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Eighteenth-Century Life

Style Guide

Spelling and Terms

Follow Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., and Webster’s Third New International Dictionary for spelling and for hyphenation. If more than one spelling is provided in the dictionary, follow the first form given (e.g., use judgment, rather than judgement; use focused, rather than focussed). Common foreign terms are set in roman type. Common foreign terms (such as bon vivant, ad hoc, realpolitik, and ex post facto) are defined as those with main entries in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. Once the foreign word is in Merriam-Webster's, it's considered naturalized.

Foreign official titles, however, are not italicized (comptroller general, garde des sceaux, etc.), since it would look peculiar to have an italicized title followed by a Roman name, and inconsistent to have the title italicized when there is no name and Roman when there is a name.

Prefixes are hyphenated before numerals and proper nouns; they are also hyphenated to prevent confusion (e.g., reform, re-form). Temporary compound adjectives are hyphenated before the noun to avoid ambiguity but are always open after the noun. Non-English phrases used as modifiers are open in any position, unless hyphenated in the original.

Put neologisms within quotation marks at first use.

A term referred to as the term itself is italicized:
In the twentieth century socialism has acquired many meanings.
The word hermeneutics is the most overused term in recent monographs.
The term lyricism was misused in Smith’s book review.


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