Use of Terms A-Z

Military Community and Family Policy writing guidance aligns with The Associated Press Stylebook with a few exceptions. Definitions of military-specific terms appear below, along with editorial guidance for certain commonly used words for MC&FP and our programs. See additional writing guidance in the Writing Best Practices section. Find program-specific guidance in the Program Content Guides section.

W

war – Capitalize in names of specific conflicts: the Civil War, the War of 1812.

Washington D.C. – Never abbreviate Washington when referring to the nation’s capital. Use Washington, D.C., or District of Columbia when the context requires distinction between the state and federal district.

weapons – Contrary to the AP Stylebook change, gun is NOT an acceptable term for any firearm. In military parlance, the word gun refers to artillery. Use the specific form: rifle, pistol, mortar, artillery, etc. See the AP Stylebook for treatment and definitions for all other weaponry terms.

weather – See the AP Stylebook.

web – Lowercase.

web address – If a web address is at the end of a sentence, follow it with a period.

website – Lowercase, and do the same with the web, webcam, webcast, webfeed, webmaster, webpage.

wife, husbandWife or husband is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized marriage. Spouse or partner is acceptable for use on request. For same-sex couples, when developing web content, use same-sex couple, or partner. When referring to the policy, use the official terminology, same-sex domestic partner. In direct quotes, regardless of sexual orientation, husband or wife is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized marriage. Spouse or partner is acceptable for use on request.

with – Initial cap in a heading or title.

WMD – An acceptable subsequent reference for weapons of mass destruction.

women – Women should receive the same treatment as men in all areas of coverage. Do not use sexist references, demeaning stereotypes or condescending phases. Use the same standards for men and women when deciding to include specific mention of personal appearance or marital and family situation.