Abbreviations

Q. Very wealthy event sponsor Thurston Quagmire III insists on presenting his name to the public as Thurston Quagmire, III—no doubt because his letterhead and business card have long contained the error. Since throwing the book at him doesn’t help, do you have any advice on talking him out of the comma? (Okay, what I’d really like is a cathartic, subversive response that I can keep to myself whilst I lower our standards.)

Q. When a person is referred to by first-name initials after the first mention, is it GP (or G.P., or G. P.)? The examples listed in CMOS only mention all initials (LBJ or JFK). Should there be periods? Should it be spaced or together? This is for a children’s book.

Q. Is it acceptable to use an acronym for the first time in a subheading? Or should an acronym only be used in the information that follows a subheading even if it’s the second time the word appears? I checked sec. 10.2, but did not see anything specifically about this.

Q. Based on CMOS 10.4 (“Use no periods with abbreviations that appear in full capitals, whether two letters or more and even if lowercase letters appear within the abbreviation: VP, CEO, MA, MD, PhD, UK, US, NY, IL”), Los Angeles should appear as LA, but this can create confusion between the city and the state of Louisiana. How then do you treat Los Angeles when you need to abbreviate it?

Q. Which is the correct name for a law degree—juris doctor or juris doctorate?

Q. Would you please explain when to use “e.g.” and when to use “i.e.?” Thank you.

Q. In running text, what is the preferred way to write “Washington, D.C.”?

Q. CMOS recommends spelling out terms on first mention in each chapter. I’m considering spelling out my commission’s name on first mention in each section and subsection. Do you think that’s overkill? I’m thinking about spelling it out in sections that stand out, such as text boxes or highlighted bullets, because I think the reader would be better served to see the whole name in such isolated cases. We have about a hundred mentions of this long name, so I do want to abbreviate as much as possible.

Q. This is a question of some debate in my organization: which way should the following document (and other similar documents) be abbreviated? Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) or Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2002?

Q. Dear CMOS, I’ve often encountered “business process outsourcing” abbreviated to BPO whether it’s used as a noun or as an adjective. To my ear, the abbreviation is fine as an adjective but sounds awkward when used and read as a noun, in which case I use the full form. For example, “The company provides IT support and BPO services”—fine. “The company provides services in IT support and business process outsourcing”—fine. “The company provides services in IT support and BPO”—awkward. Is it just me, or does this preference have a sound grammatical basis?