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Monday, November 12, 2012

No apostrophe in Veterans Day

As we again honor the men and women who have survived U.S. wars, here are a couple of relevant entries from Garbl's Editorial Style Manual:
Veterans Day No apostrophe according to the U.S. statute establishing the legal holiday. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, formerly the Veterans Administration, also takes no apostrophe.
war "War is hell," said Civil War General William T. Sherman, no matter what it's called. Avoid euphemisms like armed conflict, armed intervention, a military solution, police action, uprising, use of force. Capitalize the word when part of the name for a specific war: World War I, World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, the failed Vietnam War, the 11-year-old Afghanistan War. Also, if one country invades or attacks another country, there's no war until the other country starts defending itself.
Also, avoid diluting the meaning and realities of war by using that word in terms like war on drugs, war on women, and war on religion. Instead, reserve war for referring to battles of one country's military against another country or countries--and against its own people. 
On its website, the Veterans Affairs department says:
Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an "s" at the end of "veterans" because it is not a day that "belongs" to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.
Speaking of holidays, here are other preferred styles from my style manual:
holidays and holy days Capitalize all holidays and holy days: Chinese [or Lunar] New Year, Christmas, Columbus Day, Easter, Groundhog Day, Halloween, Hanukkah, Independence Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Year of the [Rat], etc. Punctuate these holidays as shown: New Year's Day, New Year's Eve, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (no comma before Jr.), St. Patrick's Day, Washington's Birthday, Presidents Day (no apostrophe), Valentine's Day, Veterans Day (no apostrophe).
Because various religions use differing rituals in December and January (and throughout the year), it's often useful to refer to the holiday seasona holiday party or a similar phrase. Christmas, for example, is a Christian celebration not recognized by all religious beliefs. Government agencies cannot promote religious practice. 

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