Re: small caps and acronyms

Subject: Re: small caps and acronyms
From: Beverly Parks <bparks -at- HUACHUCA-EMH1 -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 07:35:05 MST

Stacey Kahn wrote-->
> In a manual I'm producing, I'm setting the (many) acronyms in small caps. It
> looks great-- the acronyms blend into the rest of sentence, rather than
> standing out by virtue of size.
> But what's the convention at the start of a sentence?
> Do you (should I) "true" cap the first letter of the acronym or keep the
> acronym small-capped and let the sentence start with the small cap?
> isn't an option.)
In the Army, a long standing rule was "never begin a sentence
with an acronym." This prevented the dilemma you describe.

I work for the Software Development Center, which is commonly
referred to as "SDC". But if we want to start a sentence with
"SDC", we would have to write "The SDC ..." I guess it depends
on the acronym and what it stands for whether you can precede it
with an article or not.

Another option (the preferred one, actually) is to simply spell
out the acronym (or initialism) when it appears at the
beginning of a sentence.

I realize this suggestion merely prevents your dilemma; it
doesn't answer your question. Visually, I think it may look
better to make the first letter a true cap, as you mentioned. It
helps to signal the start of the sentence.

=*= Beverly Parks -- bparks -at- huachuca-emh1 -dot- army -dot- mil =*=
=*= Huachuca : That's pronounced "wah-CHEW-ka" =*=
=*= "Unless otherwise stated, all comments are my own. =*=
=*= I am not representing my employer in any way." =*=

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