Topic Q&A List

Q. Hello ! I am wondering about the capitalization of trademarks such as “ Dad ’ s root beer ” and “ Mack trucks, ” where the name includes what I consider to be a generic description. My instinct is to make terms such as “ root beer ” and “ trucks ” lowercase, but I ’ molarity wondering if that ’ sulfur correct. The companies ’ full names in this subject are Mack Trucks Inc. and the Dad ’ s Root Beer Company LLC. Thanks !
Answer »
A. We agree with your instinct, though it ’ randomness never wrong to capitalize the generic term if the caller or stigmatize does then in its own materials ( as on a company web site ). With Dad ’ s Root Beer, the advantages of the excess capital letters are obvious ; without sufficient context, “ Dad ’ s root beer ” could easily be mistaken for root beer belonging to person ’ s forefather. Ambiguity is less likely with Mack trucks, and the lowercase t will allow you to compare Mack trucks to, for exercise, Ford trucks without appearing to be inconsistent .
Another example like Dad ’ s Root Beer would be Scotch Tape. A capital T could help readers understand that you ’ re not merely referring to tape from Scotland. 3M ’ south trademark, however, extends only to the name “ Scotch ” —as seen in the placement of the register trademark symbol in “ Scotch® Brand Tapes ” at the party ’ second web site. unambiguous examples would include Kleenex tissues and Nike shoes. Whatever you choose, be consistent, and prefer small letter for a generic terminus like “ root beer ” used alone .
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Q. Hi, when a person has a hyphenated first name, such as Zheng-Jun Gao, how would you style their first initials ? Would it be “ Z.-J. Gao ” or “ Z. J. Gao ” ? Thank you.

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Answer »
A. If you ’ re following Chicago vogue, keep the hyphen : “ Z.-J. Gao ” or, inverted ( as in a reference list or index ), “ Gao, Z.-J. ” If you ’ rhenium writing for the sciences, where initials for given names are more common, and where periods and spaces are frequently omitted from initials, you could follow the lead of the National Library of Medicine, as detailed in Citing medicine : The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 2nd erectile dysfunction. According to that guide, hyphens in given names are disregarded when forming initials : “ ZJ Gao ” or, inverted, “ Gao ZJ ” ( without a comma ) .
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Q. What is the correct capitalization of “ Zoom ” and its derivatives when it refers to the all-important meet software that we are all using during the coronavirus pandemic ? I ’ thousand certain that it is capitalized as a noun—e.g., “ I have a Zoom conference at 3:00 post meridiem ” What about when it ’ second used as a verb—e.g., “ People are zooming/Zooming into on-line classes all day long. ” Thank you !
Answer »
A. Zoom is a stigmatize mention, so you ’ re right, it gets a capital z in both noun and attributive forms. ( An attributive noun functions like an adjective, as in your “ Zoom conference ” example. ) capitalization is besides appropriate for stigmatize names that have become synonymous with a category, like Band-Aid, Coke, Hula-Hoop, Jet Ski, Xerox, and Zamboni. Those terms are all listed in Merriam-Webster as capitalize trademarks. And though it may seem normal to refer to a hula-hoop or a jet ski in casual prose or creative write, it ’ randomness never wrong to capitalize a brand identify .
Verbs are a different narrative. Some brands immediately enter the vocabulary as verb, and verbs like to be lowercase. Merriam-Webster ’ randomness entry for Google, which is limited to the verb form, lists lowercase and capitalize versions as equal variants : “ google or Google, ” “ googled or Googled, ” “ google or Googling, ” and “ googles or Googles. ” Ditto Auto-Tune ( “ auto-tune or Auto-Tune, ” and so forth ). The slightly older verb “ xerox ” doesn ’ t even get a capitalize discrepancy .
But unlike “ xerox ” or “ google ” or “ auto-tune, ” “ soar ” has a day job as an ordinary verb. even if it does enter the dictionary in its brand sense, it may be a full idea to retain the capital letter for the sake of clearness. For immediately at least, prefer “ Zooming ” over “ zoom. ”
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Q. Hello, this question is in see to paragraph 8.54 of the Manual. One of the examples of a generic term for a geographic entity is “ the Hudson River valley. ” I was wondering why “ valley ” is not capitalized, despite being separate of the proper name. I am most likely just missing a actually big point here, but it feels like the equivalent of saying “ the Grand canyon. ” Thank you sol a lot for your help and your time !
Answer »
A. The unexpressed point of CMOS 8.54 is that words like “ valley ” aren ’ thyroxine automatically considered function of a proper list. Life would be easier if usage never varied, but it does. To take another exercise from 8.54, the Thames is much referred to as such or, more specifically, as the river Thames ( not the Thames River ). so in Peter Ackroyd ’ s Thames : Sacred River ( London : vintage Books, 2008 ), it ’ randomness “ the river Thames ” ( or just “ the Thames ” ). But a search at the UK government ’ s web site shows a preference for “ the River Thames. ” Who is right ? Paragraph 8.54 supports Ackroyd ’ s use, but the independent thing is to be reproducible. As for the Hudson River, the valley is frequently referred to as the Hudson Valley ( or, yes, the Hudson River Valley ), but in its article on the Hudson River, Encyclopaedia Britannica refers to “ the Hudson valley. ” Britannica ’ mho article is using the word “ valley ” descriptively, and you can think of paragraph 8.54 as giving you license to do the same—especially where prefer usage may be in doubt .
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Q. What is the best way to use a possessive with royalty that normally has extra descriptors after their list ? E.g., Philip II of Macedon ; Alexander the Great ; Elizabeth I ; or Gregory I, “ the Great. ” Sometimes the issue or form has become part of the person ’ sulfur appoint. I couldn ’ metric ton find this easily on the web site so I am asking. Any avail is much appreciated.

Answer »
A. If the numeral suffix or description follows the name with no intervening punctuation, merely add an apostrophe and an second : Philip II of Macedon ’ s son ; Alexander the Great ’ s mother ; Elizabeth I ’ mho reign. But if a comma ( or parentheses ) or quotation marks intervene—as in the font of a description that follows a numeric suffix—you will want to rephrase : not Pope Gregory I, “ the Great ’ s ” predecessors, but the predecessors of Pope Gregory I, “ the Great. ” For more on such names, see CMOS 8.34 .
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Q. I know that we should follow the spelling of names of organizations, even when the spelling international relations and security network ’ metric ton Chicago vogue ( for example, United Nations Development Programme ). But what about when translating non-English-named institutions ? For example, the french initiation CNRS translates itself as “ National Centre for Scientific Research. ” Would you use “ Centre ” or “ Center ” ?
Answer »
A. You can write “ Center. ” The translated mention international relations and security network ’ t the official corporate mention, so you are free to apply your own regional spell preferences .
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Q. Dear Editor, I was wondering if you could help me with a expressive style question. I am copyediting a 10-chapter document on fish. The writer has asked me to include the scientific appoint in parentheses after the common name of pisces species. It seems to me that repeating this each time the pisces is mentioned would make the text bulky ( the names are repeated frequently in each section ). Can we mention the scientific name of the fish in parentheses equitable once in each chapter, or should we keep repeating this style after each species is noted ? I hope I ’ thousand being clean. .. . many thanks for your advice on this !
Answer »
A. Just once is enough. According to Scientific Style and Format ( published by the University of Chicago Press and, like CMOS, available on-line ), “ If the organism is widely known by a common name, this may be used if, at the first address to the organism, the slang name is presented in clear association with the Latin name. ” See SSF, section 22.2.3.2 .
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Q. With regard to capitalizing city and state, we as reporters are taught to be “ coherent, ” which can be near impossible. here is my particular dilemma : The City of Anywhere is being sued. Is city capped throughout as a governmental agency being sued ? I thought so, fine, until the matter came up that person gets paid by the submit. Great, nowadays what ? Cap one but not the other ? It ’ mho very quite maddening and I am in a state of frustration .
Answer »
A. The first tone is to not worry about a “ consistency ” that is much impossible with city and country because they are capped in proper names and lowercased in generic names, and that is not the kind of inconsistency writers need to avoid. There ’ sulfur no inconsistency in writing “ the State of Illinois ” and “ I ’ ve lived in that state a long prison term ” in the same paragraph. Just keep a dash sheet and try to use the lapp case in like context, such as capping the City of Anywhere when it ’ second mentioned as party to a lawsuit .
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Q. What does CMOS say about names of pets ? I can ’ thyroxine find it in the index or the section on names.

Answer »
A. Chicago has no particular rules for names of pets ; treat them like the names of people .
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Q. Dear Chicago experts, do we italicize a ship ’ second appoint in quoted dialogue ? My node says it should be italicized by and large, but not in negotiation .
Answer »
A. Although CMOS is mum on this write out, it makes common sense to use italics within dialogue in the lapp way you use them in the pillow of the text. Italics for titles prevents the words from being mistaken as depart of the main syntax ; styling them the lapp way in both text and dialogue will prevent confusion .
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