The three main international ratings agencies are: Standard & Poor’s, a unit of McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.; Moody’s Investor Service, a unit of Moody’s Corp.; and Fitch Ratings, a unit of Fimalac SA of Paris.

Ratio Use figures and hyphens: the ratio was 2-to- 1, a ratio of 2-to-1, a 2-1 ratio. As illustrated, the word to should be omitted when the numbers precede the word ratio. Always use the word ratio or a phrase such as a 2-1 majority to avoid confusion with actual figures.

ravage, ravish To ravage is to wreak great destruction or devastation: Union troops ravaged Atlanta. To ravish is to abduct, rape or carry away with emotion: Soldiers ravished the women. Although both words connote an element of violence, they are not interchangeable. Buildings and towns cannot be ravished.

rayon Not a trademark.

RCA Corp. Formerly Radio Corporation of America. RCA is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in New York.

re- The rules in prefixes apply. The following examples of exceptions to first-listed spellings in Webster’s New World are based on the general rule that a hyphen is used if a prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel: re-elect, re-enlist, re-election, re-enter, re-emerge, re-entry, re-employ, re-equip, re-enact, re-establish, re-engage, re-examine. For many other words, the sense is the governing factor: recover, re-cover; reform, re-form; resign, re-sign. Otherwise, follow Webster’s New World. Use a hyphen for words not listed there unless the hyphen would distort the sense.

reader

Realtor The term real estate agent is preferred. Use Realtor only if there is a reason to indicate that the individual is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

reared, raised Only humans may be reared. All living things, including humans, may be raised.

rebut, refute Rebut means to argue to the contrary: He rebutted his opponent’s statement. Refute means to prove a statement or person false or wrong. Unless the intention is to say that one side demolished the other’s argument, instead, use deny, dispute, rebut or respond to.

recipes

Always use figures. See fractions.

Break out recipes in list and instruction format. Do not write as regular text. Use figures for all quantities in recipes. Do not use abbreviations. Spell out teaspoon, tablespoon, etc.

Following is the format for recipes:
The title of the recipe is uppercase.
Start to finish time goes below the title, noting estimate for active time in parentheses, if warranted.
The number of servings appears next.
List ingredients in the order used and spell out all measurements.
Use numerals for all measurements, times and oven settings. Exception: When two numbers follow one another, write out the first for clarity, “two 12- ounce cans.”
Instructions for making the recipe follow, and should be written in short, easy-to-digest paragraphs.
When an oven is used, “Preheat oven to 350F,” should be the first line of the method (unless the oven is not used until more than 30 minutes after the start of the recipe).
Begin sentences with equipment and technique, rather than ingredients. In a medium saucepan over low heat, whisk together the butter and sugar.
Nutrition information, if available, follows the method.
The source of the recipe appears at the bottom in parentheses: (Recipe from John Smith’s “Book of Recipes,” Recipe Publishers, 2007.) (Recipe from January 2007 issue of Gourmet.) (Recipe from epicurious.com.) (Recipe from the January issue of “Gourmet,” as listed at epicurious.com.) (Recipe from AP Food Editor J.M. Hirsch) (Recipe adapted from Sherry Yard’s “Desserts by the Yard,” Houghton Mifflin, 2007)



SAUSAGE POLENTA
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4-ounce package sliced button mushrooms
12-ounce package cooked chicken Italian sausages (about 5), cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped (about 2 to 3 cups chopped)
12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (about 4 peppers)
1 1/2 cups instant polenta
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onion, mushrooms, sausages, garlic and rosemary. Saute until the sausage is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and red peppers to the skillet and saute another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the greens are wilted. Set aside. Whisk the polenta into the boiling water. It will become very thick. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add the cheese and stir for another minute. Season both the polenta and sausage mixture with salt and pepper. To serve, spread about a cup of the polenta over each serving plate, then top with the sausage and vegetable mixture.

Nutrition information per serving: 486 calories; 22 g fat (7.5 g saturated); 64 mg cholesterol; 45 g carbohydrate; 28 g protein; 5 g fiber; 1,155 mg sodium. (Recipe from AP Food Editor J.M. Hirsch)

See the food entry for guidelines on when to capitalize the names of foods.

recision The preferred spelling is rescission.

reconnaissance

Reconstruction The process of reorganizing the Southern states after the Civil War.

record Avoid the redundant new record.

record(-) record-breaking, record changer, record-holder (person), record player

re-create Hyphenate in sense of creating again, as opposed to recreation.

recur, recurred, recurring Not reoccur.

Red Use only as synonym for communist in historical references. Don’t use to label armies, people and nations in current news stories.

Red China Obsolete term, used only in historical context.

red(-) red-handed (adj. and adv.), red-hot, redneck, redshirt (in sports stories)

red-haired, redhead, redheaded All are acceptable for a person with red hair. Redhead also is used colloquially to describe a type of North American diving duck.

red-hot

re-elect, re-election

refer To refer is to mention something directly. To allude to something is to speak of it without specifically mentioning it.

referable

reference works Capitalize their proper names. Do not use quotation marks around the names of books that are primarily catalogs of reference material. In addition to catalogs, this category includes almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers, handbooks and similar publications: Congressional Directory, Webster’s New World Dictionary, the AP Stylebook. But: The Careful Writer and Modern American Usage.

referendum, referendums

Reform Judaism

reformatory The proper uppercase name of the reformatory at Monroe is Washington State Reformatory. Reformatory is lowercase in other structures. Also located at Monroe is the newer Twin Rivers Corrections Center, also a medium-custody facility. The umbrella term to take in both of those as well as the sex offenders program and the mental health center is the Monroe Correctional Complex. The Indian Ridge Corrections Center, about five miles from Arlington, is a minumum-security facility for young offenders.

refute It means to prove a statement or person false or wrong. Unless the intention is to say that one side demolished the other’s argument, instead, use deny, dispute, rebut or respond to.

regime

regions Capitalize North, South, Northwest, Northern, etc. when they designate regions. Lowercase these words when they indicate compass direction. Also capitalize regions that are specifically defined areas: Western Washington, Eastern Washington, Western Oregon, Eastern Oregon, Northern California, Southern California, South Central Los Angeles, Southeast Alaska, etc. When in doubt with wire copy, go with AP.

reign, rein The leather strap for controlling a horse is a rein, hence seize the reins, give free rein to, put a checkrein on. Reign is the period a ruler is on the throne: The king began his reign.

religious affiliations Capitalize the names and the related terms applied to members of the orders: He is a member of the Society of Jesus. He is a Jesuit.

religious movements



The terms that follow have been grouped under a single entry because they are interrelated and frequently cross denominational lines.

Evangelical: Historically, evangelical was used as an adjective describing dedication to Christianity. Today it also is used as a noun, referring to a category of doctrinally conservative Christians. Evangelicals stress both doctrinal absolutes and vigorous efforts to win others to belief. Do not presume that theologically conservative means politically conservative. The National Association of Evangelicals is an interdenominational, cooperative body of relatively small, conservative Protestant denominations. It has a total of about 2.5 million members and maintains headquarters in Wheaton, Ill.

Evangelism: The word refers to activity directed outside the church to convert others and to infuse Christian principles into society’s conduct. Fundamentalist: The word gained usage in an early 20th century fundamentalist-modernist controversy within Protestantism. In recent years, fundamentalist has to a large extent taken on pejorative connotations except when applied to groups that stress strict, literal interpretations of Scripture and separation from other Christians. In general, do not use fundamentalist unless a group applies the word to itself.

Liberal: In general, avoid this word as a descriptive classification in religion. It has objectionable implications to many believers. Acceptable alternate descriptions include activist, more flexible and broad view. Moderate is appropriate when used by the contending parties, as is the case in the conflict between the moderate or more flexible wing of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and conservatives, who argue for literal interpretations of biblical passages others consider symbolic.

Neo-Pentecostal, charismatic: These terms apply to a movement that has developed within mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic denominations since the mid-20th century. It is distinguished by emotional expressiveness, spontaneity in worship, speaking or praying in tongues and healing Unlike the earlier Pentecostal movement, which led to separate denominations, this movement has swelled within major churches.

Pentecostalism: A movement that arose in the early 20th century and separated from historic Protestant denominations. It is distinguished by the belief in tangible manifestations of the Holy Spirit, often in demonstrative, emotional ways such as speaking in tongues and healing. Pentecostal denominations include the Assemblies of God, the Pentecostal Holiness Church, the United Pentecostal Church Inc. and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

religious references



The terms that follow have been grouped under a single entry because they are interrelated and frequently cross denominational lines.

DEITIES: Capitalize the proper names of monotheistic deities: God, Allah, the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer, the Holy Spirit, etc. Lowercase pronouns referring to the deity: he, him, his, thee, thou, who, whose, thy, etc. Lowercase gods in referring to the deities of polytheistic religions. Capitalize the proper names of pagan and mythological gods and goddesses: Neptune, Thor, Venus, etc. Lowercase such words as god-awful, goddamn, godlike, godliness, godsend. Lowercase god when it is used as a figure of speech, as in god knows what we’re doing here. Uppercase it when the reference really is to the deity: God knows what we’re doing (God is aware of our work).

LIFE OF CHRIST: Capitalize the names of major events in the life of Jesus Christ in references that do not use his name: The doctrines of the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension are central to Christian belief. But use lowercase when the words are used with his name: The ascension of Jesus into heaven took place 40 days after his resurrection from the dead. Apply the principle also to events in the life of his mother: He cited the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. But: She referred to the assumption of Mary into heaven.

RITES: Capitalize proper names for rites that commemorate the Last Supper or signify a belief in Christ’s presence: the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, Holy Eucharist. Lowercase the names of other sacraments. Capitalize Benediction and the Mass. But: a high Mass, a low Mass, a requiem Mass. HOLY DAYS: Capitalize the names of holy days.

OTHER WORDS: Lowercase heaven, hell, devil, angel, cherub, apostle, a priest, etc. Capitalize Hades and Satan.

Religious Society of Friends Quakers

religious titles



The first reference to a clergyman or clergywoman normally should include a capitalized title before the individual’s name. In many cases, the Rev. is the designation that applies before a name on first reference. On second reference to members of the clergy, use only a last name if a surname is used: the Rev. Billy Graham, Graham. If no surname: Pope John Paul, the pope.

CARDINALS, ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS: The preferred form for first reference is to use Cardinal, Archbishop or Bishop before the individual’s name: Cardinal Timothy Manning, archbishop of Los Angeles. On second reference: Manning or the cardinal.

MINISTERS AND PRIESTS: Use the Rev. before a name on first reference. Substitute Monsignor before the name of a Roman Catholic priest who has received this honor. Do not routinely use curate, father, pastor and similar words before an individual’s name. If they appear before a name in a quotation, capitalize them.

RABBIS: Use Rabbi before a name on first reference. On second reference, use only the last name.

NUNS: Use Sister, or Mother if applicable, before a name on first reference: Sister Agnes Rita if the nun uses only a religious name; Sister Clare Regina Torpy on first reference if she uses a surname, Torpy on second reference.

OFFICEHOLDERS: The preferred first-reference form for persons who hold church office but are not ordained clergy in the usual sense is to use a construction that sets the title apart from the name by commas. Capitalize the formal title of an office, however, if it is used directly before an individual’s name.

reluctant, reticent Reluctant means unwilling to act: He is reluctant to enter the primary. Reticent means unwilling to speak: The candidate’s husband is reticent. Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day

Saints Not properly described as a Mormon church.

representative, Rep.

republic Capitalize republic when used as part of a nation’s full, formal name: the Republic of Argentina.

Republic Airways Headquarters is in Indianapolis.

Republican Governors Association No apostrophe.

Republican National Committee On second reference: the national committee, the committee. Similarly: Republican State Committee, Republican County Committee, Republican City Committee, the state committee, the county committee, the city committee, the committee.

republican, Republican Party Uppercase when referring to members of Republican Party. GOP may be used on second reference.

reputation Reputation refers to the way a person is regarded by others. Character refers to moral qualities.

rerun No hyphen.

rescission Not recision.

Reserve Capitalize when referring to U.S. armed forces, as in Army Reserve. Lowercase in reference to members of these backup forces: reserves, or reservists.

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps The s’ is military practice. ROTC is acceptable in all references. When the service is specified, use Army ROTC, Navy ROTC or Air Force ROTC, not AROTC, NROTC or AFROTC.

resident

resistible

restaurateur No n. Not restauranteur.

restrictive clauses

restrictive phrases

Retail Clerks International Union

Reuters A private British news agency, named for Baron Paul Julius von Reuter, the founder. The official name is Reuters Ltd. It is referred to as Reuters. When it is used as an adjective, the s is dropped: a Reuter correspondent, a Reuter story.

Rev. When this description is used before an individual’s name, precede it with the word the because, unlike Mr. and Mrs., the abbreviation Rev. does not stand for a noun. If an individual has a secular title such as Rep., use whichever is appropriate to the context.

revolution Capitalize when part of a name for a specific historical event: the American Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, the French Revolution. The Revolution, capitalized, also may be used as a shorthand reference to the American Revolution. Also: the Revolutionary War. Lowercase in other uses: a revolution, the revolution, the American and French revolutions.

revolutions per minute The abbreviation rpm is acceptable on first reference in specialized contexts such as an auto column. Otherwise do not use it until second reference.

revolver A handgun. Its cartridges are held in chambers in a cylinder that revolves. The form: a .45- caliber revolver.

Rh factor Also: Rh negative, Rh positive.

Rhode Island Abbrev.: R.I. Smallest of the 50 states in total land area: 1,049 square miles.

Rhodes scholar Lowercase scholar and scholarship.

Richter scale No longer widely used. See earthquakes entry.

RICO An acronym for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. On second reference, use anti-racketeering or anti-corruption law.

riffraff

rifle

rifle, riffle To rifle is to plunder or steal. To riffle is to leaf rapidly through a book or pile of papers.

right of way, rights of way

right wing (n.) But: right-wing (adj.), right-winger (n.).

right(-) right hand (n.), right-handed (adj.), righthander (n.), right of way, rights of way, right wing (n.), right-wing (adj.), right-winger (n.)

rightist, ultrarightist In general, avoid these terms in favor of more precise descriptions of an individual’s political philosophy. As popularly used today, particularly abroad, rightist often applies to someone who is conservative or opposed to socialism. It also often indicates an individual who supports an authoritarian government that is militantly anticommunist or anti-socialist. Ultrarightist suggests an individual who subscribes to rigid interpretations of a conservative doctrine or to forms of fascism that stress authoritarian, often militaristic, views.

right-to-work (adj.) A right-to-work law prohibits a company and a union from signing a contract that would require the affected workers to be union members. Federal labor laws generally permit such contracts. There is no federal right-to-work law, but Section 14B of the Taft-Hartley Act allows states to pass such laws if they wish. Many states have done so. The repeal of section 14B would have the effect of voiding all right-to-work laws. By itself, the repeal would not require workers to be union members, but in states that now have right-to-work laws, the repeal would open the way to contracts requiring union membership.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Note the and, &. Headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

ring tone Two words.

Rio Grande Not Rio Grande River. (Rio means river.)

rip off (v.) rip-off (n., adj.)

river Capitalize as part of a proper name: the Snohomish River. Lowercase in other uses: the river, the Snohomish and Stillaguamish rivers. Significant rivers and streams likely to be used in local stories: Bear Creek, Beckler River, Boulder River, Canyon Creek, Cascade River, Deer Creek, Ebey Slough, Elwell Creek, French Creek, Grandy Creek, Hat Slough, Illabot Creek, Jim Creek, Little Pilchuck Creek, Merril and Ring Creek, Miller River, Money Creek, North Fork Skykomish River, North Fork Stillaguamish River, Pigeon Creek No. 1, Pigeon Creek No. 2, Pilchuck Creek, Pilchuck River, Portage Creek, Proctor Creek, Quilceda Creek, Raging River, Sammamish River, Sauk River, Skagit River, Skykomish River, Snohomish River, Snoqualmie River, South Fork Skykomish River, South Fork Stillaguamish River, Squire Creek, Steamboat Slough, Suiattle River, Sultan River, Tokul Creek, Tolt River, Tye River, Union Slough, Wallace River, White Chuck River, Woods Creek.

riverbank

road Do not abbreviate. Do not use the in front of road names. It’s just OK Road, not the OK Road.

road rage No quotes needed.

robbery

rock ‘n’ roll

Rocky Mountains Or simply: the Rockies.

roll call (n.) roll-call (adj.)

Rolls-Royce Note the hyphen in this trademark for a make of automobile.

roly-poly

ROM Read only memory, a storage chip that cannot be reprogrammed by the computer user. ROM is acceptable on all references.

Roma Capitalize references to the nomadic ethnic group also known as Gypsies. Either is acceptable. In the United States, they are widely referred to as Gypsies. The word should be explained: Roma, also known as Gypsies.

Roman Catholic Church Use Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic or Roman Catholicism in the first references to those who believe that the pope, as bishop of Rome, has the ultimate authority in administering an earthly organization founded by Jesus Christ. The church teaches that its bishops have been established as the successors of the apostles through generations of ceremonies in which authority was passed down by a laying-on of hands. Responsibility for teaching the faithful and administering the church rests with the bishops. However, the church holds that the pope has final authority over their actions because he is the bishop of Rome, the office that it teaches was held by the apostle Peter at his death. Although the pope is empowered to speak infallibly on faith and morals, he does so only in formal pronouncements that specifically state he is speaking from the chair (ex cathedra) of St. Peter. This rarely used prerogative was most recently invoked in 1950, when Pope Pius XII declared that Mary was assumed bodily into heaven. The Curia serves as a form of governmental cabinet. Its members, appointed by the pope, handle both administrative and judicial functions. The pope also chooses members of the College of Cardinals, who serve as his principal counselors. When a new pope must be chosen, they meet in a conclave to select a new pope by majority vote. In practice, cardinals are bishops, but there is no requirement that a cardinal be a bishop. In the United States, the church’s principal organizational units are archdioceses and dioceses. They are headed, respectively, by archbishops and bishops, who have final responsibility for many activities within their jurisdictions and report directly to Rome.

Roman numerals Use Roman numerals for wars and to establish personal sequence for people and animals: World War I, Native Dancer II, King George V, Pope John XXIII, John Jones III. Use Arabic numerals in all other cases. In Roman numerals, the capital letter I equals 1, V equals 5, X equals 10, L equals 50, C equals 100, D equals 500 and M equals 1,000. Do not use M to mean million, as some newspapers occasionally do in headlines. Other numbers are formed from these by adding or subtracting as follows: The value of a letter following another of the same or greater value is added: III equals 3. The value of a letter preceding one of greater value is subtracted: IV equals 4.

Romania Not Rumania.

Romanian Orthodox Church The Romanian Orthodox Church in America is an autonomous archdiocese of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America is an autonomous archdiocese within the Orthodox Church in America.

Rome The city in Italy stands alone in datelines.

room numbers Use figures and capitalize room when used with a figure: Room 2, Room 211.

rooms Capitalize the names of specially designated rooms: Blue Room, Lincoln Room, Oval Office, Persian Room.

Roquefort cheese, Roquefort dressing A certification mark for a type of blue cheese cured in Roquefort, France. It is not a trademark.

rosary It is recited or said, never read. Always lowercase.

Rosh Hashana The Jewish new year. Occurs in September or October.

rostrum A speaker stands on a rostrum or podium, behind a lectern, or in a pulpit.

ROTC Acceptable in all references for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. When the service is specified, use Army ROTC, Navy ROTC or Air Force ROTC, not AROTC, NROTC or AFROTC.

round up (v.) roundup (n.)

route numbers Do not abbreviate route.

Royal Dutch-Shell Group of Companies This holding company, based in London and The Hague, owns substantial portions of the stock in numerous corporations that specialize in petroleum and related products. Most have Shell in their names. Among them is Shell Oil Co., a U.S. corporation, with headquarters in Houston.

rpm Acceptable on first reference for revolutions per minute in specialized contexts, such as an automotive column. Otherwise do not use it until second reference.

RSVP The abbreviation for the French repondez s’il vous plait, it means please reply. Note, no more periods.

rubber stamp (n.) rubber-stamp (v. and adj.)

rubella Also known as German measles.

runner-up, runners-up

running mate

rush hour (n.) rush-hour (adj.)

Russia

Russian names When a first name in Russian has a close phonetic equivalent in English, use the equivalent in translating the name: Alexander Solzhenitsyn rather than Aleksandr, the spelling that would result from a transliteration of the Russian letter into the English alphabet. When a first name has no close phonetic equivalent in English, express it with an English spelling that approximates the sound in Russian: Nikita, for example. For last names, use the English spelling that most closely approximates the pronunciation in Russian. If an individual has a preference for an English spelling that is different from the one that would result by applying these guidelines, follow the individual’s preference. Women’s last names have feminine endings. But use them only if the woman is not married or if she is known under that name (the ballerina Maya Plissetskaya). Otherwise, use the masculine form: Raisa Gorbachev, not Gorbacheva. Russian names never end in off, except for common mistransliterations such as Rachmaninoff. Instead, the transliterations should end in ov: Romanov.

Russian Orthodox Church

Russian Revolution Also: the Bolshevik Revolution.

Rust Belt Both words are up.

Ryanair Headquarters is in Dublin, Ireland.

S.S. Kresge Co. Now known as Kmart (solid). Headquarters is in Troy, Mich.

Sabbath Capitalize in religious references; lowercase to mean a period of rest.

Sabena Belgian World Airlines A Sabena Airliner is acceptable in any reference. Headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.

saboteur

Sacagawea The U.S. Mint uses this spelling on its dollar coin. Use it instead of Sacajawea.

sacraments Capitalize the proper names used for these Christian sacramental rites: the Last Supper, Holy Communion, Holy Eucharist. Lowercase the names of others: baptism, confirmation, penance, matrimony, holy orders and anointing the sick (formerly extreme unction).

sacrilegious Also sacrilege.

Saddam Hussein President of Iraq. Use Hussein on second reference.

Safeway Stores Inc. Headquarters is in Oakland, Calif.

said Use said, not says. All quotes are past tense unless it’s a philosophical statement: A penny saved is a penny earned, Ben always says. Examples: It’s Smith said, not said Smith. The latter term is stilted and archaic, as is readily apparent if you substitute a pronoun. Only in poetry class would you write said she. The only exception is when several defining words follow the attribution: This is a rule to remember, said Smith, who is acknowledged as the nation’s leading style guru. Avoid the phrases said in an interview or told The Associated Press. Almost everyone reporters talk to say what they’re saying in an interview.

saint Abbreviate as St. in the names of saints, cities and other places: St. Jude; St. Paul, Minn.; St John’s, Newfoundland; St. Lawrence Seaway.

Saint John The spelling for the city in New Brunswick. To distinguish it from St. John’s, Newfoundland.

salable

SALT For Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty. Should be spelled out later in story.

Salt Lake City Stands alone in datelines.

salvo, salvos

Samsung Electronics Headquarters is in Seoul, South Korea.

SAM, SAMS Use surface-to-air missile(s) instead.

San Diego The city in California stands alone in datelines.

San Francisco The city in California stands alone in datelines.

San Marino Use alone in datelines on stories from the Republic of San Marino.

San’a It’s not an apostrophe (‘) in the Yemen capital’s name. It’s a reverse apostrophe (‘), or a single opening quotation mark.

sandbag (n.) The verbs: sandbagged, sandbagging. And: sandbagger.

sandstorm Visibility of one-half mile or less because of sand blown by winds of 30 mph or more.

sandwich

sanitarium, sanitariums

Santa Claus

Sardinia Use instead of Italy in datelines on stories from communities on this island.

Saskatchewan A province of Canada north of Montana and North Dakota. Do not abbreviate.

Sasquatch Up in all references. Bigfoot is also up.

Satan But lowercase devil and satanic. Uppercase Satanism.

satellites

Saturday night special Popular name for cheap pistols.

Saudi Arabia Use Saudi as the adjective in referring to the people or culture of Saudi Arabia. It’s Saudi diplomacy, not Saudi Arabian diplomacy. For the Saudi monarchy, follow the style on British and other monarchies. Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal would be Prince Saud on first reference and Saud on second reference. Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario -- The abbreviation is Ste. instead of St. because the full name is Sault Sainte Marie.

savings and loan associations They are not banks. Use the association on second reference.

savior Use this spelling for all senses, rather than the alternate form, saviour.

says Use said, not says. All quotes are past tense unless it’s a philosophical statement: A penny saved is a penny earned, Ben always says. Avoid said he and said Smith. Use Smith said unless a phrase follows to describe Smith. Avoid the phrases said in an interview or told The Associated Press. Almost everyone reporters talk to say what they’re saying in an interview.

Scandinavian Airlines System SAS is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Stockholm, Sweden.

scene numbers Use Arabic numbers and capitalize scene: Scene 2; Act 2, Scene 4. But: the second scene, the third scene.

scheme Do not use as a synonym for a plan or a project.

school



Capitalize when part of a proper name: Cedarwood Elementary School, Marysville Junior High School, Kamiak High School. What follows is a list of public school districts and high schools in The Herald’s circulation area. While the Northshore high schools are in King County, the district includes areas of both Snohomish and King counties. For private schools, refer to the Thomas Guide or the Washington Education Directory. Locations of high schools, when ambiguous, are given parenthetically.

SNOHOMISH COUNTY: Arlington School District No. 16: Arlington High School Darrington School District No. 330: Darrington High/Middle School Edmonds School District No. 15: Edmonds- Woodway High School (Edmonds); Lynnwood High School; Meadowdale High School (Lynnwood); Mountlake Terrace High School; Scriber Lake High School (Lynnwood) Everett School District No. 2: Cascade High School (Everett): Everett High School: Henry M. Jackson High School (Mill Creek) Granite Falls School District No. 332: Granite Falls High School Index School District No. 63: No high school Lake Stevens School District No. 4: Lake Stevens High School Lakewood School District No. 306: Lakewood Junior- Senior High School Marysville School District No. 103: Marysville- Pilchuck High School Monroe School District No. 103: Monroe High School Mukilteo School District No. 6: Kamiak High School; Mariner High School (Everett) Snohomish School District No. 201: Snohomish Senior High School Stanwood School District No. 401: Stanwood High School Sultan School District No. 311: Sultan High School

ISLAND COUNTY Coupeville School District No. 204: Coupeville Junior-Senior High School Oak Harbor School District No. 201: Oak Harbor High School South Whidbey School District No. 206: South Whidbey High School (Langley)

KING-SNOHOMISH COUNTY Northshore School District No. 417: Bothell Senior High School; Inglemoor Senior High School (Kenmore); Woodinville High School Skykomish School District No. 404: Skykomish High School

school(-) school board, schoolbook, schoolboy, schoolchildren, schoolgirl, school ground, school guard, schoolhouse, schoolmaster, schoolroom, school ship, schoolteacher

scissors Takes plural verbs and pronouns: The scissors are on the table. Leave them there.

Scot, Scots, Scottish A native of Scotland is a Scot. The people are the Scots, not the Scotch. Somebody or something is Scottish.

scotch scotch broom, scotch barley, scotch broth, scotch salmon, scotch sour

Scotch tape A trademark for a brand of transparent tape.

Scotch whisky A type of whiskey distilled in Scotland from malted barley. The malt is dried over a peat fire. Capitalize Scotch and use the spelling whisky only when the two words are used together. Lowercase scotch standing alone: Give me some scotch. Use the spelling whiskey for generic references to the beverage, which may be distilled from any of several grains. The verb to scotch means to stamp out, put an end to.

Scotland Use Scotland after the names of Scottish communities in datelines.

Screen Actors Guild SAG OK on second reference.

Scripture, Scriptures Capitalize when referring to the religious writings in the Bible.

scuba Lowercased acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

sculptor Use for both men and women.

scurrilous

sea gull, seabird Sea gull is two words, but seabird is one.

Sea Islands A chain of islands off the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Islands within the boundaries of South Carolina include Parris Island, Port Royal Island and St. Helena Island. Those within Georgia include Cumberland Island (largest in the chain), St. Simons Island and St. Catherines Island (no apostrophes), and Sea Island. Amelia Island is within the boundaries of Florida. Several communities have

names taken from the island name Port Royal is a town on Port Royal Island, Sea Island is a resort on Sea Island, and St. Simons Island is a village on St. Simons Island. In datelines: PORT ROYAL, S.C. ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga.

sea(-) seacoast, seafarer, seafood, seagoer, seagoing, seaplane, seaport, seashore, seawall, seaweed

SEAL(s) A special operations force of the Navy. The acronym is for sea, air, land. See also Special Forces.

seaman

Sears, Roebuck and Co. Headquarters is in Chicago.

seasons Lowercase spring, summer, fall, winter and derivatives such as springtime unless part of a formal name: Winter Olympics, Summer Olympics.

seat belt Two words. We do not say whether people in an accident were or were not wearing seat belts. Do not use even if an officer stresses it. An exception could occur if seat belts are the whole point, but approval of editor must be indicated. The same goes for bicycle helmets.

SeaTac/Sea-Tac Unlike the second reference to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, there is no hyphen (or space) between words when referring to the city of SeaTac.

Seattle The city in the state of Washington stands alone in datelines.

Seattle International Raceway Seattle Professional Engineering Employees

Association SPEEA acceptable on second reference.

Seattle professional sports teams Seattle Mariners (baseball), Seattle Seahawks (football), Seattle SuperSonics (basketball), Seattle Storm (women’s professional basketball), Seattle Sounders (soccer), Seattle Thunderbirds (hockey).

second (-) second base, second baseman, second best (n.), second-best (adj.), second-grader, secondhand (adj. and adv.), second nature, second-rate (adj. and adv.), second sight, second thought, second wind

second reference Applies to all subsequent references to an organization or individual in a story. The listing of an acceptable acronym or abbreviation for second reference does not mean it always should be used after the first reference. Often a generic word such as the agency, the commission or the company is more appropriate and less jarring to the reader. Or repeat the full name for clarity.

second reference, names Anyone 16 and older should be referred to by their last name standing alone on second reference. Those 15 and younger should be referred to by their first name. In general, use last names for crime stories or adult activities if they involve people younger than 18. But small children should never be referred to by their last name only. First names may be appropriate for adults in a personal story about someone the writer clearly knows well, or when circumstances warrant a personal approach to the story. When referring to a couple with the same last name on second reference, do not use first names only. Use the full name, as in John Smith said, Mary Smith said.

Secret Service



A federal agency administered by the Department of Homeland Security.

The Secret Service Uniformed Division, which protects the president’s residence and offices and the embassies in Washington, formerly was known as the Executive Protective Service.

secretary Capitalize before a name only if it is an official corporate or organizational title. Do not abbreviate.

secretary of state Capitalize as a formal title before a name.

secretary-general With a hyphen. Capitalize as a formal title before a name: Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

secretary-treasurer With a hyphen. Capitalize as a formal title before a name.

section Capitalize when used with a figure to identify part of a law or bill: Section 14B of the Taft- Hartley Act.

Securities and Exchange Commission SEC is acceptable on second reference. The related legislation is the Securities Exchange Act (no and).

Security Council (U.N.) Security Council may be used on first reference in stories under a United Nations datelines. Use U.N. Security Council in other first references. Retain capitalization of Security Council in all references. Lowercase council whenever it stands alone.

Sedro-Woolley Note the hyphen. A town in Skagit County.

Seeing Eye dog A trademark for a guide dog trained by Seeing Eye Inc. of Morristown, N.J. Now also accepted lowercase by Webster’s.

seesaw

self- Hyphenate: self-assured, self-government, self-defense. Exception: selfhood.

sell out (v.) sellout (n. and adj.)

semi- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples:semiautomatic, semifinal, semiofficial, semi-invalid, semitropical.

semi-automatic A firearm that fires only once for each pull of the trigger. It reloads after each shot. The form: a semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic weapon, a semi-automatic pistol.

semiannual Twice a year, a synonym for biannual. Do not confuse it with biennial, which means every two years.

semifinal, semifinalist One word.

senate Capitalize all specific references to governmental legislative bodies, regardless of whether the name of the nation is used: the U.S. Senate, the Senate, the Virginia Senate, the state Senate, the Senate. Lowercase plural uses: the Virginia and North Carolina senates.

senator, Sen.

senatorial Always lowercase.

send off (v.) send-off (n.)

senior Use only after full name. Abbreviate as Sr. Use only in local crime stories, when always part of a person’s name or when needed to distinguish between a father and son. Do not precede by a comma: George Bush Sr.

senior citizen Avoid the terms senior citizen or elderly unless a person’s age has something to do with the story. Never use for someone under age 65. An acceptable use: She receives a senior citizens discount. Elderly is acceptable in generic phrases that do not refer to specific individuals: The county program brings together children and elderly people. In general, be sensitive to ageism. Don’t stereotype people by age or refer to age if it’s irrelevant, as in this unacceptable use: A grandmother was arrested on drug charges today.

sentences Capitalize the first word of every sentence, including quoted statements and direct questions: Patrick Henry said, I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death. Capitalize the first word of a quoted statement if it constitutes a sentence, even if it was part of a larger sentence in the original: Patrick Henry said, Give me liberty or give me death. In direct questions, even without quotation marks: The story answers the question, Where does true happiness really lie? Go to ellipsis in the Punctuation chapter.

Sept. 11 The term for describing the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Use 2001 if needed for clarity. Also acceptable is 9/11. See 9/11 entry.

sergeant-at-arms

serial numbers Use figures and capital letters in solid form (no hyphens or spaces unless the source indicates they are an integral part of the code): A1234567.

service Capitalize such terms as Forest Service standing alone when the full name starts with U.S. Lowercase such as park service when the full name starts like National Park Service.

service clubs

service mark A brand, symbol, word, etc. used by a supplier of services and protected by law to prevent a competitor from using it: Realtor, for a member of the National Association of Realtors, for example. When a service mark is used, capitalize it. The preferred form, however, is to use a generic term unless the service mark is essential to the story.

serviceable

serviceman Avoid this word. There are plenty of women in the service too. Use gender-neutral words: soldiers, sailors, service members.

sesquicentennial Every 150 years.

set up (v.) setup (n. and adj.)

Seven Seas Arabian Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Bengal, Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, South China Sea

Seven Sisters The colleges are Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, Vassar and Wellesley. The expression probably needs to be explained to West Coast readers.

Seven Wonders of the World The Egyptian pyramids, the hanging gardens of Babylon, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the statue of Zeus by Phidias at Olympia and the Pharos or lighthouse at Alexandria.

Seventh-day Adventist Church The denomination is traceable to the preaching of William Miller of New Hampton, N.Y., a Baptist layman who said his study of the Book of Daniel showed that the end of the world would come in the mid-1840s. When the prediction did not come true, the Millerites split into smaller groups. One, influenced by visions described by Ellen Harmon, later Mrs. James White, is the precursor of the Seventh-day Adventist practice today. The description adventist is based on the belief that a second coming of Christ is near. Seventh-day derives from the contention that the Bible requires observing the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. Baptism, by immersion, is reserved for those old enough to understand its meaning. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only sacraments.

7Up Trademark for a brand of soft drink.

severe thunderstorm Describes either of the following: Winds: Thunderstorm-related surface winds sustained or gusts 50 knots or greater; or hail: Surface hail three-quarters of an inch in diameter or larger.

sewage, sewerage Sewage is waste matter. Sewerage is the drainage system.

sex changes Follow these guidelines in using proper names or personal pronouns when referring to an individual who has had a sex-change operation: If the reference is to an action before the operation, use the proper name and sex of the individual at that time. If the reference is to an action after the operation, use the new proper name and sex.

sexism In referring to women, avoid words or phrases that seem to imply that men are the norm and women are the exception, or descriptions that would be irrelevant if the subject were male.

shah Capitalize when used as a title before a name; lowercase subsequent references as the shah.

shake up (v.) shake-up (n. and adj.)

shall, will Use shall to express determination: We shall overcome. You and he shall stay. Either shall or will may be used in first-person constructions that do not emphasize determination: We shall hold a meeting. We will hold a meeting. For second- and third-person constructions, use will unless determination is stressed: You will like it. She will not be pleased.

shape up (v.) shape-up (n. and adj.)

Shariah The legal code of Islam. It is roughly comparable to the Talmudic tradition in Judaism.

Shavuot The Jewish Feast of Weeks, commemorating the receiving of the Ten Commandments. Occurs in May or June.

she Do not use this pronoun in references to ships or nations. Use it instead, except in direct quotes. Sheet Metal Workers International Association -- The shortened form Sheet Metal Workers union is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington.

shell

Shell Oil Co. This U.S. company with headquarters in Houston, is part of the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies. The group owns more than half of the stock in Shell Oil.

sheriff Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name. See titles.

Shiite The spelling for this branch of Islam. Plural is Shiites.

ships

shirt sleeve, shirt sleeves (n.) shirt-sleeve (adj.)

shoe(-) shoe horn, shoelace, shoemaker, shoeshine, shoestring, shoe tree

shop(-), (-)shop shopkeeper, shoplifter, shop steward, shopworn. Also: barbershop, bookshop, machine shop, pawnshop, repair shop, sweatshop, toyshop

short ton Equal to 2,000 pounds.

short(-) short circuit (n.), short-circuit (v.), shortchange, shortcut (n.), shorthand, short-lived (adj.), shortsighted, shortstop, shortwave (n. and adj.)

shot

shotgun

should, would Use should to express an obligation: We should help the needy. Use would to express a customary action: In the summer we would spend hours by the seashore. Use would also in constructing a conditional past tense, but be careful. Wrong: If Soderholm would not have had an injured foot, Thompson would not have been in the lineup. Right: If Soderholm had not had an injured foot, Thompson would not have been in the lineup.

show(-) showboat, showcase, showdown, showman, show-off (adj.), showoff (n.), showroom

showbiz One word.

shrubs

shut(-) shutdown (n.), shut-in (n.), shut off (v.), shut-off (n.), shutout (n.)

Sicily Use instead of Italy in datelines on stories from communities on this island.

sick(-) sickbed, sick call, sick leave, sick list, sickroom

side by side, side-by-side They walked side by side. The stories received side-by-side display.

side(-) side arm (weapon), sidearm (pitcher), sideboard, sideline, sidesaddle, sidestep, sidestroke, sideswipe, sidewalk, sidewise

Siemens Headquarters is in Munich, Germany.

Sierra Nevada, the Not Sierra Nevada Mountains. Not the Sierras. (Sierra means mountains.)

sightseeing, sightseer

Simoniz A trademark for a brand of auto wax.

Sinai Not the Sinai. Use Sinai Desert, Sinai Peninsula.

Singapore Stands alone in datelines.

Singapore Airlines Headquarters is in Singapore.

single(-) single-handed, single-minded, singlespace, single-family (adj.)

Siniora Preferred spelling for Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

SIR Seattle International Raceway. Use SIR on second reference to avoid confusion with NASCAR track owner International Speedway Corp.

sister (exception to AP) Capitalize in all references before the names of nuns. If a surname is used in first reference, it can be used alone on second reference. If no surname is given, the name is the same in all references: Sister Agnes Rita. Use mother the same way when referring to a woman who heads a group of nuns.

sister-in-law, sisters-in-law

sit sit down (v.), sit-down, (n. and adj.), sit-in, situp (n.), sit up (v.)

sizable

size Not an adjective; do not use to form one. Correct: large-sized.

sizes Use figures: a size 9 dress, size 40 long, 10Z\x shoes, a 34Z\x sleeve.

skeptic, cynic Do not use interchangeably. They are not the same. A skeptic is a habitual doubter. A cynic denies the sincerity of people’s motives or actions.

ski, skis, skier, skied, skiing Also: ski jump, ski jumping.

Skid Road, Skid Row The term originated as Skid Road in the Seattle area, where dirt roads were used to skid logs to the mill. Over the years, Skid Road became a synonym for the area where loggers gathered, usually down among the rooming houses and saloons. In time, the term spread to other cities as a description for sections, such as the Bowery in New York, that are havens for derelicts. In the process, row replaced road in many references. Use Skid Road for this section in Seattle; either Skid Road or Skid Row for other areas.

skillful

skin-dive (v.), skin diving (n.)

skinhead No quotes needed.

skydiver, skydiving One word.in all uses.

SkyWest Headquarters is in St. George, Utah.

slang In general, avoid slang or highly informal language that is outside conventional or standard usage.

slaying

sledgehammer

sleet Describes solid grains of ice formed by the freezing of raindrops or the refreezing of largely melted snowflakes. Sleet, like small hail, usually bounces when hitting a hard surface. Heavy sleet is a fairly rare event in which the ground is covered to a depth of significance to motorists and others.

sleight of hand

slowdown

slum, slumlord When word slum appears, think twice about why it’s there. Use slumlord only in quotes.

small-arms fire

small-business man

<smartphone An advanced cellphone that allows for email, Web browsing and downloadable applications.

smash up (v.) smashup (n. and adj.)

Smithfield Ham A trademark for a ham drycured, smoked and aged in Smithfield, Va.

Smithsonian Institution Not Smithsonian Institute.

smoke bomb, smoke screen

Smokey Or Smokey Bear. Not Smokey the Bear. But: A smoky room.

Smokey Point

smolder Not smoulder

s’more A campfire dessert of toasted marshmallow and chocolate between graham crackers.

SMS An acronym for short message service. Text messaging is preferred.

sneaked Preferred as past tense of sneak. Do not use snuck.

Snohomish County



Appointed government positions are created to ordinance. Officeholders are nominated by the executive and confirmed by the county council. All administer departments, except medical examiner and hearing examiner, which are offices.

Elected offices are: Snohomish County Assessor’s Office, Snohomish County Auditor’s Office, Snohomish County Clerk’s Office, Snohomish County Council, Snohomish County executive, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County treasurer, and Office of the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney.

Terms of office are four years. These offices, except for the council and the executive, were established with the county in the 1860s. Titles seem to have been left to officeholders. Office has been assumed in most cases, such as Snohomish County Auditor’s Office. One exception is Snohomish County treasurer (check below).

As for officeholders’ titles, capitalize only when used before an official’s name. Check titles.

Other information about county offices: The Office of the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney is the formal title for prosecutor’s office. The prosecuting attorney is the elected official, and prosecutor is acceptable on all references. Other attorneys are deputy prosecuting attorneys and deputy prosecutors; lowercase is acceptable on all references because it’s a job description. The office also includes senior deputy prosecutors, a chief criminal deputy prosecutor and a chief civil deputy prosecutor. The deputy prosecutors review and prosecute violations of state laws and county ordinances referred by police agencies from throughout Snohomish County. Prosecutors cannot investigate cases but look for holes in cases that police agencies will gather more information about. Deputy prosecutors also provide legal advice for county agencies and represent county agencies and officials in civil lawsuits.

Snohomish County Airport is a county-operated public airport at Paine Field, although Paine Field is accepted on all references.

The clerk of the council is the official title of the person who serves as chief record keeper of the Snohomish County Council.

The Snohomish County auditor supervises elections, records real-estate transactions and sells auto, boat, business and pet licenses.

The Snohomish County clerk has a second title, exofficio clerk of the Superior Court or, more simply, clerk of the court.

The Snohomish County Council is the legislative side of government and generally presides only over unincorporated parts of the county. It has five members, each elected by a district that includes municipalities and unincorporated areas.

The Snohomish County Department of Corrections operates the Snohomish County Jail. The Snohomish County Department of Parks and General Services oversees recreation sites, the Evergreen Fairgrounds at Monroe and maintenance of buildings and grounds.

The Snohomish County Department of Planning and Community Development comprises two divisions. The planning division is concerned with land-use policies and forecasts. The community development division primarily reviews development applications and sells building permits.

The Snohomish County executive is elected at-large and is responsible for administering the day-to-day operation of county government.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office is administered by the chief medical examiner. Unlike a coroner, the examiner is a medical doctor and a trained pathologist. The staff includes a chief investigator and a team of investigators.

The Snohomish County treasurer mails tax bills and invests the revenue for county government and special taxing districts, such as schools. The treasurer is a division of the Department of Budget and Finance. It is the only elected office that is part of another department.

Snohomish Health District: The countywide health department is administered by a health officer. Although managed by a city-county board, it is not a department of county government.

Snohomish County Public Defender: This is the private, nonprofit public defense agency providing court-appointed attorneys in criminal cases. The association’s name is singular in its letterhead, contrary to the phone book.

Snohomish County Public Utility District: Snohomish County PUD is acceptable on first reference. PUD is acceptable on later references.

Sno-Isle Libraries Formerly Sno-Isle Regional Library System. Now at www.sno-isle.org

snow avalanche bulletin Snow avalanche bulletins are issued by the U.S. Forest Service for avalanche-prone areas in the western United States.

snow(-) snowball, snow-blind, snowbound, snowdrift, snowfall, snowflake, snowman, snowmobile, snowpack, snowplow, snowshoe, snowstorm, snowsuit

snowmelt One word, like snowpack.

so called (adv.) so-called (adj.) Use sparingly. Do not follow with quotation marks. Example: He is accused of trading so-called blood diamonds to finance the war.

Social Security Capitalize all references to the U.S. system. The number groups are hyphenated: XXX-XX-XXXX. Lowercase generic uses such as: Is there a social security program in Sweden?

socialist, socialism Capitalize both name of the party and word party if it is customarily used as part of an organization’s proper name: the Socialist Party. Lowercase name of philosophy.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals SPCA is acceptable on second reference. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is limited to the five boroughs of New York City. The autonomous chapters in other cities ordinarily precede the organization by the name of the city: On first reference, the Philadephia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; on second, the Philadelphia SPCA or SPCA as appropriate in the context.

Society of Friends

Society of Professional Journalists No longer the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi. On second reference: SPJ.

soda pop Soft drink is preferred to the regionalisms pop or soda pop.

soft money No quotes in terms of political donations.

soft-spoken

software titles Capitalize but do not use quotation marks around such titles as WordPerfect or Windows, but use quotation marks for computer games: “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”

solicitor

soliloquy, soliloquies

song titles Put title in quotes. Capitalize principal words and articles a, an, the if first or last word in a title.

son-in-law, sons-in-law

SOS The distress signal. S.O.S (no final period) is a trademark for a brand of soap pad.

Sound Uppercase standing alone for Puget Sound.

sound barrier The speed of sound no longer is a true barrier because aircraft have exceeded it.

South America

South Carolina Abbrev.: S.C.

South Dakota Abbrev.: S.D.

South, Southern, Southeast, Southwest As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, the 16-state South region is broken into three divisions. The four East South Central states are Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. The eight South Atlantic states are Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The four West South Central states are Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. There is no official U.S. Census Bureau definition of Southeast, but capitalize it, Southern and Southwest when referring to region, lowercase for direction. Do not use Dixie when referring to South.

Southeast Alaska Uppercase in reference to the combination of water and forested islands that create the state’s famous Inside Passage. It stretches 500 air miles north/south and 100 miles east/west.

Southeast Asia The nations of the Indochinese Peninsula and the islands southeast of it: Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Southeast Asia Treaty Organization SEATO is acceptable on second reference.

Southern California, Northern California

Soviet Union The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or Soviet Union, no longer exists. It was replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States founded on Dec. 8, 1991, a federation of 11 of the former USSR republics. Russia is the largest and richest. The republics: Armenia (Armenian); Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani); Belarus (Belarussian); Estonia (Estonian); Georgia (Georgian); Kazakhstan (Kazakh) Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz); Latvia (Latvian); Lithuania (Lithuanian); Moldova (Moldovan); Russia (Russian); Tajikistan (Tajik); Turkmenistan (Turkmen); Ukraine (no the) (Ukrainian); Uzbekistan (Uzbek). DATELINES: MOSCOW stands alone. Follow all other datelines with the name of the state: ALMA-ATA, Kazakhstan. BALTICS: Use the city and Lithuania, Latvia, or Estonia in datelines from these Baltic nations.

Space Age It began with the launching of Sputnik 1 on Oct. 4, 1957.

space agency

space centers

space shuttle Lowercase space shuttle, but capitalize a proper name. The space shuttle is a reusable winged aircraft capable of carrying people and cargo into Earth orbit. It is designed to take off vertically with the aid of booster rockets. After an orbital mission, re-entry begins with the firing of engines that send the craft back into Earth’s atmosphere. The final leg of the return trip is a powerless glide to a landing strip.

space(-) spacecraft, spaceflight, space platform, spaceport, spaceship, space station, spacesuit, spacewalk

spacecraft designations Use Arabic figures and capitalize the name: Gemini 7, Apollo 11, Pioneer 10.

spam Unwanted email, usually advertising.

Spanish and Portuguese names The family names of both the father and mother usually are considered part of a person’s full name. The normal sequence is given name, father’s family name, mother’s family name: Jose Lopez Portillo. On second reference, use only the father’s family name (Lopez), unless the individual prefers or is widely known by a multiple last name (Lopez Portillo). Some individuals use a y (for and) between the two surnames: Jose Lopez y Portillo. Include the y on second reference only if both names are used: Lopez y Portillo.

Spanish-American War

speaker Capitalize as a formal title before a name. Generally, it is a formal title only for the speaker of a legislative body: Speaker Dennis Hastert.

special forces Do not use interchangeably with special operations forces. Capitalize when referring specifically to the U.S. Army Special Forces, also known as Green Berets. Others, such as Navy SEALs or Army Rangers, should be called special operations forces.

species Same in singular and plural. Use singular or plural verbs and pronouns depending on the sense: The species has been unable to maintain itself. Both species are extinct.

SPEEA Acceptable on second reference for the Seattle Professional Engineering Employees Association.

speeches Capitalize and use quotation marks for their formal titles, as described in composition titles.

speechmaker, speechmaking

speed of sound

speed up (v.) speedup (n. and adj.)

speeds Use figures. The car slowed to 7 mph, winds of 5 to 10 mph, winds of 7 to 9 knots, 10-knot wind. Avoid extensively hyphenated constructions such as 5-mile-per-hour winds.

speedskating Scoring is in minutes, seconds and tenths of a second. Extend to hundredths if available. Use a basic summary.

spelling The basic rule when in doubt is to consult this book followed by, if necessary, a dictionary under conditions described in the dictionaries entry.

Memory Aid: Noah Webster developed the following rule of thumb for the frequently vexing question of whether to double a final consonant in forming the present participle and past tense of a verb:
If the stress in pronunciation is on the first syllable, do not double the consonant: combat, combating, combated; cancel, canceling, canceled.
If the stress in pronunciation is on the second syllable, double the consonant unless confusion would result: incur, incurred, incurring. An exception, to avoid confusion with buss, is bus, bused, busing.



Avoid spelling simplifications such as thru or lite.

British spellings, when they differ from American, are acceptable only in particular cases such as formal or composition titles: Jane’s Defence Weekly, Labour Party.

spill, spilled, spilling Not spilt in the past tense.

split infinitive See verbs.



spokesman, spokeswoman Do not use spokesperson. Use a word such as representative if you do not know the sex of the individual.

sport utility vehicle No hyphen. SUV OK on second reference and in headlines.

sportsman Avoid the sexist term. Among the alternatives: competitor, angler, hunter, tennis player, ballplayer, golfer.

spouse Use to avoid sexist language: physicians and their spouses.

spring

springtime

sputnik Usually lowercase, but capitalize when followed by a figure as part of a proper name: Sputnik 1. It is Russian for satellite.

squall A sudden increase of wind speed by at least 16 knots and rising to 25 knots or more and lasting for at least one minute.

square Do not abbreviate. Capitalize when part of a proper name: Washington Square.

squinting modifier A misplaced adverb that can be interpreted as modifying either of two words: Those who lie often are found out. Place the adverb where there can be no confusion, even if a compound verb must be split: Those who often lie are found out. Or if that was not the sense: Those who lie are often found out.

Sri Lanka Formerly Ceylon. Use Sri Lanka in datelines and other references to the nation. The people may be called either Sri Lankans or Ceylonese. Before the nation was called Ceylon, it was Serendip, whence comes the word serendipity.

SST Acceptable in all references for a supersonic transport.

St. John’s The city in the Canadian province of Newfoundland. Not to be confused with Saint John, New Brunswick.

St. Louis The city in Missouri stands alone in datelines.

stadium, stadiums Capitalize only when part of a proper name: Yankee Stadium.

Stalin, Josef Not Joseph.

stanch, staunch stanch is a verb: He stanched the flow of blood. Staunch is an adjective: She is a staunch supporter of equality.

stand(-) standby (n. and adj.), stand-in (n.), standoff (n.), standout

Standard & Poor’s Register of Corporations The source for determining the formal name of a business. The register is published by Standard & Poor’s Corp. of New York.

standard time Capitalize Eastern Standard Time, Pacific Standard Time, etc., but lowercase standard time when standing alone.

standard-bearer

starboard Nautical for right.

”The Star-Spangled Banner” But lowercase the national anthem.

start-up

state Lowercase in all state of constructions: the state of Maine, the states of Maine and Vermont. Four

states Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia are legally commonwealths rather than states. The distinction is necessary only in formal uses: The commonwealth of Kentucky filed a suit. For simple geographic reference: Tobacco is grown in the state of Kentucky. Do not capitalize state when used simply as an adjective to specify a level of jurisdiction: state Rep. William Smith, the state Transportation Department, state funds. Apply the same principle to phrases such as the city of Chicago, the town of Auburn, etc.

STANDING ALONE: Spell out the names of the 50 U.S. states when they stand alone in textual material. Any state name may be condensed, however, to fit typographical requirements for tabular material.

EIGHT NOT ABBREVIATED: The names of eight states are never abbreviated in datelines or text: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. Memory Aid: Spell out the names of the two states that are not part of the contiguous United States and of the six continental states that are five letters or fewer.

ABBREVIATIONS REQUIRED: Use the state abbreviations listed below in conjunction with the name of a city, town, village or military base in most datelines. See datelines for examples and exceptions for large cities. In conjunction with the name of a city, county, town, village or military base in text. See examples in punctuation section. See datelines for guidelines on when a city name may stand alone in the body of a story. In short-form listings of party affiliation: D-Ala., R-Mont. See party affiliation entry for details. Use the two-letter U.S. Postal Service abbreviation only with full addresses, including ZIP code. The form: P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.



State AP Postal
Alabama Ala. AL
Alaska None AK
Arizona Ariz. AZ
Arkansas Ark. AR
California Calif. CA
Colorado Colo. CO
Connecticut Conn. CT
Delaware Del. DE
Florida Fla. FL
Georgia Ga. GA
Hawaii None HI
Idaho None ID
Illinois Ill. IL
Indiana Ind IN
Iowa None IA
Kansas Kan. KS
Kentucky Ky. KY
Louisiana La. LA
Maine None ME
Maryland Md. MD
Massachusetts Mass. MA
Michigan Mich. MI
Minnesota Minn. MN
Mississippi Miss. MS
Missouri Mo. MO
Montana Mont. MT
Nebraska Neb. NB
Nevada Nev. NV
New Hampshire NH. NH
New Jersey N.J. NJ
New Mexico N.M. NM
New York N.Y. NY
North Carolina N.C. NC
North Dakota N.D. ND
Ohio None OH
Oklahoma Okla. OK
Oregon Ore. OR
Pennsylvania Pa. PA
Rhode Island R.I. RI
South Carolina S.C. SC
South Dakota S.D. SD
Tennessee Tenn. TN
Texas None TX
Utah None UT
Vermont Vt. VT
Virginia Va. VA
Washington Wash. WA
West Virginia W.Va. WV
Wisconsin Wis. WI
Wyoming Wyo. WY







PUNCTUATION: Place one comma between the city and the state name, and another comma after the state name, unless ending a sentence or indicating a dateline: He was traveling from Nashville, Tenn., to Austin, Texas, en route to his home in Albuquerque, N.M. She said Cook County, Ill., was Mayor Daley’s stronghold. MISCELLANEOUS: Use New York state when necessary to distinguish the state from New York City. Use state of Washington or Washington state when necessary to distinguish the state from the District of Columbia.





state departments, agencies Follow the rules in composition titles for names of organizations, agencies, laws, etc., capitalizing everything except articles, conjunctions and prepositions of fewer than four letters: state Department of Natural Resources. Do not capitalize the word state preceding the agency title unless the whole title is used: Washington State Gambling Commission. Some are called offices, some are commissions. Some examples: Office of the Attorney General, Washington State Arts Commission, Office of the State Auditor, Washington Conservation Commission, Department of Ecology (or Ecology Department; capitalization is retained if name is flip- flopped). Check the website www.wa.gov/state.htm for a complete list.

State of the Union Capitalize all references to the president’s annual address. Lowercase other uses: The state of the union is confused, the editor said.

State Patrol Uppercase standing alone for Washington State Patrol. Do not use patrol standing alone.

state police, patrol Capitalize with a state name if part of the formal description for a police agency: the New York State Police, the Virginia State Police, the State Police, Washington State Patrol, the State Patrol.

Statehouse Lower case in all references: The Washington statehouse is in Olympia.

states’ rights

statewide

station wagon

stationary, stationery To stand still is to be stationary. Writing paper is stationery.

statute mile It equals 5,280 feet, or approximately 1.6 kilometers. To convert to approximate nautical miles, multiply the number of statute miles by .869.

staunch

steady-state theory

stealth For military aircraft, lowercase with no quote marks, the same as for cruise missile.

steller Lowercase steller’s jay, steller’s sea lion and other such steller critters even though they are named for German naturalist Georg Steller.

stepbrother, stepfather Also: stepsister, stepmother.

steppingstone

Stevens Hospital Not Stevens Memorial Hospital. In Edmonds.

Stevens Pass No apostrophe.

stifling

stockmen’s advisory Alerts the public that livestock may require protection because of certain combinations of cold, wet and windy weather, specifically cold rain and/or snow with temperatures 45 degrees or lower and winds of 25 mph or higher. If the temperature is in the mid-30s or lower, the wind speed criterion is lowered to about 15 mph.

stool pigeon

stop(-) stopgap, stoplight, stop-off (n.), stopover (n.), stopwatch.

storm

storm tide Directional wave(s) caused by a severe atmospheric disturbance.

storm water Two words. But wastewater is one word.

storyline

storyteller

straight-laced, strait-laced Use straight-laced for someone strict or severe in behavior or moral views. Reserve strait-laced for the notion of confinement, as in a corset.

strait Capitalize as part of a proper name: Bering Strait, Strait of Gibraltar, Strait of Juan de Fuca. But: the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. Neither is followed by Strait.

straitjacket Not straight-jacket.

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty START is acceptable on first reference to the treaty as long as it is made immediately clear which is being referred to. Use the strategic arms treaty or the treaties in some references to avoid alphabet soup. There are three START treaties: - START I, signed in 1991. - START II, signed in 1992. Ratified by U.S. Senate, but never took effect because the Senate did not adopt the 1997 protocol and several amendments to Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty demanded by Russian Duma. Shelved by Russia in 2002 after U.S withdrew from ABM treaty. - New START, signed in 2010. Do not confuse with the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty of 1979, known as SALT

street Abbreviate only with a numbered address. Always include the compass directional, as in Elm Street NE.

strikebreaker

strong-arm (v., adj.)

strong-willed

student

Styrofoam A trademark for a brand of plastic foam. Use the term plastic foam unless referring specifically to the trademark product.

sub(-) subbasement, submachine gun, subcommittee, suborbital, subculture, subtotal, subdivision, subzero

subcommittee Lowercase when used with the name of a legislative body’s full committee: a Ways and Means subcommittee. Capitalize when a subcommittee has a proper name of its own: the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

subject

subjunctive mood Use the subjunctive mood of a verb for contrary-to-fact conditions, and expressions of doubts, wishes or regrets: If I were a rich man, I wouldn’t have to work hard. I doubt that more money would be the answer. I wish it were possible to take back my words. Sentences that express a contingency or hypothesis may use either the subjunctive or the indicative mood depending on the context. In general, use the subjunctive if there is little likelihood that a contingency might come true: If I were to marry a millionaire, I wouldn’t have to worry about money. If the bill passes as expected, it will provide an immediate tax cut.

submachine gun

subpoena, subpoenaed, subpoenaing

subprime One word for this type of mortgage.

Sucaryl A trademark for a brand of noncaloric sweetener.

successor

suffixes Check separate listing for commonly used suffixes. Follow Webster’s New World Dictionary for words not in this book. If a word combination is not listed in Webster’s New World, use two words for the verb form; hyphenate any noun or adjective forms.

suit, suite You may have a suit of clothes, a suit of cards or be faced with a lawsuit. There are suites of music, rooms and furniture.

Sukkot The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, celebrating the fall harvest and commemorating the desert wandering of the Jews during the Exodus. Occurs in September or October.

summer

summertime

sun Lowercase.

Sun Belt Generally those states in the South and West, ranging from Florida and Georgia through the Gulf states into California.

sunbathe The verb forms: sunbathed, sunbathing. Also: sunbather.

sunbreaks

super Avoid the slang tendency to use it in place of excellent, wonderful, etc.

Super Bowl Use Roman Numerals: Super Bowl V, Super Bowl XXIII.

super(-) superferry, superagency, superhighway, supercarrier, superpower, supercharge, supertanker. As with all prefixes, however, use a hyphen if the word that follows is capitalized: super-Republican. superconducting supercollider (exception to AP) -- Both words solid.

superintendent Do not abbreviate. Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name.

Superior Court

supersede

supersonic

supersonic transport SST is acceptable in all references.

supra- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: supragovernmental, supranational.

Supreme Court of the United States Capitalize U.S. Supreme Court and also the Supreme Court when the context makes the U.S. designation unnecessary. The chief justice is properly the chief justice of the United States, not of the Supreme Court: Chief Justice John Roberts. The proper title for the eight other members of the court is associate justice. When used as a formal title before a name, it should be shortened to justice unless there are special circumstances: Justice Joseph Alito, Associate Justice Joseph Alito.

supreme courts of the states Capitalize with the state name (the New Jersey Supreme Court) and without the state name when the context makes it unnecessary: the state Supreme Court, the Supreme Court. If a court with this name is not a state’s highest tribunal, the fact should be noted. In New York, for example, the Supreme Court is a trial court. Appeals are directed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. The state’s highest court is the Court of Appeals.

surface-to-air missile(s) SAM(s) may be used on second reference. Avoid the redundant SAM missiles.

suspensive hyphenation The form: The 5- and 6-year-olds attend morning classes.

swastika

sweat pants, sweat shirt, sweat suit two words

Swissair Headquarters is in Zurich, Switzerland.

syllabus, syllabuses

synagogue Capitalize only when part of a formal name.

Synagogue Council of America

syndrome Lowercase in such terms as Down syndrome, shaken baby syndrome.

synod A council of churches or church officials. Check the entry for the denomination in question.

Tabasco A trademark for a brand of hot pepper sauce.

table tennis

tablecloth

tablespoon, tablespoonfuls Equal to three teaspoons or one-half a fluid ounce. The metric equivalent is approximately 15 milliliters.

tabular matter Exceptions may be made to the normal rules for abbreviations, as necessary to make material fit. But make any abbreviations as clear as possible.

Tacoma Dome

tae kwon do Three words.

tail wind

tailspin

Taiwan Use Taiwan, not Formosa, in references to the Nationalist government in Taiwan and to the island itself.

take(-) take-home pay, take off (v.), takeoff (n. and adj.), take out (v.), takeout (n. and adj.), take over (v.), takeover (n. and adj.), take up (v.), takeup (n. and adj.)

Talmud The collection of writings that constitute the Jewish civil and religious law.

Tammany, Tammany Hall, Tammany Society

tanks Use Arabic figures, separated from letters by a hyphen: M-60. Plural: M-60s.

tape recording The noun. But hyphenate the verb form: tape-record.

taps Lowercase, no quotes, on the bugle call.

Taser Trademark for an electronic control device or stun gun. (Acronym for Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle.)

Tass Acceptable on first reference for the Russian government’s news agency that is officially ITARTass. ITAR stands for Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. Copy from other parts of the former Soviet Union should carry the logo of the local agency plus Tass.

tattletale

taxicab

tea party Espouses conservative and, sometimes, libertarian philosophies. People who claim to be adherents are tea partyers. Formally named groups are capitalized: Tea Party Express.

tea(-) tearoom, teaspoonful(s), teatime

teachers college No apostrophe.

team

team(-) teammate, team play, teamwork

teamster Capitalize teamster only if the intended meaning is that the individual is a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America.

Teamsters union Acceptable in all references to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America

tear gas Two words.

teaspoon Equal to one-sixth of a fluid ounce, or one-third of a tablespoon. The metric equivalent is approximately 5 milliliters.

teaspoonful, teaspoonfuls Not teaspoonsful.

Technicolor A trademark for a process of making color motion pictures.

teen, teenager (n.) teenage (adj.) No hyphen. Do not use teenaged.

Teflon A trademark for a type of nonstick coating.

telecast (n.) televise (v.)

telephone numbers Use figures: 425-339-3000. If extension numbers are given: ext. 2, ext. 364, ext. 4071. Use area codes with all phone numbers, but do not precede the number with a 1 to indicate long distance. All phone numbers should be verified and include a cq.

TelePrompTer A trademark for a type of cuing device. It is no relation to Teleprompter Corp., a cable television company with headquarters in New York.

Teletype A trademark for a brand of teleprinters and teletypewriters.

television program titles Use quotation marks for show titles. For example, “Law & Order.” Use quotation marks for the title of an episode: “The Trouble With Tribbles,” an episode of “Star Trek.”

television stations When using call letters, they stand alone unless distinction from a companion radio station is needed: KOMO-TV, KING-TV, KIRO-TV, KCTS, KSTW, KVOS, KCPQ. Avoid using channel and numbers, such as Channel 5, since they may vary depending on TV service provider.

telex, Telex (n.) A communications system. Use lowercase when not referring to a specific company. Use uppercase only when referring to the company. Never used as a verb.

telltale

temblor

temperature-humidity index The temperaturehumidity index indicates the combined effect of heat and air moisture on human comfort. A reading of 70 or below indicates no discomfort. A reading of 75 would indicate discomfort in half the population and all would feel uncomfortable with a reading of 79. The National Weather Service issues the index between June 15 and Sept. 15.

temperatures Use figures for all except zero. Use a word, not a minus sign, to indicate temperatures below zero. Right: The day’s low was minus 10. Right: The day’s low was 10 below zero. Wrong: The day’s low was -10. Right: The temperature rose to zero by noon. Right: The day’s high was expected to be 9 or 10. Also: 5-degree temperatures, temperatures fell 5 degrees, temperatures in the 30s (no apostrophe). Temperatures get higher or lower, but they don’t get warmer or cooler. Wrong: Temperatures are expected to warm up in the area Friday. Right: Temperatures are expected to rise in the area Friday.

Ten Commandments Do not abbreviate or use figures.

tenderhearted

tenfold

Tennessee Abbrev.: Tenn.

Tennessee Valley Authority TVA is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Knoxville, Tenn.

tera(-) A prefix denoting 1 trillion units of a measure. Move a decimal point 12 places to the right, adding zeros if necessary, to convert to the basic unit:

5.5 teratons 5,500,000,000,000 tons.

terrace Do not abbreviate. Use Terrace as the shortened form for Mountlake Terrace.

Texaco Inc. Headquarters is in Harrison, N.Y.

Texas Do not abbreviate. Second behind Alaska in total land area among the 50 states.

Texas Hold ‘em The poker game.

text messaging See SMS.

texts, transcripts Follow normal style guidelines for capitalization, spelling and abbreviations in handling a text or transcript.

Thai A native or the language of Thailand. Siam and Siamese are historical only. Use Siamese for the cat.

Thai Airways Headquarters is in Bangkok, Thailand.

Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day The fourth Thursday in November.

that (conjunction) Use the conjunction that to introduce a dependent clause if the sentence sounds or looks awkward without it. There are no hard-andfast rules, but in general: That usually may be omitted when a dependent clause immediately follows a form of the verb to say: The president said he had signed the bill. That should be used when a time element intervenes between the verb and the dependent clause: The president said Monday that he had signed the bill. That usually is necessary after some verbs. They include: advocate, assert, contend, declare, estimate, make clear, point out, propose and state. That is required before subordinate clauses beginning with conjunctions such as after, although, because, before, in addition to, until and while. When in doubt, include that. Omission can hurt. Inclusion never does.

that, which, who, whom (pronouns) Use who and whom when referring to people and to animals with a name: John Jones is the man who helped me. Check the who, whom entry. Use that and which in referring to inanimate objects and to animals without a name.

the Do not use the in front of road names. It’s just River Valley Road, not the River Valley Road.

The Associated Press Do not refer to the wire service simply as the AP. Uppercase The when referring to The Associated Press in stories or in copyright lines. Associated Press without The is acceptable for photo credits and bylines. Delete told The Associated Press in stories (use said) except when distinguishing wire copy from local reporting in combined stories. The Seattle bureau’s telephone number is 206-682-1812. The New York telephone number is 212-621-1500. The address is 50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020.

theater Use this spelling unless the proper name is spelled theatre: Shubert Theatre. On second reference: the Moore, the Paramount, the Rep.

theft

their, there, they’re Their is a possessive pronoun: They went to their house. There is an adverb indicating direction: We went there for dinner. There also is used with the force of a pronoun for impersonal constructions in which the real subject follows the verb: There is no food on the table. They’re is a contraction for they are.

theretofore Use until then.

thermos Formerly a trademark, now a generic term for any vacuum bottle, although one manufacturer still uses the word as a brand name. Lowercase thermos when it is used to mean any vacuum bottle; use Thermos when referring to the specific brand.

Third World The economically developing nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Do not confuse with nonaligned, which is a political term. PuNTuATION MARKS AND HOw TO uSE THEM

third(-) third base, third baseman, third-class (adj.), third degree (n.), third-degree (adj.), third-grader, thirdhand (adj. and adv.).

three R’s They are: reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic.

three strikes law No quotes. No hyphen.

three-D 3-D is preferred.

threesome

throwaway (n. and adj.)

thumbs-up, thumbs-down

thunder(-) thunderbolt, thunderclap, thundercloud, thunderhead, thundershower, thunderstorm, thunderstruck

tidal wave Tsunami is now the accepted term for a seismic sea wave. These waves are caused by underwater earthquakes, landslides or volcanoes.

tidbit

tie in (v.) tie-in (n. and adj.)

tie up (v.) tie-up (n. and adj.)

tie, tied, tying

till Or until. But not ‘til.

time Use figures except for noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Avoid such redundancies as 10 a.m. this morning, 10 p.m. tonight or 10 p.m. Monday night. Use 10 a.m. today, 10 p.m. today or 10 p.m. Monday, etc., as required by the norms in time element. The construction 4 o’clock is acceptable, but time listings with a.m. or p.m. are preferred.

time element Every story should have one, preferably in the lead and always close to the top. Use today, this morning, this afternoon, tonight as appropriate. Do not use yesterday or tomorrow. Use Monday, Tuesday, etc., for days of the week within seven days before or after the current date. Use the month and a figure for dates beyond this range. See months for forms and punctuation. Avoid such redundancies as last Tuesday or next Tuesday. The past, present or future tense used for the verb usually provides adequate indication of which Tuesday is meant: He said he finished the job Tuesday. She will return on Tuesday. Avoid awkward placements of the time element, particularly those that suggest the day of the week is the object of a transitive verb. Potential remedies include the use of the word on (See the on entry), rephrasing the sentence, or placing the time element in a different sentence.

time of day The exact time of day that an event has happened or will happen is not necessary in most stories. Follow these guidelines to determine when it should be included and in what form: Specify the time whenever it gives the reader a better picture of the scene. Did the earthquake occur when people were likely to be home asleep or at work? A clock reading for the time in the datelined community is acceptable, although predawn hours or rush hour often is more graphic. Whenever the time is critical to the story. When will the rocket be launched? When will a major political address be broadcast? What is the deadline for meeting a demand? Translate to Pacific time whenever possible, as long as it doesn’t create confusion or distort the impact of the event, such as a rush-hour accident. In some such cases, such as it being different days in the time zone where event occurred and in ours, you may want to state the time there followed by Pacific time in parenthesis. The trains collided at 1:05 a.m. EST today (10:05 p.m. PST Wednesday).

time sequences Use figures, colons and periods as follows: 2:30:21.65 (hours, minutes, seconds, tenths, hundredths).

Time Warner Inc. Time Warner is one of the world’s largest media conglomerates. It owns the Warner Bros. movie and TV studio; the Time Inc. magazine publishing group, which includes Time, Sports Illustrated, People and Fortune; AOL; a group of cable networks including HBO, CNN and TBS; and the second-largest cable company in the United States, Time Warner Cable Inc. The company was briefly known as AOL Time Warner Inc. after agreeing to be acquired by America Online Inc. in 2000, but changed its name back to just Time Warner Inc. in 2003. Headquarters is in New York.

time zones Capitalize the full name of the time in force within a particular zone: Pacific Standard Time, Pacific Daylight Time, Central Standard Time. Lowercase all but the region in short forms: the Eastern time zone, Eastern time, Mountain time. Check time of day for guidelines on when to use clock time in a story. Spell out the time zone in references not accompanied by a clock reading: Chicago is in the Central time zone. The abbreviations PST, MDT, CDT and EDT are acceptable on first reference for zones used within the continental United States, Canada and Mexico only if the abbreviation is linked with a clock reading: noon EST, 9 a.m. PST. (Do not set the abbreviations off with commas.) Spell out all references to time zones not used within the continental United States: When it is noon EDT, it is 1 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time and 8 a.m. Alaska Standard Time.

timeout

times, dates, places Always list in this order: The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at City Hall.

tip off (v.) tipoff (n. and adj.)

tiptop

titleholder

titles



In general, confine capitalization to formal titles used directly before an individual’s name.

The basic guidelines:

LOWERCASE: Lowercase and spell out titles when they are not used with an individual’s name: The president issued a statement. The pope gave his blessing. Lowercase and spell out titles in constructions that set them off from a name by commas: The vice president, Nelson Rockefeller, declined to run again. Pope Benedict XVI, the current pope, does not plan to retire.

COURTESY TITLES: See courtesy titles for guidelines on when to use Miss, Mr., Mrs., Ms. or no titles. The forms Mr., Mrs., Miss and Ms. apply both in regular text and in quotations.

FORMAL TITLES: Capitalize formal titles when they are used immediately before one or more names: Pope Benedict XVI, President Washington, Vice Presidents John Jones and William Smith. A formal title generally is one that denotes a scope of authority, professional activity or academic activity: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Dr. Marcus Welby, Pvt. Gomer Pyle.

Other titles serve primarily as occupational descriptions: astronaut John Glenn, movie star John Wayne, peanut farmer Jimmy Carter. A final determination on whether a title is formal or occupational depends on the practice of the governmental or private organization that confers it. If there is doubt about the status of a title and the practice of the organization cannot be determined, use a construction that sets the name or the title off with commas.

ABBREVIATED TITLES: The following formal titles are capitalized and abbreviated as shown when used before a name both inside and outside quotations: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep., Sen. and certain military ranks listed in military titles. All other formal titles are spelled out in all uses.

ROYAL TITLES: Capitalize king, queen, etc., when used directly before a name. See individual entries and nobility.

TITLES OF NOBILITY: Capitalize a full title when it serves as the alternate name for an individual. See nobility.

PAST AND FUTURE TITLES: A formal title that an individual formerly held, is about to hold or holds temporarily is capitalized if used before the person’s name. But do not capitalize the qualifying word: former President Ford, deposed King Constantine, Attorney General-designate Griffin B. Bell, acting Mayor Peter Barry.

LONG TITLES: Separate a long title from a name by a construction that requires a comma: Charles Robinson, the undersecretary for economic affairs, spoke. Or: The undersecretary for economic affairs, Charles Robinson, spoke.

UNIQUE TITLES: If a title applies only to one person in an organization, insert the word the in a construction that uses commas: John Jones, the deputy vice president, spoke.

ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE: Many commonly used titles and occupational descriptions are listed separately in this book, together with guidelines on whether and/or when they are capitalized. In these entries, the phrases before a name or immediately before a name are used to specify that capitalization applies only when a title is not set off from a name by commas.

See academic titles; composition titles; legislative titles; military titles; and religious titles.

TNT Acceptable in all references for trinitrotoluene.

tobacco, tobaccos

Tobago

Tokyo Stands alone in datelines.

toll(-) tollbooth, toll bridge, toll call, toll collector, tollgate, tollhouse cookie, tollkeeper, toll road

Tommy gun Alternate trademark for Thompson submachine gun.

tomorrow Use only in direct quotations and in phrases that do not refer to a specific day: The world of tomorrow will need additional energy resources. Use the day of the week in other cases.

ton There are three different types: A short ton is equal to 2,000 pounds. A long ton, also known as a British ton, is equal to 2,240 pounds. A metric ton is equal to 1,000 kilograms, or approximately 2,204.62 pounds. CONVERSION EQUATIONS Short to long: Multiply by .89 (5 short tons x .89 -- 4.45 long tons). Short to metric: Multiply by .9 (5

short tons x .9 4.5 metric tons). Long to short: Multiply by 1.12 (5 long tons x 1.12 -- 5.6 short tons). Long to metric: Multiply by 1.02 (5

long tons x 1.02 5.1 metric tons). Metric to short:

Multiply by 1.1 (5 metric tons x 1.1 5.5 short tons).

Metric to long: Multiply by .98 (5 metric tons x .98 4.9 long tons). See metric system See kiloton for units used to measure the power of nuclear explosions. See oil for formulas to convert the tonnage of oil shipments to gallons.

tonight All that’s necessary is 8 tonight, or 8 p.m. today. Avoid the redundant 8 p.m. tonight.

Tony awards Note that awards is down. Plural form is the Tonys. It’s up in Academy Awards because it is part of the name and the short form is Oscars, not Academys.

too No comma unless it’s an addition of the action of the subject.

top(-) topcoat, top hat, top-heavy, topknot, topmast, topsail, topsoil

tornado A violent rotating column of air forming a pendant usually from a cumulonimbus cloud, and touching the ground. It usually starts as a funnel cloud and is accompanied by a loud roaring noise. On a local scale, it is the most destructive of all atmospheric phenomena. A tornado warning warns the public of an existing tornado or one suspected to be in existence. A tornado watch alerts the public to the possibility of a tornado.

Toronto The city in Canada stands alone in datelines.

Tory, Tories An exception to the normal practice when forming the plural of a proper name ending in y. The words are acceptable on second reference to the Conservative Party in Britain and its members.

total, totaled, totaling The phrase a total of often is redundant. It may be used, however, to avoid a figure at the start of a sentence: A total of 650 peope were killed in holiday traffic accidents. A total of takes a plural verb and the total of takes a singular verb.

Total Headquarters is in Paris.

touch-tone A generic term for a push-button telephone dialing service.

toward Not towards.

town Apply capitalization principles.

town council Apply capitalization principles.

Toyota Motor Corp. Headquarters is in Toyota City, Japan.

trade in (v.) trade-in (n. and adj.)

trade off (v.) trade-off (n. and adj.)

trademark In general, use a generic equivalent unless the trademark name is essential to the story. When a trademark is used, capitalize it. Some trademarked terms now recognized in lowercase by Webster’s: seeing eye dog, frisbee, dumpster, baggie, sheetrock.

traffic, trafficked, trafficking

trailhead

trampoline Formerly a trademark, now a generic term.

tranquillity preferred spelling

trans- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: transcontinental, transsexual, transmigrate, transship, transoceanic, trans-Siberian. Also: trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific. These are exceptions to Webster’s New World in keeping with the general rule that a hyphen is needed when a prefix precedes a capitalized word.

Trans World Airlines TWA is acceptable in any reference.

transcripts See the texts, transcripts entry.

transfer, transferred, transferring

Transjordan Earlier name for Jordan. Transportation Communications International

Union Formerly the Brotherhood of Railway, Airline and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employees. Headquarters is in Rockville, Md.

transsexuals

travel, traveled, traveling, traveler

travelers’ advisory Alerts the public that difficult traveling or hazardous road conditions are expected to be widespread.

travelogue Not travelog.

treasurer Capitalize when used as a formal title immediately before a name. Caution: The secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury is not the same person as the U.S. treasurer.

trees

tribe, tribal Refers to a social group of linked families or communities sharing a common ancestry or culture and who may be part of a larger ethnic group, such as the Cherokee tribe of American Indians and the Ngunnawal tribe of Aborigines. Ethnic group is preferred when referring to ethnicity or ethnic violence. See nationalities and races entry.

Tribune Co. U.S. newspaper publishing and broadcasting company with headquarters in Chicago. Large-market titles include Newsday on New York’s Long Island, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. Company was taken private in 2007 in a transaction led by real estate mogul Sam Zell.

Tricare Not all caps.

trigger-happy

TriMotor The proper name of a three-engine airplane once made by Ford Motor Co.

Trinidad and Tobago In datelines on stories from this island nation, use a community name followed by either Trinidad or Tobago, but not both, depending on where the community is located.

Trojan horse, Trojan War

troop, troops, troupe A troop is a group of persons or animals. Troops means several such groups, particularly groups of soldiers. Use troupe only for ensembles of actors, dancers, singers, etc.

tropical depression A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind is 38 mph (33 knots) or less. A tropical storm: A warm-core tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface winds range from 39 to 73 mph (34 to 63 knots) inclusive.

tropical storm Uppercase when part of name: Tropical Storm Bob.

troublemaker, trouble-shooter

Truman, Harry S. With a period after the initial. Truman once said there was no need for the period because the S did not stand for a name. Asked in the early 1960s about his preference, he replied, “It makes no difference to me.” AP style has called for the period since that time. Follow this style for other such names.

trustee A person to whom another’s property or the management of another’s property is entrusted. Do not capitalize if used before a name.

trusty A prison inmate granted special privileges as a trustworthy person. Do not capitalize if used before a name.

try out (v.) tryout (n.)

tsar Use czar.

T-shirt

tsunami See weather terms.

tuberculosis TB is acceptable on second reference.

tug of war No hyphens.

Tulalip Administration Building

Tulalip Indian Reservation Use TULALIP for dateline. This includes “Quil Ceda Village,” the commercial development along I-5.

Tulalip Tribes As an entity, it takes a singular verb: The Tulalip Tribes operates a casino. But recast when possible: The Tulalip Tribes confederation operates a casino. In most cases, you can say the Tulalips, as in: The Tulalips operate a casino.

tune up (v.) tuneup (n. and adj.)

turboprop

turnpike Capitalize as part of a proper name: the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Lowercase turnpike when it stands alone.

TV Acceptable as an adjective or in such constructions as cable TV. But do not normally use as a noun unless part of a quotation.

twelve apostles An exception to the normal practice of using figures for 10 and above. Twentieth Century Fox, Twentieth Century Fund,

Twentieth Century Limited Follow an organization’s practice.

twenty (n. and v.)

twin-jet Hyphenate when referring to type of plane.

Twitter A community-based message-distribution system that allows users to post continual status updates of up to 140 characters detailing their activities for followers. The verb is to Twitter or to tweet. A Twitter message is known as a tweet.

typhoon A warm-core tropical cyclone in which the minimum sustained surface wind is 74 mph or more. Hurricanes are spawned east of the international date line. Typhoons develop west of the line. They are known as cyclones in the Indian Ocean. When a hurricane or typhoon loses strength (wind speed), usually after landfall, it is reduced to tropical storm status.

U In Burmese names, U is an honorific prefix. It means something like Mr. and is used for adult males only. Do not use it in stories. For example, U Nu should be Nu in all references. Women retain their given names after marriage. No courtesy titles apply.

U.N. Used as an adjective, but not as a noun, for United Nations.

U.S. Used as an adjective or a noun for United States.

U.S. Air Force

U.S. Army

U.S. Coast Guard

U.S. Conference of Mayors The members are the mayors of cities with 30,000 or more residents.

U.S. Court of Appeals



The court is divided into 13 circuits:
District of Columbia Circuit.
Federal Circuit.
1st Circuit: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico. Based in Boston.
2nd Circuit: Connecticut, New York, Vermont. Based in New York.
3rd Circuit: Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virgin Islands. Based in Philadelphia.
4th Circuit: Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia. Based in Richmond, Va.
5th Circuit: Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas. Based in New Orleans.
6th Circuit: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee. Based in Cincinnati.
7th Circuit: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin. Based in Chicago.
8th Circuit: Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota. Based in St. Louis.
9th Circuit: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam. Based in San Francisco.
10th Circuit: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming. Based in Denver.
11th Circuit: Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Based in Atlanta.



The courts do not always sit in the cities where they are based. Sessions may be held in other major cities within each region.

REFERENCE FORMS: A phrase such as a federal appeals court is acceptable on first reference. On first reference to the full name, use U.S. Court of Appeals or a full name: 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals without a circuit number is a misnomer and should not be used. In shortened and subsequent references: the Court of Appeals, the 2nd Circuit, the appeals court, the appellate court(s), the circuit court(s), the court. Do not create nonexistent entities such as the San Francisco Court of Appeals. Make it the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

JURISTS: The formal title for the jurists on the court is judge: U.S. Circuit Judge Johnnie Rawlinson is preferred to U.S. Appeals Judge Johnnie Rawlinson, but either is acceptable. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit -- It replaced U.S. Court of Claims and U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals. It handles suits against the federal government and appeals involving customs, patents and copyright. It is based in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection An agency of the Department of Homeland Security, it includes the Border Patrol.

U.S. District Courts There are 94. In shortened and subsequent references: the District Court, the District Courts, the court. Judge is the formal title for District Court jurists: U.S. District Judge Frank Johnson.

U.S. Tax Court This is an administrative body within the U.S. Treasury Department rather than part of the judicial branch. It handles appeals in tax cases.

U-boat A German submarine. Anything referring to a submarine should be submarine unless directly referring to a German vessel of World War I or II vintage.

UFO, UFOs Acceptable in all references for unidentified flying object(s).

Ukraine It’s Ukraine, not the Ukraine.

Ukrainian Catholic Church

ukulele

Ulster Historically, one of the four Irish provinces, covering nine counties. Six of the counties became Northern Ireland, three became part of the Republic of Ireland. Avoid use as a synonym for Northern Ireland.

ultimate fighting A registered trademark. Use the generic term mixed martial arts for bouts featuring boxing, wrestling, taekwondo and judo. Ultimate Fighting Championship is acceptable for events sanctioned by that group.

ultra- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: ultramodern, ultrasonic, ultranationalism, ultraviolet.

un- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen unless followed by a proper noun. Some examples: un-American, unnecessary, unarmed, unshaven.

Uncle Sam

Uncle Tom A term of contempt applied to a black person, taken from the main character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It describes the practice of kowtowing to whites to curry favor. Do not apply it to an individual. It carries potentially libelous connotations of having sold one’s convictions for money, prestige or political influence.

under Same guidelines apply as with over and more than. Less than is generally with numbers. But under may read better with ages, or when it is preceded by a modifier: She is under 30. It was just under an hour later.

under- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: underdog, undersheriff, underground, undersold, undersecretary.

under way Two words in virtually all uses: The project is under way. The naval maneuvers are under way.

unemployment rate In the United States, this estimate of the number of unemployed people seeking work is compiled monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency of the Labor Department. Each month the bureau selects a nationwide cross section of the population and conducts interviews to determine the size of the U.S. work force. The work force is defined as the number of people with jobs and the number looking for jobs. The unemployment rate is expressed as a percentage figure. The essential calculation involves dividing the total work force into the number of people looking for jobs, followed by adjustments to reflect variable factors such as seasonal trends.

UNESCO Acceptable on first reference for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

UNICEF Acceptable in all references for the United Nations Children’s Fund.

unidentified flying object(s) UFO and UFOs are acceptable in all references.

Uniform Code of Military Justice The laws covering members of the U.S. armed forces.

uninterested Uninterested means that someone lacks interest. Disinterested means impartial, free of bias or self-interest.

union Capitalize when used as a proper name of the Northern states during the Civil War: The Union defeated the Confederacy.

union names The formal names of unions may be condensed to conventionally accepted short forms that capitalize characteristic words from the full name followed by union in lowercase. Follow union practice in the use of the word worker in shortened forms. Among major unions, all except the United Steelworkers use two words: United Auto Workers, United Mine Workers, etc. When worker is used generically, make autoworkers one word in keeping with widespread practice; use two words for other job descriptions: bakery workers, mine workers, steel workers. Check the local of a union entry and the individual entries for these unions frequently in the news: Amalgamated Transit Union American Federation of Government Employees American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations American Federation of Musicians American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees American Federation of Teachers American Federation of Television and Radio Artists American Postal Workers Union Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers’ International Union of America Communications Workers of America International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America International Longshore and Warehouse Union International Longshoremen’s Association International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers International Union of Painters and Allied Trade Laborers’ International Union of North America National Association of Letter Carriers Newspaper Guild, The Sheet Metal Workers International Association Transportation Communications International Union UNITE-HERE (A merger of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees.) United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America United Farm Workers of America United Food and Commercial Workers International Union United Mine Workers of America United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union

union shop

Union Pacific Corp. Freight railroad, with headquarters in Omaha, Neb.

unique It means one of a kind. Do not use rather unique or most unique.

United Airlines A subsidiary of UAL Corp. Headquarters in Chicago.

United Arab Emirates Do not abbreviate, even in datelines. Use U.A.E. (with periods) if quoted matter requires the abbreviation. The seven emirates are: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharja, Ajman, Fujaira, Umm al Qaiwain and Ras al Khaima. A member emirate should not be referred to as a country or nation. The country name should be treated as plural. United Automobile, Aerospace and Agriculture

Implement Workers of America The shortened forms United Auto Workers and United Auto Workers union are acceptable in all references. UAW and Auto Workers are acceptable on second reference. Use autoworker or autoworkers (one word, lowercase) in generic references to workers in the auto industry. Headquarters is in Detroit. United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners

of America The shortened form Carpenters union is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

United Church of Christ United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of

America The shortened form Electrical Workers union is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in New York. United Food and Commercial Workers

International Union Formed by the merger of the Retail Clerks International Union and the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America. The shortened form Food and Commercial Workers union is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

United Kingdom It consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain (or Britain) consists of England, Scotland and Wales. Ireland is independent of the United Kingdom.

United Methodist Church

United Mine Workers of America The shortened forms United Mine Workers and United Mine Workers union are acceptable in all references. UMW and Mine Workers are acceptable on second reference. Use mine workers or miners, lowercase, in generic references to workers in the industry. Headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

United Nations Spell out when used as a noun. Use U.N. (no space) only as an adjective. However, U.N. is acceptable in headlines; it and U.S. are the only all-cap abbreviations that take periods in headlines. The periods in U.N., for consistency with U.S., are an exception to the first listing in Webster’s New World Dictionary. In datelines: UNITED

NATIONS (AP) Use U.N. General Assembly, U.N. Secretariat and U.N. Security Council in first references not under a United Nations dateline. General Assembly, the Secretariat and Security Council are acceptable in all references under a United Nations dateline and on second reference under other datelines. Lowercase the assembly and the council when they stand alone. United Presbyterian Church in the United States

of America It no longer exists. United Rubber, Cork, Linoleum and Plastic

Workers of America The shortened forms United Rubber Workers and United Rubber Workers union are acceptable in all references. Capitalize Rubber Workers in references to the union or its members. Use rubber workers, lowercase, in generic references to workers in the rubber industry. Headquarters is in Akron, Ohio.

United Service Organizations USO is acceptable on second reference.

United States U.S. is acceptable as an adjective or a noun on first reference. Though United States is singular, its possessive is formed as if it is plural: United States’.

United Steelworkers of America The shortened forms United Steelworkers and United Steelworkers union are acceptable in all references. Capitalize Steelworkers in references to the union or its members. Use steel workers (two words, lowercase) in generic references to workers in the steel industry. (Many Steelworkers are employed in other industries and thus are not steel workers.) Headquarters in Pittsburgh.

United Synagogue of America Not synagogues.

University of Washington On second reference, the university or the UW are acceptable. In headlines, UW is acceptable. For Bothell campus, use University of Washington’s Bothell campus rather than University of Washington, Bothell. UW Bothell is OK on second reference.

-up Follow Webster’s New World Dictionary. Hyphenate if not listed there. Some frequently used words (all are nouns; some also are used as adjectives): breakup, makeup, call-up, mix-up, change-up, mock-up, checkup, pileup, cleanup, push-up, close-up, roundup, cover-up, runners-up, crackup, setup, follow-up, shake-up, frame-up, shape-up, grown-up, smashup, holdup, speedup, letup, tie-up, lineup, walk-up, windup. Use two words when any of these occurs as a verb.

up- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: upend, upstate, upgrade, uptown

upfront

U-pick Use for do-it-yourself berry farms, tree nurseries and the like.

uplink The transmission from the ground to the satellite. Downlink is the transmission from the satellite to the ground. Foot print is the area on the ground in which a transmission from a particular satellite can be received. Earth station is the sending or receiving equipment on the ground for a satellite. Transponder is the equipment on a satellite that receives from the ground and sends to the ground. A satellite usually has a number of transponders. Geosynchronous is a satellite orbit in which the satellite appears to always be in the same place in reference to Earth. Most communications satellites are in geosynchronous orbits.

uppercase One word.(n., v., adj.) when referring to the use of capital letters. An exception to Webster’s New World in keeping with printers’ practice. upside down (adv.) upside-down

(adj.) The car turned upside down. She made an upside-down cake.

upstate Always lowercase: upstate New York.

upward Not upwards.

US Airways Formerly USAir. Headquarters is in Arlington, Va. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed

Forces This court, not part of the judicial branch as such, is a civilian body established by Congress to hear appeals from actions of the Defense Department. It is based in Washington. (Formerly the U.S. Court of Military Appeals.)

U.S. Court of Military Appeals See U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

U.S. Customs Court This court, based in New York City, handles disputes over customs duties that arise at any U.S. port of entry.

U.S. Information Agency Formerly the U.S. Communication Agency. Use U.S. Information Agency on first reference. Lowercase the communication agency or the agency in second references.

U.S. Military Academy

U.S. Navy

U.S. Postal Service Use U.S. Postal Service or the Postal Service on first reference. Retain capitalization of Postal Service in subsequent references to the agency. Lowercase the service when it stands alone. Lowercase post office in generic references to the agency and to an individual office, including with a city name: I went to the Everett post office. U.S. Postal Service Directory of Post

Offices The reference for U.S. place names not covered in this book.

U.S. Supreme Court Capitalize U.S. Supreme Court and also the Supreme Court when the context makes the U.S. designation unnecessary. The chief justice is properly the chief justice of the United States, not of the Supreme Court: Chief Justice John Roberts. The proper title for the eight other members of the court is associate justice. When used as a formal title before a name, it should be shortened to justice unless there are special circumstances: Justice David Souter, Associate Justice Davis Souter.

user friendly Appropriate when used literally, as in reference to computers or other electronic equipment. May be jargon in other uses.

usher Use for both men and women.

USS For United States Ship, Steamer or Steamship, preceding the name of a vessel: the USS

Iowa. In datelines: ABOARD USS IOWA (AP)

USX Corp. Formerly U.S. Steel.

Utah Do not abbreviate.

U-turn (n. and adj.)

v.

V-8 The engine.

vacuum

Valium A trademark for a brand of tranquilizer and muscle relaxant. It also may be called diazepam.

valley Capitalize as part of a full name: North Creek Valley, the Skagit Valley. Lowercase in plural uses: the Missouri and Mississippi valleys.

Vandyke beard, Vandyke collar

vanpool, carpool Both solid.

Varig Brazilian Airlines Headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.

Vaseline A trademark for a brand of petroleum jelly.

Vatican City Stands alone in datelines.

VCR Acceptable in all references to videocassette recorder.

VDT Abbreviation for video display terminal.

V-E Day May 8, 1945, the day the surrender of Germany was announced, officially ending the European phase of World War II.

vegetables

vegetative state



A condition in which the eyes are open and can move, and the patient has periods of sleep and periods of wakefulness, but remains unconscious. The patient is unaware of himself and others. He can’t be aroused. He can’t think, reason, respond, do anything on purpose, chew or swallow. He may react when startled by a sound or a sight, but this is reflex. He may seem to focus his eyes on something briefly. He does not communicate and shows no emotion. He breathes on his own.

Terri Schiavo was a Florida woman in a vegetative state whose care triggered national controversy before her death in 2005. A vegetative state is labeled “persistent” if it lasts more than a month. If it came about because the brain had been deprived of oxygen, it is generally considered permanent once it lasts longer than three months. If it was brought on by traumatic injury, it is considered permanent if it persists longer than 12 months.

Velcro Trademark for a nylon material that can be pressed together or pulled apart for easy fastening and unfastening. Uppercase.

venereal disease Do not use VD.

verbal

verbs The abbreviation v. is used in this book to identify the spelling of the verb forms of words frequently misspelled. SPLIT FORMS: In general, avoid awkward constructions that split infinitive forms of a verb (to leave, to help, etc.) or compound forms (had left, are found out, etc.) Awkward: She was ordered to immediately leave on an assignment. Preferred: She was ordered to leave immediately on an assignment. Occasionally, however, a split is not awkward and is necessary to convey the meaning: He wanted to really help his mother. Those who lie are often found out. How has your health been? The budget was tentatively approved.

Vermont Abbrev.: Vt.

vernacular The native language of a country or place. A vernacular term that has achieved widespread recognition may be used without explanation if appropriate in the context. Terms not widely known should be explained when used. In general, they are appropriate only when illustrating vernacular speech.

verses

versus Abbreviate as vs. in all uses.

very high frequency VHF is acceptable in all references.

Veterans Affairs Formerly Veterans Administration, it became Cabinet level in March 1989 with the full title Department of Veterans Affairs. VA (no periods) is still used on second reference.

Veterans Day Formerly Armistice Day, Nov. 11, the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. The federal legal holiday, observed on the fourth Monday in October during the mid-1970s, reverted to Nov. 11 in 1978.

Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters in Kansas City, Mo.

veto, vetoes (n.) The verb forms: vetoed, vetoing.

VHF Acceptable in all references for very high frequency.

vice- Use two words: vice admiral, vice chairman, vice chancellor, vice consul, vice president, vice principal, vice regent, vice secretary. Several are exceptions to Webster’s New World. The two-word rule has been adopted for consistency in handling the similar terms.

vice president Capitalize or lowercase following the same rules that apply to president, except do not drop the first name on first reference.

vice versa

Victrola A trademark for a brand of record player.

video game Two words in all uses.

video recording Precise term for digital audio and visual recording. Digital has largely replaced videotaping.

videotape (n. and v.)

Largely replaced by digital recording. The terms apply only if tape is used.

vie, vied, vying

vienna bread, vienna coffee, vienna sausages

Viet Cong

Vietnam Do not use Viet Nam.

Vietnam War

VIP, VIPs Acceptable in all references for very important person(s).

Virgin Atlantic Airways Headquarters is in Crawley, England.

Virgin Islands Use with a community name in datelines on stories from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Do not abbreviate. Identify an individual island in the text if relevant.

Virginia Abbrev.: Va. Legally a commonwealth, not a state.

viscount, viscountess

VISTA Acceptable on first reference for Volunteers in Service to America. Spell out later in story.

vitamins Lowercase vitamin, use a capital letter and/or a figure for the type: vitamin A, vitamin B-12.

V-J Day The day of victory for the Allied forces over Japan in World War II. It is calculated both as Aug. 15, 1945, the day the fighting with Japan ended, and as Sept. 2, 1945, the day Japan officially surrendered.

V-neck (n. and adj.)

voice mail Two words.

Voice of America VOA is acceptable on second reference.

volatile Something that evaporates rapidly. It may or may not be explosive.

Volkswagen Headquarters is in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Volkswagen of America Inc. The name of the U.S. subsidiary of the German company named Volkswagen AG. U.S. headquarters is in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

volley, volleys

Volunteers in Service to America VISTA is acceptable on first reference. Spell out later in story.

von

voodoo

vote tabulations Always use figures for the totals. Spell out below 10 in other phrases related to voting: by a five-vote majority, with three abstentions, four votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority. For results that involve fewer than 1,000 votes on each side, use these forms: The House voted 230-205, a 230-205 vote. To make totals that involve more than 1,000 votes on a side easier to read, separate the figures with the word to to avoid hyphenated adjectival constructions.

vote-getter

vulgarities Avoid them in stories unless they are part of direct quotations and there is a compelling reason to use them. Always check with the city editor or news editor. The executive editor has the final say. This includes using suck as a verb to describe something in a negative way. Avoid dysphemisms to describe bodily functions. Example: Pee or piss should be changed to something such as use the bathroom or urinate, depending on the context.

WAC, WAF, WAVES Avoid using these terms when referring to women in the military. WAC stood for what used to be the Women’s Army Corps. WAF stood for Women in the Air Force, an unofficial organizational distinction formerly made by the Air Force but never authorized by Congress. WAVES stood for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, an organizational distinction made for women during World War II but subsequently discontinued.

waiter (male) waitress (female)

wake-up call

Wales Use Wales after the names of Welsh communities in datelines.

walk(-) walk-on (n.), walkout (n.), walkover (n.), walk-up (n., adj.)

Wall Street When the reference is to the entire complex of financial institutions in the area rather than the actual street itself, the Street is an acceptable short form.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. This is the official name of the company, which has headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. Use Walmart when referring to the retail stores.

war Capitalize when used as part of the name for a specific conflict: the Civil War, the Cold War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the War of 1812, World War II, etc.

war horse, warhorse Two words for a horse used in battle. One word for a veteran of many battles: He is a political warhorse.

warden Capitalize as a formal title before a name.

wards Use figures.

warhead

warlike

warlord

warrant officer

wartime

washed-up (adj.)

Washington Abbreviate the state as Wash. Use the two-letter mailing abbreviation only in addresses. Never abbreviate when referring to the U.S. capital. Use state of Washington or Washington state and Washington, D.C., or District of Columbia when the context requires distinction between the state and the federal district.

Washington State Ferries That’s the uppercase, proper name of the system.

wastebasket

wastewater One word. But storm water is two words.

water(-) watercolor, watercress, waterfall, waterfront, waterline, waterlogged, waterproof, watershed, waterway, waterworks

waterspout A tornado over water.

weak-kneed

weapons Gun is an acceptable term for any firearm. Note the following definitions and forms in dealing with weapons and ammunition: anti-aircraft A cannon or other weapon designed for defense against air attack. The form: a 105 mm anti-aircraft gun.
artillery: A carriage-mounted cannon.
assault rifle: A rifle that is capable of being fired in fully automatic and semi-automatic modes, at the user’s option. Designed for, and used by, military forces. Also used by some law enforcement agencies. The form: an M16 assault rifle.
assault weapon: A semi-automatic firearm similar in appearance to a fully automatic firearm or military weapon. Not synonymous with assault rifle, which can be used in fully automatic mode. Wherever possible, be specific about the type of weapon: semi-automatic rifle, semi-automatic shotgun or semi-automatic pistol.
automatic: A firearm that reloads automatically after each shot. Note there are differences between fully automatic and semi-automatic firearms. Be specific in usage. The form: a .22-caliber automatic.
buckshot: See shot.
bullet: The projectile fired by a rifle, pistol or machine gun. Together with metal casing, primer and propellant, it forms a cartridge.
caliber: A measurement of the diameter of the inside of a gun barrel except for most shotguns. Measurement is in either millimeters or decimal fractions of an inch. The word caliber is not used when giving the metric measurement. The forms: a 9 mm pistol, a .22-caliber rifle.
cannon: A weapon, usually supported on some type of carriage, that fires explosive projectiles. The form: a 105 mm cannon.
carbine: A short, lightweight rifle, usually having a barrel length of less than 20 inches. The form: an M-3 carbine.
cartridge: See bullet.
clip: A device used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine of a repeating firearm.
Colt: Named for Samuel Colt, it designates a make of weapon or ammunition developed for Colt handguns. The forms: a Colt .45-caliber revolver, .45 Colt ammunition.
fully automatic: A firearm that fires continuously as long as the trigger is depressed. Examples include machine guns and submachine guns.
gauge: The measure of the size of a shotgun. Gauge is expressed in terms of the number per pound of round lead balls with a diameter equal to the size of the barrel. The bigger the number, the smaller the shotgun. The forms: a 12-gauge shotgun, a .410-gauge shotgun. The .410 actually is a caliber, but commonly is called a gauge.
handgun
howitzer: A cannon shorter than a gun of the same caliber employed to fire projectiles at relatively high angles at a target, such as opposing forces behind a ridge. The form: a 105 mm howitzer.
M-1, M-16: These and similar combinations of a letter and figure(s) designate rifles used by the military. The forms: an M-1 rifle, an M-16 rifle.
machine gun: A fully automatic gun that fires as long as the trigger is depressed. The form: a .50-caliber Browning machine gun.
magazine: The ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a firearm. It may be fixed to the firearm or detachable.
Magnum: A trademark for a type of high-powered cartridge with a larger case and a larger powder charge than other cartridges of approximately the same caliber. The form: a .357 Magnum, a .44 Magnum.
mortar: Device used to launch a mortar shell; it is the shell, not the mortar, that is fired.
musket: A heavy, large-caliber shoulder firearm fired by means of a matchlock, a wheel lock, a flintlock or a percussion lock. Its ammunition is a musket ball.
pistol: A handgun that can be a single shot or a semi-automatic. Its size is measured in calibers. The form: a .45-caliber pistol.
revolver: A handgun. Its cartridges are held in chambers in a cylinder that revolves. The form: a .45-caliber revolver.
rifle: A firearm designed or made to be fired from the shoulder and having a rifled bore. It uses bullets or cartridges for ammunition. Its size is measured in calibers. The form: a .22-caliber rifle.
Saturday night special: A compact, relatively inexpensive handgun.
semi-automatic: A firearm that fires only once for each pull of the trigger. It reloads after each shot. The form: a semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic weapon, a semi-automatic pistol.
shell: The word applies to military or naval ammunition and to shotgun ammunition.
shot: Small lead or steel pellets fired by shotguns. A shotgun shell usually contains 1 to 2 ounces of shot. Do not use shot interchangeably with buckshot, which refers only to the largest shot sizes.
shotgun: A firearm typically used to fire small spherical pellets called shot. Shotguns usually have a smooth bore barrel, but some contain a rifled barrel, which is used to fire a single projectile. Size is measured according to gauge, except for the .410, which is measured according to caliber. The form: a 12-gauge shotgun.
submachine gun: A lightweight fully automatic gun firing handgun ammunition.

weather terms The following are based on definitions used by the National Weather Service. All temperatures are Fahrenheit.

blizzard Wind speeds of 35 mph or more and considerable falling and/or blowing of snow with visibility near zero. Severe blizzard, winds of 45 mph, temperature at or below 10 F and visibility reduced by snow to near zero.

coastal waters The waters within about 20 miles of the coast, including bays, harbors and sounds.

cyclone A storm with strong winds rotating about a moving center of low atmospheric pressure. The word sometimes is used in the United States to mean tornado and in the Indian Ocean area to mean hurricane.

degree-day A unit of measurement describing how much the temperature differs from a standard average for one day. It is usually used to gauge the amount of heating or cooling needed for a building. If the standard average temperature for a day is 65 degrees, then a temperature of 10 below zero for 24 hours yields 75 degree-days.

dew point The temperature to which air must be cooled for dew to form. The higher the dew point, the more moisture in the air.

dust devil A small, rapidly rotating wind that is made visible by the dust, dirt or debris it picks up. Also called a whirlwind, it develops best on clear, dry, hot afternoons.

dust storm Visibility of one-half mile or less due to dust, wind speeds of 30 mph or more.

flash flood A sudden, violent flood. It typically occurs after a heavy rain or the melting of a heavy snow.

flash flood warning Warns that flash flooding is imminent or in progress. Those in the affected area should take necessary precautions immediately.

flash flood watch Alerts the public that flash flooding is possible. Those in the affected area are urged to be ready to take additional precautions if a flash flood warning is issued or if flooding is observed.

flood Stories about floods usually tell how high the water is and where it is expected to crest. Such a story should also, for comparison, list flood stage and how high the water is above, or below, flood stage. Wrong: The river is expected to crest at 39 feet. Right: The river is expected to crest at 39 feet, 12 feet above flood stage.

freeze Describes conditions when the temperature at or near the surface is expected to be below 32 degrees during the growing season. Adjectives such as severe or hard are used if a cold spell exceeding two days is expected. A freeze may or may not be accompanied by the formation of frost. However, use of the term freeze usually is restricted for occasions when wind or other conditions prevent frost.

freezing drizzle, freezing rain A drizzle or rain that falls as a liquid but freezes into glaze upon contact with the cold ground or surface structures.

frost Describes the formation of very small ice crystals, which might develop under conditions similar to dew except for the minimum temperatures involved. Phrases such as frost in low places or scattered light frost are used when appropriate.

funnel cloud A violent, rotating column of air that does not touch the ground, usually a pendant from a cumulonimbus cloud.

gale Sustained winds within the range of 39 to 54 mph (34 to 47 knots).

hail Precipitation in the form of irregular pellets or balls of ice. Showery precipitation in the form of irregular pellets or balls of ice more than 5 mm in diameter, falling from a cumulonimbus cloud.

heavy snow It generally means: a. A fall accumulating to 4 inches or more in depth in 12 hours, or b. A fall accumulating to 6 inches or more in depth in 24 hours.

high wind Normally indicates that sustained winds of 39 mph or greater are expected to persist for one hour or longer.

hurricane categories Hurricanes are ranked 1 to 5 according to what is known as the Saffir-Simpson scale of strength: Category 1 - Hurricane has central barometric pressure of 28.94 inches or more and winds of 74 to 95 mph, is accompanied by a 4 to 5 foot storm surge and causes minimal damage. Category 2 - Pressure 28.50 to 28.93 inches, winds from 96 to 110 mph, storm surge 6 to 8 feet, damage moderate. Category 3 - Pressure 27.91 to 28.49 inches, winds from 111 to 130 mph, storm surge 9 to 12 feet, damage extensive. Category 4 - Pressure 27.17 to 27.90 inches, winds from 131 to 155 mph, storm surge 13 to 18 feet, damage extreme. Category 5 - Pressure less than 27.17 inches, winds greater than 155 mph, storm surge higher than 18 feet, damage catastrophic. Only three Category 5 storms have hit the United States since record-keeping began: the 1935 Labor Day hurricane that hit the Florida Keys and killed 600 people; Hurricane Camille, which devastated the Mississippi coast in 1969, killing 256 and leaving $1.4 billion damage, and Hurricane Andrew, which hit South Florida in 1992, killing 43 and causing $30.5 billion in damage.

hurricane eye The relatively calm area in the center of the storm. In this area winds are light and the sky often is covered only partly by clouds.

hurricane or typhoon A warm-core tropical cyclone in which the minimum sustained surface wind is 74 mph or more. Hurricanes are spawned east of the international date line. Typhoons develop west of the line. They are known as cyclones in the Indian Ocean. When a hurricane or typhoon loses strength (wind speed), usually after landfall, it is reduced to tropical storm status.

hurricane season The portion of the year that has a relatively high incidence of hurricanes. In the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, this is from June through November. In the eastern Pacific, it is May 15 through Nov. 30. In the central Pacific, it is June 1 through Nov. 30.

hurricane tide Same as storm tide.

hurricane warning Warns that one or both of these dangerous effects of a hurricane are expected in specified areas in 36 hours or less: a. Sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher, and/or b. Dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves, even though winds expected may be less than hurricane force.

hurricane watch An announcement for specific areas that a hurricane or incipient hurricane conditions may pose a threat to coastal and inland communities. A watch is issued 48 hours ahead of storm force winds.

ice storm warning Reserved for occasions when significant, and possibly damaging, accumulations of ice are expected.

ice storm, freezing drizzle, freezing rain Describes the freezing of drizzle or rain on objects as it strikes them. Freezing drizzle and freezing rain are synonyms for ice storm.

microburst Occurs when a mass of cooled air rushes downward out of a thunderstorm, hits the ground and rushes outward in all directions. A plane flying through a microburst at low altitude, as on final approach or takeoff, would at first experience a strong headwind and increased lift, followed by a strong tail wind and sharply decreased lift.

National Hurricane Center The National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center in Miami has overall responsibility for tracking and providing information about tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean. The service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu is responsible for hurricane information in the Pacific Ocean area north of the equator from 140 degrees west longitude to 180 degrees. On the Net: www.nhc.noaa.gov

nearshore waters The waters extended to five miles from shore.

nor’easter The term used by the National Weather Service for storms that either exit or move north along the East Coast, producing winds blowing from the northeast.

offshore waters The waters extending to about 250 miles from shore.

sandstorm Visibility of one-half mile or less due to sand blown by winds of 30 mph or more.

Santa Ana wind In Southern California, a weather condition in which strong, hot, dust-bearing winds descend to the Pacific Coast from inland desert regions.

severe blizzard Wind speeds of 45 mph or more, great density of falling and/or blowing snow with visibility frequently near zero and a temperature of 10 degrees or lower.

severe thunderstorm Describes either of the following: a. Winds - Thunderstorm-related surface winds sustained or gusts 50 knots or greater. b. Hail - Surface hail three-quarters of an inch in diameter or larger. The word hail in a watch implies hail at the surface and aloft unless qualifying phrases such as hail aloft are used.

sleet (one form of ice pellet) Describes generally solid grains of ice formed by the freezing of raindrops or the refreezing of largely melted snowflakes. Sleet, like small hail, usually bounces when hitting a hard surface.

sleet (heavy) Heavy sleet is a fairly rare event in which the ground is covered to a depth of significance to motorists and others.

snow avalanche bulletin Snow avalanche bulletins are issued by the U.S. Forest Service for avalanche-prone areas in the western United States.

squall A sudden increase of wind speed by at least 16 knots and rising to 25 knots or more and lasting for at least one minute.

storm tide Directional wave(s) caused by a severe atmospheric disturbance.

tidal wave Often used incorrectly as a synonym for tsunami. A large wave created by rising tide in a funnel-shaped inlet is called a tidal bore. Unusually large waves at sea are sometimes called rogue waves.

tornado A violent rotating column of air forming a pendant, usually from a cumulonimbus cloud, and touching the ground. It is often, but not always, visible as a funnel cloud, and usually is accompanied by a loud roaring noise. On a local scale, it is the most destructive of all atmospheric phenomena. Tornadoes can appear from any direction, but in the U.S. most move from southwest to northeast. Tornado strength is measured by an enhanced F-scale rating from EF0 to EF5, which considers 28 different types of damage to structures and trees. It updates the original scale, which estimated wind strength. An EF2 or higher is considered a significant tornado. Plural is tornadoes.

tornado warning A tornado warning is issued by a local National Weather Service office to warn the public of an existing tornado or one suspected to be in existence.

tornado watch AA tornado watch alerts the public to the possibility of a tornado in the next several hours.

traveler’s advisory Alerts the public that difficult traveling or hazardous road conditions are expected to be widespread.

tropical depression A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind is 38 mph (33 knots) or less.

tropical storm A warm-core tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface winds range from 39 to 73 mph (34 to 63 knots) inclusive.

tsunami (s.), tsunamis (pl.) A great sea wave or seismic sea wave caused by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide or volcano. It can cause massive death and destruction as was seen in the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004. Tidal wave was long used as a synonym for tsunami, but it is incorrect in that use. typhoon See hurricane or typhoon in this listing.

waterspout A tornado over water.

wind chill index Also known as the wind chill factor. No hyphen. The wind chill is a calculation that describes the combined effect of the wind and cold temperatures on exposed skin. The wind chill index would be minus 4, for example, if the temperature was 15 degrees and the wind was blowing at 25 mph - in other words, a temperature of 4 below zero with no wind. The higher the wind at a given temperature, the lower the wind chill reading, although wind speeds above 40 mph have little additional cooling effect.

wind shear Wind shear is a sudden shift in wind direction and speed. It can prevent development of some storms and is sometimes visible when the wind shears off the top of a cloud to form an anvil.

winter storm warning Notifies the public that severe winter weather conditions are almost certain to occur.

winter storm watch Alerts the public to the possibility of severe winter weather conditions.

weather vane

weather-beaten

weatherman Use weather forecaster.

website

webmaster, webcam, webcast

Webster’s New World Dictionary

Webster’s Third New International Dictionary

weeklong

weeknight One word.

weights Use figures: The baby weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces. She had a 9-pound, 7-ounce boy.

weird, weirdo

Welcome Wagon A trademark of Welcome Wagon International Inc.

well Hyphenate as part of a compound modifier: She is a well-dressed woman. No hyphen when modifier follows noun: He is well read. See hyphen in the Punctuation chapter for guidelines on compound modifiers.

well wishers

well-being

well-to-do

Wells Fargo & Co. Acquired Wachovia Corp. in 2009. Headquarters is in San Francisco.

West As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, the 13-state region is broken into two divisions. The eight Mountain division states are Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The five Pacific division states are Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington.

West Indies

West Point Acceptable on second reference to the U.S. Military Academy. In datelines: WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP)

West Virginia Abbrev.: W.Va. (no space between W. and Va.).

west, western Check the directions and regions entry.

Western Hemisphere



The continents of North and South America, and the islands near them.

It frequently is subdivided as follows:

Caribbean: The islands from the tip of Florida to the continent of South America, plus French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname on the northeastern coast of South America.

Major island elements are Cuba, Hispaniola (the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the West Indies islands.

Central America: The narrow strip of land between Mexico and Colombia. Located there are Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

Latin America: The area of the Americas south of the United States where Romance languages (those derived from Latin) are dominant. It applies to most of the region south of the United States except areas with a British heritage: the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and various islands in the West Indies. Suriname, the former Dutch Guiana, is an additional exception.

North America: Canada, Mexico, the United States and the Danish territory of Greenland. When the term is used in more than its continental sense, it also may include the islands of the Caribbean.

South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and in a purely continental sense, French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname. Politically and psychologically, however, the latter three regard themselves as part of the Caribbean.

West Indies: An island chain extending in an eastward arc between the southeastern United States and the northern shore of South America, separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean and including the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the Lesser Antilles.

Major island elements are the nations of Barbados, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago, plus smaller islands dependent in various degrees on:
Britain: British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, and the West Indies Associated States, including Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and St. Christopher-Nevis.
France: Guadeloupe (composed of islands known as Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, plus five other islands) and Martinique.
Netherlands: Netherlands Antilles, composed of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius and the southern portion of St. Martin Island (the northern half is held by France and is part of Guadeloupe).
United States: U.S. Virgin Islands, principally St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.



Western Washington Uppercase. Eastern Washington is also uppercase. The summit of the Cascades is the defining point for the two regions. We don’t recognize central Washington as a definable and uppercase region.

wetsuit Use solid. Two words could mean a manager in a dunk tank.

wheat It is measured in bushels domestically, in metric tons for international trade. There are 36.7 bushels of wheat in a metric ton.

wheelchair Don’t use the expressions wheelchair-bound or confined to a wheelchair, which are condescending to disabled people. Use uses a wheelchair instead.

wheeler-dealer

whereabouts Takes a singular verb: His whereabouts is a mystery.

which

whip Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name.

whiskey, whiskeys Use the spelling whisky only in conjunction with Scotch.

White House Do not personify it with phrases such as the White House said. Instead, use a phrase such as a White House official said.

white paper Two words, lowercase, when used to refer to a special report.

white-collar (adj.)

whitewash (n., v. and adj.)

whitewater Solid in the sense of rivers or rafting, to comply with other such common outdoor terms as backcountry and trailhead.

who, whom Use who and whom for references to human beings and to animals with a name. Use that and which for inanimate objects and animals without a name. Who is the word when someone is the subject of a sentence, clause or phrase: The woman who rented the room left the window open. Who is there? Use in the sense of he, she or they. Whom is the word when someone is the object of a verb or preposition: The woman to whom the room was rented left the window open. Whom do you wish to see? Use in the sense of her, him or them.

wholehearted

wholesale price index A measurement of the changes in the average prices that businesses pay for a selected group of industrial commodities, farm products, processed foods and feed for animals. Capitalize when referring to the U.S. index, issued monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency of the Labor Department.

whole-wheat

who’s, whose Who’s is a contraction for who is, not a possessive: Who’s there? Whose is the possessive: I do not know whose coat it is.

-wide No hyphen. Some examples: citywide, nationwide, continentwide, statewide, countrywide, worldwide, industrywide

wide- Usually hyphenated. Some examples: wide-angle, wide-eyed, wide-awake, wide-open, widebrimmed. Exception: widespread.

wide-body A type of plane. Hyphenate in all uses.

widow, widower In obituaries: A man is survived by his wife, or leaves his wife. A woman is survived by her husband, or leaves her husband. Guard against the redundant widow of the late. Use wife of the late or widow of.

widths

Wi-Fi Wi-Fi, short for wireless fidelity, lets computer users within a few hundred feet share a highspeed Internet connection. Since being introduced in the late 1990s, the technology has caught on in coffee shops, college campuses, corporate America and even truck stops.

wigwag

wildlife

Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

will

will/is Never say a future event will happen. Use is scheduled to or is expected to instead.

Wilson’s disease After Samuel A. Wilson, an English neurologist. A disease characterized by abnormal accumulation of copper in the brain, liver and other organs.

wind chill index Also known as the wind chill factor. No hyphen. The wind chill is a calculation that describes the combined effect of the wind and cold temperatures on exposed skin. The wind chill index would be minus 22, for example, if the temperature was 15 degrees and the wind was blowing at 25 mph -- in other words, a temperature of 22 below zero with no wind. The higher the wind at a given temperature, the lower the wind chill reading, although wind speeds above 40 mph have little additional cooling effect.

wind shear It is caused when a mass of cooled air rushes downward out of a thunderstorm in what is called a microburst, hits the ground and rushes outward in all directions. Wind shear itself is described as a sudden shift in wind direction and speed. A plane flying through a microburst at low altitude, as on final approach or takeoff, would at first experience a strong head wind and increased lift, followed by a strong tail wind and sharply decreased lift.

wind up (v.) windup (n. and adj.)

Windbreaker A trademark for a brand of windresistant sports jacket.

window dressing The noun. But as a verb: window-dress.

wind-swept

wine Wine grape names and varieties are lowercase.

wingspan

winter

winter storm warning Notifies the public that severe winter weather conditions are almost certain to occur. A winter storm watch alerts the public to the possibility of severe winter weather conditions.

wintertime

wiretap, wiretapper The verb forms: wiretap, wiretapped, wiretapping. Do not confuse with bugging.

Wisconsin Abbrev.: Wis.

-wise No hyphen when it means in the direction of or with regard to. Some examples: clockwise, otherwise, lengthwise, slantwise. Avoid contrived combinations such as moneywise, religionwise. The word penny-wise is spelled with a hyphen because it is a compound adjective in which wise means smart, not an application of the suffix -wise. The same for streetwise, as in the street-wise youth.

Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Not women’s.

women Women should receive the same treatment as men in all areas of coverage. Physical descriptions, sexist references, demeaning stereotypes and condescending phrases should not be used. Stories should not assume maleness when both sexes are involved, and should not express surprise that an attractive woman can be professionally accomplished, as in: Mary Smith doesn’t look the part, but she’s an authority on ... Stories should not gratuitously mention family relationships when there is no relevance to the subject. Use the same standards for men and women in deciding whether to include specific mention of personal appearance or marital and family situation. This does not mean that valid and acceptable words such as mankind or humanity cannot be used in an appropriate context.

Women’s Army Corps

word processing (adj.) Do not hyphenate.

word-of-mouth (n. and adj.)

work- workbook, workday, workforce, workhorse, workout, workplace, workstation, workweek

workers’ compensation

workstation One word.for the place where a person works.

World Bank Acceptable in all references for International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

World Council of Churches This is the main international, interdenominational cooperative body of Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant and old or national Catholic churches. The Roman Catholic church is not a member but cooperates with the council in various programs. Headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland.

World Court This was an alternate name for the Permanent Court of International Justice set up by the League of Nations.

World Health Organization WHO is acceptable on second reference. Headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland.

World Series Or the Series on second reference. A rare exception to the general principles under capitalization.

World War I, World War II

website A location on the World Wide Web that maintains one or more pages at a specific address. Also, webcam, webcast and webmaster. But as a short form and in terms with separate words, the Web, Web page and Web feed. See Web.

World Wide Web Web is acceptable on first reference. Also, website, Web page. URLs are no longer published in italics.

worldwide

worn-out worship, worshipped, worshipper (exception to AP

style)

worthwhile

would

wounded Usually should be limited to those harmed intentionally. Use injured for accidents.

wrack

wracked The preferred spelling when used to say a person is wracked with doubt or wracked with pain.

Wrack means to wreck, ruin or destroy, and generally it is clearer to use those words instead. Rack means to stretch, strain, torture.

write-down (n., adj.), write down (v.)

write in (v.) write-in (n. and adj.)

wrongdoing

Wyoming Abbrev.: Wyo. X-Y-Z

Xerox A trademark for a brand of photocopy machine. Never a verb. Use a generic term, such as photocopy.

Xinhua News Agency The official news agency of the Chinese government is based in Beijing. It has more than 10,000 employees and transmits news in Chinese, English, Spanish, French, Russian and Arabic. It was founded in 1931 as the Red China News Agency and adopted its current name in 1937. Xinhua is acceptable on second reference.

Xmas Never use in copy or headlines. Christmas, yule and yuletide work better.

X-ray (n., v. and adj.) Use for both the photographic process and the radiation particles themselves.

Yahoo No exclamation point when referring to the Internet company.

Yakama This spelling applies to the tribe and all tribe-related organizations, such as Yakama Indian Reservation.

yam Botanically, yams and sweet potatoes are not related, although several varieties of moist-fleshed sweet potatoes are popularly called yams in some parts of the United States.

yard Equal to three feet. The metric equivalent is approximately .91 meter. To convert to meters, multiply

by .91 (5 yards x .91 4.55 meters).

yard(-), (-)yard yardarm, yardmaster, yardstick. Also backyard, barnyard, churchyard, graveyard, lumberyard, schoolyard, steelyard

year(-) yearbook, year-end, yearlong (adj.), yearround (adj.)

year-end (adj.)

yearling An animal 1 year old or in its second year. The birthdays of all thoroughbred horses arbitrarily are set at Jan. 1. On that date, any foal born in the preceding year is reckoned 1 year old.

year-round

years Use figures, without commas: 1975. Use an s without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries: the 1890s, the 1800s. Years are the lone exception to the general rule in numerals that a figure is not used to start a sentence: 1976 was a very good year.

yellow journalism The use of cheaply sensational methods to attract or influence readers. The term comes from the Yellow Kid, a comic strip in the New York World in 1895.

yesterday Use only in direct quotations and in phrases that do not refer to a specific day: Yesterday we were young. Use the day of the week in other cases.

yesteryear

YMCA Acceptable in all references for Young Men’s Christian Association.

Yom Kippur The Jewish Day of Atonement. Occurs in September or October.

Young Men’s Christian Association YMCA is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in New York.

Young Women’s Christian Association YWCA is acceptable in all references. Headquarters is in New York.

youth Applicable to boys and girls age 13 to 17. Use man or woman for individuals 18 and older. The plural is youths.

YouTube

yo-yo Formerly a trademark, now a generic term.

Yukon A territorial section of Canada. Do not abbreviate. Use in datelines after the names of communities in the territory.

yule, yuletide

YWCA Acceptable in all references for Young Women’s Christian Association.

zero, zeros

zero-base budgeting A process that requires an agency, department or division to justify budget requests as if its programs were starting from scratch, or from a base of zero. In theory this assures a review of all programs at budget time.

zigzag

Zionism The effort of the Jews to regain and retain their biblical homeland. The term is named for Mount Zion, the site of the ancient temple in Jerusalem.

ZIP codes Use all-caps ZIP for Zoning Improvement Plan, but always lowercase the word code. Run the five digits together without a comma, and do not put a comma between the state name and the ZIP code: Everett, WA 98206.

ampersand (&) Use the ampersand when it is part of a company’s formal name: Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. The ampersand should not otherwise be used in place of “and.”

apostrophe (‘)



POSSESSIVES: See the possessives entry in main section.

PLURAL NOUNS NOT ENDING IN S: Add ‘s: the alumni’s contributions, women’s rights.

PLURAL NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add only an apostrophe: the churches’ needs, the girls’ toys, the horses’ food, the ships’ wake, states’ rights, the VIPs’ entrance.

NOUNS PLURAL IN FORM, SINGULAR IN MEANING: Add only an apostrophe: mathematics’ rules, measles’ effects. (But see INANIMATE OBJECTS below.) Apply the same principle when a plural word occurs in the formal name of a singular entity: General Motors’ profits, the United States’ wealth.

NOUNS THE SAME IN SINGULAR AND PLURAL: Treat them the same as plurals, even if the meaning is singular: one corps’ location, the two deer’s tracks, the lone moose’s antlers.

SINGULAR NOUNS NOT ENDING IN S: Add ‘s: the church’s needs, the girl’s toys, the horse’s food, the ship’s route, the VIP’s seat. Some style guides say that singular nouns ending in s sounds such as ce, x, and z may take either the apostrophe alone or ‘s. See SPECIAL EXPRESSIONS, but otherwise, for consistency and ease in remembering a rule, always use ‘s if the word does not end in the letter s: Butz’s policies, the fox’s den, the justice’s verdict, Marx’s theories, the prince’s life, Xerox’s profits.

SINGULAR COMMON NOUNS ENDING IN S: Add ‘s unless the next word begins with s: the hostess’s invitation, the hostess’ seat, the witness’s answer, the witness’ story.

SINGULAR PROPER NAMES ENDING IN S: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles’ heel, Agnes’ book, Ceres’ rites, Descartes’ theories, Dickens’ novels, Euripides’ dramas, Hercules’ labors, Jesus’ life, Jules’ seat, Kansas’ schools, Moses’ law, Socrates’ life, Williams’ plays, Xerxes’ armies.

SPECIAL EXPRESSIONS: The following exceptions to the general rule for words not ending in s apply to words that end in an s sound and are followed by a word that begins with s: for appearance’ sake, for conscience’ sake, for goodness’ sake. Use ‘s otherwise: the appearance’s cost, my conscience’s voice.

PRONOUNS: Personal interrogative and relative pronouns have separate forms for the possessive. None involves an apostrophe: mine, ours, your, yours, his, hers, its, theirs, whose. Caution: If you are using an apostrophe with a pronoun, always double-check to be sure that the meaning calls for a contraction: you’re, it’s there’s, who’s. Follow the rules listed above in forming the possessives of other pronouns: another’s idea, others’ plans, someone’s guess.

COMPOUND WORDS: Applying the rules above, add an apostrophe or ‘s to the word closest to the object possessed: the major general’s decision, the major generals’ decisions, the attorney general’s request, the attorneys general’s request. Check the plurals entry for guidelines on forming the plurals of these words. Also: anyone else’s attitude, John Adams Jr.’s father, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania’s motion. Whenever practical, however, recast the phrase to avoid ambiguity: the motion by Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania.

JOINT POSSESSION, INDIVIDUAL POSSESSION: Use a possessive form after only the last word if ownership is joint: Fred and Sylvia’s apartment, Fred and Sylvia’s stocks. Use a possessive form after both words if the objects are individually owned: Fred’s and Sylvia’s books.

DESCRIPTIVE PHRASES: Do not add an apostrophe to a word ending in s when it is used primarily in a descriptive sense: citizens band radio, a Cincinnati Reds infielder, a teachers college, a Teamsters request, a writers guide. Memory Aid: The apostrophe usually is not used if for or by rather than of would be appropriate in the longer form: a radio band for citizens, a college for teachers, a guide for writers, a request by the Teamsters. An ‘s is required however, when a term involves a plural word that does not end in s: a children’s hospital, a people’s republic, the Young Men’s Christian Association. QUASI POSSESSIVES: Follow the rules above in composing the possessive form of words that occur in such phrases as a day’s pay, two weeks’ vacation, three days’ work, your money’s worth. Frequently, however, a hyphenated form is clearer: a two-week vacation, a three-day job.

DOUBLE POSSESSIVE: Two conditions must apply for a double possessive, a phrase such as a friend of John’s, to occur: 1. The word after of must refer to an animate object, and 2. The word before of must involve only a portion of the animate object’s possessions. Otherwise, do not use the possessive form of the word after of: The friends of John Adams mourned his death. (All the friends were involved.) He is a friend of the college. (Not college’s, because college is inanimate). Memory Aid: This construction occurs most often, and quite naturally, with the possessive forms of personal pronouns: He is a friend of mine.

INANIMATE OBJECTS: There is no blanket rule against creating a possessive form for an inanimate object, particularly if the object is treated in a personified sense. Check some of the earlier examples, and note these: death’s call, the wind’s murmur. In general, however, avoid excessive personalization of inanimate objects, and give preference to an of construction when it fits the makeup of the sentence. For example, the earlier references to mathematics’ rules and measles’ effects would better be phrased: the rules of mathematics, the effects of measles.

OMITTED LETTERS: I’ve, it’s, don’t, rock ‘n’ roll, ‘tis the season to be jolly. He is a ne’er-do-well. See contractions.

OMITTED FIGURES: The class of ‘62. The Spirit of ‘76. The ‘20s.

PLURALS OF A SINGLE LETTER: Mind your p’s and q’s. He learned the three R’s and brought home a report card with four A’s and two B’s. The Oakland A’s won the pennant. BUT, no apostrophe in plural forms or with numerals: ABCs, 747s, crazy 8s.

Punct colon (:)



The most frequent use of a colon is at the end of a sentence to introduce lists, tabulations, texts, etc.

Capitalize the first word after a colon only if it is a proper noun or the start of a complete sentence: He promised this: The company will make good all the losses. But: There were three considerations: expense, time and feasibility.

EMPHASIS: The colon often can be effective in giving emphasis: He had only one hobby: eating.

LISTINGS: Use the colon in such listings as time elapsed (1:31:07.2), time of day (8:31 p.m.), biblical and legal citations (2 Kings 2:14; Missouri Code 3:245-260).

DIALOGUE: Use a colon for dialogue. In coverage of a trial, for example:
Bailey: What were you doing the night of the 19th?
Mason: I refuse to answer that.
Q AND A: The colon is used for question-and-answer interviews:
Q: Did you strike him?
A: Indeed I did.

INTRODUCING QUOTATIONS: Use a comma to introduce a direct quotation of one sentence that remains within a paragraph. Use a colon to introduce long quotations within a paragraph and to end all paragraphs that introduce a paragraph of quoted material.

PLACEMENT WITH QUOTATION MARKS: Colons go outside quotation marks unless they are part of the quotation itself.

MISCELLANEOUS: Do not combine a dash and a colon.

Punct dash (--)



ABRUPT CHANGE: Use dashes to denote an abrupt change in thought in a sentence or an emphatic pause: We will fly to Paris in June -- if I get a raise. Smith offered a plan -- it was unprecedented -- to raise revenues.

SERIES WITHIN A PHRASE: When a phrase that otherwise would be set off by commas contains a series of words that must be separated by commas, use dashes to set off the full phrase: He listed the qualities -- intelligence, humor, conservatism, independence -- that he liked in an executive.

ATTRIBUTION: Use a dash before an author’s or composer’s name at the end of a quotation: “Who steals my purse steals trash.” -- Shakespeare.

IN DATELINES: NEW YORK (AP) -- The city is broke.

IN LISTS: Dashes should be used to introduce individual sections of a list. Capitalize the first word following the dash. Use periods, not semicolons, at the end of each section, whether it is a full sentence or a phrase. Example: Jones gave the following reasons:
He never ordered the package.
If he did, it didn’t come.
If it did, he sent it back.



WITH SPACES: Put a space on both sides of a dash in all uses except the start of a paragraph and sports agate summaries.

Punct ellipsis ( ... )



In general, treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, constructed with three periods and two spaces, as shown here.

Use an ellipsis to indicate the deletion of one or more words in condensing quotes, texts and documents. Be especially careful to avoid deletions that would distort the meaning.

An ellipsis also may be used to indicate a thought that the speaker or writer does not complete. Substitute a dash for this purpose, however, if the context uses ellipses to indicate that words actually spoken or written have been deleted.

Brief examples of how to use ellipses are provided after guidelines are given. More extensive examples, drawn from the speech in which President Nixon announced his resignation, are in the sections below marked CONDENSATION EXAMPLE and QUOTATIONS.

SPACING REQUIREMENTS: In some computer editing systems the thin space must be used between the periods of the ellipsis to prevent them from being placed on two different lines when they are sent through a computer that handles hyphenation and justification.

Leave one regular space -- never a thin -- on both sides of an ellipsis: I ... tried to do what was best.

PUNCTUATION GUIDELINES: If the words that precede an ellipsis constitute a grammatically complete sentence, either in the original or in the condensation, place a period at the end of the last word before the ellipsis. Follow it with a regular space and an ellipsis: I no longer have a strong enough political base. ...

When the grammatical sense calls for a question mark, exclamation point, comma or colon, the sequence is word, punctuation mark, regular space, ellipsis: Will you come? ...

When material is deleted at the end of one paragraph and at the beginning of the one that follows, place an ellipsis in both locations.

CONDENSATION EXAMPLE: Here is an example of how the spacing and punctuation guidelines would be applied in condensing President Nixon’s resignation announcement:
Good evening. ...
In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the nation. ...
... However, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in Congress.
... As long as there was a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be ... a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.


QUOTATIONS: In writing a story, do not use ellipses at the beginning and end of direct quotes:
“It has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base,” Nixon said.
Not “... it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base ... ,” Nixon said.

SPECIAL EFFECTS: Ellipses also may be used to separate individual items within a paragraph of show business gossip or similar material. Use periods after items that are complete sentences.

Punct exclamation point (!)



EMPHATIC EXPRESSIONS: Use the mark to express a high degree of surprise, incredulity or other strong emotion.

AVOID OVERUSE: Use a comma after mild interjections. End mildly exclamatory sentences with a period.

PLACEMENT WITH QUOTES: Place the mark inside quotation marks when it is part of the quoted material: “How wonderful!” he exclaimed. “Never!” she shouted. Place the mark outside quotation marks when it is not part of the quoted material: I hated reading Spenser’s “Faerie Queene”!

MISCELLANEOUS: Do not use a comma or a period after the exclamation mark:
Wrong: “Halt!”, the corporal cried.
Right: “Halt!” the corporal cried.



Punct hyphen (-)



Hyphens are joiners. Use them to avoid ambiguity or to form a single idea from two or more words.

Use of the hyphen is far from standardized. It is optional in most cases, a matter of taste, judgment and style sense. But the fewer hyphens the better; use them only when not using them causes confusion. (Small-business owner, but health care center.) See individual entries in this book. If not listed here, use the first listed entry in Webster’s New World College Dictionary. (amended example from small-businessman, in line with entry below.) Some guidelines:

AVOID AMBIGUITY: Use a hyphen whenever ambiguity would result if it were omitted: The president will speak to small-business men. (Businessmen normally is one word. But the president will speak to small businessmen is unclear.) Others: He recovered his health. He re-covered the leaky roof.

COMPOUND MODIFIERS: When a compound modifier -- two or more words that express a single concept -- precedes a noun, use hyphens to link all the words in the compound except the adverb very and all adverbs that end in -ly: a first-quarter touchdown, a bluish-green dress, a full-time job, a well-known man, a better-qualified woman, a know-it-all attitude, a very good time, an easily remembered rule.

Many combinations that are hyphenated before a noun are not hyphenated when they occur after a noun: The team scored in the first quarter. The dress, a bluish green, was attractive on her. She works full time. His attitude suggested that he knew it all.

But when a modifier that would be hyphenated before a noun occurs instead after a form of the verb to be, the hyphen usually must be retained to avoid confusion: The man is well-known. The woman is quick-witted. The children are soft-spoken. The play is second-rate.

The principle of using a hyphen to avoid confusion explains why no hyphen is required with very and -ly words. Readers can expect them to modify the word that follows. But if a combination such as little-known man were not hyphenated, the reader could logically be expecting little to be followed by a noun, as in little man. Instead, the reader encountering little known would have to back up mentally and make the compound connection on his own.

TWO-THOUGHT COMPOUNDS: serio-comic, socio-economic.

COMPOUND PROPER NOUNS AND ADJECTIVES: Use a hyphen to designate dual heritage: Italian-American, Mexican-American.

No hyphen, however, for French Canadian or Latin American.

PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES: See prefixes and suffixes, and separate entries for the most frequently used prefixes and suffixes.

AVOID DUPLICATED VOWELS, TRIPLED CONSONANTS: Examples: anti-intellectual, pre-empt, shell-like.

WITH NUMERALS: Use a hyphen to separate figures in odds, ratios, scores, some fractions and some vote tabulations. See examples in entries under these headings.

When large numbers must be spelled out, use a hyphen to connect a word ending in -y to another word: twenty-one, fifty-five, etc.

SUSPENSIVE HYPHENATION: The form: He received a 10- to 20-year sentence in prison.

Punct parentheses ( () )



In general, use parentheses around logos, as shown in datelines, but otherwise be sparing with them. Parentheses are jarring to the reader. Because they do not appear on some news service printers, there is also the danger that material inside them may be misinterpreted.

The temptation to use parentheses is a clue that a sentence is becoming contorted. Try to write it another way. If a sentence must contain incidental material, then commas or two dashes are frequently more effective. Use these alternatives whenever possible.

There are occasions, however, when parentheses are the only effective means of inserting necessary background or reference information. When they are necessary, follow these guidelines:

WITHIN QUOTATIONS: If parenthetical information inserted in a direct quotation is at all sensitive, place an editor’s note under a dash at the bottom of a story alerting copy desks to what was inserted.

PUNCTUATION: Place a period outside a closing parenthesis if the material inside is not a sentence (such as this fragment). (An independent parenthetical sentence such as this one takes a period before the closing parenthesis.)

When a phrase placed in parentheses (this one is an example) might normally qualify as a complete sentence but is dependent on the surrounding material, do not capitalize the first word or end with a period.

MATERIAL FROM OTHER AREAS: If a story contains information from outside the datelined city, put the material in parentheses only if the correspondent in the datelined community was cut off from incoming communications. See dateline selection.

INSERTIONS IN A PROPER NAME: Use parentheses if a state name or similar information is inserted within a proper name: The Huntsville (Ala.) Times. But use commas if no proper name is involved: The Selma, Ala., group saw the governor.

NEVER USED: Do not use parentheses to denote a political figure’s party affiliation and jurisdiction. Instead, set them off with commas, as shown under party affiliation.

Do not use (cq) or similar notation to indicate that an unusual spelling or term is correct. Include the confirmation in an editor’s note at the top of a story.

Punct periods (.)



END OF DECLARATIVE SENTENCE: The stylebook is finished.

END OF A MILDLY IMPERATIVE SENTENCE: Shut the door. Use an exclamation point if greater emphasis is desired: Be careful!

END OF SOME RHETORICAL QUESTIONS: A period is preferable if a statement is more a suggestion than a question: Why don?t we go.

END OF AN INDIRECT QUESTION: He asked what the score was.

MANY ABBREVIATIONS: For guidelines, see abbreviations and acronyms. For the form of frequently used abbreviations, see the entry under the full name, abbreviation, acronym or term.

INITIALS: John F. Kennedy, T.S. Eliot (No space between T. and S., to prevent them from being placed on two lines in typesetting.) Abbreviations using only the initials of a name do not take periods: JFK, LBJ.

ELLIPSIS: See ellipsis.

ENUMERATIONS: After numbers or letters in enumerating elements of a summary: 1. Wash the car. 2. Clean the basement. Or: A. Punctuate properly. B. Write simply.

PLACEMENT WITH QUOTATION MARKS: Periods always go inside quotation marks. See quotation marks.

SPACING: Use a single space after a period at the end of a sentence.

Punct quotation marks (““)



The basic guidelines for open-quote marks (“) and close-quote marks (“):

FOR DIRECT QUOTATIONS: To surround the exact words of a speaker or writer when reported in a story:
“I have no intention of staying,” he replied.
“I do not object,” he said, “to the tenor of the report.”
Franklin said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
A speculator said the practice is “too conservative for inflationary times.”

RUNNING QUOTATIONS: If a full paragraph of quoted material is followed by a paragraph that continues the quotation, do not put close-quote marks at the end of the first paragraph. Do, however, put open-quote marks at the start of the second paragraph. Continue in this fashion for any succeeding paragraphs, using close-quote marks only at the end of the quoted material.

If a paragraph does not start with quotation marks but ends with a quotation that is continued in the next paragraph, do not use close-quote marks at the end of the introductory paragraph if the quoted material constitutes a full sentence. Use close-quote marks, however, if the quoted material does not constitute a full sentence. For example:
He said, “I am shocked and horrified by the incident.
“I am so horrified, in fact, that I will ask for the death penalty.”
But: He said he was “shocked and horrified by the incident.”
“I am so horrified, in fact, that I will ask for the death penalty,” he said.

DIALOGUE OR CONVERSATION: Each person’s words, no matter how brief, are placed in a separate paragraph, with quotation marks at the beginning and the end of each person’s speech:
“Will you go?”
“Yes.”
“When?”
“Thursday.”

NOT IN Q-and-A: Quotation marks are not required in formats that identify questions and answers by Q: and A:. See question mark for example.

NOT IN TEXTS: Quotation marks are not required in full texts, condensed texts or textual excerpts. See ellipsis.

COMPOSITION TITLES: See composition titles for guidelines on the use of quotation marks in book titles, movie titles, etc.

NICKNAMES: See nicknames.

IRONY: Put quotation marks around a word or words used in an ironical sense: The “debate” turned into a free-for-all.

UNFAMILIAR TERMS: A word or words being introduced to readers may be placed in quotation marks on first reference:
Broadcast frequencies are measured in “kilohertz.”
Do not put subsequent references to kilohertz in quotation marks.
See foreign words.

AVOID UNNECESSARY FRAGMENTS: Do not use quotation marks to report a few ordinary words that a speaker or writer has used:
Wrong: The senator said he would “go home to Michigan” if he lost the election.
Right: The senator said he would go home to Michigan if he lost the election. PARTIAL QUOTES: When a partial quote is used, do not put quotation marks around words that the speaker could not have used.
Suppose the individual said, “I am horrified at your slovenly manners.”
Wrong: She said she “was horrified at their slovenly manners.”
Right: She said she was horrified at their “slovenly manners.”
Better when practical: Use the full quote. QUOTES WITHIN QUOTES: Alternate between double quotation marks (“or”) and single marks (‘or’):
She said, “I quote from his letter, ‘I agree with Kipling that “the female of the species is more deadly than the male,” but the phenomenon is not an unchangeable law of nature,’ a remark he did not explain.”
Use three marks together if two quoted elements end at the same time: She said, “He told me, ‘I love you.’”
(NOTE: Local style should ensure some differentiation between the single and double quotation marks, either with a “thin” space or by different typography, if not computer-programmed.) PLACEMENT WITH OTHER PUNCTUATION: Follow these long-established printers’ rules:
The period and the comma always go within the quotation marks.
The dash, the semicolon, the question mark and the exclamation point go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.
See comma.

Punct semicolon (;)



In general, use the semicolon to indicate a greater separation of thought and information than a comma can convey but less than the separation that a period implies.

The basic guidelines:

TO CLARIFY A SERIES: Use semicolons to separate elements of a series when the items in the series are long or when individual segments contain material that also must be set off by commas:
He is survived by a son, John Smith, of Chicago; three daughters, Jane Smith, of Wichita, Kan., Mary Smith, of Denver, and Susan, of Boston; and a sister, Martha, of Omaha, Neb. (Note that the semicolon is used before the final and in such a series.)

Another application of this principle may be seen in the cross-references at the end of entries in this book. Because some entries themselves have a comma, a semicolon is used to separate references to multiple entries, as in: See the felony, misdemeanor entry; pardon, parole, probation; and prison, jail. See dash for a different type of connection that uses dashes to avoid multiple commas.



TO LINK INDEPENDENT CLAUSES: Use semicolon when a coordinating conjunction such as and, but or for is not present: The package was due last week; it arrived today.

If a coordinating conjunction is present, use a semicolon before it only if extensive punctuation also is required in one or more of the individual clauses: They pulled their boats from the water, sandbagged the retaining walls, and boarded up the windows; but even with these precautions, the island was hard-hit by the hurricane.

Unless a particular literary effect is desired, however, the better approach in these circumstances is to break the independent clauses into separate sentences.

PLACEMENT WITH QUOTES: Place semicolons outside quotation marks.