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Q. I’m editing an army paper, and they put EVERYTHING in caps, which I reduce to lowercase when possible. Is the following okay, or do the spelled-out names get lowercased in such cases? “For analysis purposes, the Fatigue-Avoidance Scheduling Tool (FAST), based on the Sleep, Activity, Fatigue, and Task-Effectiveness (SAFTE) model. . . .”
A. I would query the author rather than go ahead with lowercasing. Sometimes such terms are the titles of internal memos or reports; sometimes the intended audience has long become used to finding the capped terms easily in the text; sometimes writers in a given subject area have a strong tradition of capping in this way. Once the terms are lowercased it’s not easy to put them back in caps, so it’s better to negotiate with the author first.