AC—alternating current; always abbreviated
academic titles—See "titles."
acdar—acoustic radar; should be written out
acknowledgments—Use this spelling.
acronyms—See Abbreviations and Acronyms.
addresses—O.K. to abbreviate the usual parts of street addresses: Stazio Fields at Colorado Ave. and 37th St. Use the two-letter post-office abbreviations for states: Boulder, CO 80307
adviser vs. advisor—Use adviser as the descriptive term: an adviser on the project. Use advisor within formal job titles: Smith, the senior advisor for technology; Senior Advisor for Technology Smith. [07/2012]
aircraft—except in news releases, first mention of our aircraft must note within a few sentences that they are owned by NSF and operated by NCAR. This can be written out in the text or the aircraft can be identified as the NSF/NCAR C-130 or NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V. Subsequent use may refer to "the C-130" or "the G-V." Following news release best practices, identification of ownership/management may be introduced lower down in the release to ensure that the lead paragraph accomplishes its mission of engaging reader interest. [05/04-zg]
Air Force—capitalized; U.S. Air Force
air mass (n.), air-mass (adj.) [08/01]
air motion (n.), air-motion (adj.)
Alfvén—Use the accent.
algebraic expressions in technical text—Always use italics, even in captions. Do not use commas if the term immediately follows the noun that defines it: The time t is. . . . Ordinals: the 2 + ith term. Abbreviate units with algebraic expressions: n km.
altitude—height is above surface, but altitude is above sea level. For aircraft altitude, use feet (the international unit); however, metric units may be used to preserve precision in scientific stories. [2/00]
all-sky camera—requires a hyphen
a.m.—Use lower case; see "time."
AM—amplitude modulation; always abbreviated
Ampex—manufacturer of NCAR's former mass storage system; initial cap only
analog—Use this spelling.
antenna—plural form "antennas" for radio, "antennae" for insects
appendix—goes before a reference list. See also "back matter."
AP Style—From 2000 to 2015, Communications used The Chicago Manual of Style as our primary reference and recorded exceptions here in this guide. Starting in 2016, we have adopted AP Style with only one exception: because it is helpful for clarity in science writing, Communications uses the serial comma (aka the Oxford comma). Because of the switch in 2016, whenever advice in this guide is contrary to AP style, ignore and use AP style. [06/2016]
arc second—Always spell out on first use.
Archie—early Internet tool
Army—capitalized; U.S. Army
Art schools—lowercase all philosophical schools of art and art techniques, e.g., cubism, surrealism, fantastic realism, abstract expressionism, tromp l'oeil, pleine air, except when a proper name: Fauvism, Byzantine. [09-00]
ARW— "Advanced Research WRF" - describe this way: an advanced version of the NCAR-based Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF-ARW)
Associate directors, NCAR—use the AD title only when reporting on NCAR administrative structure. Otherwise, use the title of laboratory director: Brant Foote, director of the Research Applications Laboratory; the Members Meeting included presentations by NCAR associate directors Brant Foote and Annick Pouquet. [02-05]
atmo-sphere—Hyphenate before the s.
audio tape—two words
Auto-nowcaster—(A up, n down); RAL's automated thunderstorm nowcaster. [4-00]