What's the proper case?
October 13, 2004 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Do you dvd or DVD?

I'm frequently writing articles about the aformentioned and I'm never sure what the recommended parlance is. Should I say that I'm reviewing the Clerks DVD or Clerks dvd? The first may be right, but those block capitals look massive.
posted by feelinglistless to Writing & Language (15 answers total)
Unless you're e.e. cummings, DVD. The first is not only "right" but also more recognizable, thus aiding clear communication.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:14 PM on October 13, 2004

What DA said.
posted by pmurray63 at 2:15 PM on October 13, 2004

I'd use small caps, but I'm like that.
posted by Utilitaritron at 2:16 PM on October 13, 2004

Where I work, the style is - if you say the word, initial cap only (ie Nato), but if you spell it out, all caps (UN, BBC, CBS, and DVD)
posted by ascullion at 2:35 PM on October 13, 2004

ascullion: I see the logic in that, but Nato, at least, looks ridiculous to me. OTOH, scuba and laser look fine.
posted by Utilitaritron at 2:48 PM on October 13, 2004

ascullion, that style's only a UK thing. Well, maybe not only, but definitely not accepted practice in the US.
posted by smackfu at 3:10 PM on October 13, 2004

What about cd and CD?
posted by feelinglistless at 3:14 PM on October 13, 2004

DVD, here, more for visual than stylistic reasons.
It's all usage, after being in the language for a generation or so, it'll probly morph into dvd. Of course we still use LP, CD, etc.
posted by signal at 3:15 PM on October 13, 2004

DVD and CD are acronyms which have not yet (like laser or radar) become a word. Use capital letters. Frankly, I'm a little alarmed that anyone would think otherwise.
posted by majick at 3:27 PM on October 13, 2004

Well, they aren't really acronyms at all - they're not even attempting to acquire the appearance of a word - they're simply abbreviations.

And so, all caps it has to be.
posted by Blue Stone at 4:49 PM on October 13, 2004

DVD and CD are acronyms which have not yet (like laser or radar) become a word.

Radar and scuba are acronyms; DVD and CD are initialisms.
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:58 PM on October 13, 2004 [1 favorite]

What DakotaPaul said. Initialisms are caps. USA, TV, CIA, DOA, etc. So it's DVD and CD.
posted by iconomy at 5:15 PM on October 13, 2004

I'd say cd is ok but DVD is not. Don't ask me why.
posted by Orange Goblin at 5:20 PM on October 13, 2004

I once was extremely confused by a BBS post in which a guy wrote that if you plug the power supply in wrong into a computer, you'll blow the ics. Thought at first it was short for "electronics" but no, he meant Integrated Circuits. ICs.

posted by kindall at 5:26 PM on October 13, 2004

those block capitals look massive

Utilitaritron's solution solves this. Use small-caps. It's what they're for.

(Unless you're writing headline copy where every major word is capped. If that's the case, full-caps would be fine.)

And as a related point, the plural shouldn't use an apostrophe. DVDs, CDs and TVs, not DVD's, CD's and TV's.
posted by Monk at 8:37 AM on October 14, 2004

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