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Thursday, January 3, 2013

AP compiles presidential inauguration style guide | The Associated Press

This "style guide" from the Associated Press is mostly a listing or description of facts about the inauguration. Or, as AP wrote in its advisory to editors at AP member organizations: 
To help with spelling and usage of the terms for the Jan. 21 inauguration of President Barack Obama, The Associated Press compiled a style guide of essential words, phrases and definitions. A few terms are from the AP Stylebook. Others are common usage in AP political and historical coverage.
I'm highlighting several items below mostly because they mention or show editorial style:
presidential oath of office
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Note that the oath, provided in the U.S. Constitution, does not end with "so help me God." George Washington may have added the phrase to his oath. Apparently, all presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt have chosen to add the phrase.
Inauguration Day
Capitalize only when referring to the collection of events that include inauguration of a U.S. president; lowercase in other uses: Inauguration Day is Jan. 21. This is the 57th inauguration. ...
Lowercase adjective for all ceremonies marking the president's new term and as a noun for the address given by the president at his swearing-in.
Capitol Building
Domed home of the U.S. House and Senate.

Capitol Hill
Site of Capitol Building, nicknamed the hill.
It's interesting and contradictory that AP is capitalizing Building in the two terms above. The AP Stylebook refers to just the U.S. Capitol or the Capitol when naming the building (lowercase).

Here are my related entries in Garbl's Editorial Style Manual:
capital, capitol Often confused or misspelled. Capital is a city, the seat of government. Do not capitalize: Salem is the capital of OregonCapital city is redundant. Capital also refers to money. Capitol is the building in which the U.S. Congress or the state Legislature meets. Capitalize U.S. Capitol and the Capitol when writing about the building in Washington, D.C., and do the same when writing about state capitols: The California Capitol is in SacramentoCapitol building is redundant.
Capitol Hill Not Capital Hill, for the Seattle district or site of the U.S. Capitol.   
Here's one more entry from AP's latest message to editors:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Annual federal holiday observed on the third Monday of January, coinciding with Inauguration Day.
Note that AP does not surround Jr. with commas in the name of the holiday (or in other uses). That style is accurate; including the commas would imply that Jr. is not essential to identifying King. But it is ... to separate King from his father.
The AP article is featured today, Jan. 3, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Style: Write Choices, available at the Editorial Style tab above and by free email subscription.

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