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AP style on Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday
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Mardi Gras
Mandy/Wikimedia Commons
Mardi Gras in New Orleans in 2010. - Photo by Mandy/Wikimedia Commons
Feb. 15, 2012 12:01 a.m.

Mardi Gras takes place this year on Feb. 21, and Ash Wednesday begins on Feb. 22. Here are some tips from AP on how to treat these days and their related events:

- Both words in Mardi Gras are capitalized.

- Mardi Gras always takes place on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.

- Mardi Gras literally means fat Tuesday. There’s no prohibition on using fat Tuesday, but lowercase the f.

- Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Capitalize all these words.

- Lent is "the period from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, the day before Easter."

- Easter can occur anywhere from March 22 to April 25. This year it’s on April 8.

- Easter Bunny is capitalized.


In honor of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday this week, I’d like to highlight a word associated with him: score. If you remember your school lessons, you’ll know that "four score and seven years" is 87 years. Why, you ask? Because a score is 20.

My dictionary doesn’t say why score means 20, so if you know, please leave a comment.

And speaking of numbers, did you know that Google the company is spelled differently than the number? The number is googol. It means "the number 1 followed by 100 zeros." And don’t confuse it with the writer Gogol.


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