1: Scope and History
The Tangent Style Guide is the prescriptive style guide for Scott Bradford: Off on a Tangent. The eighth edition applies to original content published on the site after its adoption on July 1, 2020.
Content originally written for academic purposes, or for publication elsewhere, may have been written in other styles per the requirements of the class, institution, or publication. In these cases, and in the case of content written in earlier versions of the Tangent style, content may not fully conform with the current styles.
1.3: History of editions
All editions of the Tangent style guide have incorporated or were based upon a published style guide in general use. Following is a brief history of editions:
- First Edition (approx. 1995 to approx. 2000): MLA Handbook (Fourth Edition) with notes
- Second Edition (approx. 2000 to approx. 2003): MLA Handbook (Fifth Edition) with notes
- Third Edition (approx. 2003 to approx. 2009): MLA Handbook (Sixth Edition) with notes
- Fourth Edition (approx. 2009 to May 31, 2012): MLA Handbook (Seventh Edition) with notes
- Fifth Edition (June 1, 2012, to December 31, 2016): Chicago Manual of Style (Sixteenth Edition) with notes
- Sixth Edition (January 1, 2017, to August 31, 2017): Chicago Manual of Style (Sixteenth Edition) with notes and modifications
- Seventh Edition (September 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020): Chicago Manual of Style (Seventeenth Edition) with notes and modifications
- Eighth Edition (July 1, 2020, to present): Tangent Style Guide, incorporating the Chicago Manual of Style (Seventeenth Edition)
1.4: Revisions to this edition
There have been no revisions to this edition since it was published on July 1, 2020.
2.1: Style guides
The following primary style guide (Chicago) should be considered prescriptive except where it conflicts with Tangent:
- Chicago Manual of Style (Seventeenth Edition) published by the University of Chicago Press
The following secondary style guides may also be consulted in the listed order of preference, but their guidance should not be considered prescriptive:
- MLA Handbook (Eighth Edition) published by the Modern Language Association
- A.P. Stylebook (Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law [Fifty-Fifth Edition]) published by the Associated Press
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Seventh Edition) published by the American Psychological Association
It may also be appropriate to consult topic-specific or special-use style guides, though their guidance also should not be considered prescriptive except as described elsewhere in Tangent.
2.2: Questions and internal discourse
A direct question is sometimes included within a sentence. Such a question is usually introduced by a comma (unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence), begins with a capital letter, and is enclosed in quotes. If it is necessary to distinguish a direct question from direct quotations, use single quotation marks instead of double quotation marks.
- I asked myself, “Where did I put my phone?”
- Writers often wonder, ‘Why is English such a difficult language?’
Thought, imagined dialogue, and other internal discourse (also called interior discourse) should also be enclosed in quotation marks. Here, too, single quotation marks may be used instead of double quotation marks if it is necessary to distinguish internal discourse from direct quotations.
- I thought, “This has to be the right switch.”
- ‘Why,’ he wondered, ‘would anybody park here?’
2.3: Vertical lists
(Modifies Chicago 6.130.)
Items in an unordered list should always be marked by a bullet or other marker.
Capitalize items in both ordered and unordered lists except when a list is punctuated as a sentence as described in Chicago 6.131. Closing punctuation is used only if items consist of complete sentences.
2.4: Periods with abbreviations
(Modifies Chicago 10.4.)
Use periods with abbreviations that include one or two capital letters (e.g., “U.S.”), except when appearing in parentheses as a reference to a U.S. state’s postal abbreviation, a time zone, or a political party. Use no periods with abbreviations that include three or more capital letters, even if the abbreviation also includes lowercase letters.
3.1: Usage guides
For general matters of usage, refer to Chicago’s chapter 5,“Grammar and Usage,” and the following primary usage guide:
- Garner’s Modern English Usage by Bryan Garner
Guidance in the primary usage guide should be given serious consideration, but should not necessarily be considered prescriptive, especially when it conflicts with Chicago or Tangent.
For further guidance, the following secondary usage guides may be consulted in the listed order of preference, but their guidance should not be considered prescriptive:
- The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White
- Merriam-Webster’s Concise Dictionary of English Usage published by Merriam-Webster Inc.
- Fowler’s Concise Dictionary of Modern English Usage published by the Oxford University Press
3.2: Personal pronouns
Male personal pronouns (he, him) are normally used to refer to individual male members of sexually dimorphic species, including humans. Female personal pronouns (she, her) are normally used to refer to individual female members. Generally, the appropriate male or female personal pronouns should be used when referring to an individual whose sex is known. This best accords with the principle of truth and accuracy (see Tangent 5.1).
Incorrect or nonstandard personal pronouns preferred by an individual person may be used if necessary but must be clearly explained to the reader. If possible, avoid incorrect or nonstandard usage by using the techniques for achieving gender neutrality described in Chicago 5.255. See Tangent 3.4 for guidance regarding name changes and former names.
It is now acceptable to use they and their as gender-neutral singular pronouns. This is another option for achieving gender neutrality or avoiding nonstandard pronoun usage.
3.3: Generic masculine pronouns
(Clarifies Chicago 5.252.)
It is acceptable to use generic masculine pronouns when necessary for clarity, flow, or effect, but this should be avoided if possible. Consider using the techniques for achieving gender neutrality described in Chicago 5.255 or using they or their as gender-neutral singular pronouns as described in Chicago 5.256 and Tangent 3.2.
3.4: Name changes and former names
(Clarifies Chicago 8.3.)
As stated in Chicago, “The name of a living person should, wherever possible, correspond to that person’s preferred usage.” The person’s preferred name should be used even if it does not appear in official records. See Tangent 3.2 for guidance regarding individuals’ personal pronoun preferences.
For private figures, now-unused former names should be referenced only if necessary and relevant.
For public figures, well-known former names should be referenced along with the preferred name to clearly inform the reader that they refer to the same person. When writing about awards, publications, film or television credits, and the like, it should be made clear under which name they originally appeared.
(Replaces Chicago 7.1.)
For general matters of U.S. English spelling, refer to the following primary dictionary:
- Merriam-Webster.com (based on Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary) published by Merriam-Webster Inc.
If more than one spelling is given, or more than one form of the plural, the first form is usually preferred. Spelling and definitions in the primary dictionary should normally be considered prescriptive but should be used in accordance with recommended usage (see Tangent 3).
For further definitions or alternative spellings, the following secondary dictionaries may be consulted in the listed order of preference, but their guidance should not be considered prescriptive:
- American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Webster’s New World College Dictionary (via A.P. Stylebook Online) published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Lexico U.S. Dictionary (based on the New Oxford American Dictionary) published by Lexico.com and the Oxford University Press
For unusual words, rare usages, or etymologies, the following unabridged dictionaries may be consulted in the listed order of preference, but their guidance should not be considered prescriptive:
- Merriam-Webster Unabridged (based on Webster’s Third New International Dictionary) published by Merriam-Webster Inc.
- The Oxford English Dictionary published by the Oxford University Press
- Dictionary.com (based on Random House Unabridged Dictionary) published by Dictionary.com LLC and Random House Inc.
- Wiktionary (English) published by the Wikimedia Foundation
It may also be appropriate to consult topic-specific and special-use dictionaries, though their guidance also should not be considered prescriptive.
4.2: Capitalize the word “Internet”
(Corrects Chicago 7.80.)
The word “Internet” usually refers to a single, specific wide area network (WAN). It is a proper noun and should be capitalized (see Chicago 5.6). The word is used rarely in a generic sense to refer to a type of WAN, which instead should be called an internetwork. The Internet is an internetwork.
4.3: Color as shorthand for race or ethnicity
(Corrects Chicago 8.38.)
The names of colors are sometimes used as shorthand for racial or ethnic groups. “Black” and “white” are often used as shorthand for African (or African American) and European (or European American) respectively. “Brown” is increasingly used as shorthand for Latino, or as a “catch-all” term incorporating some or all African, Asian, Latino, and Middle Eastern races and ethnicities.
Historically, “yellow” and “red” have also been used as shorthand for Asian (or Asian American) and American Indian (or Native American), but these terms are now considered archaic or offensive.
Reducing race or ethnicity to skin color is overly simplistic and should be avoided. It is acceptable to use color as a shorthand for these complex realities, but only when it is widely accepted by members of the racial or ethnic group in question. Because colors are not proper names for any racial or ethnic group, they should not be capitalized.
5: Credibility and Corrections
5.1: Truth and accuracy
Credible nonfiction writing requires, above all else, a commitment to truth and accuracy. Never sacrifice truth or accuracy in the name of “political correctness” or “bias-free language.” Make every reasonable effort to avoid unnecessary offense, but it is better to write an offensive truth than an inoffensive lie.
5.2: Minor corrections
Grammar, style, and spelling corrections, and minor edits to improve clarity, do not need to be noted unless they cause a substantial change of meaning.
5.3: Substantial corrections
Changes to news pieces, factual corrections to opinion pieces, and grammar, style, and spelling corrections that cause a substantial change of meaning, must be clearly documented in an editor’s note.
If an error was discovered and reported by a reader, that reader should be identified and credited in the note unless they have requested anonymity. If the reader has requested anonymity, the correction should be credited to “an anonymous reader” or similar.
5.4: Live updating
A post that is being updated live should be marked as such and may be updated and corrected as new information becomes available without noting each individual change until the post is marked final.
6: Government, Politics, and Elections
6.1: U.S. and foreign civil titles
The civil title styles described in Chicago 8.22 are extended in Tangent. They should be used at the first reference to any elected or appointed U.S. political official, whether at the federal, state, or local level, who is currently serving in office. Parenthetically state the official’s political party and, if applicable, the political jurisdiction they represent.
Abbreviate U.S. political parties as described in Tangent 6.4. Spell-out the names of uncommon political parties not listed there. Identify candidates and officials with no party affiliation as independent (I).
Include the official’s represented jurisdiction—state, city, county, district, precinct, ward, or similar—separated from the political party with a single hyphen or dash. Abbreviate U.S. states and territories using their two-letter postal abbreviations (see Chicago 10.27). Label numbered legislative districts with the state abbreviation and the district’s ordinal numeral. Spell-out the names of other jurisdictions.
Examples of this style:
- President Donald Trump (R)
- Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
- Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-VA 10th)
- Loudoun County Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles)
Apply the same style described above to foreign political officials, but spell out the names of all political parties, even if they share a name with a U.S. political party. Also spell out the names of all political subdivisions.
Examples of this style:
- Russian President Vladimir Putin (United Russia)
- U.K. House of Commons Minister Stephen Kinnock (Labour-Aberavon)
Former political officials should be identified at first reference using the civil title styles described above prefaced with the word “former.” When an individual has held multiple civil offices, the highest of those offices should be used, even if it is not the office most recently held.
Examples of this style:
- Former President Barack Obama (D)
- Former Representative Barbara Comstock (R-VA 10th)
In the U.S., offices may be ranked according to the following order of precedence:
- President of the United States
- Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
- Presidential cabinet secretary
- Member of the U.S. Senate
- Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
- Governor of a U.S. state
- Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
- Other state-level elective office (such as Lieutenant Governor)
- Justice of a U.S. state supreme court or equivalent
- U.S. federal court judge
- Member of a U.S. state legislature
- Mayor of a city or equivalent
- State or local judge
- Member of a city council, county board, or equivalent
- Other offices, or highest military rank earned
6.2: Changes of political party
The civil title styles described above should refer to the political party under whose banner an official was elected or appointed to the office with which they are being identified. If the official subsequently changed party affiliation this may be noted in the text, but the parenthetical reference should not be changed until that official has been reelected or reappointed under that new banner.
If relevant, previous party affiliations may also be noted in the text. If an individual was elected as an independent but caucuses with or otherwise affiliates with a party while in office, this may be noted in the text, but the parenthetical reference should continue to identify the official as independent.
6.3: Election endorsements and results
Each candidate appearing on the official ballot in an election should be categorized in endorsements as a “major candidate” or “minor candidate.” Major candidates are those expected to receive five percent or more of the popular vote. Minor candidates are those expected to receive less than five percent of the popular vote.
Write-in candidates should be excluded from consideration unless they are expected to receive five percent or more of the popular vote. In these cases, write-in candidates expected to receive twenty-five percent or more of the popular vote should be categorized as “major candidates” and a those expected to receive five percent or more of the popular vote, but less than twenty-five percent, should be categorized as “minor candidates.”
In endorsements and recommendations, evaluate the candidates in the following order:
- Incumbent seeking reelection, regardless of major or minor status
- Major candidates, alphabetized by last name
- Minor candidates, alphabetized by last name
In news-style and tabular reporting of election results, list all candidates who appeared on the ballot in alphabetical order by last name, without regard for major or minor status or the ordering on the ballot itself. Write-in candidates are normally combined under “other,” but may be tabulated separately in post-election coverage.
6.4: U.S. political party names and abbreviations
The political party system in the United States, which is normally dominated by two major parties, dates to the earliest days of our independence. The dominant parties have changed over time, however, and numerous smaller parties have developed and sometimes had electoral success.
In Tangent, parties are broken down into several categories and abbreviated in a standard manner. In the interest of simplicity, parties that are closely related are categorized together. Details of these relationships may be described in the text if necessary.
Parties whose candidates have earned five percent or more of the popular vote in the most recent election for President of the United States, U.S. Senate from Virginia, or Governor of Virginia are considered “major parties” and may be abbreviated as follows:
- D: Democratic; incorporates:
- Jacksonian (1825-1828)
- Democratic (Jackson) (1828-present)
- R: Republican; incorporates:
- Free Soil (1848-1854)
- Opposition (Northern) (1854)
- Republican (Lincoln) [a.k.a. Grand Old Party, GOP] (1854-present)
- National Union (1864-1868)
Parties whose candidates have earned 0.1% or more of the popular vote in the most recent election for President of the United States, U.S. Senate from Virginia, or Governor of Virginia, but less than five percent, are considered “minor parties” and may be abbreviated as follows:
- C: Constitution; incorporates:
- U.S. Taxpayers’ (1991-1999)
- Constitution (1999-present)
- G: Green; incorporates:
- Association of State Green Parties (1996-2001)
- Green (2001-present)
- L: Libertarian; incorporates:
- Libertarian (1971-present)
Parties whose candidates have earned five percent or more of the popular vote in multiple past elections for President of the United States, U.S. Senate from Virginia, or Governor of Virginia, but that have since disbanded or no longer draw 0.1% or more of the popular vote, are considered “former major parties” and may be abbreviated as follows:
- DR: Democratic-Republican; incorporates:
- Anti-Administration (1789-1791)
- Republican (Jefferson) [a.k.a. Democratic-Republican] (1791-1825)
- DS: Democratic (Southern) (see note); incorporates:
- Constitutional Democratic (Breckinridge) (1860)
- Democratic (Davis) [a.k.a. CSA Democratic] (1861-1864)
- States’ Rights Democratic (Thurmond) [a.k.a. Dixiecrats] (1948)
- American Independent (Wallace) (1968)
- F: Federalist; incorporates:
- Federalist (1789-1824)
- RP: Reform; incorporates:
- Perot independents (1992)
- Reform (1995-present)
- S: Socialist; incorporates:
- Social Democratic (Debs) (1898-1901)
- Socialist (Debs) (1901-1972)
- Socialist (Zeidler) (1973-present)
- SD: Social Democratic; incorporates:
- Social Democratic (Waldman) (1936-1957)
- W: Whig; incorporates:
- National Republican [a.k.a. Anti-Jacksonian] (1825-1833)
- Whig (1833-1854)
- Opposition (Southern) (1858-1860)
- Constitutional Unionist (1860-1861)
Note: The party labeled “Democratic (Southern)” has never existed as a formal entity. This label represents the southern wing of the Democratic Party during periods where it operated independently or semi-independently from the mainline party organization.
Parties whose candidates have earned more than five percent of the popular vote in only one election for President of the United States, U.S. Senate from Virginia, or Governor of Virginia, or that are otherwise notable, are considered “other notable parties” and may be abbreviated as follows:
- AM: American [a.k.a. Native American, Know-Nothing] (1844-1860)
- CM: Communist (1919-present)
- PL: People’s [a.k.a. Populist] (1891-1908)
- PR: Progressive (Roosevelt) [a.k.a. Bull Moose] (1912-1916)
- PO: Progressive (La Follette) (1924-1934)
- RE: Readjuster (Virginia) (1877-1895)
- VC: Virginia Conservative (1965)
6.5: Names of U.S. government agencies
For the full names and preferred abbreviations of U.S. government departments, agencies, and other entities, refer to the following official government document:
- GPO Style Manual (2016 Edition) published by the U.S. Government Publishing Office
Adapt that guide’s style guidance as needed to conform with Tangent and Chicago.
7: Matters of Religion
7.1: Style and usage in matters of religion
(Modifies Chicago 8.91-111.)
In matters of religion, refer to the following topic-specific style and usage guide:
- CNS Stylebook on Religion (Fourth Edition) published by the Catholic News Service
The CNS guide is intended for writers using the A.P. Stylebook or another journalism style guide, so its style guidance is not compatible with Chicago and should be adapted. Its usage guidance, however, should normally be considered prescriptive except where it conflicts with Tangent.
7.2: Jewish and Christian Bible translations
The primary Christian holy book is the Bible, which is a compilation of books and letters that are traditionally divided into the Old and New Testaments. The primary Jewish holy book is the Tanakh, which is very similar to the Christian Old Testament but has some differences in translation and order. Most religious Jews and Christians believe, to varying degrees, that their scriptures are divinely inspired.
It is often preferable to refer to the Tanakh or Old Testament as the Hebrew Scriptures, and the New Testament as the Christian Scriptures, out of respect for the two faiths’ shared heritage. In Christian contexts, referring to them as the Old Testament and the New Testament is acceptable. In Jewish contexts, referring to the scripture as the Tanakh is also acceptable.
As the source for direct quotes from the Bible, and for prescriptive guidance on names and spellings of the books of scripture, refer to the following primary English translation:
- Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (RSV-CE) published by the National Council of Churches
For further detail and alternate interpretations, refer to the following secondary English translations of the Bible in the listed order of preference:
- Catholic Christian translations:
- Douay-Rheims Bible, Challoner Revision (DRB) translated by Bishop Richard Challoner
- New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) published by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine
- Protestant Christian translations:
- New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) published by the National Council of Churches
- English Standard Version (ESV) published by Crossway Books
- New Living Translation (NLT) published by Tyndale House Publishers Inc.
- Jewish translations (Tanakh or Old Testament only):
- JPS Tanakh (JPS) published by the Jewish Publication Society of America
- The Complete Tanakh (JP) translated by A.J. Rosenberg
- New JPS Tanakh (NJPS) published by the Jewish Publication Society of America
Catholic translations should be preferred for general scripture reference, but Protestant and Jewish translations may be consulted for comparative purposes, especially when discussing differences of interpretation between the Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religious sects.
For in-depth study of scripture, refer to the following translations and their parallel texts:
- The Knox Bible (Knox) with Greek and Latin Text (via New Advent) translated by Monsignor Ronald Knox
- A Hebrew-English Bible (via Mechon Mamre) translated according to the Masoretic Text and the JPS
The CNS Stylebook on Religion prefers the New American Bible, Revised Edition, whereas Tangent prefers the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. With this notable exception, the CNS Stylebook’s guidance on scripture, with adaptation for compatibility with Chicago, should generally be followed.
When referring specifically to the daily Mass readings of the Catholic Church, it may be preferable to quote directly from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States published by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, which is based primarily on the New American Bible, Revised Edition and contains the same texts read during Masses in the U.S.
7.3: Islamic Qur’an translations
The primary Islamic holy book is the Qur’an, which is a collection of chapters (or surahs) that most religious Muslims believe were dictated by God (or Allah) to Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel. “Qur’an” is the preferred spelling in the Tangent style. (Chicago prefers “Koran” and the CNS Stylebook on Religion prefers “Quran.”)
As the source for direct quotes from an English translation of the Qu’ran, and for prescriptive guidance on names and spellings from the Qur’an, refer to the following primary English translation:
- The Meaning of the Glorious Quran (Pickthall) translated by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall
For further detail and alternate interpretations, refer to the following secondary English translations of the Qur’an in the listed order of preference:
- English Translation of the Holy Quran (Muhammad Ali) translated by Maulana Muhammad Ali
- The Noble Quran (Hilali-Khan) translated by Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan
- The Holy Qur’an (Ali) with Arabic text translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali
According to traditional Islamic belief, only the original Arabic text is the Qur’an. When quoting from translations into other languages, state clearly that you are quoting from a translation of the Qur’an, not from the Qur’an itself.
7.4: Other religious texts
Most religious texts were originally composed in languages other than English. Translation of these texts into English requires interpretation, and no translation is perfect or universally accepted.
Generally, when quoting from or analyzing religious texts, it is preferable to use a translation made by and accepted by adherents of the faith. If no single translation is universally or nearly universally accepted, then a selection of the most widely accepted translations should be consulted. Outside scholarly translations may also be consulted if needed.
Religious beliefs should be treated with respect and deference as much as possible without sacrificing credibility or violating the principle of truth and accuracy (see Tangent 5.1).
8: Weights, Measures, and Time
8.1: General guidelines
Use United States standard weights and measures as defined by U.S. law and by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Detailed information about NIST standards can be found in the following documents:
- 15 USC Chapter 6, Subchapter I: Weights, Measures, and Standards Generally (§201-205)
- 15 USC Chapter 6, Subchapter II: Metric Conversion (§205a-205l)
- Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices (NIST Handbook 44) (2020 Edition) by the NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory
NIST defines and recognizes both the International System of Units (S.I. or metric system) and the U.S. Customary Unit System (imperial system). The use of either system is acceptable, but the S.I. system should generally be preferred except as described in Tangent 8.2.
8.2: When not to use the S.I. system
Although the S.I. system is generally preferred (see Tangent 8.1), in some cases other measurement systems should normally be used. Following are examples where non-S.I. measurements are preferred:
- Use feet to indicate aircraft altitude.
- Use nautical miles and knots to indicate air or sea distance and speed.
- Use miles and miles-per-hour to indicate U.S. highway distance and speed (but use kilometers and kilometers-per-hour for highway distance and speed in most other countries).
- Use degrees Fahrenheit to indicate temperature (but use Kelvin or degrees Celsius in scientific contexts).
8.3: Measuring time
Measure time according to U.S. law and U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards for the Eastern Time Zone (ET; UTC-5), including daylight saving time (UTC-4) from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.
Detailed information about the U.S. time standard can be found in the following documents:
- 15 USC Chapter 6, Subchapter IX: Standard Time (§260-267)
- NIST Time and Frequency Services (NIST SP 432) by the NIST Time and Frequency Division
9: Recognized Holidays
Mark important holidays with a special image and message appropriate for that holiday. If two or more holidays occur on the same day, those listed earlier in the following sections take precedence over those listed later.
Holidays to be marked include Catholic observances, U.S. federal holidays, Virginia state holidays, and personal and other holidays.
9.2: Catholic Christian holidays
Typical dates are listed below for each of these holidays. Observances may be moved in accordance with Canon Law, national norms, and determinations by local bishops. Always consult the Liturgical Calendar for the Dioceses of the United States of America, which is published annually by the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, and the Arlington Diocese web site to verify observance dates.
The following religious holidays should be observed:
- Holy days of obligation in the United States (Canon 1246 and U.S. Norms):
- Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God – January 1
- Ascension of the Lord – Sunday following forty days after Easter
- Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – August 15
- All Saints – November 1
- Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – December 8
- Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) – December 25
- Days of fasting and abstinence (Canon 1251):
- Ash Wednesday – forty-six days before Easter
- Good Friday – Friday before Easter
- Principal celebrations of the liturgical year (USCCB Calendar):
- Resurrection of the Lord (Easter) – first Sunday following the first full moon after March 21
- Pentecost Sunday – fifty days after Easter
- Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Sunday following sixty days after Easter
- First Sunday of Advent – fourth Sunday before Christmas
- Selected other Catholic observances (USCCB Calendar):
- Day of Prayer for Legal Protection of Unborn Children – January 22
- Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord – one week before Easter
- Holy Thursday – Thursday before Easter
- Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr – August 14
9.3: Federal and state holidays
Typical dates are listed below for each of these holidays. Observances may be moved in accordance with the law, especially when they fall on a weekend, so always consult the latest U.S. Office of Personnel Management list of federal holidays and the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management pay and holiday calendar to verify observance dates.
The following government recognized holidays should be observed:
- U.S. federal holidays (5 USC §6103):
- New Year’s Day – January 1
- Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. – third Monday in January
- Washington’s Birthday – third Monday in February
- Memorial Day – last Monday in May (36 USC §116)
- Independence Day – July 4
- Labor Day – first Monday in September
- Columbus Day – second Monday in October (36 USC §107)
- Veterans Day – November 11 (36 USC §145)
- Thanksgiving Day – fourth Thursday in November
- Christmas Day – December 25
- Virginia state holidays (Code of Virginia §2.2-3300):
- New Year’s Day – January 1
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day – third Monday in January
- George Washington Day – third Monday in February
- Memorial Day – last Monday in May
- Juneteenth—June 19 (E.O. 2020-66 [PDF])
- Independence Day – July 4
- Labor Day – first Monday in September
- Columbus Day & Yorktown Victory Day – second Monday in October
- Election Day – Tuesday after the first Monday in November
- Veterans Day – November 11
- Thanksgiving – fourth Thursday in November and the Friday following
- Christmas – December 24 and 25
9.4: Personal and other holidays
The following personal and other holidays should be observed:
- Personal and family observances:
- Wedding Anniversary – May 28
- Birthday – October 28
- Selected other holidays:
- Lunar New Year – day of the new moon between January 21 and February 20
- Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday – April 13 (36 USC §141)
- Flag Day – June 14 (36 USC §110)
- Patriot Day – September 11 (36 USC §144)
- Constitution Day and Citizenship Day – September 17 (36 USC §106)
- Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – December 7 (36 USC §129)
10: Law and Copyright
10.1: Civil law
Comply with all duly enacted, constitutionally permissible laws, ordinances, and regulations of the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Loudoun County, Virginia. There is no obligation to comply with laws, ordinances, and regulations that are enacted outside of the constitutional authorities granted to the government by the affirmative consent of the people, or those that conflict with the higher laws of God and nature.
Refer to the following official sources for these laws, ordinances, and regulations:
- U.S. laws and regulations:
- Constitution of the United States (Annotated) published by the Congressional Research Service
- United States Code published by the U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Law Revision Counsel
- Code of Federal Regulations published by the U.S. National Archives Office of the Federal Register
- Virginia laws and regulations:
- Constitution of Virginia published by the Virginia General Assembly
- Code of Virginia published by the Virginia General Assembly
- Administrative Code published by the Virginia General Assembly
- Loudoun County, Virginia, ordinances:
- County Ordinances published by Loudoun County
- Zoning Ordinances published by Loudoun County
10.2: Canon law
Comply with all duly enacted laws and norms promulgated by Holy See, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington.
Refer to the following official sources for these laws and norms:
- Code of Canon Law (English translation) published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana
- Complementary Norms for the United States published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Public Messages from the Bishop published by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington
In addition, give careful attention to Inter Mirificia, the decree on the media of social communications, promulgated by Pope Saint Paul VI on December 4, 1963.
Written content should generally be published under the following license:
Written content intended for sharing and reuse should generally be published under one of the less restrictive Creative Commons licenses. Content that must be more tightly restricted can be published under a standard “All Rights Reserved” license.
A distinction should be made between published content, which should be made available under the above terms, and web site style or design elements which can and should be more tightly restricted with appropriate copyright and trademark protections.