A Canadian Press Style Primer / 12 октября 2007 г.

Here is a brief rundown of Canadian Press style’s most basic rules.

1. Spelling

CP’s authority for spelling is the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Exceptions are listed in Caps And Spelling.

Where Oxford gives alternative spellings, CP style is the first, unless shown otherwise in Caps And Spelling.

“Canadian” spelling is borrowed from both Britain and the United States, and so is Canadian Press’s style on spelling.

Like the Americans, Canadian Press prefers ize/yze endings for words such as criticize and rationalize. And like the British, it prefers —ce endings for nouns such as defence and offence.

CP doubles the l at the ends of words when adding a suffix, so it’s travelled, rivalled, medallist, etc.

In September 1998, CP changed its style after 80 years and adopted the “our” spelling for words of more than one syllable in which the “u” is not pronounced. So it’s colour, ardour, favour, rigour, etc. CP says it made the change to reflect the spelling preferred by many readers and taught in most Canadian schools.

When the spelling of a noun in a name doesn’t conform to CP style, CP uses the spelling favoured by the subject.

So it’s Lincoln Center, Color Your World and Canadian Paediatric Society. An exception is names of government departments and agencies, so it’s U.S. Defence Department and U.S. Labour Department.

CP also decided that for reasons of readability, it doesn’t go along with all-capital or all lower-case names of corporations, products and cultural output.

So its Scrabble, Velcro and Via (all of which are spelled all-caps by their companies).

An exception is the names of people and performing groups, where CP generally follows their preference.

So it’s k.d. lang, e.e. cummings and bp Nichol.

2. Time

1 p.m. (not 1:00 p.m.); 1:25 a.m., 3:42 p.m., noon, midnight — don’t use o’clock but you can quote someone using it.

For time zones, the abbreviations are all caps, without periods: EDT, AST. Use the abbreviations for time zones with a clock reading — 11 a.m. MST or noon Monday CST.

Spell out time zones when they are not accompanied by a clock reading — Pacific daylight time.

Capitalize Newfoundland, Atlantic and Pacific time zones when spelled out. Use lowercase for the others — eastern, mountain, central.

3. For consistency, run dates in this order: Monday, Sept. 13, 1999 — remember the comma after 1999 if it is followed by more words in the same sentence.

And never use the year in dates in the current year.

4. Never abbreviate days of the week in copy

5. Write names of the months out in full except when you have a specific day for these months: August, September, October, November, December, January. (They run in order from August.)

— Dec. 23, but Christmas falls in December

It may be easier to remember that the months that never are abbreviated are March, April, May, June, July — the months that run in order from March and are no longer than five letters long — or remember that if the month’s name has six or more letter, it is abbreviated

It’s: Sept. 11, 2001, was a Tuesday. August 2006 was hot and dry.

6. Don’t capitalize the seasons — spring, summer, fall, winter.

7. All communities have to be identified by their province or territory, following in abbreviated form, except for provincial and territorial capitals other than St. John’s, N.L.

Don’t use the postal code abbreviations that have recently started cropping up everywhere. The correct CP style abbreviations are:

Alta. B.C. Sask. Man. Ont.
Que. N.B. N.S. N.L. P.E.I.

After the name of a community, use Yukon rather than Y.T. When standing alone, make it the Yukon.

An abbreviation has not yet been established for Nunavut, so write it out in all references.

Write out the provinces and territories, except when they follow the name of a community in them; then they are abbreviated

— Her family has a cottage in Gimli, Man.

And when it’s in the middle of a sentence, remember the comma after the period of the abbreviation

— Her family has a cottage in Gimli, Man., which is 96 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

8. Numbers

Write out the numbers one to nine; use numerals for all others — except at the beginning of sentences, when all numbers are written out.

Use figures

— for ages standing alone after a name, as in

         Melanie, 2, has brothers aged five and 11.

— for dates and years, as in Dec. 8, 5th of December, 1940s

— for decisions, rulings, scores, votes and odds, as in a 6–3 rulings, a 35–6 vote, a 7–7 tie

— for heights, expressed informally, as in: He stands 6–11

— for temperatures, as in 5 C, –6 C

— for time and money

— for numbers with decimals (and for whole numbers when they’re in the same sentence), as in: The interest rates are 7.35 per cent for six years, 7.25 per cent for five years and 7.00 per cent for four years.

Follow style for ordinals: fifth, ninth, 12th, 33rd

9. For street addresses, abbreviate Avenue, Road, Street, etc. when you have an exact number; write them out when you don’t

— 80 Gould St. but it happened on Gould Street

— at the corner or Gould and Yonge streets

— in Toronto addresses, don’t leave out the East and West; Yonge is the dividing line

10. Don’t use periods in all-capital abbreviations unless the abbreviation is geographical or refers to a person

— so it’s AD, CBC, UBC, U.S., P.E.I., N.S.

— B.C. for British Columbia and BC for Before Christ (preferred now is BCE for Before the Common Era)

11. In text, spell out measurement terms such as foot, hundredweight, kilogram, metre, minute — to make it easier for the reader.

A few common terms are acceptable on second reference when used with numbers — 90 km/h, 105-mm cannon.

12. Money

The style is $2, not $2.00 for even amounts, but it’s $3.24, $1,897.99

— use numerals until you get to millions, then $1 million, $1.5 million

— remember that the $ sign takes care of the word dollar, so it must not be repeated

Omit periods (and spaces) in the abbreviations for currency — US$500, C$800

13. Don’t use courtesy titles, also known as honorifics:

No Mr. Mrs. Miss or Ms

In general, use Dr. only for licensed health-care professionals. Don’t use Dr. for people with doctorates outside the health-care field.

14. Punctuation

Quotation marks always go outside other punctuation

— “I’m going to the store,” she said.

— “I’m going to the store,” she said, “and I won’t be back until 2 o’clock.”

Never use single quotation marks in text or for anything except quotations within quotations.

— When a quote by a single speaker extends more than one paragraph, put quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph but at the end of only the last.

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