Small caps for academic degrees

jeff's picture

I'm working on an alumni directory. Haven't really had to address the formatting of degree notations before, but now it's an issue.

Anyone have any advice for treating small caps in this situation? Things like BS Ed, BS Ag, M Ed. Right now, we're treating the first section (BS) as two small caps, and the 2nd section (Ed) as initial cap small cap.

Suggestions?

plainclothes's picture

I'm just shooting off of the top of my head here, so
hopefully someone can confirm with a style guide, but...
I don't believe small caps are used at all in these
situations, simply because of the uncertainty. often
times, small caps are avoided in two letter combos -- I
don't really like the way it looks, but that's what I've
understood the official rules to be.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I don't know the official rules either. However I can officially say that as the words that are shortened are capitalized, I would say they should be caps and not smallcaps. And visually you'll tip the name over, I think, if you don't use caps.

dana's picture

Although I am unaware of any particular style guide rules about such formatting, this sample illustrates a format that seems satisfactory (in terms of legibility and clear communication). My degree (from San Jose State) is rather unusual, so my goal is to provide a bit of explanation in my format choice. The person's name is size "x", the degree (in U&lc) is approx. 80% of x, the explanation (in this case GRAPHIC DESIGN) is at approx.size 60% of x.
sample designation format

plainclothes's picture

Dana said...
The person's name is size "x", the degree (in U&lc)
is approx. 80% of x, the explanation (in this case
GRAPHIC DESIGN) is at approx.size 60% of x.


no offense, Dana, but that doesn't make much sense.
that's kind of like letting the application do small caps,
but then you change the rules and end up with two
different types of faux small caps. I would suggest
either using real small caps or sticking with standard
U&lc.

jeff's picture

Thanks for the input all,

Some people seem to have this huge alphabet soup after their name from multiple degrees, and that was the impetus.

I try to use true small caps whenever appropriate, but in this case, I guess it may not fly. If they look distracting, it sort of misses the point.

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