Tabasco A trademark for a brand of hot pepper sauce.


tablespoon, tablespoonfuls Equal to three teaspoons or one-half a fluid ounce.

The metric equivalent is approximately 15 milliliters.

See liter and recipes.

table tennis See pingpong.

tabular matter Exceptions may be made to the normal rules for abbreviations, as necessary to make material fit. But make any abbreviations as clear as possible.


tail wind

Taiwan Use Taiwan, not Formosa, in references to the Nationalist government in Taiwan and to the island itself.

See China.

take-home pay

take off (v.) takeoff (n. and adj.)

take out (v.) takeout (n. and adj.)

take over (v.) takeover (n. and adj.)

take up (v.) takeup (n. and adj.)

Talmud The collection of writings that constitute the Jewish civil and religious law.

Tammany, Tammany Hall, Tammany Society

tanks Use Arabic figures, separated from letters by a hyphen: M-60. Plural: M-60s.

tape recording The noun. But hyphenate the verb form: tape-record.

Tass Acceptable on first reference for the Russian government’s news agency that is officially ITAR-Tass. ITAR is an acronym for Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. Copy from other parts of the former Soviet Union should carry the logo of the local agency plus Tass.


teachers college No apostrophe.

team See collective nouns.


teamster Capitalize teamster only if the intended meaning is that the individual is a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America.

Teamsters union Acceptable in all references to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America.

See the entry under that name.

tear gas Two words. See also Chemical Mace.

teaspoon Equal to one-sixth of a fluid ounce, or one-third of a tablespoon.

The metric equivalent is approximately 5 milliliters.

See liter.

teaspoonful, teaspoonfuls Not teaspoonsful. See recipes.

Technicolor A trademark for a process of making color motion pictures.

teen, teen-ager (n.) teen-age (adj.) Do not use teen-aged.

Teflon A trademark for a type of non-stick coating.

telecast (n.) televise (v.)

telephone numbers Use figures. The forms: (212) 621-1500, 621-1500, (212) MU2-1500. If extension numbers are given: Ext. 2, Ext. 364, Ext. 4071.

The parentheses around the area code are based on a format that telephone companies have agreed upon for domestic and international communications.

TelePrompTer A trademark for a type of cuing device.

It is no relation to Teleprompter Corp., a cable television company with headquarters in New York.

Teletype A trademark for a brand of teleprinters and teletypewriters.

television program titles Follow the guidelines in composition titles.

Put quotation marks around show only if it is part of the formal name. The word show may be dropped when it would be cumbersome, such as in a set of listings.

In text or listing, treat programs named after the star in any of the following ways: “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Mary Tyler Moore” or the Mary Tyler Moore show. But be consistent in a story or set of listings.

Use quotation marks also for the title of an episode: “Chuckles Bites the Dust,” an episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

television station The call letters alone are frequently adequate, but when this phrase is needed, use lowercase: television station WTEV.

telex, Telex (n.) A communications system. Use lowercase when not referring to a specific company. Use uppercase only when referring to the company. Never used as a verb.


temblor See earthquakes.

temperature-humidity index See weather terms.

temperatures Use figures for all except zero. Use a word, not a minus sign, to indicate temperatures below zero.

Right: The day’s low was minus 10.

Right: The day’s low was 10 below zero.

Wrong: The day’s low was -10.

Right: The temperature rose to zero by noon.

Right: The day’s high was expected to be 9 or 10.

Also: 5-degree temperatures, temperatures fell 5 degrees, temperatures in the 30s (no apostrophe).

Temperatures get higher or lower, but they don’t get warmer or cooler.

Wrong: Temperatures are expected to warm up in the area Friday.

Right: Temperatures are expected to rise in the area Friday.

See Fahrenheit; Celsius; and weather terms.

Ten Commandments Do not abbreviate or use figures.



Tennessee Abbrev.: Tenn. See state names.

Tennessee Valley Authority TVA is acceptable on second reference.

Headquarters is in Knoxville, Tenn.

tera- A prefix denoting 1 trillion units of a measure. Move a decimal point 12 places to the right, adding zeros if necessary, to convert to the basic unit: 5.5 teratons = 5,500,000,000,000 tons.

terrace Do not abbreviate. See addresses.

Texaco Inc. Headquarters is in Harrison, N.Y.

Texas Do not abbreviate. Second in total land area.

See state names.

texts, transcripts Follow normal style guidelines for capitalization, spelling and abbreviations in handling a text or transcript.

Use quotation marks only for words or phrases that were quoted in the text or by the person who spoke.

Identify a change in speakers by starting a paragraph with the new speaker’s name and a colon. Use normal second-reference forms if the speaker has been identified earlier; provide a full name and identification if the individual is being mentioned for the first time.

Use Q: for question and A: for answer at the start of paragraphs when these notations are adequate to identify a change in speakers.

See ellipsis in the Punctuation chapter for guidelines on condensing texts and transcripts.

Thai A native or the language of Thailand.

Siam and Siamese are historical only.

Use siamese for the cat.

Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day The fourth Thursday in November.

that (conjunction) Use the conjunction that to introduce a dependent clause if the sentence sounds or looks awkward without it. There are no hard-and-fast rules, but in general:

That usually may be omitted when a dependent clause immediately follows a form of the verb to say: The president said he had signed the bill.

That should be used when a time element intervenes between the verb and the dependent clause: The president said Monday that he had signed the bill.

That usually is necessary after some verbs. They include: advocate, assert, contend, declare, estimate, make clear, point out, propose and state.

That is required before subordinate clauses beginning with conjunctions such as after, although, because, before, in addition to, until and while: Haldeman said that after he learned of Nixon’s intention to resign, he sought pardons for all connected with Watergate.

When in doubt, include that. Omission can hurt. Inclusion never does.

that, which, who, whom (pronouns) Use who and whom in referring to people and to animals with a name: John Jones is the man who helped me. See the who, whom entry.

Use that and which in referring to inanimate objects and to animals without a name.

See the essential clauses, nonessential clauses entry for guidelines on using that and which to introduce phrases and clauses.

theater Use this spelling unless the proper name is Theatre: Shubert Theatre.

theft See the burglary, larceny, robbery, theft entry.

their, there, they’re Their is a possessive pronoun: They went to their house.

There is an adverb indicating direction: We went there for dinner.

There also is used with the force of a pronoun for impersonal constructions in which the real subject follows the verb: There is no food on the table.

They’re is a contraction for they are.

theretofore Use until then.

Thermo-Fax A trademark for a brand of photocopy machine.

thermos Formerly a trademark, now a generic term for any vacuum bottle, although one manufacturer still uses the word as a brand name.

Lowercase thermos when it is used to mean any vacuum bottle; use Thermos when referring to the specific brand.

Third World The economically developing nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Do not confuse with nonaligned, which is a political term. See nonaligned.

three-D 3-D is preferred.

3M The name of the company is Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing. Its products are known under the names 3M and Scotch. The company is popularly known as 3M. Headquarters is in St. Paul, Minn.

three R’s They are: reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic.


throwaway (n. and adj.)

thunderstorm See weather terms.

Thursday See days of the week.


tie, tied, tying

tie in (v.) tie-in (n. and adj.)

tie up (v.) tie-up (n. and adj.)

time element Use today, this morning, this afternoon, tonight, etc., as appropriate in stories for afternoon editions. Use the day of the week elsewhere. See the today, tonight and the tomorrow, yesterday entries.

Use Monday, Tuesday, etc., for days of the week within seven days before or after the current date.

Use the month and a figure for dates beyond this range. See months for forms and punctuation.

Avoid such redundancies as last Tuesday or next Tuesday. The past, present or future tense used for the verb usually provides adequate indication of which Tuesday is meant: He said he finished the job Tuesday. She will return on Tuesday.

Avoid awkward placements of the time element, particularly those that suggest the day of the week is the object of a transitive verb: The police jailed Tuesday. Potential remedies include the use of the word on (see the on entry), rephrasing the sentence, or placing the time element in a different sentence.

time of day The exact time of day that an event has happened or will happen is not necessary in most stories. Follow these guidelines to determine when it should be included and in what form:


—Whenever it gives the reader a better picture of the scene: Did the earthquake occur when people were likely to be home asleep or at work? A clock reading for the time in the datelined community is acceptable although pre-dawn hours or rush hour often is more graphic.

—Whenever the time is critical to the story: When will the rocket be launched? When will a major political address be broadcast? What is the deadline for meeting a demand?

DECIDING ON CLOCK TIME: When giving a clock reading, use the time in the datelined community.

If the story is undated, use the clock time in force where the event happened or will take place.

The only exception is a nationwide story or tabular listing that involves television or radio programs. Always use Eastern time, followed by EDT or EST, and specify whether the program will be broadcast simultaneously nationwide or whether times will vary because of separate transmissions for different time zones. If practical, specify those times in a separate paragraph.

ZONE ABBREVIATIONS: Use EST, CDT, PST, etc., after a clock time only if:

—The story involves travel or other activities, such as the closing hour for polling places or the time of a televised speech, likely to affect people or developments in more than one time zone.

—The item involves television or radio programs. (See above.)

—The item is undated.

—The item is an advisory to editors.

CONVERT TO EASTERN TIME? Do not convert clock times from other time zones in the continental United States to Eastern time. If there is high interest in the precise time, add CDT, PST, etc., to the local reading to help readers determine their equivalent local time.

If the time is critical in a story from outside the continental United States, provide a conversion to Eastern time using this form:

The kidnappers set a 9 a.m. (3 a.m. EDT) deadline.

See time zones for additional guidance on forms.

times Use figures except for noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

Avoid such redundancies as 10 a.m. this morning, 10 p.m tonight or 10 p.m. Monday night. Use 10 a.m. today, 10 p.m. today or 10 p.m. Monday, etc., as required by the norms in time element.

The construction 4 o’clock is acceptable, but time listings with a.m. or p.m. are preferred.

See midnight, noon and time zones.

time sequences Use figures, colons and periods as follows: 2:30:21.65 (hours, minutes, seconds, tenths, hundredths).

Time Warner Inc. Media-entertainment conglomerate created by the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications. Its divisions include Time Inc. and the Warner Music Group. It owns 87 1/2 percent of Time Warner Entertainment, which includes the Warner Bros. film and TV production companies, the Home Box Office pay television company, and Time Warner Cable.

Headquarters is in New York.

time zones Capitalize the full name of the time in force within a particular zone: Eastern Standard Time, Eastern Daylight Time, Central Standard Time, etc.

Lowercase all but the region in short forms: the Eastern time zone, Eastern time, Mountain time, etc.

See time of day for guidelines on when to use clock time in a story.

Spell out time zone in references not accompanied by a clock reading: Chicago is in the Central time zone.

The abbreviations EST, CDT, etc., are acceptable on first reference for zones used within the continental United States, Canada and Mexico only if the abbreviation is linked with a clock reading: noon EST, 9 a.m. PST. (Do not set the abbreviations off with commas.)

Spell out all references to time zones not used within the contiguous United States: When it is noon EDT, it is 1 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time and 8 a.m. Alaska Standard Time.

One exception to the spelled-out form: Greenwich Mean Time may be abbreviated as GMT on second reference if used with a clock reading.



titles In general, confine capitalization to formal titles used directly before an individual’s name.

The basic guidelines:

LOWERCASE: Lowercase and spell out titles when they are not used with an individual’s name: The president issued a statement. The pope gave his blessing.

Lowercase and spell out titles in constructions that set them off from a name by commas: The vice president, Nelson Rockefeller, declined to run again. Paul VI, the current pope, does not plan to retire.

COURTESY TITLES: See the courtesy titles entry for guidelines on when to use Miss, Mr., Mrs., Ms. or no titles.

The forms Mr., Mrs., Miss and Ms. apply both in regular text and in quotations.

FORMAL TITLES: Capitalize formal titles when they are used immediately before one or more names: Pope Paul, President Washington, Vice Presidents John Jones and William Smith.

A formal title generally is one that denotes a scope of authority, professional activity or academic accomplishment so specific that the designation becomes almost as much an integral part of an individual’s identity as a proper name itself: President Clinton, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Dr. Marcus Welby, Pvt. Gomer Pyle.

Other titles serve primarily as occupational descriptions: astronaut John Glenn, movie star John Wayne, peanut farmer Jimmy Carter.

A final determination on whether a title is formal or occupational depends on the practice of the governmental or private organization that confers it. If there is doubt about the status of a title and the practice of the organization cannot be determined, use a construction that sets the name or the title off with commas.

ABBREVIATED TITLES: The following formal titles are capitalized and abbreviated as shown when used before a name outside quotations: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep., Sen. and certain military ranks listed in the military titles entry. Spell out all except Dr. when they are used in quotations.

All other formal titles are spelled out in all uses.

ROYAL TITLES: Capitalize king, queen, etc., when used directly before a name. See individual entries and nobility.

TITLES OF NOBILITY: Capitalize a full title when it serves as the alternate name for an individual. See nobility.

PAST AND FUTURE TITLES: A formal title that an individual formerly held, is about to hold or holds temporarily is capitalized if used before the person’s name. But do not capitalize the qualifying word: former President Ford, deposed King Constantine, Attorney General-designate Griffin B. Bell, acting Mayor Peter Barry.

LONG TITLES: Separate a long title from a name by a construction that requires a comma: Charles Robinson, undersecretary for economic affairs, spoke. Or: The undersecretary for economic affairs, Charles Robinson, spoke.

UNIQUE TITLES: If a title applies only to one person in an organization, insert the word the in a construction that uses commas: John Jones, the deputy vice president, spoke.

ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE: Many commonly used titles and occupational descriptions are listed separately in this book, together with guidelines on whether and/or when they are capitalized. In these entries, the phrases before a name or immediately before a name are used to specify that capitalization applies only when a title is not set off from a name by commas.

See academic titles; composition titles; legislative titles; military titles; and religious titles.

TNT Acceptable in all references for trinitrotoluene.

tobacco, tobaccos

Tobago See the Trinidad and Tobago entry.

today, tonight Use in direct quotations, in stories intended for publication in afternoon newspapers on the day in question, and in phrases that do not refer to a specific day: Customs today are different from those of a century ago.

Use the day of the week in stories intended for publication in morning newspapers and in stories filed for use in either publishing cycle.

See tonight.

Tokyo Stands alone in datelines.

tollhouse, tollhouse cookies

Tommy gun Alternate trademark for Thompson submachine gun.

See weapons.

tomorrow Use only in direct quotations and in phrases that do not refer to a specific day: The world of tomorrow will need additional energy resources.

Use the day of the week in other cases.

ton There are three different types:

A short ton is equal to 2,000 pounds.

A long ton, also known as a British ton, is equal to 2,240 pounds.

A metric ton is equal to 1,000 kilograms, or approximately 2,204.62 pounds.


Short to long: Multiply by .89 (5 short tons x .89 = 4.45 long tons).

Short to metric: Multiply by .9 (5 short tons x .9 = 4.5 metric tons).

Long to short: Multiply by 1.12 (5 long tons x 1.12 = 5.6 short tons).

Long to metric: Multiply by 1.02 (5 long tons x 1.02 = 5.1 metric tons).

Metric to short: Multiply by 1.1 (5 metric tons x 1.1 = 5.5 short tons).

Metric to long: Multiply by .98 (5 metric tons x .98 = 4.9 long tons).

See metric system.

See kiloton for units used to measure the power of nuclear explosions.

See oil for formulas to convert the tonnage of oil shipments to gallons.

tonight All that’s necessary is 8 tonight, or 8 p.m. today. Avoid the redundant 8 p.m. tonight.

tornado See weather terms.

Toronto The city in Canada stands alone in datelines.

Tory, Tories An exception to the normal practice when forming the plural of a proper name ending in y.

The words are acceptable on second reference to the Conservative Party in Britain and its members.

total, totaled, totaling The phrase a total of often is redundant.

It may be used, however, to avoid a figure at the start of a sentence: A total of 650 people were killed in holiday traffic accidents.

touch-tone A generic term for a push-button telephone dialing service.

toward Not towards.

town Apply the capitalization principles in city.

town council Apply the capitalization principles in city council.

trade in (v.) trade-in (n. and adj.)

trademark A trademark is a brand, symbol, word, etc., used by a manufacturer or dealer and protected by law to prevent a competitor from using it: AstroTurf, for a type of artificial grass, for example.

In general, use a generic equivalent unless the trademark name is essential to the story.

When a trademark is used, capitalize it.

Many trademarks are listed separately in this book, together with generic equivalents.

The International Trademark Association, located in New York, is a helpful source of information about trademarks.

See brand names and service marks.

trade off (v.) trade-off (n. and adj.)

traffic, trafficked, trafficking

trampoline Formerly a trademark, now a generic term.

trans- The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples:

transcontinental transsexual

transmigrate transship

transoceanic trans-Siberian

Also: trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacif-ic. These are exceptions to Webster’s New World in keeping with the general rule that a hyphen is needed when a prefix precedes a capitalized word.

transcripts See the texts, transcripts entry.

transfer, transferred, transferring

Transjordan Earlier name for Jordan.

Transportation Communications International Union Formerly the Brotherhood of Railway, Airline and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employees. TCU is acceptable on second reference.

Headquarters is in Rockville, Md.

transsexuals See sex changes.

Trans World Airlines A TWA airliner is acceptable in any reference.

Headquarters is in New York.

travel, traveled, traveling, traveler

travelogue Not travelog.

treasurer Capitalize when used as a formal title immediately before a name. See titles.

Caution: The secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury is not the same person as the U.S. treasurer.

trees See plants.

tribes See the nationalities and races entry.


TriMotor The proper name of a three-engine airplane once made by Ford Motor Co.

Trinidad and Tobago In datelines on stories from this island nation, use a community name followed by either Trinidad or Tobago — but not both — depending on where the community is located.

TriStar The proper name that Lockheed Aircraft Corp. uses for its L-1011 jetliner.

Trojan horse, Trojan War

troop, troops, troupe A troop is a group of people or animals. Troops means several such groups, particularly groups of soldiers.

Use troupe only for ensembles of actors, dancers, singers, etc.

tropical depression See weather terms.

Truman, Harry S. With a period after the initial. Truman once said there was no need for the period because the S did not stand for a name. Asked in the early 1960s about his preference, he replied, "It makes no difference to me."

AP style has called for the period since that time.

trustee A person to whom another’s property or the management of another’s property is entrusted.

Do not capitalize if used before a name.

trusty A prison inmate granted special privileges as a trustworthy person.

Do not capitalize if used before a name.

try out (v.) tryout (n.)

tsar Use czar.


tuberculosis TB is acceptable on second reference.

Tuesday See days of the week.

tune up (v.) tuneup (n. and adj.)

turboprop See aircraft terms.

turnpike Capitalize as part of a proper name: the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Lowercase turnpike when it stands alone.

See highway designations.

TV Acceptable as an adjective or in such constructions as cable TV. But do not normally use as a noun unless part of a quotation.

Twelve Apostles The disciples of Jesus. An exception to the normal practice of using figures for 10 and above.

20th Century Fox, Twentieth Century Fund, Twentieth Century Limited Follow an organization’s practice. See company names.

typhoons Capitalize typhoon when it is part of the name that weather forecasters assign to a storm: Typhoon Tilda.

But use it and its — not she, her or hers — in pronoun references.

And do not use the presence of a woman’s name as an excuse to attribute sexist images of women’s behavior to a typhoon.

See weather terms.