Possessives and Attributives
Q. I’m editing a book about employment training programs, and I can’t decide how to treat the term One-Stop Career Centers. I capitalize in that instance, but what about when the author says “one-stops” or “one-stop centers”? I am inclined to capitalize only when the entire title is used, but I’m having trouble sticking to that decision. Can you please tell me what you would do?
A. If the centers the author mentions all belong to a business franchise called One-Stop Career Centers, the short versions are One-Stops and One-Stop centers (or One-Stop Centers if the author insists). If the author refers more generally to these types of centers—that is, if there are other kinds of centers that feature one-stop service, such as one-stop medical centers or one-stop auto repair centers—then lowercase: one-stop centers, one-stops.