CIA Writers Style Guide – Don’t Capitalize the “w” in Undeclared Wars


CIA spies not are not only tasked with gathering intel. They are supposed to write pieces in a certain manner.

This article in Business Insider details the public release of the CIA Style Manual and Writers Guide, which as the writer states, has some pretty darn good suggestions in it.

But others are interesting —

  • Don’t capitalize the “w” in Vietnam war because it was “undeclared,” just like the Yom Kippur war and the Falklands war. (I had to Google both.)
  • Treaties that haven’t been ratified don’t get the uppercase treatment, either. Write “Treaty of Paris” but “Kyoto treaty.”
  • Casualties, surprisingly, refer to all persons injured, captured, or missing in action, as well as those killed.

Makes an author wonder if CIA writers and editors are sitting somewhere at Langley tearing apart one’s spy novels for their word usage and grammar.

Huh.

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About Christopher Metcalf - Author

Christopher Metcalf is the author of Lance Priest / Preacher novels. Lance "Preacher" Priest is a spy, a killer, a human chameleon. He is the CIA's perfect weapon who lives by one simple rule -- there are no rules. Spies and Lies is a blog dedicated to espionage, the art and science of lying and occasional creative writing. www.christophermetcalf.com
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