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 Post subject: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 1:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 12:01 am
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Location: Pennsylvania
Howdy, folks. I'm new here (and enjoying the discussions very much), so please forgive me if this is an old topic.<p>But at my paper, we've decided that USA PATRIOT Act, being an acronym (‘‘Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" -- sheesh!), should be up. We hardly ever, though, mention its whole name; it's usually just "PATRIOT Act." My news editor likens this usage to that of the RICO Act. Our paper, though is in a distinct minority, from what I can tell.<p>How are you all handling "PATRIOT Act"?<p>Cheers,
Rich


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 6:59 am 
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Location: Bethesda, Md.
Tell your news editor that he'll never get out of there with that kind of thinking.


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 10:22 am 
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We do it Patriot Act. Yeah, it's an acronym, but it was a back formation--they took the word first and then invented something to fit. So I've been told, anyway. It's too ugly to do all caps. Even in small caps.


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 2:58 pm 
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PATRIOT Act?<p>Ridiculous. Patriot Act.


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 5:38 pm 
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For AP style, wouldn't it have to be P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, anyway?


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 5:50 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by tafkats:
For AP style, wouldn't it have to be P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, anyway?<hr></blockquote><p>No. My book is old, but I assume the rule is still the same: "Omit periods unless the result would spell an unrelated word."


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 7:44 pm 
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Location: Tucson, Ariz.
AP style is to employ only an initial cap and then lowercase for acronyms of six or more letters.<p>Newish AP style, anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:16 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by ADKbrown:
<p>No. My book is old, but I assume the rule is still the same: "Omit periods unless the result would spell an unrelated word."<hr></blockquote><p>I'd argue that it IS an unrelated word, but I suppose that's neither here nor there.


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 12:58 am 
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Location: New York
From the NYT: <p>"When possible, let's not use the phrase USA Patriot Act or Patriot Act on first reference when referring to this law. A general phrase like `the antiterrorism law' is preferable. At some point farther down, we should refer to the law by its full name, i.e. the USA Patriot Act. If we must use the name again, simply Patriot Act is all right. In general, keep the use of the official name to a minimum."<p>I like the last sentence. That fact that it's a contrived acronym is even more reason not to use the proper name more than once in a story.


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 2:19 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bolder1:
From the NYT: <p>"... A general phrase like `the antiterrorism law' is preferable.<hr></blockquote>If not somewhat partisan.<p>Oh, and that should be "A general phrase such as the antiterrorism law'..."


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 3:55 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Oeditpus Rex:
If not somewhat partisan.<p>Oh, and that should be "A general phrase such as the antiterrorism law'..."<hr></blockquote><p>Why is it partisan? It is a law designed to fight terrorism, whether or not you agree with its methods. <p>We use "like" rather than "such as" in this kind of phrase: "painters like Rubens," the thinking being that "such as" is stilted. <p>Have you ever in your life, in spoken English, said "such as" rather than "like"?


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:06 pm 
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. <blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bolder1:
<p>Have you ever in your life, in spoken English, said "such as" rather than "like"?<hr></blockquote><p>Yes.
(The "like vs. such as" question was discussed and beaten to death here, in February)


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:08 pm 
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Location: Tucson, Ariz.
News accounts in the NYT are not in the least stilted or unnatural.


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:41 pm 
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Location: New York
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Peter Sibley:
News accounts in the NYT are not in the least stilted or unnatural.<hr></blockquote><p>Hey, no fair! <p>We proudly veer from studied casualness to painful correctness in our stylebook...


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:49 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by blanp:
. <p>Yes.
(The "like vs. such as" question was discussed and beaten to death here, in February)
<hr></blockquote><p>
Yes, well, all I can do in my defense is (again) quote from our stylebook, which says that "usage authorities dispute" the rule that "like" can only be used to compare a group to an example outside the group, i.e. "multinational companies like Coca-Cola" would be incorrect because C-C IS a multinational company. <p>At any rate, we all work off different stylebooks. <p>cheers...


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 10:09 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bolder1:
Have you ever in your life, in spoken English, said "such as" rather than "like"?<hr></blockquote>Certainly. Haven't you?<p>I retract the "partisan" reference, however. I posted that shortly after reading some neocon rants and I wasn't in a mood to be "fair and balanced."


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 Post subject: Re: USA PATRIOT Act or Patriot Act
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 3:21 pm 
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Bill Walsh in Elephants of Style (page 31) quotes NYT and WSJ stylebooks as having a five-letter limit on capitalized acronyms. By that rule (a good one, I'd say), it would be Patriot Act. (Notwithstanding bolder1's comments above, also from NYT, which is specific only to this act, not to the long-acronymn problem.)


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