Chicago Style Workout 20: Abbreviation of Names and Titles

Best Foot Forward!

This month’s workout, “Abbreviation of Names and Titles,” centers on CMOS 17, paragraphs 10.11–27. Advanced editors might tackle the questions cold; learners can study paragraphs 10.11–27 of the Manual before answering.

(Subscribers to The Chicago Manual of Style Online may click through to the linked sections of the Manual. For a 30-day free trial of CMOS Online, click here.)

Notes:

  • These questions are designed to test knowledge of The Chicago Manual of Style, which prefers Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Other style guides may follow a different dictionary.
  • Although this workout is based on  the 17th edition of the Manual, the styles covered in this quiz either are the same as in the 16th edition or were not previously addressed.

Chicago Style Workout 20: Plurals (CMOS 10.11–27)

1. Initials standing for given names are followed by a period and a space {Roger W. Shugg}. A period is normally used even if the middle initial does not stand for a name {Harry S. Truman}.
a.  
b.  
2. If an entire name is abbreviated, spaces and periods can usually be omitted {FDR; Franklin Delano Roosevelt} {MJ; Michael Jordan}.
a.  
b.  
3. Civil or military titles preceding a name are always abbreviated {Rep. Dan Lipinski; Rep. Lipinski}.
a.  
b.  
4. Social titles like Mr. and Dr. are always abbreviated before a full name or surname.
a.  
b.  
5. The abbreviations Rev. and Hon. are traditionally used before a full name when the does not precede the title. With the, such titles should be spelled out {Rev. Jane Schaefer; the Honorable Patricia Birkholz}.
a.  
b.  
6. Jr. and Sr. are used only with the full name, never with the surname only, although in some contexts it may be appropriate to use Jr. or Sr. or the like with a first name alone.
a.  
b.  
7. Chicago recommends periods for abbreviations of academic degrees {B.A., D.D.S., etc.}.
a.  
b.  
8. Spelled-out terms are lowercase unless they designate the proper name of an organization {CNM; certified nurse midwife} {JP; justice of the peace} {FAIA; fellow of the American Institute of Architects}.
a.  
b.  
9. In running text, company names should be given in their full forms, including elements such as Inc.& Co., and LLC.
a.  
b.  
10. The names of many agencies and organizations, governmental and otherwise, are commonly abbreviated, both in running text (preferably after being spelled out on first occurrence) and in tabular matter, notes, and so forth {AAUP} {AFL-CIO} {EPA}.
a.  
b.  

 

Photo: George Arents Collection, New York Public Library, “Exercises for Men: Falling Astride,” New York Public Library Digital Collections, accessed October 24, 2017, http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5e66b3e9-1d41-d471-e040-e00a180654d7.       

 

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P.S. We welcome discussion! Please use the comments feature below.
(Spoiler alert: Commenters may discuss the workout and their answers!)

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4 thoughts on “Chicago Style Workout 20: Abbreviation of Names and Titles

  1. Number 8, “Spelled-out terms are lowercase unless they designate the proper name of an organization {CNM; certified nurse midwife} {JP; justice of the peace} {FAIA; fellow of the American Institute of Architects},” is too specific to be correct. Had it been, “Spelled-out terms are lowercase unless they designate a proper noun,” I would not have thought twice about marking the bubble next to “True.” But I work for a government agency, and many of the abbreviations we use are for government programs {CHIP; Children’s Health Insurance Program}, not organizations. Those programs should also be capitalized when spelled out, as should any proper noun.

    • We see your point, BP. The title of section 10.22 (Abbreviations for professional, religious, and other designations) contains context that we took for granted in drafting the question. In future we’ll take more care to consider whether essential context is missing from a question. Meanwhile, you can add 10 percent to your score!

  2. I think your computer is having math problems. I missed 2 out of 10 problems, which should be 80 percent, but the computer gave me a 70 percent!

    • Oh, dear! That’s no fair. We think we uncovered the problem and fixed it. Would you like to try again and see what happens?

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