Garblog's Pages

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Garbl's Editorial Style Manual: holidays and holy days

Today being the day after New Year's Day holiday, I'll continue the celebration by highlighting the preferred editorial styles for naming holidays. This item is from Garbl's Editorial Style Manual, but its advice is similar to preferences in the Associated Press Stylebook and other popular mainstream manuals in the United States:
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).
My manual also acknowledges that the U.S. is a diverse country in which people recognize and follow many religions (or no religion)--an essential right protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

My manual says:
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. 
Here are some related entries that supplement the advice above:
New Year's, New Year's Day, New Year's Eve But the new year.
Presidents Day Not President's Day or Presidents' Day.
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.
Washington's Birthday Capitalize birthday when naming the official U.S. holiday, called Presidents Dayby some states and organizations to also honor President Lincoln and other presidents. Washington was born on Feb. 22, but the legal federal holiday is the third Monday in February. 
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