Recommended Guide: “Caps and Spelling”

I like to keep up with correct Canadian writing style and word usage. That may be because I live 110 miles–177 kilometres (Canadian spelling)–from the border, and I have clients in Vancouver and Calgary. Also, many Canadian readers check in here for advice and subscribe to my free monthly ezine, Better Writing at Work.

My latest reference book purchases are The Canadian Press Stylebook: A Guide for Writers and Editors, 16th Edition, and Caps and Spelling, 20th Edition, also published by Canadian Press. Although I have bought the stylebook before, Caps and Spelling is new to me, and I love it.

Test yourself: Which of these 12 items are rendered correctly, according to Canadian Press style? 






Eastern Canada







Check again. According to Caps and Spelling, all but one are correct. Which one is wrong?

I would like e-zine to be wrong, since I prefer ezine. However, the incorrect item above is zipline. The correct rendering is zip line.

Which items surprised you? The word followup grabbed my attention. Caps and Spelling is my first–my first!–style guide to close up the term as an adjective and as a noun. Leave it to those progressive Canadian editors to take the leap! In truth, one of my American dictionaries lists followup as an option, but none of my style guides, until now.

If you write for a Canadian audience and want a straightforward, pocket-sized (if you have a large pocket) reference on Canadian spelling and capitalization, get Caps and Spelling. Because its purpose is to list rather than teach, the volume is streamlined and so efficient. I am happy to have finally learned about Caps and Spelling in its 20th edition.

It doesn't seem appropriate to say "Happy Thanksgiving!" in this blog post, since my Canadian friends celebrated their Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October (Caps and Spelling told me so). Nevertheless, I give thanks for all my blessings, and I wish a happy Thanksgiving–or simply a happy Thursday–to you!

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