Important Mechanical Matters. Part 2
for. ex. foreign exchange, frt. freight, ft. feet.
gal. gallon or gallons, grs. gross, guar, guaranty, hdkfs. handkerchiefs, hf. half, hhd. hogshead. I. B. invoice book, in. inches, ins. insurance. J. journal.
J. D. B. journal day book. L. ledger.
L. & G. loss and gain. L. S. place for seal, mdse. merchandise, mem. memorandum.
O. B. order book.
oz. ounce, ounces.
P. and L. profit and loss.
st. drft. sight draft.
supt. superintendent tcs. tierces.
via - by way of.
W. B. way bill.
§ 32. The Apostrophe
1. The apostrophe often shows the omission of a letter or letters. In contractions the important thing is to get it in the right place. Notice the position of it in can't, won't, they're, haven't, aren't, you're. We may write dep't for department, but dept. (with the period) is easier.
2. The apostrophe marks the plural of letters and figures and of words referred to as words merely.
1. It is hard to tell his 8's from his 3's.
2. Dot your i's.
3. There are too many and's.
3. The apostrophe marks the possessive (or genitive) form of nouns. If the singular ends in 8, the possessive adds the apostrophe and then another s: Jones's, Lewis's, Adams's, Dickens's. But we write Adams Express Company, using Adams as an adjective. Jones's, Lewis's, etc., are pronounced like the plurals, Joneses, Lewises, etc. If the plural ends in s, only the apostrophe is added to give the possessive form: the Joneses' house, the Adamses' children.
The only exceptions are a few phrases: goodness9 sake, conscience' sake, Jesus' sake.
4. Bo not write it's unless you mean it is. Its means be-longing to it You will have to watch this matter in revision. You can't trust yourself to get it right every time in composing, any more than you can be sure of always keeping to, too, and two apart.
§ 33. Capitals
1. One line under a word indicates that it should be set in italic; two, in small capitals; three, in large capitals.
2. There is a considerable decrease in the use of capitals in abbreviations. A study of the section on abbreviations will show the various usages, though in § 31:22 fewer capitals perhaps are used than is the custom in some offices.
3. Avoid excessive capitalization. In referring to the different departments of a business - e. g. mailing department - capitals are usually superfluous.
4. Easter, Christmas, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, New Year's - these take capitals. The names of the sea-sons do not.
5. Titles of books are differently printed by different offices. Usually every word is capitalized except articles (a, an, the), prepositions (for, of, etc.) and conjunctions (and, etc).
6. The is capitalized when it is the first word in the title of a book. But if newspapers are mentioned in the text, they are referred to as the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, etc. The is safely capitalized in referring to a corporation.
7. Write, the State of Illinois. Without the capital, here, state would mean condition.
8. Be extremely careful to write English, French, German, etc., with capitals. The coming of so many Germans into this country has quite upset our school-children on this point - for the Germans do not capitalize these words.
9. Write, Ex-president Roosevelt, Vice-president Sherman, Major-general Grant. [For "former president" see p. 105.]
10. In writing prefixes to foreign names, do not theorize, but find out how the owner writes his name. The usual styles are: Van Beethoven, Ludwig van Beethoven; Bismarck, Graf von Bismarck; Da Vinci, Lionardo da Vinci; Bella Bobbia, Luca della Bobbia; Be Tocqueville, Monsieur de Tocqueville, M. de Tocqueville.
11. The following merchandise names need no capital: brussels carpet, castile soap, china ware, delft ware, gobelin blue, india ink, india rubber, levant, majolica, morocco, oriental rugs, russia leather, turkey red, surah silk, wedgwood pottery. There are many other similar terms.
12. The words americanized and anglicized are now in good use.
13. Write East, West, North, South, Northwest, Southeast when you mean parts of the country or sections of the nation. Use the small letter when you refer to points of the compass, or direction.
1. The West wants a reduction of the tariff. 2. I am going out west 3. We are moving due west
14. Names of the Deity are capitalized. Some offices always capitalize He, His, Him when they refer to God.
15. In pamphlets, booklets, circulars, and advertisements capitals are useful for display purposes. They are however often abused.
16. Capitalize names of college fraternities, but not of college classes.
17. Capitalize Indian, Chinese, Japanese, but usually not negro. This is not a discrimination against the colored race. It merely means that negro is much more widely used than the names above given. In "a negro melody" the word is as truly a "common" adjective as "folk" would be.
§ 34. Figures And Numerals
1. When figures are expressed in words, the effect is more conversational and at the same time more literary. Bound numbers so expressed often have more effect, are more impressive, than figures. "Let us help you save a thousand dollars" is more natural than "Let us help you save $1000," where we read "One thousand dollars," a rather artificial phrase. The combination of word and figures, "One thousand dollars ($1000)" is very formal, and summons up visions of a contract. It is for the writer to consider which of these three effects he wishes to produce.