Editorial, Graphics & Publishing Services → Editorial Help Desk
Process Chart (IGOE)
FoibleA minor weakness or shortcoming in character or behavior.Maria's only foible is her weakness for chocolate.
WRITING WITH ABBREVIATIONS
An abbreviation is any shortened form of a word. For example: etc. for etcetera, and Jul. for July. Acronyms and initialisms are also types of abbreviations.
Articles at the beginning
To know what article to use before an abbreviation, answer the question, "Does it begin with a consonant sound or a vowel sound?" If it begins with a consonant
sound, use a, if it begins with a vowel sound, except for u, use an.
A TSA officer
A USDA-approved product
An MCPS school bus
An IRS form
An NHL team
But,use a, not an, before abbreviations and words beginning with the sound of w or y (this is the exception).
Apostrophes and plurals
If the plural abbreviation is composed of lowercase letters, a single letter, or would otherwise be confusing, add an apostrophe before the s.
Students who got A's and B'sThe Ph.D.'s at the meetingThe pdf's in the folderAll MS's in the cluster
Starting with abbreviations
It is acceptable to start a sentence with an acronym or an initialism
RSVPs were received late.
FMS usage is on the rise.
However, if the abbreviation is a partial word, spell it out or use a work-around.
YES: September 4 is the first day of school.
NO: Sept. 4 is the first day of school.
YES: Figure 3 shows how growth has waned.
NO: Fig. 3 shows how growth has waned.
YES: The n in each case denotes the unknown.
NO: n in each case denotes the unknown.
When in doubt, contact the Editorial Help Desk for help (Donna_M_Marks@mcpsmd.org) or call 240-740-2971.
Do you know the difference between an ELT and an EMT, between FLS and FLES? Keep this reference on hand and you'll never get lost in jargon.
MCPS Acronyms (PDF)
Learn to prepare memoranda, letters, and other documents in a consistent format. See the updated examples of memoranda and letters. Refresh your knowledge of e-mail etiquette and more.
Montgomery County Public Schools Interactive Correspondence Manual
Present your message in a clear, consistent, and professional manner. Learn some basic style rules to save time and improve your documents.
Montgomery County Public Schools Interactive Editorial Stylebook