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Editing Words: AP style on 'valentine' and tax terms
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By Michael Toeset
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Valentine greeting postcard
Public domain
A Valentine greeting postcard circa 1900.
Feb. 8, 2012 12:01 a.m.


A couple quick tips for Valentine's Day (it's coming up soon, men!):



- When you use "valentine" - as in "she's my valentine" or "I gave a valentine to my teacher" - it's lowercase.



- It's Valentine's Day or St. Valentine's Day, but not Valentines or Saint Valentine's.



*****



Tax day is right around the corner, and you'll soon feel the urge to write "Tax day cometh" or some variation - try to refrain from using this cliche.



*****



Some tax-term tips:



- Lowercase "tax day."



- The deadline for federal returns this year is April 17. Check with your state on their deadline.



- If you use "Washington, D.C.," make sure you put commas around "D.C."



- AP says to spell out "Internal Revenue Service" on first reference. "IRS" is acceptable thereafter.



- Most tax terms are not capitalized, so be on the lookout for stray capping.



- "Social Security" is capitalized, however. If you write "Social Security number," "number" is lowercase.



- The correct style on "401(k)" is just so - no space after the "1," and a lowercase "k" in parentheses.



- AP's Ask the Editor recently ruled that "taxman" should be one word, not two.



 

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