Editor's problems

Subject: Editor's problems
From: Stacey Marner <marners -at- CORSAIR -dot- MANTECH-WVA -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 15:08:17 EST

O.K. I know this is the stuff that Eric hates but I don't have
another editor to talk this stuff over with. I apologize if it seems

There are a few mechanical things that I've made an uneducated guess
on and I was wondering if any of you would have any insight as to the
best way to solve these problems. Here it goes.

1. When to capitalize "government?" I've decided that there's no
reason to capitalize it if it's used as an adjective, unless it's part
of a title, of course. I'm wondering if it should only be capped if
it occurs right after a country name like, U.S. Government or
Australian Government. What about "Federal Government" or other
situations where it's used as a noun but the country is only IMPLIED
by the content or audience?

2. When two words are hyphenated together (we do life-cycle a lot
even though it's not correct) and the words are part of a capitalized
title, would you cap both or just the first? (Does it make a
difference if the hyphenated word is part of an acronym? I've had
writers use "database" as part of the expanded acronym. They'll use
both the "D" and the "B" and write it "DataBase.") I have the same
question with words that are slashed together (Design/develop). Does
it make sense to cap one and not the other?

3. Is there some rule that when an acronym is introduced for the
first time in a document, that it's expanded form is always capped?
We have situations like the "Department of Defense" and I have no
problem capping that whenever it's used because it's the title of an
agency. What about Point of Contact (POC)? My problem is that
writers will introduce the acronym and cap the expanded form (which is
fine) but then they will continue to use the expanded form (without
the acronym) capped. It seems strange to me.

I'd appreciate any help you can give.


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