Thursday, August 14, 2003
I'm copyediting a book for teachers about holidays. Today, I've run into the surprisingly thorny issues about the official and/or approved names of holidays. The author has "Grandparents' Day," or sometimes "Grandparent's Day"; the National Grandparents Day organization (yes, there is such a thing) doesn't have an apostrophe anywhere. (I used their version; it's their holiday, they decide what it's called.) U.S. federal holidays have official names designated by the laws establishing themtechnically, it's "Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr." (The author has "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day" and the Chicago Manual of Style has "Martin Luther King Jr. Day" [no comma]I'm going with CMS.) The day on which elections occur is, in CMS, not capitalized (it's just "election day"), and it isn't capitalized on the Federal Election Commission Web site; but I think it looks pretty stupid that way. But, aha!in certain states it is an official holiday. Capitalization can stay. The author has "Three Kings' Day"; I wanted to get rid of the apostrophe, but alas, the Vatican Web site provided no guidance; they use the more common Epiphany. The Spanish name, el Dia de los Reyes, doesn't provide any help. (I kept the apostrophe.) And who has the final say on April Fools'/Fool's/Fools Day? (CMS has "All Fools' Day," so I guess I'll use the final apostrophe.)
Bozhe moy...I guess I can't make everybody happy. I'll just try to maintain a balance between being technically correct, editorially correct, and not looking too funny.
[ at 3:11 PM • by Abby • permalink • ]