February 24, 2009

Apropos of literally nothing

This from the NYT style manual blog:

1. We will now capitalize Marine and Marines when referring to individual members of the United States Marine Corps. Under the previous rule, we capitalized references to the service as a whole, but lowercased “marine” in referring to individuals. We used to say, “Three marines were wounded in the fighting.” Now we’ll say, “Three Marines were wounded in the fighting.” (We’ll make a similar change to capitalize “Coast Guardsman,” though that comes up less frequently.)
2. We will now use the spelling whisky, with no “e,” when referring specifically to Scotch and Canadian spirits. We’ll use “whiskey” for the Irish and American versions, and for general references, with no place of origin indicated. Under the previous rule, we used “whiskey” in all references.
Honestly, it's like they called up Abu M and me* one night and asked what pedantic* things annoyed us about NYT syntax. (I'm somewhat surprised that the Marines hadn't blackballed the Times for interviews until they agreed to the teutonic capitalization of "Marine.")

I do, of course, have a twisted soft-spot for style guides (and their related blogs). It's all part of my charm, really. Much like reading Mahan and swearing profusely....

*Thanks to my similarly inclined commenters for pointing out my grammar (and spelling) flaws.