Questions From Users of the Manual

Q: What is the difference between “percent” and “percentage”?

A: We regard “percent” as being a unit (equivalent to “kilograms”) and “percentage” as being a description of something that is measured in percent (equivalent to “weight”). As a rule of thumb, this would mean that “percent” (or the percent sign) would usually be used after a number: “In 10% of participants…” When discussing these values more broadly, “percentage” would be appropriate: “The percentages in Table 4 are from the study results in 2007.”

Q: When a percentage is associated with a drug, does it belong before the drug name or after it? The examples used in sections 15.4.9 and 15.4.10 seem to contradict each other.

A: Typically, the percentage would follow the drug name, as described in section 15.4.10: metronidazole lotion, 0.75%. The example in section 15.4.9 is slightly different as it describes the percentages of the components in a single product: “an artificial tear product containing 0.42% hydroxyethylcellulose and 1.67% povidone.”

Q: The 10th edition refers to both “press release” and “news release.” Are these used interchangeably or is there a distinction?

A: We consider these interchangeable terms, but in the next edition we may use “news release” exclusively because information is distributed well beyond print media.

Q: Do you drop the periods in the abbreviation LLC (limited liability company)? I see that you recommend dropping the period after Co (company) and Inc (incorporated) and wondered if this would be treated similarly.

A: Yes.

Q: Your manual (p 342) recommends that a colon not be used after because or forms of the verb include. Does this recommendation include situations in which the word include precedes a bulleted list?

A: Yes, it would be applicable whether the copy that follows the verb include precedes a bulleted list or run-in text. The key is that a verb should not be separated from its object or predicate nominative. For example, we would recommend the following:

There are many treatments for skin irritation. The treatment prescribed may include creams, sprays, and gels.

There are many treatments for skin irritation. The treatment prescribed may include

  • creams
  • sprays
  • gels

Another option would be the following:

There are many treatments for skin irritation: creams, sprays, gels.

—Cheryl Iverson, MA

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