Abbreviations

Q. A colleague frequently uses the abbreviation Sr. in reports and other communications, even when not abbreviating other words. For example, “the Sr. Leadership Team agreed to meet on Thursday” or “the Sr. Researcher is attending the meeting this week.” Am I just being picky?

Q. Is it acceptable to use undefined acronyms in the table of contents, waiting to define the acronyms in the body of the document?

Q. I work for a theological seminary and am editing a brochure that has a list of speakers. If the speaker is an ordained minister or has a PhD, that is noted with a Rev. or Dr. However, there are a few speakers on this list who are just referred to by first and last name with no social title such as Mr. or Ms. I think this is incorrect, but I can’t find anything to support my position.

Q. How do I present the first mention of an in-text cited source which is normally referred to with initials? Specifically, AAALAC, which is the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. Is this correct? (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care [AAALAC] 2011)

Q. The acronym NVM stands for “non-volatile memory.” The acronym NVMe stands for NVM Express. Unfortunately, the first mention of NVMe shows up before the first mention of NVM. This means I am first writing “NVM Express (NVMe).” I then later write “non-volatile memory (NVM).” If I were to define the first mention of NVMe as “Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe),” would that mean I would not define the first mention of NVM as “non-volatile memory (NVM)” because NVM has already been defined as part of another acronym?

Q. A program for an academic event includes a page that thanks “organizations, programs, and funds” for supporting student research. The entries are presented in list form. We are tripped up by how to alphabetize individual fund or award names (such the Ellen Vannet Fund and the Wilma Hubbell Award). We found guidance from this CMOS Q&A, which says “Alphabetize an organization under the first significant word, and an individual donor by surname. The Merry Gregg Foundation goes under M; Merry Gregg goes under G.” We extrapolated that a fund or award would follow the organization/foundation treatment, and we alphabetized by first significant word (not by the person’s last name). But our Advancement Office disagrees on this interpretation. Thanks for any guidance! You are a treasured resource.

Q. The Naval War College Writing and Style Guide states: “Although a term may be plural or possessive, do not make the abbreviation plural or possessive on first usage: cluster bomb units (CBU).” Is that also The Chicago Manual of Style’s preferred convention for first appearance of an acronym in a document?

Q. What is the appropriate way to handle a compound formed with an abbreviation upon its first mention? For example, in “the first Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved delivery by unmanned aircraft,” where does the hyphen go to form the compound “FAA-approved delivery”—after (FAA) or after Administration? I would prefer to rewrite this sentence but am not able to in this instance.

Q. How do you handle the spacing with a name that is only initials? Do you put a space between the initials or not? For example: “My friend B.J. is an awesome skater.” Or “My friend B. J. is an awesome skater.”

Q. How do I punctuate the end of a specimen sentence, quoted from a style guide, contained within a sentence in which it is followed by an independent clause? For example:

Chicago illustrates the use of the period (6.12) with the sentence “Wait here.” but that doesn’t answer all my questions.

I feel I need to keep the period before the close quote to retain the integrity and purpose of the quoted sentence, but CMOS calls for a comma between independent clauses, and my ear calls for one as well. The period also violates the common practice of replacing a period by a comma to end a quote that doesn’t end a sentence. However, I can’t imagine where you would put a comma. How would you handle this?