The California Numismatist


This page is presented as a general style guide to authors on the conventions preferred in TCN. It isn't meant to stifle an author's own style of writing (which is very much encouraged), but does contain a few of the preferences which are intended to make articles within the journal easier to read, and to hopefully be consistent with other material within the publication. Sharp-eyed readers will notice deviations to these "rules" within TCN, and that may happen for a variety of reasons: fatigue of the editor, a special case of greater clarity of meaning, or simply because the style of the article trumps the below suggestions. In any event, please don't fret too much over any of these; simply write the way you'd speak and things will turn out just fine... GB

1. Vanity capitalizations - don't do them. Don't capitalize "club", "society", or other noun unless used at the beginning of a sentence or as a proper noun (example: "…the club…," or "…the Glendale Coin Club…," but not, "…the Club…")

2. Do not use single quotes except when making a direct quote within a quote, or a colloquialism within a quote.

3. No need to include the name of the state when parenthetically mentioning a club's city (or parenthetically including it when the club name doesn't, itself, include a city name). This is The California Numismatist - almost all the clubs are Californian. If a club is not in California, then that is noteworthy and can be parenthetically included.

4. No need to include parenthetical repeats with numerals after stating the textual equivalent of a number (i.e. please don't write, "Twenty-fifth (25th).")

5. Titles, such as president, secretary, etc., are only capitalized when immediately preceding the person's name. If the name is set off with commas, then don't capitalize the title (example: "Our president, Joe Blow, decided…" versus "President Joe Blow decided…")

6. NASC, CSNA, and ANA may always (and preferably) be used without spelling out the full name. We all know who they are. The initials are enough.

7. Use numerals for numbers greater than nine, except when part of an essential date or at the beginning of a sentence.

8. I'll generally allow the use of capitalization when referring to a specific event, but not the generic description of it (example: "The club's Annual Holiday Party" is acceptable if that is the name of the event and the way it is publicized. If it's merely a description, then "The club's annual holiday party" is correct.) A "Coin Show" is usually just a coin show.

9. When combining sets within a list, offset the separate sets with semi-colons, otherwise the relationships become cloudy (example: "…Joe Blow, secretary; Mary Worth, treasurer; Jack Black, president…"; if you'd like to see the titles capitalized, then by all means put them in front of the names and forego the semi-colons altogether; example: "…Secretary Joe Blow, Treasurer Mary Worth, President Jack Black…" - there, doesn't that make it even simpler?) Use the same comma/semi-colon scheme with other relationship items, such as who won first place, second place, etc.

10. First place, second place, honorable mentions, etc. - they're only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence or on a certificate as part of the title case customarily used on a formal certificate. In TCN they aren't normally capitalized.

11. Title case capitalization: don't capitalize conjunctive or introductory words (of, the, and, and similar) unless the beginning word of a publication title. If you see me doing it, it's only because I was dog-tired and I let Adobe InDesign (the program I use for page layout) use its stupid default of simply capitalizing every word in a title; otherwise I correct it by hand.

12. Unless there are two people named Greg Burns, it really isn't necessary to include the middle initial as a means of identifying someone (example: Greg S. Burns versus Greg A. Burns). Heck, we just ain't that formal.

13. Simplify.

14. When referring to a club's publication by name, use title case. I'll italicize it when I pull it into the journal (again, you're welcome to do this too, if you wish.)

15. "Southern" should be capitalized when used as a commonly understood regional name (e.g. Southern California). Likewise, I'll capitalize northern when used in conjunction with California to describe that part of the state.

16. If you're quoting another publication (often a club's publication) then there's no need to include it in quote marks unless the quote is substantial in nature. If it's simply a repetition of common facts, then do so without quote marks.

17. Unless you mean to purposely exclude half our readers (and there may be times when it's appropriate), don't direct comments specifically to either NASC or CSNA members. In some cases this may be right, but not often. Remember that our readers come from both associations and address your comments to them accordingly.

18. Names of coin series—unless the name of the series contains a proper noun use lower case. Examples: large cent, Lincoln cent, buffalo nickel, Seated Liberty quarter (though one could argue that should be "seated Liberty", I simply default to capitalizing both words), capped bust half-dollar, etc. When "half", "quarter" are part of the series name it should preferably be hyphenated, e.g. half-cent, quarter-dollar, etc.



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Contact: Editor Greg Burns, GBurns *at* ("@" disguised to foil spammers)