[U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual]
[Chapter 5 - Spelling]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


(See also Chapter 7 ``Compounding Examples'' and Chapter 9 
  ``Abbreviations and Letter Symbols'') 

5.1. 	GPO uses Webster's Third New International Dictionary as its 
        guide for the spelling of words not appearing in the GPO Style 
        Manual. Colloquial and dialect spellings are not used unless 
        required by the subject matter or specially requested. The 
        tendency of some producers of computer-assisted publications to 
        rely on the limited capability of some spell-checking programs 
        adds importance to this list. 

Preferred and dif. cult spellings 
5.2. 	In addition to indicating the preferred forms of words with 
        variant spellings, the list also contains other words frequently
        misspelled or causing uncertainty. (See also ``Word Division,'' 
        a supplement to the GPO Style Manual.) 


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Anglicized and foreign words 
5.3. Diacritical marks are not used with anglicized words. 

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5.4. Foreign words carry the diacritical marks as an essential part of 
their spelling. 


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Plural forms 
5.5. 	Nouns ending in o immediately preceded by a vowel add s to form 
        the plural; nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant add es to 
        form the plural, except as indicated in the following list. 

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5.6. 	When a noun is hyphenated with an adverb or preposition, the 
        plural is formed on the noun. 

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5.7. 	When neither word is a noun, the plural is formed on the last 
        word. 

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5.8. 	In forming the plurals of compound terms, the significant word 
        takes the plural form. 

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5.9. 	Nouns ending with ful form the plural by adding s at the end; 
        if it is necessary to express the idea that more than one 
        container was filled, the two elements of the solid compound 
        are printed as separate words and the plural is formed by 
        adding s to the noun. 

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5.10. 	The following list comprises other words the plurals of which 
        may cause difficulty.

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Endings ``ible'' and ``able''
5.11. The following words end in ible; other words in this class end in 
      able. 

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Endings ``ise,'' ``ize,'' and ``yze'' 
5.12. 	A large number of words have the termination ise, ize, or yze. 
        The letter l is followed by yze if the word expresses an idea 
        of loosening or separating, as analyze; all other words of this 
        class, except those ending with the suffix wise and those in 
        the following list, end in ize. 

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Endings ``cede,'' ``ceed,'' and ``sede'' 
5.13. 	Only one word ends in sede (supersede); only three end in ceed 
        (exceed, proceed, succeed); all other words of this class end 
        in cede (precede, secede, etc.). 

Doubled consonants 
5.14. 	A single consonant following a single vowel and ending in a 
        monosyllable or a final accented syllable is doubled before a 
        suffix beginning with a vowel. 

          bag, bagging          red, reddish            but  
          format, formatting    rob, robbing            total, totaled, 
                                                        totaling  
          input, inputting      transfer, transferred   travel, 
                                                          traveled, 
                                                          traveling 
5.15. 	If the accent in a derivative falls upon an earlier syllable 
        than it does in the root word, the consonant is not doubled. 

          refer, reference      prefer, preference      infer, inference 

Indefinite articles 
5.16. 	The indefinite article a is used before a consonant and an 
        aspirated h; an is used before a silent h and all vowels except 
        u pronounced as in visual and o pronounced as in one. 

          a historic occasion   an herbseller           but 
          a hotel               an hour                 an H-U-D 
                                                          directive 
          a human being         an honor                a HUD directive 
          a humble man          an onion 
          a union               an oyster 

5.17. 	When a group of initials begins with b, c, d, g, j, k, p, q, 
        t, u, v, w, y, or z, each having a consonant sound, the 
        indefinite article a is used. 

          a BLS compilation     a GAO limitation        a WWW search 
          a CIO finding         a UFO sighting 

5.18. 	When a group of initials begins with a, e, f, h, i, l, m, n, o, 
        r, s, or x, each having a vowel sound, the indefi nite article 
        an is used. 

          an AEC report         an NSC (en) proclamation 
          an FCC (ef) ruling    an RFC (ahr) loan 

5.19. 	Use of the indefinite article a or an before a numerical 
        expression is determined by the consonant or vowel sound of the 
        beginning syllable. 

          an 11-year-old        an VIII (eight) classification 
          a onetime winner      a IV-F (four ef) category (military 
                                  draft) 
          a III (three) group   a 4-H Club 

Geographic names 
5.20. 	The spelling of geographic names must conform to the decisions 
        of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) (http://geonames.
usgs.gov). In the absence of such a decision, the U.S.  
        Directory of Post Offices is to be used. 

5.21. 	If the decisions or the rules of the BGN permit the use of 
        either the local official form or the conventional English 
        form, it is the prerogative of the originating office to select 
        the form that is most suitable for the matter in hand; 
        therefore, in marking copy or reading proof, it is required 
        only to verify the spelling of the particular form used. GPO's
        preference is for the conventional English form. Copy will be 
        followed as to accents, but these should be consistent 
        throughout the entire job. 

Nationalities, etc. 
5.22. 	The table on Demonyms in Chapter 17 ``Useful Tables'' shows 
        forms to be used for nouns and adjectives denoting nationality. 

5.23. 	In designating the natives of the States, the following forms 
        will be used.  

          Alabamian             Louisianian             Ohioan  
          Alaskan               Mainer                  Oklahoman  
          Arizonan              Marylander              Oregonian  
          Arkansan              Massachusettsan         Pennsylvanian  
          Californian           Michiganian             Rhode Islander  
          Coloradan             Minnesotan              South Carolinian  
          Connecticuter         Mississippian           South Dakotan  
          Delawarean            Missourian              Tennessean  
          Floridian             Montanan                Texan  
          Georgian              Nebraskan               Utahn  
          Hawaiian              Nevadan                 Vermonter  
          Idahoan               New Hampshirite         Virginian  
          Illinoisan            New Jerseyan            Washingtonian  
          Indianian             New Mexican             West Virginian  
          Iowan                 New Yorker              Wisconsinite  
          Kansan                North Carolinian        Wyomingite  
          Kentuckian            North Dakotan  

5.24. 	Observe the following forms: 

          African-American 
          Alaska Native (Aleuts, Eskimos, Indians of Alaska) 
          Amerindian 
          Native American (American Indian) 
          Puerto Rican 
          Part-Hawaiian (legal status) 

      but part-Japanese, etc. 


Native American words 
5.25. 	Words, including tribal and other proper names of Indian, 
        Aleut, Hawaiian, and other groups, are to be followed literally 
        as to spelling and the use of spaces, hyphens, etc. 

Transliteration 
5.26. 	In the spelling of nongeographic words transliterated from 
        Chinese, Japanese, or any other language that does not have a 
        Latin alphabet, copy is to be followed literally.