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Old 03-09-2023, 01:48 PM   #1
enuddleyarbl
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A.M. and P.M.

Usually, when I see A.M. and P.M. in books, they've got something like class="small" or class="smallcaps" around them. Out of curiosity, does anyone know why? I never see things like U.S., D.C. or L.A. "classed" like that. Why A.M. and P.M.? And, while I'm asking silly questions, is there a special character replacement that ought to be used in place of the abbreviations? I find SQUARE PM (U+33D8) for p.m., but nothing for a.m..

EDIT: I found the a.m. equivalent "SQUARE AM (U+33C2)".

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Old 03-09-2023, 01:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enuddleyarbl View Post
Usually, when I see A.M. and P.M. in books, they've got something like class="small" or class="smallcaps" around them. Out of curiosity, does anyone know why? I never see things like U.S., D.C. or L.A. "classed" like that. Why A.M. and P.M.? And, while I'm asking silly questions, is there a special character replacement that ought to be used in place of the abbreviations? I find (U+33D8) for p.m., but nothing for a.m..
Smallcaps
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Old 03-09-2023, 01:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Smallcaps
Usually, if they've got a class around them, I do make them smallcaps. But, why the class?
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Old 03-09-2023, 02:54 PM   #4
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Because the only way to get smallcaps is with some kind of tag, and there's no tag that defaults to smallcaps, so you need a class. (Or do something stupid like <em>A.M.</em>, and set all <em> to smallcaps, or put a class to every other <em>).

If you ask why "A.M." is smallcaps and "U.S." is just caps, I guess it has to do with the fact that "United States" is written with caps, and "ante meridiem" is not, and also with custom, since "e.g." is not written with any kind of caps (I think it's also common to write "a.m."). Personally, I prefer 24h format

ETA: See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12-hour_clock#Typography

Last edited by Jellby; 03-09-2023 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 03-09-2023, 04:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enuddleyarbl View Post
Usually, when I see A.M. and P.M. in books, they've got something like class="small" or class="smallcaps" around them. Out of curiosity, does anyone know why? I never see things like U.S., D.C. or L.A. "classed" like that. Why A.M. and P.M.?
Like others said, some Style Guides put acronyms in smallcaps or "shrunken caps":

Code:
<p>The <small>FBI</small> said he was shot at 8:00 <span class="smallcaps">am</span> in 2020 <small>AD</small>.</p>
It's a very poor idea in ebooks though...

Should be replaced with simple ALL CAPS:

Code:
<p>The FBI said he was shot at 8:00 AM in 2020 AD.</p>
- - -

Note: I believe we discussed this smallcaps/acronym stuff + all the pros/cons in extreme detail:

If you type this into your favorite search engine:

Code:
smallcaps Tex2002ans site:mobileread.com
or:

Code:
acronyms Tex2002ans site:mobileread.com
you can find lots of previous discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enuddleyarbl View Post
And, while I'm asking silly questions, is there a special character replacement that ought to be used in place of the abbreviations?

I find SQUARE PM (U+33D8) for p.m., but nothing for a.m..

EDIT: I found the a.m. equivalent "SQUARE AM (U+33C2)".
No. I would not use those at all.

Those are a part of the "CJK Compatibility" block, and are only meant for usage in some Chinese/Japanese/Korean (etc.) texts.

I wrote a bit about that a few months ago in:

which described the CJK circled number characters like:
  • ① = U+2460 = CIRCLED DIGIT ONE
  • ㊿ = U+32BF = CIRCLED NUMBER FIFTY

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 03-09-2023 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 03-11-2023, 08:23 AM   #6
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AM and PM are style guide specific
AM PM

A.M. P.M.

Small caps (Not simply smaller font as is here)
AM PM

A.M. P.M.


a.m. p.m. Chicago & AP, but they may have small spaces.

am pm Common in British & Irish English material (saves ink?).

The New Penguin Dictionary of Abbreviations (pub 2000) is only about meaning, not style (no guidance) and has AM, PM and a.m., p.m., but not A.M. P.M., am or pm in the list.

In general using small caps is more common in USA publications for things like NASA, FBI, FM etc and in the UK it tends to be only for first word or phrase at a chapter start. Personally I think Drop Caps & SMALL CAPS are a bit of an affectation in paper print and slow reading, the drop caps are especially bad, so we never put them in ebooks and often edit them out on PD texts. Simpler is always better.

What ever you do, do it consistently.
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Old 03-11-2023, 08:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex2002ans View Post

No. I would not use those at all.

Those are a part of the "CJK Compatibility" block, and are only meant for usage in some Chinese/Japanese/Korean (etc.) texts.

I wrote a bit about that a few months ago in:

which described the CJK circled number characters like:
  • ① = U+2460 = CIRCLED DIGIT ONE
  • ㊿ = U+32BF = CIRCLED NUMBER FIFTY
I'd wondered what those were for!
Also in reference to the misused mathematical symbols I only use extended European characters in the languages / words that use them.
Polish: ł Ł
Icelandic etc: ■ Ů ­ đ
German ▀ (ss). A Greek or mathematical beta is Β, a different code.
In Electronics a u is often used instead of Greek μ for micro- prefix, but μ is preferred.

Irish frequently uses ßÚݡ˙ in names as well as the Language but not ý which is common in Scottish Gaelic. Old style Irish needs a different font for bh, gh, ph, ch, dh, mh, sh having a dot instead of h and the i without a dot, using the Turkish dot-less i is a bad idea. Old Irish orthography also has an alternate &, again you need the font not a fake 7 but a real Tironian et of the Irish/Scottish style ⁊. It's common on public signage. Hebrew uses the similar shape letter vav as &.

Good article. And most of the world and all readers are happy with regular capitals for FBI, CIA, FM, USA, NASA, NATO etc.
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Old 03-11-2023, 11:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
AM and PM are style guide specific
AM PM

A.M. P.M.

Small caps (Not simply smaller font as is here)
AM PM

A.M. P.M.


a.m. p.m. Chicago & AP, but they may have small spaces.

am pm Common in British & Irish English material (saves ink?).

The New Penguin Dictionary of Abbreviations (pub 2000) is only about meaning, not style (no guidance) and has AM, PM and a.m., p.m., but not A.M. P.M., am or pm in the list.

In general using small caps is more common in USA publications for things like NASA, FBI, FM etc and in the UK it tends to be only for first word or phrase at a chapter start. Personally I think Drop Caps & SMALL CAPS are a bit of an affectation in paper print and slow reading, the drop caps are especially bad, so we never put them in ebooks and often edit them out on PD texts. Simpler is always better.

What ever you do, do it consistently.
It's A.M. and P.M. hence the periods (not full stop). Most of the time it's done in smallcaps.
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Old 03-11-2023, 12:50 PM   #9
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I too prefer the A.M. P.M., but there isn't a requirement to use them as JSWolf implies.

There are plenty of examples that show you can take the first letters from words and make them a new word (acronyms) like: laser and scuba.

There are other ways of shortening a word/phrase: initialisms, and abbreviations.
Initialisms just keep the first letters capitalized but can't say them as a word and are usually not punctuated like: FBI, CIA, USA, AMC, USAF, DOD
Abbreviations are a shortening of the word with a period to show they have been shortened: etc. eg. Abbreviations are not necessarily acronyms.

There is no specific RULE about including the periods in an initialism..., and remember, style guides are just that, guides. The only time it is required to use a specific guide is when your teacher/instructor/professor wants to have something specific to grade you on instead of being subjective.


The moral of the story: Use the method that you prefer - everyone will know exactly what you mean:

9:00 am
9:00 AM
9:00 AM
9:00 A.M.
0900

2:00 pm
2:00 PM
2:00 PM
2:00 P.M.
1400

Last edited by Turtle91; 03-11-2023 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 03-11-2023, 02:01 PM   #10
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I just go with that's in the book and I've see A.M. and P.M. in a smaller font size (simulated smallcaps).
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Old 03-11-2023, 02:08 PM   #11
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hence the periods (not full stop).
And you have the authority to impose US usage onto an Irishman because?
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Old 03-11-2023, 06:47 PM   #12
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And you have the authority to impose US usage onto an Irishman because?
You've been here for over a decade, surely you've noticed JSWolf has a nasty tic that presupposes his preferred usage of anything is always The One True Way.
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Old 03-11-2023, 08:56 PM   #13
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And you have the authority to impose US usage onto an Irishman because?
ů he has more nukes.
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Old 03-11-2023, 11:31 PM   #14
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For what it's worth, I don't care what form you use (A.M., AM, a.m., am, A.M. or AM in a book. Just be consistent through that book. I have one Big4 ebook where the author/publisher/whomever else can be blamed switches between upper case, lower case and smallcaps with and without periods.
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Old 03-12-2023, 04:16 PM   #15
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… he has more nukes.
Allegedly Shannon, in Ireland, during the Cold war was targeted by USA and USSR Nukes. I never believed it. Curiously one of the few (or only?) Western places with Soviet (cuba) and US aircraft refuelling or landing during the Cold War. Also you can only claim asylum for the country you are in, it can't be remotely claimed. Only some people hopping off the Cuba flight realised this.

What's the difference between a period and a full stop? About 5000 km. (Shannon-New York).

Ireland is closer to North America than you think: It's 1965 miles or 3163 km from Donegal to St. John's, Newfoundland. The USA-Mexico border is 1954 miles or 3145 km. Direct flight Seattle-NewYork is 2401 miles or 3865 km.

Shannon was a bog in 1930s and airport planned to replace Foynes flying boat port. Operational in 1940s.

Last edited by Quoth; 03-12-2023 at 04:23 PM.
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