Presentation on theme: "1 Capitalization rules Lessons for copyeditors By Jeff South VCU School of Mass Communications."— Presentation transcript:
1 Capitalization rules Lessons for copyeditors By Jeff South VCU School of Mass Communications
2 In general 4 ‘Down style’ 4 It’s faster. 4 Blame cheap publishers! 4 When in doubt, check the AP Stylebook.
3 Proper vs. common nouns 4 Proper nouns = specific people, places, things 4 Common nouns = general people, places, things
4 Proper vs. common nouns Proper Tim Kaine Kenya Pepsi Richmond University of Virginia Common a man country soft drink a city university, school
5 Now you try! The (nations/Nations) formed an alliance. The nations formed an alliance. She once lived in (deltaville/Deltaville). She once lived in Deltaville. One of the (johns/Johns) arrested in the prostitution sting said his name was (john/John) Smith. One of the johns arrested in the prostitution sting said his name was John Smith.
6 Trademarks 4 They’re specific, so capitalize them: Students will get free Cokes at class. A Realtor sold the house in two days. The concert is being sponsored by Sprite. She wore an Armani suit. 4 Check the AP Stylebook and gov’t. offices to see if a brand name is still protected.gov’t. offices
7 Now you try! Clenching a (kleenex/Kleenex), she tearfully recalled what happened on the beach. Clenching a Kleenex, she tearfully recalled what happened on the beach. He made a (xerox/Xerox) of the document to prove it existed. He made a Xerox of the document to prove it existed. They had (jello/Jell-O) for dessert. They had Jell-O for dessert.
8 Trademarks 4 Unless the trademark name is essential to the story, use the generic word: cola instead of Coke real estate agent instead of Realtor gelatin instead of Jell-O
9 Now you try! Clenching a Kleenex, she tearfully recalled what happened on the beach. Clenching a tissue, she tearfully recalled what happened on the beach. He made a Xerox of the document to prove it existed. He made a photocopy of the document to prove it existed. She was wearing Nikes and Ray-Bans. She was wearing running shoes and sunglasses.
10 Compass points 4 Capitalize if it’s a specific region: He is from the West. They live in Southside Virginia. 4 Lowercase if it’s a direction: She drove south on I-95. Five miles east of the city, the officers found the abandoned car.
11 Now you try! Clinton was popular in the east but not in the south. Wrong. Clinton was popular in the East but not in the South. The wind shifted suddenly to the north. Correct. After leaving Nashville, they headed West. Wrong. After leaving Nashville, they headed west.
12 Now you try! The south will rise again, he said. Wrong. The South will rise again, he said. The tracks run from West to East. Wrong. The tracks run from west to east. It rarely snows that far south. Correct. They moved here from the West Coast. Correct.
13 Awards, honors and prizes 4 Capitalize specific awards: Nobel Prize Emmy Oscar Medal of Honor Pulitzer Prize Heisman Trophy
14 Now you try! She won an academy award in 1998. Wrong. She won an Academy Award in 1998. The newspaper received a Pulitzer for international reporting. Correct. She has earned numerous awards for teaching. Correct. The Nobel peace prize is awarded each spring. Wrong. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded...
15 Multiword proper nouns Capitalize all the words if they’re part of the formal name: Hermitage High School James River Chesterfield County Main Street
16 Multiword proper nouns Be careful with plurals: Hermitage and Armstrong high schools James and York rivers Chesterfield and Powhatan counties Main and Harrison streets Don’t capitalized the ‘pluralized’ word, such as schools or streets.
17 Multiword proper nouns Capitalize: Grant and Lee fought in the Civil War. He is taking History 102. Spain is part of the European Union. But lowercase: There’s a civil war in Sri Lanka. She is studying American history. Morocco is seeking a union with Algeria.
18 Now you try! He fell from the top of the Empire State building. Wrong. He fell from the top of the Empire State Building. The accident occurred at Main and Laurel Streets. Wrong. The accident occurred at Main and Laurel streets.
19 Now you try! She had no transcript from Middle School when she transferred to Godwin High school. Wrong. She had no transcript from middle school when she transferred to Godwin High School. They flew missions in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Correct.
20 Now you try! I took four semesters of History. Wrong. I took four semesters of history. I flunked Biology 101. Correct. The professor has taught at the Universities of Tennessee and West Virginia. Wrong. The professor has taught at the universities of Tennessee and West Virginia.
21 Government 4 Capitalize specific governmental bodies: Congress Senate House Virginia General Assembly the General Assembly the Legislature
22 Government 4 Lowercase nonspecific and plural references: The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, … The Virginia and Maryland legislatures
23 Now you try! By October, Congress is expected to pass the long-delayed bill. Correct. No Legislature has passed the amendment. Wrong. No legislature has passed … The new cabinet met with the president Wrong. The new Cabinet met …
24 Now you try! Jesse Helms is retiring from the Senate. Correct. The North and South Carolina Legislatures will consider regulating pig farming. Wrong. The North and South Carolina legislatures will consider... She is a member of the Diet, Japan’s parliament. Correct.
25 Government 4 Capitalize ‘Capitol’ because it refers to a specific building: He visited the Capitol in Washington, D.C. 4 Lowercase ‘capital’ - referring to the city where government is headquartered: Richmond is the capital of Virginia.
26 Government 4 Capitalize City Hall and City Council because they’re specific. 4 Lowercase ‘council’ standing alone: The council will vote next week.
27 Now you try! The capitol dominates the skyline of the nation’s Capital. Wrong. The Capitol dominates the skyline of the nation’s capital. What is the capital of West Virginia? Correct. The protesters marched east to the capitol. Wrong. The protesters marched east to the Capitol.
28 Religion 4 Capitalize names of religions, religious groups, their deities and their sacred books: God, Allah, Buddha Christians, Jews, Muslims the Bible, the Torah, the Koran
29 Religion 4 But remember: ‘bible’ can be lowercase, too: The AP Stylebook is the reporter’s bible. 4 Always lowercase ‘biblical.’ The speech included several biblical references.
30 Now you try! Jerry Garcia was almost a god to his devoted fans. Correct. Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians. Correct. The talmud is a book of religious and civil laws. Wrong. The Talmud is a book...
31 Race & ethnicity 4 Capitalize the formal names of races and ethnic groups: African American, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, Indian 4 Lowercase skin colors: black community, white residents, the whites, the blacks
32 Race & ethnicity 4 Call people what they want to be called. Black or African American? Native American or Indian? Hispanic, Latino or Chicano? 4 But first, consider: Is race relevant to the story? If not, don’t use it.
33 Now you try! In the South, Whites used the poll tax to keep Blacks from voting. Wrong. In the South, whites used the poll tax to keep blacks from voting. Virginius Dabney, a white editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, won a Pulitzer for opposing the poll tax. Correct.
34 Now you try! But the Times-Dispatch led the campaign against allowing blacks and whites to attend schools together. Correct. As a result, many people in the Black Community continue to distrust the white- owned daily. Wrong. As a result, many people in the black community continue to distrust the white- owned daily.
35 Titles 4 Capitalize formal titles directly before a name (‘fused’ to a name), not separated by a comma: The speaker is Mayor Tim Kaine. Today, President Bush signed the bill. 4 Lowercase descriptive titles: The concert featured singer Sheryl Crow. The city bought the land from farmer Jerry Crawford.
36 Titles 4 Formal titles denote authority or professional or academic achievement: Pope Paul, President Bush, King Henry 4 Descriptive titles include: sophomore Bill Sims, reporter Jean Williams, first baseman Mark Grace
37 Titles 4 If a comma separates the title and name, the title is no longer a proper noun: The new dean, Steve Gottfredson, will meet with the students. The U.S. president, George W. Bush, held a state dinner for Mexican President Vicente Fox.
38 Titles 4 Likewise, lowercase titles that come after a name: Eugene Trani, president of Virginia Commonwealth University,... Jeff South, a VCU professor, taught Newswriting last year. Juan Carlos, the king of Spain, is visiting South America.
39 Titles 4 Put long titles (more than three words) after a name: Tracy Smith, chairwoman of the Henrico County Planning and Zoning Commission, voted against the proposal. Ron Nixon, a deputy secretary of state for Middle Eastern affairs, attended the meeting.
40 Titles 4 Always lowercase titles standing alone, without a name. They met the president in the White House. The pope gave his blessing.
41 Titles 4 Formal titles are used on first reference only, with the person’s full name: First reference: Dr. Thomas Alexander Second reference: Alexander First reference: Vice President Richard Cheney Second reference: Cheney
42 Titles 4 Plural formal titles are capitalized: In Washington, Presidents George W. Bush of the United States and Vicente Fox of Mexico are discussing immigration. The committee will be headed by Vice Provosts Cynthia McWilliams and Oscar Garcia.
43 Titles 4 Don’t capitalize words that modify or describe a formal title: At VCU, former President Jimmy Carter will speak at a symposium on poverty. The group invited retired Gen. Art Hall.
44 Titles 4 AP style does not use courtesy titles (Miss, Ms., Mrs., Mr.) unless they are needed to prevent confusion. 4 But some publications do use courtesy titles. (See The NY Times, or Richmond Times-Dispatch obituaries.)
45 Now you try! A popular Soul Singer, Mary J. Blige, will perform in Richmond. Wrong. A popular soul singer, Mary J. Blige, will perform in Richmond. The pressure is building on president Bush. Wrong. The pressure is building on President Bush.
46 Now you try! Police Officer Jessica Jean Cheney died Saturday night in a traffic accident. Correct. A police officer, Jessica Jean Cheney, died Saturday night in a traffic accident. Correct. Jessica Jean Cheney, a police officer, died Saturday night in a traffic accident. Correct. These are three ways of handling titles. Capitalize only if it’s a formal title ‘fused’ to the person’s name (sentence No. 1).
47 Organizations 4 Capitalize an organization’s name because it’s a proper noun. 4 But don’t capitalize: a, an, the and prepositions of fewer than 5 letters
48 Organizations Boy Scouts Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce the Delta Chi Fraternity (because ‘Fraternity’ is part of the name) the Phi Mu sorority (because ‘sorority’ isn’t officially part of the name) VCU Board of Visitors Federal Communication Commission
49 Now you try! Amnesty International Correct. Black Awakening Choir Correct. American Society Of Interior Designers Wrong. American Society of Interior … Activities Programming board Wrong. Activities Programming Board
50 Now you try! Federal Bureau Of Investigation Wrong. Federal Bureau of Investigation Latino Student Alliance Correct. the Donkey And Elephant Society Wrong. Donkey and Elephant Society VCU Student Government Association Correct.
51 U.S. military branches 4 Capitalize when written in full or shortened form the U.S. Air Force the Air Force the U.S. Army the Army the U.S. Marines the Marines
52 U.S. military branches 4 Lowercase when these words don’t mean military: An army of ants took over the picnic. Like an air force bent on destruction, the birds swooped over the crowd and dropped their bombs.
53 Political terms 4 Capitalize ‘party’ when it is part of a proper noun: the Democratic Party the Republican Party the Green and Libertarian parties She is a Democrat and a loyal member of the party. He is a longtime Republican senator.
54 Political terms 4 Lowercase a political term when it refers to a form of government or an ideology (not a political party): They believed in the republican form of government, with elected representatives. She opposes socialism, but she used to belong to the Socialist Party of America.
55 Now you try! The democratic governor appointed a Republican to the Supreme Court. Wrong. The Democratic governor appointed a Republican … She joined the Navy at age 19. Correct. He spent his life fighting Communism. Wrong. Lowercase ‘communism.’
56 Now you try! The Green party is collecting signatures. Wrong. The Green Party … The country was founded in 1776 on Democratic ideals. Wrong. Lowercase ‘democratic’ ideals. A ragged army of refugees fled from the drought-striken region. Correct.