decades—Decades may be spelled out (the seventies and eighties) or expressed in numerals with apostrophes (’70s and ’80s). Be sure to use an apostrophe (’) and not a single open quotation mark (‘): ’70s and ’80s (not ‘70s and ‘80s). Also, no apostrophe between the numeral and the s. (See plural figures and letters.)
degrees, academic—See academic degrees.
departments—Always spell out; do not abbreviate. Capitalize formal names of departments. Use XYZ Department rather than Department of XYZ: English Department, not Department of English.
dialogue (not dialog)
dietitian (not dietician)
directions and regions—"In general, lowercase north, south, northeast, northern, etc., when they indicate compass direction; capitalize these words when they designate regions: The cold front is moving east. A storm that developed in the Midwest is spreading eastward; it will bring showers to the East Coast by morning and to the entire Northeast by late in the day.” (6) Capitalize these words when referring to widely known areas: Southern California, Western New York, Lower East Side of New York (but upstate New York).
doctoral (adj.), doctorate (n.): He earned his doctoral degree in 1965. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology. But, juris doctor degree.
drop off (v.), drop-off (n., adj.): I will drop off the money. The drop-off in ticket sales was noticeable. Drop-off time is 7:00 a.m.
drop out (v.), dropout (n., adj.): I'm afraid she will drop out of school. Though he was a high school dropout, he became a multimillionaire. The high school dropout rate is rising.
(6) The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2000), pp. 73–74
Back to Top
Some content on this page is saved in PDF format. To view these files, download Adobe Acrobat Reader free. If you are having trouble reading a document, request an accessible copy of the PDF or Word Document.