Editorial Style Guide: P

paintings and sculpture. See the “artworks” heading under the composition titles entry.


parentheses. See the punctuation entry.

percent. Not “per cent.” Always use numerals. See AP Stylebook’s “percent” and “percentages” entries. For discussion of subject-verb agreement, see fractions entry.

periods of history. See historical periods entry.

persuade. See convince, persuade entry.

photo credits. See captions entry.

physical handicaps. See the “disabilities” heading under the stereotypes entry.

Physical Plant. This campus unit was renamed Facilities Services Department in 2000.

Picnic Day. In referring to the annual UC Davis event, capitalize as shown, but most events associated with the day are lowercased: Picnic Day parade, Picnic Day rodeo.

plants and animals—common names. See Chicago 8.136–8.138.

poems and plays. See the “poems and plays” heading under the composition titles entry.

possessives. See the punctuation entry.

prime and double prime. The symbols that stand for feet and inches. Unlike apostrophes and quotation marks, they are not curved. It is appropriate to use these abbreviations in captions for artworks (see captions “artworks”). Periods go outside the marks.

prior to. Use “before.”

professor. See the “academic and professional titles” heading under the titles entry.

punctuation. For most punctuation, consult the Chicago Manual of Style, but refer to the AP Stylebook as shown here.

BRACKETS. Per AP, news releases should not contain brackets (which could not be transmitted over news wires); substitute parentheses. For periodicals, follow guidelines in Chicago Manual of Style 6.104–6.108, as follows. Corrections, explanations or comments within quoted material, or editor’s notes should be enclosed in brackets: He wrote, “They are furnished separate but equal [locker room] facilities.” [No one was willing to take credit for that quote—Editor.] Brackets may also be used as parentheses within parentheses: One of the department’s alumni (who had received both a bachelor’s degree [1980] and a doctor’s degree [1985] from UC Davis) contributed $1 million for scholarships. Brackets are also used to enclose phonetic pronunciation: How did you get back from Suisun [sue-soon’] Bay so soon?

COLON. If the material following a colon consists of one or more complete sentences, or if it is a quotation, it should begin with a capital letter, per AP; however, lowercase a sentence fragment following a colon. The most frequent use of a colon is at the end of a complete sentence to introduce a list. Jeff has three favorite meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, a colon should not separate main sentence elements, such as a verb and a direct object, even if the direct object is a list: Authors of other recently published works are

  • Adriana Perez
  • Angie Malloy
  • Laurie Lewis.
  • [Note that there is no colon after “are.”]

A colon can also be used in a Q&A format and in recounting dialogue. See Chicago 6.66.

COMMA. Follow AP style governing use before “and” in a series consisting of three or more elements; that is, use a comma only when an element of the series requires its own conjunction or in a series of complex phrases: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.

DASH. There are several kinds of dashes, differing in length and each having specific uses. The most common is the “em dash,” used to denote a sudden break in thought that causes an abrupt change in sentence structure: Will he—can he—obtain the necessary signatures? For publications, use no spaces between the dash and the surrounding text; for news releases, separate the text from each side of the dash with a space. An em dash is also used to separate the dateline from the opening sentence in a news release. DAVIS, Calif. — A new research program. . . . Macintosh users make an em dash by typing “option-shift-hyphen.” Others should simply type two hyphens. The “en dash” is half the length of the em dash, but longer than a hyphen. An en dash is produced by typing “option-hyphen”; others can type a single hyphen to represent an en dash. The en dash is used to indicate continuing or inclusive numbers, such as dates, times or reference numbers: 1968–1972, May–June 1973, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., pages 38–45. Note, in inclusive numbers, “from” requires a “to”: from 1990 to 1992 or in 1990–92, not from 1990–92. The en dash is also used in place of a hyphen in a compound adjective, one element of which consists of two words or of a hyphenated word: New York–London flight. See Chicago 6.83–6.94.

ELLIPSES. See AP Stylebook for guidelines governing use and spacing of ellipses within and between sentences. Within sentences, use spaces to separate dots from one another and from surrounding text.

HYPHEN. Use the hyphen to link words with prefixes, to link the elements of compound modifiers, or to link words or word fragments at line breaks. Use it to avoid ambiguity: He recovered from his illness; She re-covered the upholstered chair. Also use it in telephone numbers. (See the separate telephone numbers entry.) For news releases, see the “hyphen” entry in the AP Stylebook (within “punctuation” section in newer editions); for periodical publications, follow Chicago 6.80–6.82 (use of hyphenation with compound words and word division) and Chicago 6.83–6.86 (en dash).

PARENTHESES. The need for parentheses often suggests that a sentence is becoming contorted; rewrite the sentence, if possible, or use commas or dashes to isolate incidental material. If parenthetical information must be included, place a period outside a closing parenthesis if the material inside is not a complete sentence (such as this fragment). (An independent parenthetical sentence such as this one takes a period before the closing parenthesis.) When a phrase placed in parentheses (this one is an example) might normally qualify as a complete sentence but is dependent on the surrounding material, do not capitalize the first word or end with a period.

POSSESSIVES. Follow guidelines under the AP Stylebook’s “possessives” entry:

  • UC Davis’ reputation (a proper noun)
  • the campus’s location (a common noun)
  • but the campus’ site (a common noun followed by a word that starts with an s)

QUOTATIONS and QUOTATION MARKS. In general, follow AP style (see “quotation marks” in the “punctuation” section of AP Stylebook). In dialogue every change in speaker requires a new paragraph:

  • “Will you go?”
  • “Yes.”
  • “When?”
  • “On Thursday.”

A partial quote does not demand a new paragraph, but always requires a set of closing quotation marks, even when immediately followed by a new paragraph that continues a quote by the same individual.

TYPE STYLE OF PUNCTUATION. Punctuation marks should generally be printed in the same style or font of type as the main or surrounding text. See Chicago 6.3.