TOWER SITE CALENDAR
We use these interchangeably for variety. Editorial choice. Don’t sweat over it.
“Notable date” is bold, all caps and on its own line. Date is bold and on its own line. Months are spelled out. Dates are plain numbers (4, not 4th).
Cities and states
Cities are never abbreviated. States take the two-letter postal code with no punctuation, except in captions, when we write them out. If the city is well known, we don’t use the state.
Dates in calendar squares
Year is in bold and on the same line as the beginning of text. Same rule as above for cities and states.
We list federal and some state holidays. We also list days that aren’t public holidays but receive media attention, even though they occur on the same date every year. Another editorial choice, so please don’t ask us if we really need Groundhog Day, etc.
We list the Jewish holidays most people celebrate across the spectrum of observance. Since the Jewish calendar is lunar, they start at sundown the night before the “official” first day. We always use the sundown date. Note that we do not include every major festival — no Sukot, no Shavuot. If we ever get comments or complaints from a customer, we’ll revisit this.
We list the three biggest Islamic holidays, using the sundown date for North America (see above). We also list Diwali and Chinese New Year. This is not just political correctness. This is taking into consideration the potential background of our customers.
As of 2020, we are including Juneteenth in our holidays, as many members of the Black community treat this as their own Independence Day (and it was, in the 19th century).
We are NOT including Cinco De Mayo as that is not a widely celebrated Latinx holiday. If we are made aware of a major Latinx holiday that is not included, we will add it.
Days designated to honor a group of people have no apostrophe either before or after the “s.” It’s a day for the group, not a day the group owns. So yes, it is supposed to be “Mothers Day” and “Fathers Day” and all the rest.
But wait just a minute: Why is there an apostrophe before the “s” in “Valentine’s Day” and “St. Patrick’s Day,” you ask? They were individuals given a day of honor.
But it’s “Martin Luther King Jr. Day” because “Martin Luther King Day” is the official name of the day. (We put the “Jr.” because Martin Luther King Sr. was also an activist. We haven’t forgotten him even though a lot of people might have done so.)
For obvious reasons, we always include Major Armstrong’s birthday.
We use the traditional scientific names: Vernal Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumnal Equinox, Winter Solstice. Since these begin at different times around the world, we place them on the day they begin in our region and indicate “Eastern Time.”
We use the start and end of Daylight Saving Time in North America, even though the days are different in other parts of the world. We’ve never had a complaint that it’s only for North America, so we don’t indicate that. Again, we’ll reconsider if we get comments. Note that there is no “s.” Savings are for banks.
In general, write out numbers from zero through nine and use numerals for 10 and up. Use a comma for 10,000 or more. Do not use a comma for 1000 (or anything up to 9999). Inconsistent? Yes, but when you become accustomed to hearing “fifteen hundred watt” a comma seems weird.
The exceptions to the rule (numerals vs. letters) are dates (see rules above), ages, distances and currency.
Write out the measurement unit for distances (feet, not ft)
For currency, use a dollar sign with no decimal places for whole amounts. For odd amounts, use a dollar sign and two decimal places. For amounts less than one dollar, use a numeral and the word “cents.” Never use the cent sign.
For dollar amounts of 100,000 or above, use a dollar sign, a numeral and the appropriate word ($100 thousand, $5 million, etc.) And we’ll be inconsistent again. When you’re talking about money, put a comma after the thousands place ($1,000).
Not too many unusual rules here. We follow the standard of capitalizing proper nouns, which includes station nicknames (e.g., The Buzz). Call letters are always all caps, as are AM, FM and TV.
Holidays are capitalized, including “Day.” Prepositions, including “al” in Muslim holidays, are not capitalized.
Colons never go after a preposition or a verb, only after a complete clause. A colon indicates there is more to come, and since sentences don’t end with verbs (and aren’t supposed to end with prepositions), we already know that.
In a list following a colon, use a semicolon, not a comma.
In a list with commas, do not use a comma before the word “and” for the last item. That’s redundant. I know we have fans of the Oxford comma, but I had it drummed out of me in newsrooms.
Plurals NEVER take apostrophes. Never, ever, ever. Luckily, I’m preaching to the choir here.
Likewise, “it’s” is a contraction of “it is.” “Its” is an impersonal possessive, on par with “his” or “her.” Again, obvious to all of us right now.
I will gradually add website rules. For now, if you have questions or comments, please let me know.