Wednesday, June 4, 2014

ASCAP, all caps

Odd to see The New York Times rendering the acronym for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers as Ascap, especially when the article also mentions — with caps — BMI. But Ascap is Times style, as given in the paper’s Manual of Style and Usage. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate has the acronym in caps, as does ASCAP’s website. Why Ascap, Times?


June 5: Why Ascap? The Manual of Style and Usage entry for acronym explains: “When an acronym serves as a proper name and exceeds four letters, capitalize only the first letter: Unesco, Unicef.” But then there’s FERPA. Or is it Ferpa?

comments: 2

Chris said...

I guess the argument could be made that Ascap is an acronym, and is pronounced as if it were a word spelled "A-s-c-a-p," whereas "BMI" is an initialism and is pronounced as the series of the names of its letters ("Bee-em-I").

Michael Leddy said...

That’s a neat distinction. But the Times does FEMA and NASA, for instance, in caps. On this one, the Times puzzles me.