v. See verbs.


Valium A trademark for a brand of tranquilizer and muscle relaxant. It also may be called diazepam.

valley Capitalize as part of a full name: the Mississippi Valley.

Lowercase in plural uses: the Missouri and Mississippi valleys.

Vandyke beard, Vandyke collar

Varig Brazilian Airlines Headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.

Vaseline A trademark for a brand of petroleum jelly.

Vatican City Stands alone in datelines.


VCR Acceptable in second reference to videocassette recorder.

VDT Abbreviation for video display terminal. Spell out.

V-E Day May 8, 1945, the day the surrender of Germany was announced, officially ending the European phase of World War II.

vegetables See food.

V-8 The engine.

Velcro Trademark for a nylon material that can be pressed together or pulled apart for easy fastening and unfastening. Use a generic term such as fabric fastener.


venereal disease VD is acceptable on second reference.

verbal See the oral, verbal, written entry.

verbs The abbreviation v. is used in this book to identify the spelling of the verb forms of words frequently misspelled.

SPLIT FORMS: In general, avoid awkward constructions that split infinitive forms of a verb (to leave, to help, etc.) or compound forms (had left, are found out, etc.)

Awkward: She was ordered to immediately leave on an assignment.

Preferred: She was ordered to leave immediately on an assignment.

Awkward: There stood the wagon that we had early last autumn left by the barn.

Preferred: There stood the wagon that we had left by the barn early last autumn.

Occasionally, however, a split is not awkward and is necessary to convey the meaning:

He wanted to really help his mother.

Those who lie are often found out.

How has your health been?

The budget was tentatively approved.

Vermont Abbrev.: Vt. See state names.

vernacular The native language of a country or place. A vernacular term that has achieved widespread recognition may be used without explanation if appropriate in the context.

Terms not widely known should be explained when used. In general, they are appropriate only when illustrating vernacular speech.

See colloquialisms and dialect.

verses See poetry for guidelines on how to handle verses of poetry typographically.

versus Abbreviate as vs. in all uses.

vertical takeoff aircraft See the V-STOL and VTOL entries.

very high frequency VHF is acceptable in all references.

Very Rev. See Episcopal Church; religious titles; and Roman Catholic Church.

Veterans Affairs Formerly Veterans Administration, it became Cabinet level in March 1989 with the full title Department of Veterans Affairs. VA (no periods) is still used on second reference.

Veterans Day Formerly Armistice Day, Nov. 11, the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918.

The federal legal holiday, observed on the fourth Monday in October during the mid-1970s, reverted to Nov. 11 in 1978.

Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW is acceptable on second reference.

Headquarters in Kansas City, Mo.

veto, vetoes (n.) The verb forms: vetoed, vetoing.

VHF Acceptable in all references for very high frequency.

vice- Use two words: vice admiral, vice chairman, vice chancellor, vice consul, vice president, vice principal, vice regent, vice secretary.

Several are exceptions to Webster’s New World. The two-word rule has been adopted for consistency in handling the similar terms.

vice president Capitalize or lowercase following the same rules that apply to president. See president and titles.

Do not drop the first name on first reference.

vice versa

Victrola A trademark for a brand of record player.

videocassette recorder


videotape (n. and v.)

videotex, teletext Not videotext. Videotex is the generic term for two-way interactive data systems that transmit text and sometimes graphics via telephone lines or cable. User can specify desired information and communicate with host computer or other users through terminal keyboard.

Teletext is a one-way system that transmits text material or graphics via a TV or FM broadcast signal or cable TV system. The user can select material desired but cannot communicate with other users.

vie, vied, vying

vienna bread, vienna coffee, vienna sausages See food.

Viet Cong

Vietnam Not Viet Nam.

Vietnam War

village Apply the capitalization principles in city.

VIP, VIPs Acceptable in all references for very important person(s).

Virginia Abbrev.: Va. Legally a commonwealth, not a state.

See state and state names.

Virgin Islands Use with a community name in datelines on stories from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Do not abbreviate.

Identify an individual island in the text if relevant.

See datelines and British Virgin Islands.

viscount, viscountess See nobility.

vitamins Lowercase vitamin, use a capital letter and/or a figure for the type: vitamin A, vitamin B-12.

V-J Day The day of victory for the Allied forces over Japan in World War II.

It is calculated both as Aug. 15, 1945, the day the fighting with Japan ended, and as Sept. 2, 1945, the day Japan officially surrendered.

V-neck (n. and adj.)

Voice of America VOA is acceptable on second reference.

volatile Something that evaporates rapidly. It may or may not be explosive.

Volkswagen of America Inc. The name of the U.S. subsidiary of the German company named Volkswagen A.G.

U.S. headquarters is in Auburn Hills, Mich.

volley, volleys

Volunteers in Service to America VISTA is acceptable in second reference.

von See foreign particles.



vote tabulations Always use figures for the totals.

Spell out below 10 in other phrases related to voting: by a five-vote majority, with three abstentions, four votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority.

For results that involve fewer than 1,000 votes on each side, use these forms: The House voted 230-205, a 230-205 vote.

To make totals that involve more than 1,000 votes on a side easier to read, separate the figures with the word to to avoid hyphenated adjectival constructions. See election returns for examples.

V-STOL Acceptable on second reference for an aircraft capable of vertical or short takeoff or landing.

VTOL Acceptable on second reference for an aircraft capable of vertical takeoff or landing.

vulgarities See the obscenities, profanities, vulgarities entry.