Quotes: Abbreviations in quotes

May 29, 2003: issue 60

SIM STYLE: In quotes, shouldn’t I write out words that would be abbreviated elsewhere in copy?
No. SIM style should be applied to all copy, even if it’s part of quoted material.
 incorrect: “Granite was our number one choice,” he says.
correct: “Granite was our No. 1 choice,” he says.

The same is true for numbers: Use words or numerals as appropriate.
 incorrect: “We insisted on nine-foot ceilings,” she says.
correct: “We insisted on 9-foot ceilings,” she says.
incorrect: “I love the three-eighths-inch molding along the edge,” he says.
correct:“I love the 3/8-inch molding along the edge,” he says.

Note: SIM style should also be applied to previously published material excerpted in our magazines. Don’t change wording, but do apply appropriate spelling and punctuation.

original passage: “The golden orange, ochre and red walls create a warm ambiance.”
correctly excerpted in an SIM: “The golden-orange, ocher, and red walls create a warm ambience.” (Apply SIM style by hyphenating “golden-orange,” changing spelling of “ocher,” adding serial comma, and changing spelling of “ambience.”)

For more information, see Issue 19.

GRAMMAR: Sometimes an arch is just an arch.
We throw around the word “Palladian” an awful lot, but we don’t always get it right. Just because a window is arched doesn’t mean it’s Palladian. A true Palladian window consists of a large arch-top window flanked by two smaller vertical sidelights. Without the sidelights, it’s simply an “arch-top window.”

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