C

UCAR Style Guide

C—Celsius. Spell out on first use for popular audiences but not in technical material. Do not use Centigrade. –20° Celsius, –20°C (use an en dash for the minus).[revised 4/00]

Canadian institutions—Include province (the only country for which we do this).

capitalization of militaries and services—capitalize Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, and Weather Service even without U.S. before it.

captions—In all publications, these are italic with no paragraph indent. See "figures" for captions on numbered figures, and see Staff Notes style guide if you are editing that publication. For generic photo captions from our collections, write (Photo courtesy University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.), being sure to italicize and use parentheses with a period inside. UCAR Quarterly uses either "photo" or "illustration" in all cases: (Photo by Carlye Calvin.) (Illustration by Michael Shibao.) The umbrella Web site follows the same style, without italics. Also see "satellite-based imagery." [updated 10/04, 08/05]

Cartesian—capitalized

castle—not capitalized

CD-ROM—not spelled out

central processing unit—(of a computer) abbreviate as CPU

Chap.—Use this abbreviation for "chapter" in reference and publication lists.

chemical compounds—In technical and nontechnical writing, spell out the first occurrence and give the formula in parentheses for

  • elements: hydrogen (H)
  • compounds whose names consist of up to two words: sulfuric acid (H2SO4)
  • compounds that have acronyms instead of formulas: tetra- n-butylammonium hydroxide (TBAH)

Never use the full name for compounds whose names have more than two words (e.g., use ClFMg, not magnesium chloride fluoride).

chemical elements—Capitalize only abbreviated forms (oxygen, but O)

ionization states (series) are given by capital Roman numerals—Fe XI, Ba II, etc. Use a space (not a hyphen) between the element abbreviation and roman numeral. See complete list of chemical elements in Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed., pp. 484-485, section 14.54.

China—Use "China" for the mainland People's Republic. Use Taiwan unless collaborators insist on Republic of China; when you use the latter, mention Taiwan to help identify it correctly. [revised 2/00]

chlorofluorocarbon—Use instead of Freon (a trade name; made by DuPont). Abbreviated CFC, CFCs. Species are, e.g., CFC 11 (with a space).

cities—For a list of U.S. cities that can be used without including the states in which they reside, see states. For foreign cities, if the city is large, well-known, and unambiguous, no country is needed. For example: Paris, London, Beijing.

clear air—not hyphenated as an adjective unless another modifier intervenes between it and the noun: clear air turbulence, clear-air radar echoes

cloudtop—closed [2/00]

Community Climate Model—Upper case. Abbreviate CCM; CCM2 [2/00]

compact disc—Spell this way. All other disks are spelled with k.

company names—See "corporate names."

compound denominator—Do not use negative exponents. Do use parentheses, not hyphens or additional slashes: 0.004 cal/(cm2 min).

computer names (inhouse systems)—SCD uses lower case, closed up: galaxy, blackforest, bluesky (aka Unix style). Communications usage is by publication/audience:

SN and UQ: First use, insert a suitable variant of: ". . . named/dubbed/called bluevista. (All NCAR computer names are spelled as one word with no capital letters because of Unix operating system protocols.)" Thereafter, use Unix style.

News releases, Highlights, Web and other public audiences: First use, insert suitable variant of ". . . nicknamed/dubbed/called Blue Vista (or bluevista, in computational code), . . . " Other variants: (or bluevista, its computational/operational code name); (or bluevista, in operational style); (or bluevista when using the Unix operating system). Thereafter, use Blue Vista.

Congress members—Use Representative as the title—it's gender neutral. For party and state affiliation use the long form of the state abbreviation. Use a hyphen (not en dash) with the abbreviation: Mark Udall (D-Colo.). [2/00—ZG]

continued—Editors of Staff Notes and UCAR Quarterly should consult the style guides for those publications.

continental divide—upper case when referring to the one in the Rocky Mountains; lower case as a common noun (American Heritage Dictionary).

coplane or COPLAN (coordinated, coplanar) scanning—a radar term; the versions are equivalent

Coriolis—Always use initial cap.

corona—F-corona, K-corona, T-corona (with hyphens)

corporate names—Use Standard & Poor's as an authority. Give full name in straight text but without "Inc.," Ltd.," etc. On later use, a shorter version of the name is O.K. See Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed., pp. 463–464, section 14.12. Preserve capitalization and spacing preferred by the company "insofar as it's graphically possible" (The Editorial Eye, November 1998, Vol. 21, No. 11). StorageTek; iMSC; but IMSC at start of a sentence. [revised 2/00]

CP radar—CP stands for continuous propagation. Use only the abbreviation in text: CP-2, CP-3, CP-4.

CPU—central processing unit (of a computer)

Cray computers—as of 2002, initial cap only for computer names (no longer CRAY): "Cray SV1." [12/02]

Cray Research [Inc.]—the company. Founder was Seymour Cray. Became part of SGI in 1990s.

CSD—formerly Convective Storms Division, then Cloud Systems Division, now part of Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division

cubic—In nontechnical contexts, use the word (one cubic meter); in technical contexts, use superscript 3 (cm3), not "cu."

currents (ocean)—Capitalize their names: Antarctic Circumpolar Current.