Abbreviations

Q. I’m editing a college-level textbook. Is it proper to eliminate the titles Mr., Mrs., etc. in running text? For example, after Mary Louise Jones is first introduced, should she be “Mrs. Jones” or just “Jones” thereafter? It seems cumbersome to repeat “Mrs.” over and over, especially if she is mentioned often.

Q. I am editing a manuscript of a law book that uses many specialized abbreviations. There is a table of abbreviations, but we have decided to spell out each abbreviation the first time it is used in each chapter, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. The only question I have is regarding abbreviations for commonly known words. For example, the author lists the United States in the table of abbreviations. To be consistent, I have spelled out United States the first time it is used and followed it with (US). This strikes me as kind of silly, as everyone knows that the US is the United States. Any suggestions?

Q. How do I spell MIKE in Spanish? I want to put it with a tattoo I’m getting. Thanks.

Q. Is it proper to define an acronym within an acronym or an abbreviation within an abbreviation? I am working on a document that contains an abbreviation that is really two other abbreviations smushed together with additional words tacked onto either side. And to top it all off, the overall abbreviation doesn’t even contain the first letter of every word in the other two abbreviations. They’ve dropped letters to make it shorter. Finally, if it is acceptable to do this sort of thing, how would I define the abbreviation or acronym on first use within the document if the two incorporated abbreviations were not previously defined in the document? Whew!

Q. When you have an initialism, do you cap the first letter of each word when the phrase is completely spelled out?

Q. I am editing a dissertation for a client who wants to use an abbreviation “N.” in place of “Nietzsche” in a dissertation on Nietzsche. Her advisor said this is okay. I told her it is not okay, and that abbreviations, explained in a list of abbreviations, should be used only for titles of works or for author’s names if they are used in citations but not in the text itself. Am I right?

Q. Hello, I’m in desperate need of help with my MA dissertation. The proper abbreviation for the International Security Assistance Force’s Regional Command South is RC(S). How do I put RC(S) into parentheses after the first usage of “Regional Command South” to indicate that I will henceforth be using the abbreviated form? Right now I have “The primary allies of Regional Command South (RC(S)) . . .” This, however, does not seem correct. Can you please help?

Q. Can you direct me to the reference in CMOS that would cover writing 15mph (no space) or 150 mph (with space) and 8mm (no space) or 8 mm (space)? Thank you!

Q. I am editing a military memoir with frequent use of acronyms such as IED (improvised explosive device), DFAC (dining hall), MWR (morale, welfare, and recreation). Should these terms be spelled out throughout the manuscript, or is it appropriate to use the acronym after it has been described in a parenthetical on the first reference?

Q. I am proofing an engineering document. There is a section titled “System Engineering Instruction Team (SEIT).” However, this acronym is already defined in the body of a previous section. The argument is that the section in question should simply be titled “SEIT.” However, I don’t think the section title should be reduced to “SEIT” because the reader may not know what SEIT means upon first glance at the table of contents. I say it’s okay to redefine the acronym if it suddenly becomes the title of a major section. Is it ever okay to redefine an acronym after it has already been defined?