News editing capitalization2

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News editing capitalization2

  1. 1. Capitalization We left off college termsCheck “academic degrees” and “academic titles” in the AP Stylebook
  2. 2. Capital and Capitol Lowercase “capital” refers to the city where a seat of government is located, or property, equipment or money in terms of financial uses The word Capitol refers to the building in Washington, D.C. where Congress meets See capital and Capital in the AP Stylebook
  3. 3. Ethnic designations and color Capitalize race names, but do not capitalize color descriptions Caucasians and Negros live in South Africa. People who live in Tibet are Asians. We are all part of the human race – whether black, brown, red, yellow.  See nationalities and race and colored in the AP Stylebook.
  4. 4. Geographic regions and directions Capitalize regions but not directions  We toured the West on vacation.  We had a flat tire west of Orlando.  He speaks with a Southern accent and will always be a Southerner.  The farmer told me to go south on U.S. 301 and turn east on I-4. Capitalize regions with a state’s name only if that state is famous. When in doubt, don’t.  East and West Germany are now united.  She grows oranges in Southern California.  There is a popular ski resort in north Georgia.  See directions and regions in the AP Stylebook
  5. 5. Government terms Somewhat inconsistent – always capitalize a specific government department.  The New Orleans Police Department issued a curfew. The Police Department was quite serious about it.  San Diego County fires raged even though the Fire Department worked around the clock.  The Department of Agriculture encourages organic production.  Specific government bodies are always capitalized: Congress, Senate and House  The British Parliament is home to many a furious debate.  Never capitalize board of directors or board of trustees. Words such as federal, government and administration are also not capitalized, nor are titles of president and vice-president unless they precede a name.  See governmental bodies in the AP Stylebook.
  6. 6. Months, days of week and seasons Capitalize and spell out months and days of week. Do not capitalize seasons.  My birthday is in July. I was born on Tuesday. The season that is hottest is summer.  See months and days of week in the AP Stylebook
  7. 7. Political parties Always capitalize the name of the political party – including the word “party” Note that philosophies such as democratic, republication, communist, socialists and the like are not capitalized  Uncle Joe would vote for the Democratic Party even if they were crazy.  The Socialist Party enjoys strong support from Mary.  It seems obvious that the communist ideal will never work.  We in the United States favor a republican form of government.  See government bodies, party affiliation and political parties and philosophies in the AP Stylebook.
  8. 8. Proper and Common Nouns A noun, whether proper or common, is a person, place or thing. A proper noun is capitalized. A common noun is not. A proper noun requires a specific person, place or thing. Articles “a” and “an” are not used with a proper noun.  David; Joe; Anne; Sally; my dog; Suzi  He is moving to Columbus, Ohio for graduate school.  A common noun uses “a” and “an”  A man, a woman, a village, a state, a country…  There is an alligator in our pond  See capitalization in the AP Stylebook.
  9. 9. Compound proper nouns There are occasions when two or more proper nouns are used together and share a plural word. Capitalize two proper nouns but lowercase the plural word:  The Missouri and Mississippi rivers have strong currents.  Harvard and Yale universities are Ivy League institutions.  Grady and Piedmont hospitals are located in Atlanta.
  10. 10. Quotes and capitalization English grammar rules and journalism rules agree on capitalizing quotes. Capitalize the first word in a quote when that quote is a complete sentence: Sally said, “We are done with school tomorrow.” I asked, “How can that be, since this is Tuesday?” “Oh well, in Ohio we wait one hour, and the weather changes,” she said.  See “quotations in the news” in the AP Stylebook.
  11. 11. Relatives’ titles The titles of relatives such as father, mother, grandmother and uncle are sometimes capitalized and sometimes not. Capitalize when it’s the first word in a sentence and when there is unmodified reference to a specific person. However, when there are modifiers such as my, your, our, their preceding the relative’s title, that title is NOT capitalized:  Mother and Grandmother will visit us during Thanksgiving.  I want Mother to cook the turkey.  Your father is almost coming home.  Her cousin will not be there.  Where, Brother, will we spend our holiday?  See “family names” in the AP Stylebook.
  12. 12. Religious titles Capitalize God, Jesus and Holy Spirit but lowercase the pronouns for God, Jesus and the like. Capitalize Bible and other holy writ: Torah, Talmud, Qur’an, etc.  Any used car salesman consider the Kelley Blue Book their bible.  The Torah is the Jewish holy scripture. The title of “the Rev.” is applied to most Christian clergy male and female. It is spelled out or abbreviated on first reference and when it precedes a name.  The Rev. Jimmy Swaggart plays the piano. Titles of high-ranking church officials are capitalized and spelled out when they precede the name as first reference.  People know Pope John Paul II because he is kind.  Muslim students saw Rabbi Moshe Epstein at the football game. The rabbi’s seat was on the 50-yard line.  The imman is a native of Jordan.  Look up religious references and religious titles in the AP Stylebook.
  13. 13. Thoroughfares Knowing when to capitalize and abbreviate names of streets and the like can be confusing. The AP Stylebook says “street” “boulevard” and “avenue” are abbreviated nouns when part of a formal street name that does not have a number. Words such as “drive” “road” “terrace” “alley” are never abbreviated. Always capitalize First through Ninth when used as street names. Capitalize highways when they are identified by number.  I once lived on Main Street. Now I live on a nearby avenue.  The White House is located on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Becknell and Cedar avenues are congested.  Drive to Fourth Street, turn right and drive five blocks to Ninth Street.  One of my favorite roads is U.S. 301.  See address in the AP Stylebook.
  14. 14. Titles Formal names and titles are capitalized when preceding a name. Lowercase formal titles that come after a name. Do not capitalize occupational and generic job titles. Capitalize specific formal names of things, and do not capitalize informal names of things:  President Obama is meeting with Condoleeza Rice, secretary of state, tomorrow.  Yesterday, Detective David Davis took charge. Other officers including police officer Henry Smith were there.  We hired pharmacist Jordan Sparks and United Press International journalist Bob McNeil.  See titles and detective in the AP Stylebook.
  15. 15. Military titles Military titles are capitalized and abbreviated when they precede the name. Titles are lowercased and spelled out on second and subsequent references.  Our cousin is Col. Frank Bart. The colonel lives in Washington.  See military titles in the AP Stylebook.
  16. 16. Trademarks The AP Stylebook defines a trademark as a brand, symbol or word used by a manufacturer or dealer and protected by law. Therefore, always capitalize a trademark because it is a proper noun. Trademark names have become part of our common language, so journalists must be careful. Use generic equivalents whenever possible to avoid legal action over trademark infringement.  I’m going to McDonald’s to buy a Coca-Cola. (trademark version)  I’m going to McDonald’s to buy a cola. (preferred)  Her baby likes to eat Jell-O. (trademark)  Her baby likes to eat gelatin. (preferred)  A Land Rover will not get stuck in the mud.  An all-terrain vehicle will not get stuck in the mud. (preferred)  Look up trademarks, brand names and service mark in the AP Stylebook.

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