Abbreviations Copy should be consistent, and thisincludes abbreviations. Abbreviations take up less space on the page, thereby allowing room for more important words.
Months, States, Thoroughfares Similar to the way that states are written: most months are abbreviated when used with a specific date: Dec. 17, 2012 However, other months are never abbreviated. March, April, May, June and July All months are spelled out fully when standing alone Their wedding anniversary is in February. The date is Feb. 14. Classes end in June. Classes end June 7.
Month abbreviations For the 8 months that are abbreviated when it appears with a date, use: Jan. Feb. Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Remember: stay away from suffixes –rd, -st, - nd, and –th. No matter how you might pronounce it, the date is pure Arabic.
Examples We will celebrate the holidays from Dec. 23 until Jan. 4. Valerie sprained her ankle in October but she did not have a cast put on until November. She wants to go to Europe in August, but her departure date is Sept. 8.
States You must memorize how, when and if a state is abbreviated. States standing by themselves are always spelled out. Most states are abbreviated when a town or city is a prefix. The only exception is that well-known cities do not need a state designation. Example: I live in North Carolina. I used to live in Macon, Ga., but my new home is near Henderson, N.C. My manuscript is in Los Angeles. The beaches at Miami are world famous. There is a professional soccer team in Boston. Remember the 8 states that are always spelled: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah
Thoroughfares Avenue, boulevard, street, way, alley, terrace, lane, circle… Only 3 are abbreviated and ONLY when a precise street address precedes them: avenue, boulevard and street. (ABS) Veronica lives at 890 King Ave. Larry lives at 60 Helena Blvd. I live at 1234 McRae St. Veronica lives on King Avenue. Larry lives on Helena Boulevard. I live on McRae Street. My newspaper route takes me to Franklin Drive, to Willow Way and to Bluebird Circle. My girlfriend lives at 321 Bluebird Circle.
Thoroughfares Some street address have compass points as part of their names. Abbreviate the compass points when they are part of a precise address. Spell out the compass points when part of a general address. Do not abbreviate if the number is missing. The restaurant is located at 654 W. Mockingbird Terrace. The fire chief lives at 987 S. Cardinal Road. The restaurant is located at West Mockingbird Terrace. The fire chief lives on South Cardinal Road. The footrace will begin at 593 Eagle St., N.W. The footrace will begin at Eagle Street, Northwest.
Names and Titles Wire services rarely use courtesy titles such as Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Master and Mistress. It takes up too much space. Plus, we want to treat males and females equally – men do not have courtesy titles to indicate whether they are married or unmarried and women do. So, let’s eliminate courtesy titles for both sexes. First, you identify a man or woman by his or her full name. Then in the second and subsequent references, refer to the person only by his or her last name. The only time to use courtesy titles is when the story has several people with the same last name.
Legislative Titles Words like “representative,” “senator” and “governor” are capitalized and abbreviated in first reference when preceding the name of the officeholder. Our elected leaders in the Florida Legislature are Rep. Jerry Stewart and Sen. Rhonda Weathers. Among those appearing on the platform were Rep. Arlo Hanks, D-N.C., and Sen. Chang Li, R-Mass. My wife and I support Gov. Charlie Crist’s plan to cut property taxes.
Legislative Titles Do not use legislative titles in second and subsequent references except when used in a direct quote. The words “congressman” and “congresswoman” should not be abbreviated. They may be used as subsequent reference but not with the official’s name. They are only capitalized when preceding the official’s name or in a direct quote. Sen. Joe Thurman lives near me. Thurman is often seen weeding his front yard. Rep. Arlo Hanks, D-N.C., is the commencement speaker. The congressman will talk about the future of tourism. “I have invited Sen. Andrea O’Neal to my Christmas part,” the mayor said.
Military titles Military titles are too numerous to list but they are capitalized and abbreviated when preceding an individual’s name. Military titles are not used in second and subsequent references. Do not spell out the Arabic numbers in titles. The branches are: U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard. Note that each branch has service ratings, which are considered job titles.Do not use them in first reference, in abbreviationor in capitalization.
Military titles Pvt. Benny Silva works as a radio operator in the Air Force. Silva has been in the Air Force for six years. Gen. Omar Bradley fought in World War II. My grandfather served under the general. Mickey Murphy was a sergeant major in the Marine Corps. Murphy now operates a pizza parlor. She is married to 2nd Lt. Sammy Ray. The lieutenant is at Fort Benning, Ga.
Religious Titles This one is fairly easy because wire services use the term “the Rev.” for most Christian clergy. This title is only used for first reference and with the person’s full name. Subsequent references are last name only. I attended a service conducted by the Rev. Pat Robertson. During the service, Robertson said he favored prayer in schools.
Other abbreviations Some titles that precede the name are never abbreviated: Attorney General District Attorney President Superintendent They are capitalized only when they precede the name.
Times of day Abbreviate times of day. Thus, hours before noon are a.m., and those after noon are p.m. Use noon and midnight for those hours. Note the letters are lowercase, and periods are placed between each letter. Avoid redundancies such as “around 3 a.m. in the morning.” She tried to get to work by 7 a.m., but she never leaves work before 5:15 p.m.
Misc. Use the abbreviation “IQ” first reference when referring to intelligent quotient. Note no periods in the abbreviations. Use the abbreviation “UFO” first reference when referring to an unidentified flying object. Use “No. 1” and “No. 2” and the like as first reference when writing about rankings. Abbreviate and capitalize “number” and writethe rank in Arabic. Use AP first reference to abbreviate the Associated Press. Note no periods. Your IQ on the AP’s UFO quiz ranks you No. 12 in the class.
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