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JOUR 301 -- AP Stylebook Sections A-D

Terms in this set (73)

Follow these guidelines:
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: the hostess's invitation, the hostess's seat; the witness's answer, the witness's story. (A change from previous guidance calling for just an apostrophe if the next word begins with s.)
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. (An exception is St. James's Palace.)
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. See 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.
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.
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. See 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 in main section.
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.
DO NOT USE: For plurals of numerals or multiple-letter combinations. See plurals.
In general, avoid unnecessary capitals. Use a capital letter only if you can justify it by one of the principles listed here.
Many words and phrases, including special cases, are listed separately in this book. Entries that are capitalized without further comment should be capitalized in all uses.
If there is no relevant listing in this book for a particular word or phrase, consult Webster's New World College Dictionary. Use lowercase if the dictionary lists it as an acceptable form for the sense in which the word is being used.
As used in this book, capitalize means to use uppercase for the first letter of a word. If additional capital letters are needed, they are called for by an example or a phrase such as use all caps.
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.

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.
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 plural uses: the Democratic and Republican parties, Main and State streets, lakes Erie and Ontario. Exception: plurals of formal titles with full names are capitalized: Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald R. Ford.

Among entries that provide additional guidelines are:
animals holidays and holy days
brand names legislature
building months
committee monuments
Congress nationalities and races
datelines nicknames
days of the week organizations and institutions
directions and regions planets
family names plants
food police department
geographic names religious references
governmental bodies seasons
heavenly bodies trademarks
historical periods and events 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 South 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, malapropism, pasteurize, quixotic, venetian blind.

SENTENCES: Capitalize the first word in a statement that stands as a sentence.

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.

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.

ABBREVIATIONS: Capital letters apply in some cases.
A variety of systems are used for spelling Chinese names. For personal and place names from China, use the official Chinese spelling system known as Pinyin: Senior leader Deng Xiaoping, Beijing, or Zhejiang province.
In personal names, Chinese generally place surnames first and then given names, Deng Xiaoping. Second reference should be the family name, Deng in this case.
Some Chinese have Westernized their names, putting their given names or the initials for them first or sometimes using both an English name and a Chinese name: P.Y. Chen, Jack Wang, Frank Hsieh Chang-ting. In general, follow an individual's preferred spelling.
Normally Chinese women do not take their husbands' surnames.
The Pinyin spelling system eliminates the hyphen or apostrophe previously used in many given names. Use the new spelling for Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, but keep the traditional American spelling for such historical figures as Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek.
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, long known in the West as Foochow, is the capital of Fujian province, on China's eastern coast.
Use the traditional American spellings for these place names: China, Inner Mongolia, Shanghai, Tibet.
Follow local spellings in stories dealing with Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Capitalize the animal names for years in the Chinese lunar calendar: Year of the Sheep, Year of the Dog.
The following guidelines treat some of the most frequent questions about the use of commas. Additional guidelines on specialized uses are provided in separate entries such as dates and scores.
As with all punctuation, clarity is the biggest rule. If a comma does not help make clear what is being said, it should not be there. If omitting a comma could lead to confusion or misinterpretation, then use the comma.
For detailed guidance, consult the punctuation section in the back of Webster's New World College Dictionary.
IN A SERIES: Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in most simple series: The flag is red, white and blue. He would nominate Tom, Dick, Harry or Jeannette.
Include a final comma in a simple series if omitting it could make the meaning unclear. The governor convened his most trusted advisers, economist Olivia Schneider and polling expert Carlton Torres. (If Schneider and Torres are his most trusted advisers, don't use the final comma.) The governor convened his most trusted advisers, economist Olivia Schneider, and polling expert Carlton Torres. (If the governor is convening unidentified advisers plus Schneider and Torres, the final comma is needed.)
Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.
Use a comma also before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases: The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.
See dash and semicolon for cases when elements of a series contain internal commas.
WITH EQUAL ADJECTIVES: Use commas to separate a series of adjectives equal in rank. If the commas could be replaced by the word and without changing the sense, the adjectives are equal: a thoughtful, precise manner; a dark, dangerous street.
Use no comma when the last adjective before a noun outranks its predecessors because it is an integral element of a noun phrase, which is the equivalent of a single noun: a cheap fur coat (the noun phrase is fur coat); the old oaken bucket; a new, blue spring bonnet.
WITH NONESSENTIAL CLAUSES: A nonessential clause must be set off by commas. An essential clause must not be set off from the rest of a sentence by commas.
See essential clauses, nonessential clauses in the main section.
WITH NONESSENTIAL PHRASES: A nonessential phrase must be set off by commas. An essential phrase must not be set off from the rest of a sentence by commas.
See essential phrases, nonessential phrases in the main section.
WITH INTRODUCTORY CLAUSES AND PHRASES: A comma is used to separate an introductory clause or phrase from the main clause: When he had tired of the mad pace of New York, he moved to Dubuque.
The comma may be omitted after short introductory phrases if no ambiguity would result: During the night he heard many noises.
But use the comma if its omission would slow comprehension: On the street below, the curious gathered.
WITH CONJUNCTIONS: When a conjunction such as and, but or for links two clauses that could stand alone as separate sentences, use a comma before the conjunction in most cases: She was glad she had looked, for a man was approaching the house.
As a rule of thumb, use a comma if the subject of each clause is expressly stated: We are visiting Washington, and we also plan a side trip to Williamsburg. We visited Washington, and our senator greeted us personally. But no comma when the subject of the two clauses is the same and is not repeated in the second: We are visiting Washington and plan to see the White House.
The comma may be dropped if two clauses with expressly stated subjects are short. In general, however, favor use of a comma unless a particular literary effect is desired or if it would distort the sense of a sentence.
INTRODUCING DIRECT QUOTES: Use a comma to introduce a complete one-sentence quotation within a paragraph: Wallace said, "She spent six months in Argentina and came back speaking English with a Spanish accent." But use a colon to introduce quotations of more than one sentence. See colon.
Do not use a comma at the start of an indirect or partial quotation: He said the victory put him "firmly on the road to a first-ballot nomination."
BEFORE ATTRIBUTION: Use a comma instead of a period at the end of a quote that is followed by attribution: "Write clearly and concisely," she said.
Do not use a comma, however, if the quoted statement ends with a question mark or exclamation point: "Why should I?" he asked.
WITH HOMETOWNS AND AGES: Use a comma to set off an individual's hometown when it is placed in apposition to a name (whether of is used or not): Mary Richards, Minneapolis, and Maude Findlay, Tuckahoe, New York, were there.
If an individual's age is used, set it off by commas: Maude Findlay, 48, Tuckahoe, New York, was present.
NAMES OF STATES AND NATIONS USED WITH CITY NAMES: His journey will take him from Dublin, Ireland, to Fargo, North Dakota, and back. The Selma, Alabama, group saw the governor.
Use parentheses, however, if a state name is inserted within a proper name: The Huntsville (Alabama) Times.
WITH YES AND NO: Yes, I will be there.
IN DIRECT ADDRESS: Mother, I will be home late. No, sir, I did not take it.
SEPARATING SIMILAR WORDS: Use a comma to separate duplicated words that otherwise would be confusing: What the problem is, is not clear.
IN LARGE FIGURES: Use a comma for most figures greater than 999. The major exceptions are street addresses (1234 Main St.), broadcast frequencies (1460 kilohertz), room numbers, serial numbers, telephone numbers, and years (1876). See separate entries under these headings.
PLACEMENT WITH QUOTES: Commas always go inside quotation marks.
WITH FULL DATES: When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with a comma: Feb. 14, 2020, is the target date.
Datelines on stories should contain a city name, entirely in capital letters, followed in most cases by the name of the state, country or territory where the city is located.
DOMESTIC DATELINES: A list of domestic cities that stand alone in datelines:
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.
Use BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. It's an incorporated city and the dateline for the Golden Globes movie awards, sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
STATE SERVICES: Additional cities in a state or region may stand alone.
U.S. POSSESSIONS: Apply the guidelines listed below in the ISLAND NATIONS AND TERRITORIES section and the OVERSEAS TERRITORIES section.
INTERNATIONAL DATELINES: These international locations stand alone in datelines:
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, 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 NATIONS: Stories from other international 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 international 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:
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.
Bermuda Martinique
Corsica Puerto Rico
Crimea Sardinia
Faeroe Islands Sicily
Greenland Sikkim
Guadeloupe 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. For example, Boston stands alone without Massachusetts in a story datelined NEW YORK.
Provide a state or nation identification for the city if the story has no dateline. However, cities that stand alone in datelines may be used alone in those stories if no confusion would result.
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. Showers and thunderstorms were forecast in the Texas Panhandle. High temperatures will prevail throughout the Western states.
The North was victorious. The South will rise again. Settlers from the East went to the 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. Asian nations are opening doors to Western businessmen. The candidate developed a Southern strategy.
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 directional or area descriptions when referring to a section of a state or city: western Montana, 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, West Texas, the South Side of Chicago, the Lower East Side of New York. If in doubt, use lowercase.
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 see coast), the Eastern Shore (see separate entry), the Western Hemisphere.