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Re: [vox] [OT] ISO's vs ISOs
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Re: [vox] [OT] ISO's vs ISOs

On Mon, Jul 22, 2002 at 01:14:45AM -0700, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> > A is a deplorable modern degeneration. B is the correct choice according to
> > one style guide, and my personal preference as well. The reader can tell that
> > the ess is not part of the acronym by its small case.
> not good enough.  there are acronyms that use both upper and lower case.
> particularly, medical acronyms for chemical names use both upper and
> lower case.
> not all acronyms use all uppercase.  what would you do to make the
> sentence unambiguous in that case?

These are actually not acronyms, but portmanteus ;-). If I saw a need to
disambiguate, there are several options that do not break English punctuation

* Set the chemical name in sans-serif.
* Put the symbol inside brackets.
* Write "ten grams of 2,4D"¹, "2 moles of FeO₃" instead of forming a plural.

I can think of no reason to form a plural from a chemical name in formal
writing; it is vague and imprecise entirely apart from the punctuation issue.
You don't uslally write "milks" or "bloods" either.

I am well aware that language is living and changing, but formal writing is
an etirely different beast from the speech you use everyday or even a
personal letter or e-mail. For example, I sometimes say "like <he/she/it>
should" in speech, but never use like to introduce a clause in formal
writing (use as instead).

Putting the period or comma outside of the quotation mark is a
internationally accepted practice (one which I prefer). For some reason the
opposite convention got going in the USA.

Acutally, I would not use ISO as a common noun in formal writing either,
since the expansion is "International Standards Organisation", a group that
handles a lot more than just CD-ROM standards ;-). I would write "ISO image"

¹ A common herbicide related to Agent Orange, much used to kill broadleaf
  forbs growing in lawns, pastures, and grass crops.

Henry House
The attached file is a digital signature. See <http://romana.hajhouse.org/pgp>
for information.  My OpenPGP key: <http://romana.hajhouse.org/hajhouse.asc>.

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