Writing Style – Capitalization of Hyphenated Words

BizWritingTip reader: “For headings or titles that contain a hyphenated word, do you capitalize the second word in the compound word? For example, would I write: ‘City of Thunder Bay 2010 By-election’ or ‘City of Thunder Bay 2010 By-Election’? Does the rule work the same way for compound adjectives also?” BizWritingTip response: When writing a heading […]

Writing Style – Capitalization of Names

BizWritingTip reader: “I have a question about the capitalization of names. There is a raging debate in our office about the use of capitalization with a word such as ‘town.’ For example, if someone wrote: ‘The Town is responsible for collecting taxes’ should the ‘t’ be capitalized?” BizWritingTip response: This is a style issue — […]

Writing Style – Viz. versus i.e.

BizWritingTip reader: “I have recently seen what appears to be a different version of the i.e. guideline. The short form was viz. followed by a group of names or items. ‘There were three people elected to the 2010 board of directors, viz., Mr. Smith, Mr. Hall, and Mr. Kelly.’ I cannot think of any Latin term […]

Writing Style – Abbreviations: Acronyms and Initialisms

BizWritingTip reader: “In a publication we are currently editing, the first program/service sometimes is written with the first letter of each word capitalized and then the acronym in all caps. At other times, it is written all small caps with the acronym in caps. Which way is correct?” BizWritingTip reader: It is often easier to […]

Writing Style – Capitalization With Occupations Versus Titles

I’d like to continue our previous BizWritingTip blog on capitalization with titles and occupations. When a word is a job description, use lower case. When it is a title, use upper case. Examples We need to hire another writer. (occupation – lower case) I suggest you contact Professor Jones (title – upper case) However, when a person’s name […]

Writing Style – That

Leah’s question: “Would you please write about the overuse of the word ‘that’? For example, shouldn’t ‘Please read the letter that I wrote’ be better as ‘please read the letter I wrote.’ ” BizWritingTip response: The use of the pronoun “that” is controversial. Fortunately, it is a style issue rather than a grammar one. In […]

Writing Style – Capitalization With Occupations Versus Titles

BizWritingTip reader: “When you are referring to a person’s title, i.e., nurse, doctor, accountant, etc., when do you capitalize the first letter in their title and when do you not?” BizWritingTip response: According to The Canadian Press style book, Caps and Spelling, the style for capitalization is “modified down.” This means that occupations and job descriptions […]

Writing Style – Rules for Numbers

BizWritingTip reader: “I was recently told that in a written document numbers should be displayed in written form for values of nine or less and numerically for values of 10 or larger; is this correct?” BizWritingTip response: Yes, this is Canadian style. Spell out whole numbers below 10 and use figures for 10 and above. […]

Writing Style – Ms.

BizWritingTip reader: “I was told that it is not correct to add a period after Ms as it isn’t a short form of a word as Mr. is for Mister. Is this correct?” BizWritingTip response: Yes, Ms. is not actually a short form. It was coined by well-known author Germaine Greer and other feminists in the 1970s […]

Word Choice – Company Name

BizWritingTip reader: “When you close a business letter, does it still need to include the company name typed under the closing line? It seems like it duplicates the letterhead.” BizWritingTip response: Before letterhead, the courts required companies to put their name somewhere on the document to show they stood behind the correspondence. Most organizations placed […]