Week 114: America the Consistent?

As we continue our tour of Wikipedia's Manual of Style, we look at one thing you will see punctuated inconsistently throughout Wikipedia's massive array of articles: the very place many readers call home.

So what's the proper way to refer to the country that goes by United States of America, or United States, or America? The preferred abbreviation on Wikipedia, and in many stylebooks, is U.S., with full stops, no spaces. According to the Manual of Style, Wikipedia editors should not use US (with no full stops), or U S (with spaces), USA, US of A, or U.S. of A., unless part of a proper name (USA Today).

Other countries and multinational organizations forgo full stops: European Union (EU); North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); People's Republic of China (PRC); United Arab Emirates (UAE); United Kingdom (UK); United Nations (UN); and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).