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.
In stories with international datelines, include U.S. before legislative titles.
The use of a title such as Rep. or Sen. in first reference is normal in most stores. Not mandatory, however, provided and individual's title is given later in the story.
Do not use legislative titles before a name on second reference unless they are part of a direct quotation.
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 to members of the Senate. They should only appear as capitalized formal titles before a name only in direct quotation.
Capitalize titles for formal, organizational offices within a legislative body when they are used before a name: House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
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.
What a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. What a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas.
January 2016 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. His birthday is May 8. Feb. 14,2013, was the target date. She testified that it was Friday, Dec. 3, when the accident occurred.
In tabular material, use these three-letter forms without a period: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec.
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
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. There there are exceptions: pianos.
Words Ending in F: In general, change f to v and add es: leaves, selves.
Latin Endings: Latin-root words ending in us change us to i: alumnus, alumni.
Most ending in a change to ae: alumna, alumnae.
Most ending in um add s: memorandums, referendums, stadiums.
Form Change: man, men; child, children; foot, feet
Caution: When s is used with any of these words it indicates possession and must be preceded by an apostrophe: men's, children's
Proper Names: Most ending in es or s or z add es: Charleses, Gonzalezes
Most ending in y add s even if preceded by a consonant: the Duffys, the Kennedys
Figures: Add s: The custom began in the 1920s.
Single Letters: Use 's: Mind your p's and q's. He learned the three R's and bought home a report cared with four A's and two B's.
Multiple Letters: Add s: She knows her ABC's
Plural Nouns Not Ending in S: Add 'S: the alumni's contributions
Plural Nouns Ending In S: Add only an apostrophe: the churches' needs
Nouns Plural In Form, Singular In Meaning: Add only an apostrophe: mathematics' rules
Apply the same principle when a plural word occurs in the formal name of a singular entity: General Motors' profits
Nouns The Same In Singular and Plural: Treat them the same as plurals, even if the meaning is singular: one corps' location
Singular Nouns Not Ending In S: Add's: the church's needs
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 especially expressions)
Singular Common Nouns Ending In S: Add's: the hostess's invitation
Singular Proper Names Ending In S: Use only apostrophe: Achilles' heel
Special Expressions: The following exceptions to the general rule for words not ending in s apply to worshippers that end in an s sounds and are followed by a word that begins with s: for appearance' sake
Pronouns: Personal interrogative and relative pronouns have separate forms for the possessive. None involve an apostrophe: mine, ours, yours
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
Compound Words: Applying the rules about, add an apostrophe r 's to the word closest to the object possessed: the major general's decision
Joint Possession, Individual Possession: Use a possessive form after only the last word if ownership is joint: Fred and Sylvia's apartment
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
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
Quasi Possessives: Follow the rules about in composing the possessive form of words that occur in such phrases as day's pay, two weeks' vacation, three days' work, your money's worth
Double Possessive: Two conditions must apply for a double possessive - a phrase such as friend of John's - to occur: 1. The word after of must refer to an animate object, and 2. The word before of must must involve only a portion of the animate object's possessions.
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.
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
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.
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-quotes 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.
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?"
Not in Q-and-A: not required in formats that identify questions and answers
Not In Texts: are not required in full texts, condensed texts, or textual excerpts
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 hoe 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.
Wrong: She said she "was horrified at their slovenly manners."
Right: She said she was horrified at their "slovenly manners."
As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, the 16-state 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.
The basic rule when in doubt is to consult this book followed bye if necessary, a dictionary under conditions.
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 lite. Exception: thru allowed in some compounds: drive-thru, write thru
Spell Out: The names of the 50 U.S. states should be spelled out when used in the body of a story, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city, town, village or military base.
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 continental states that are five letters or fewer.
In The Body Of Stories: Except for cities that stand alone in datelines, use the state name in textual material when the city or town is not in the same state as the dateline, or where necessary to avoid confusion: Springfield, Massachusetts, or Springfield, Illinois.
Abbreviations Required: Following are the state abbreviations, which also appear in the entries for each state (postal code abbreviations in parentheses)
W. Va. (WV)
These are the postal code abbreviations for the eight states that are not abbreviated in datelines or text: AK (Alaska), HI (Hawaii), ID (Idaho), IA (Iowa), ME (Maine), OH (Ohio), TX (Texas), UT (Utah). Also: District of Columbia (DC)