Effective Date: March 24, 2006
Expiration Date: March 24, 2021
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Capitalize specific names of things and lowercase general terms of classification. This listing represents commonly used words at NASA.
Agency: capitalize if part of complete name or if a short form of complete name; e.g., Central Intelligence Agency; National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the Agency (NASA preference), but lower case agency when used as term of general classification; e.g., independent Federal agency.
Attachment: (when specifying); e.g., Attachment 1 (NASA preference); but attachment; e.g., the attachment.
**Associate Administrator: e.g., the Associate Administrator for Aeronautics and Research Mission Directorate; the Associate Administrator invites you to an open house. A meeting involving all the Associate Administrators is scheduled for Monday.
Board: capitalize if part of name or when used alone in place of full name, e.g., Performance Review Board, the Board consists of... Space Studies Board, the Board's recommendation..., but the boards of the National Research Council.
Branch: capitalize if part of complete name, or when used alone in place of full name; e.g., the International Program Policy Branch; the Branch will hold a staff meeting; but the branch offices...each branch will.
**Branch Chief (when referring to a specific person): e.g., Chief, International Program Policy Branch; the Branch Chief will authorize, but the branch chiefs....
budget: (Federal budget, President's budget, NASA's budget).
budget line items: capitalize exact titles of budget line items (NASA preference); e.g., Space Flight, Control and Data Communications; Research and Program Management.
Building (when specifying): e.g., Building 10B (NASA preference); but...the building and room locations will be forwarded to you.
Center(s): capitalize if referring to NASA Centers; (e.g., Goddard Space Flight Center; the Center; a representative from each Center).
**Center Director: e.g., the Center Director., a meeting with all of the Center Directors.
century: (e.g., the 21st century).
Chair, the (if personified); e.g., Madam Chair).
chairman, chairperson: (general; NASA preference, gender-neutral); e.g., the chairman of the Appropriations Committee; but Chairman Davis: (general) we need to designate a chairperson.
Chairman, Committee on Appropriations (title-see above).
Chief, if part of official title: e.g., Chief, Flight Programs Branch.
college degrees: bachelor of arts, master's, but capitalize abbreviations: B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Committee: capitalize if part of complete name or when used alone in place of full name; e.g., Aeronautics Advisory Committee; the Appropriations Committee; the Committee; but each committee will report; the committees of Congress.
Congress (legislature): the Congress of the United States; the 101st Congress; the Congress;...when Congress returns.
congressional action; congressional committee. (often capitalized)
Congressional District: ( if a specific district; e.g., 20th Congressional District) but the congressional district.
congressionally: e.g., a congressionally mandated report.
Congressman; Congresswoman; Member of Congress.
Council: capitalize if part of name or when used alone in place of full name; e.g., NASA Advisory Council; the Council will meet.
**Director, if part of official title: e.g., Director, Solar System Exploration Division; the Director will issue, but the directors....
Division (if part of complete name, or when used alone in place of full name); e.g., the Advanced Program Development Division; there will be a Division staff meeting; but each division will.
**Division Director (when referring to a specific person): e.g., the Division Director, but the division directors are....
Earth (planet). solar system, universe, (always lower case).
Enclosure (when specifying): e.g., Enclosure 1 (NASA preference); but enclosure; e.g., the enclosure.
Federal (synonym for United States): e.g., Federal personnel regulations; but a federal form of government; Federal Government (U.S.).
fiscal year (abbreviate FY); e.g., in fiscal year 2006; FY 2006.
Government (if proper name, part of proper name, or as proper adjective): e.g., the U.S./National/Federal Government; the Japanese government; but, government (in general sense); e.g., a federal form of government; the Communist government; European governments.
Government-owned, Government-wide (if U.S.); but government-owned, government-wide (if State, city).
International Space Station (when referring to the multinational Space Station); but space station (generic); e.g., the Russian space station.
lead secretary: e.g., the incumbent serves as lead secretary. legislative branch
Member (congressional): e.g., a Member of Congress; but at the request of many members of the Congress; a member of the congressional committee.
Memorandum of Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding: if part of full name or when used alone in place of full name.
mission: e.g., Ulysses mission.
Moon, referring to Earth's Moon: but the moons of Jupiter; Titan is the name of Jupiter's moon.
Nation (synonym for U.S.): but a nation must defend its boundaries.
national: e.g., national space program.
National Government (U.S.)
Office: e.g., the Office of the Administrator; the Office of External Relations; but this office is planning.; I would like your office to prepare the report.
Officials-in-Charge of Headquarters Offices, referring to heads of all Headquarters offices or directorates.
orbiter (preferred lower case): e.g., Shuttle orbiter, Atlantis orbiter.
Presidential directive, authority, order
Program (if part of official name): e.g., NASA Honor Awards Program; but the Shuttle program: the EOS program; the program budget.
Program Manager or Project Manager, if part of title: e.g., but the program manager.
project: e.g., HST project; the project budget is...
Room (when specifying): e.g., Room 9S51 (NASA preference); but the building and room numbers will be provided later.
space (universe): e.g., the U.S. space program.
Space Shuttle (NASA's preference when referring to U.S./NASA Space Shuttle); but space shuttle (generic); e.g., the space shuttles.
State, when it follows the name of a particular State: e.g., New York State, but state (general); e.g., .state and local government groups, the forty-second state.
Subcommittee, if part of name, or part of name when used alone in place of full name: e.g., Subcommittee on Aviation Safety Reporting System: the Subcommittee: but subcommittees will be established.
white paper: e.g., prepare a white paper on.
Work Package 1, 2, 3, and 4; but the Space Station work packages.
x-ray, x ray
*In legal documents, many words that ordinarily would be written in small letters are written with initial capitals; e.g., the name of the document (or part of the name when used alone in place of the full name).
** Official titles of high-ranking national, state, and international offices are capitalized. Titles of lesser Federal and state officials and local governmental officials are not usually capitalized. However, these titles are sometimes capitalized in writing intended for a specific readership, in which the person in question would be considered to have very high rank by the intended reader (i.e., the Associate Administrators, the Center Directors); NASA's preference is to capitalize.
| TOC | ChangeHistory | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | AppendixH | AppendixI | AppendixJ | ALL |
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