UC Stylebook

This guide is designed to suggest consistent solutions to common problems faced by anyone writing about the University of Cincinnati. Professional communicators from across the university originally developed the style guide in 1994. It is updated regularly through the Division of Governmental Relations and University Communications.

UC Stylebook is intended as an adjunct to the Associated Press Style Guide and Libel Manual primarily and to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary secondarily. Some listings evoke grammar rules, and some address strictly style issues. When AP and M-W disagree, the listing here will usually point out which guideline we have followed.

In choosing AP style as a basis to follow, the original writers of UC's Stylebook did so to focus on external, general audiences. For some departments with specialized audiences, other stylebooks, including those required by particular academic disciplines, may be better choices. Whether or not everyone agrees with all the recommendations in this guide, its intent is to help us achieve consistency of style in our university-wide writing.

Additional resources

Questions or comments? Please email John Bach.


  • All information is listed in alphabetical order. Click a letter to go directly to that section.
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Spelling Checklist 


a or an

Use the article a before words pronounced with a beginning consonant sound, including a pronounced h, a long u and the word oneExamples: a historian, a horse, a hysterical joke, a union, such a one as this.

Use an before words pronounced with a beginning vowel sound and a silent h (which results in a vowel sound). Examples: an onion, an umbrella, an hour, an honest man.

When an article appears before an abbreviation, acronym or numeral, choose one based upon pronunciation. Examples: a UC student, a U.S. senator, an 11th hour project, an NKU collaboration.


Use American Association of University Professors on first reference.

An abbreviation is any shortened version of a word or phrase. Examples: Mrs. Dr., Ft. (fort), ft. (foot), St. (for street or saint), etc., ASAP. The two common forms of abbreviations are acronyms, initialisms and truncations. Words can also be abbreviated if they fall in the following categories:

  • Titles — Mr., Miss, Dr., Gov., Sr., Jr., Rev., Sen.
  • Mathematical units — in., ft., yd., oz., lb., Kg., m., mph, rpm

The use of periods and capital letters vary extensively. When an abbreviation falls at the end of a sentence, do not add another period. Example: We live in the U.S.

The addition of punctuation following an abbreviation at the end of the sentence is acceptable with it is punctuation other than a period. Example: Do you live in the U.S.?

Abbreviations are more commonly used in tabular material and technical writing. (See entries for academic degrees, acronymsbuildings, initialismstates, tabular material and truncation.)

academic degrees
  • Two-year undergraduate degrees are associate degrees (not a possessive word).
  • When referring to generic bachelor's or master's degrees, make them lowercase and possessive.
  • When referring to a specific degree by its full name, write Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, and so forth.
  • When referring to a doctorate or PhD, be careful. Every PhD is a doctorate, but not every doctorate is a PhD. Only use PhD if you are sure that is what the degree is. In general, use doctorate for the noun and doctoral for the adjective.
  • Consider your audience when deciding whether to abbreviate or spell out on first reference. If abbreviating, don't use periods (which is contrary to AP). Examples: BA, MA, MD, PhD.

The discipline in which the degree was earned also remains lowercase. Examples: bachelor of science in electrical engineering, master's degree in fine arts.

Do not routinely list all degrees in copy, but use as needed in the context.  MD and RN are the two degrees most often needed to clarify a person's position of medical authority.

If listing a degree is necessitated by the audience and the degree is listed after a name, it must be set off with commas. Example: John Joseph, MS in biology, will lead the discussion. Randall Smith, Eng ’94, will attend.

academic departments

Capitalize words in academic departments only when using the official department name or if proper nouns are being used. Examples: He is studying journalism in the English department, but also spends a lot of time picking up classes in the math department. She wants to earn a professional writing certificate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Academic Health Center
This term refers to UC's four health-related colleges (the College of Medicine, College of Allied Health Sciences, College of Nursing and the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy), as well as Hoxworth Blood Center. The colleges are located on the university's medical campus. (See entry for campuses. For teaching, patient-care and research affiliates of the Academic Health Center, see affiliates.)

academic ranks

The following are official full-time faculty ranks used at the university (from lowest to highest rank). Double-check any other ranks in the university telephone directory. This listing does not include part-time teachers who are usually called adjuncts or lecturers: instructor [in], assistant professor [of], associate professor [of], professor [of].

For librarians: beginning librarian, assistant librarian, associate librarian, associate senior librarian, senior librarian.

The following qualifiers, added to the above ranks, are used to denote faculty affiliation, but persons with qualified ranks are not eligible for tenure: field service, adjunct, research, clinical, visiting.

Very infrequently a professor is recognized for uncommon merit and achievement with one of the following ranks, reflecting affiliation not just with a particular department, but also with the entire university:

  • Distinguished Research Professor
  • Distinguished Teaching Professor
  • University Professor
  • Ohio Eminent Scholars — faculty brought to the university with the help of competitive grants awarded to the university by the Ohio Board of Regents Selective Excellence Program.
  • Endowed chairs — faculty positions that are funded with endowments established in honor of, and named after, distinguished individuals.
  • Emeriti — After faculty members retire from regular duties at the university, many of them, not all, are honored for their contributions by allowing them to continue to carry their academic titles. This is not a synonym for retired. See emeritus.

academic titles (See professor, titles.)

academic year
When referring to the academic year (August through May), use the format 2012-13. Do not capitalize fall semester or similar terms. (See years.)

accent marks
When writing copy for general audiences, accent marks generally are not used, which is in keeping with the AP guildeline that omits accent marks because they "won't transmit through computer systems." In academic copy, accent marks may be appropriate. Examples for general copy: Correct -- fiance, resume (a noun, as used for the document that accompanaies a job application), expose (a noun, as in "an expostion of facts"), crepe, creme, voila, facade, pina colada, naive. Incorrect -- fiancé, résumé, exposé, crêpe, crème, voilà, façade, piña colada, naïve.


An acronym is an abbreviation in which each letter represents the initial letter or letters of words given in a series. The letters form a new word that is pronounced as such (ASAP). Initialism, on the other hand, are pronounced as individual letters (FBI).

Periods are generally omitted unless doing so would spell an unrelated word. Acronyms are most often proper nouns, but not exclusively so. Examples: laser for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation,” ASAP for "as soon as possible."

In the case of most proper nouns, identify the complete series of words on first reference, and use the acronym only on second reference. Nevertheless, use an acronym only if an average reader is aware of its meaning.  If an acronym is not clearly understood, do not use it just to save space. Do not list an acronym in parentheses after the series of words. That is unnecessary if the acronym is recognizable.

Most acronyms may be written in all uppercase (according to AP Style, though Merriam-Webster takes precedence). Examples of acronyms:

  • CASE — an acronym for Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
  • GEARUP — an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.
  • Lindner Honors-PLUS — PLUS stands for Promise (as a business professional), Leadership (in school and community activities), Understanding (of the global marketplace and diverse cultures) and Success (through talent, commitment, dedication and effort).
  • CATapult — a partial athletics acronym in which the first three letters stand for"championships and academics together. 

(See entries for abbreviations, academic degrees, capitalization in company names, buildingsinitialismstates, tabular material,  truncation and the UC Idioms and Jargon website.)

Written uppercase with periods, although this reference is usually unnecessary. It stands for Anno Domini, Medieval Latin for in the year of the Lord. The abbreviation precedes the numeral because that is the way the unabbreviated words would be read. Example: in the year of the Lord 12, A.D. 12. (Conversely, B.C. follows a numeral. See B.C.)


Do not say old adage. There's no other kind.

addresses for editorial copy
The following guidelines are for using addresses in editorial copy:

  • Abbreviate St., Ave., Blvd. when using a numerical address. Examples: 2982 Main St., the Clifton Avenue building.
  • Spell out numbered streets nine and under. Examples: 5 Sixth Ave.; 3012 50th St.
  • For guidelines in abbreviating state names, see states
  • Campus addresses: When a single street address is needed for the entire University of Cincinnati, use the physical address of the Welcome Gate (gatehouse). Example: 2600 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45221. When referring to a post office box in editorial copy, place periods in the abbreviation P.O. Box.
  • When a correct street address is needed, refer to this website.

In tabular material or in a website footnote, it is acceptable to use the post office guidelines below. (See tabular material.)

addresses for post office use and tabular material

  • UC ZIP codes — UC's West Campus, East Campus and resident housing have their own ZIP codes:
    • 45221 for West Campus (excluding resident housing) and the College of Nursing
    • 45267 for East Campus (excluding the College of Nursing)
    • For residence hall addresses, see the Housing & Food Services website.
  • UC mail locations — Four-digit mail locations are used to send on-campus mail. To receive UC mail through the U.S. Postal Service, a P.O. box and nine-digit ZIP code are necessary. Each UC ZIP code is created by attaching the mail location to the end of the five-digit ZIP code. The P.O. box is the last six digits of the ZIP code.
    • West Campus: ML 0000 + 45221 = ZIP code 45221-0000 or PO Box 210000
    • East Campus: ML 0000 + 45267 = ZIP Code 45267-0000 or PO Box 670000
  • Format for USPS — The U.S. Postal Service requires a specific format for non-campus mail to accommodate its digital scanning technology. Most important on East Campus and West Campus where hundreds of mail locations exist, this format may help speed mail delivery. Postal Service scanners read only the bottom three lines. Regardless of how many lines in the address, the format for the last three is precisely as follows:

Name of Person 
Name of Department or Division
Building Name, Room Number
University of Cincinnati 
PO Box 21xxxx 
Cincinnati, Ohio 452xx-xxxx

Note that department, division or office names should be placed above "University of Cincinnati," not below it. Note, also, that no periods or commas are used in the last two lines of the address, including the PO abbreviation. In editorial copy in brochures and publications, however, insert proper punctuation -- periods in P.O. Box and a comma between a city and state.

  • Addresses for package delivery — When a street address is needed for a package delivery (such as UPS or FedEx), place the four-digit mail location in parentheses after your name or department name:

Name of Person 
Name of Department or Division (xxxx)
University of Cincinnati 
xxx Street Name
Cincinnati, Ohio 452xx

  • Regional campuses — For the U.S. Postal Service, the only UC colleges that use a street address are the following:

UC Blue Ash College 
9555 Plainfield Rd 
Blue Ash, Ohio 45236-1096

Clermont College 
4200 College Dr 
Batavia, Ohio 45103-0162

More information is available in from the University Architect's office (Excel file).

addresses in news releases

When writing news releases about faculty and students, use the person's home address, when appropriate, following the person's name and enclosed in parentheses. Do not use house numbers on press releases. For Greater Cincinnati addresses, use street names and ZIP codes only.

When referring to an address beyond Greater Cincinnati, use the street name, city, postal state abbreviation and ZIP code. Example: Hanna Avenue, Middletown, Ohio 45102.

adverse, averse

Adverse means unfavorable, contrary or hostile. Averse means having a strong feeling of opposition, antipathy or repugnance. Example: I was averse to taking my prescription, which created an adverse relationship with my doctor.

adviser, advisor

Use adviser for general purposes. Many times, however, advisor is preferred in academic references. Consider the audience.

affect, effect

Affect is almost always a verb (unless used as a psychological term). Effect is always a noun, unless you're effecting change.


Teaching, patient-care and research affiliates include University of Cincinnati Medical Center hospital, UC Health Drake Center, UC Health West Chester Hospital, UC Health University of Cincinnati Physicians, Lindner Center of Hope, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Shriners Hospital for Children–Cincinnati, Jewish Hospital and Christ Hospital.


Hyphenate. The term is acceptable for an American black person of African decent, but be careful not to apply it to all blacks. For instance, Caribbean descendants generally refer to themselves as Caribbean-Americans. The term black is also acceptable. Follow an individual's preference.


Always use figures. Examples: The student is 19 years old. The student, 24, has a daughter 6 months old. The policy is 4 years old.

Ages used as a noun or an adjective before a noun require hyphens. Examples: The 19-year-old student ran for office. The racetrack features 3-year-olds today. (See compound modifiers.)

An age range requires no apostrophe. Example: The instructor was in her 30s.


Written without periods, aka stands for "also known as." The phrase is set off with commas or parentheses, but punctuation does not immediately follow the letters aka. It is used to mention another name, such as aliases, nicknames and pen names. Example: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" was written by Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain.


Alas does not mean “finally,” such as, “Alas, I finally finished the project.” Instead, it means an expression of grief, such as, “Alas, my mother passed away last night.”

all, all of

Use the preposition of when the phrase all of is followed by a pronoun or a proper noun. Correct examples: all of your work, all of his effort, all of its contents fell out, all Americans. Incorrect: all your work.

When all is followed by a common noun, you may use of only if an article precedes the noun. Nevertheless, its use is discretionary. Acceptable: all of the ingredients, all the ingredients. Incorrect: all of ingredients.

all together, altogether

All together means together in a single group. Altogether means completely. Example: Let’s go all together. I’m altogether shocked at your response.

alphabetizing with numerals

For lists that contain words and one or a few numbers, alphabetize the list as if the numerals were spelled out (such as Ten Downing Street, below).

Sites to see in London:
Changing of the Guard
Houses of Parliament
Piccadilly Circus
10 Downing Street
Tower of London

four hamsters
14 goats
hairless wart hogs
three blind mice
truck full of cows

An exception could be argued if a list contained so many numbers and words that the writer preferred to place the numerals in ascending order prior to the alphabetized words. Such is the standard for Microsoft Word alphabetizing.

A shortened example:
6-foot board
20-ounce can of putty
5-pound bag of sand
6-by-9 tarp
box of nails

  •     Alumnus  refers to one male who attended a college or to a former student of unspecified gender.
  •     Alumna  refers to one female.
  •     Alumni  refers to two or more former students, all or some of whom are all male.
  •     Alumnae  refers to two or more females.
  •     People who attended UC, but did not graduate, may be called alumni.
a.m., p.m.

Lowercase with periods. Avoid redundancies such as 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. (See entry for time duration.)

American Indian

Preferred term to Native American, unless used in quotes or in reference to a specific organization.


Avoid, unless it is part of a company or institution's legal name. Examples: Procter & Gamble (P&G), McMicken College of Arts and Sciences. Note the acceptable second reference for the college is A&S.

an or a (See entry for a or an.)


Don't use together. Reword the sentence.

Never say first annual. It's redundant. Second annual is acceptable.

annual meeting
Lowercase in all uses.

Specific rules for this prefix follow:

  • If the root word begins with a vowel, insert a hyphen. Examplesanti-inflammatory, anti-aircraft)\.
  • If the root word is a proper noun, it is hyphenated. Examples: anti-American, anti-Christmas.
  • If the combined word was created to show a generic disfavor, use a hyphen. Examplesanti-communism, anti-pizza, anti-holidays.
  • Common words that begin with this prefix and have specific meanings of their own are not hyphenated. Examples: antibiotic, antipasto, antibody, antiperspirant, antidepressant, antidote, antifreeze, antiseptic, antihistamine, antiknock, antithesis, antimatter. (See prefixes.) The safe bet in using this prefix is to look it up in the dictionary.

any one, anyone

Any one means any one person or item. Anyone means anyone in a general sense. Examples: Does anyone really know what time it is? You can have one of the raffle prizes; pick up any one you would like.

anyway, any way

Any way is a noun and is always two words. Anyway is an adverb and always one word. Examples: Is there any way out of this mess? (substitute “a way”) I hate those kinds of problems, but I’ll help you anyway.

anxious, eager

Anxious implies fear or concern for a negative impact. Eager is the positive term.

area codes

Use this format: 513-556-5225.

The word means "many would argue." It does not present a very strong case for an argument.


Preferred over Asiatic or Oriental when referring to people.



assume, presume

Assume means to suppose to be true without proof. Presume means to take for granted in the absence of proof to the contrary. Presume can also mean "take excessive liberties," as in the adjective form presumptuous.

assure, ensure, insure

Assure means to give someone confidence. Ensure means to make certain. Insure means to guarantee against loss (as in to issue an insurance policy). Example: The boss assures me that he will hire the right person because doing so will ensure the company continues.


A person legally empowered to act for another, usually but not always a lawyer. Lawyer is a generic term for anyone admitted to the bar to practice law. Consult AP Stylebook for a more detailed explanation.


Use fall semester.

awake, awoke, awaked

Awoken is not a word.


Capitalize the word award or medal only if it is part of a proper name. Abbreviate all other uses. Examples: President’s Excellence Award, faculty awards, the gold medal, the Taft Enhancement Fellowship award.

awhile, a while
A while is always a noun. Awhile is always an adverb. Example: Learning the new program takes a while, but if you wait awhile, I’ll help you.



bachelor's degree (See entry for academic degrees.)

Written uppercase with periods. It stands for before Christ. The abbreviation follows the numeral because that is the way the unabbreviated words would be read. Example: in the year 125 before Christ, 125 B.C. (Conversely, D.D. precedes a numeral. See A.D.)

B.C.E. (before the common era) and C.E. (common era) may be appropriate in some professional publications, but they are not the standard for general-interest audiences.

because, due to, since, as

  • Because indicates a specific cause-and-effect relationship and is always followed by both a noun and verb. Example: I am recording this example because I can’t keep the rule straight.
  • Due to introduces an adjective phrase that modifies a noun. Example: I record this example due to my poor memory.
  • Since and because are not synonyms. Since can only be used to convey "a reason for something" if the word introduces a duration of time. Example: Since I broke my foot, I'm no longer going to the gym. Not: Since he is dyslexic, he pays close attention to his computer's spell-check.
  • As is a poor substitute for the above words unless you want to tone down the reason. Even the word for is better substitute than as.

Generally no hyphen. Examples: bimonthly, bilateral, bilingual.

biannual, biennial

Biannual is twice a year or semiannual. Biennial is every two years.

Big East Conference

Upper and lowercase all three words. This contradicts the way the conference writes BIG EAST Conference.

bimonthly, biweekly

Means every other month or week. Sometimes confused with semimonthly and semiweekly. But for readability, twice a month is preferred to semimonthly; likewise twice a week is preferred to semiweekly.


Acceptable for a person of the black race, according to AP Stylebook. Can be used interchangeably with African-American if you are sure the person is an American with African heritage.

branch campus

Preferred term is "regional campus" when referring to UC Blue Ash College or Clermont College.

branding (See entries for logo and seal, also.)
In 2002, the university adopted a consistent and coherent way to verbally and visually present itself to the public. For details, visit UC's Branding Initiative online. All uses of the university logo and seal are overseen by the University Brand Review Committee, headed by Angela Klocke.

Britain (See United Kingdom.)

buildings, facilities
Be mindful of your audience when naming campus buildings and facilities. In many cases, an abbreviated name commonly used on campus would be misunderstood by external audiences. Below are the names of buildings or facilities that can be confusing. In some instances, the complete official name includes a middle initial. Although the UC stylebook generally omits a middle initial (see entry for initials), they are included here because they are part of an official name. Use your own discretion in determining which wording works best for your audience.

When appropriate, use full names on first reference. For use on campus, however, certain unit, building and program names can be abbreviated on first reference if they are readily understood.

(Also, see entry for signature architect buildings. More information is available at the Campus Building Directory.)

The following are official names for some UC buildings. In some instances, their accepted abbreviations, locations and the first name of the honoree are listed, as well:

  • 60 W. Charlton Building — the former Sander Dining Hall
  • 840 Gallery — room 840 at the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
  • Alms — an original DAAP building, aka Frederick and Eleanora Alms Building
  • Annie Laws Drawing Room — room 410, Teachers College
  • Aronoff Center for Design and Art — Aronoff Center (Stanlely Aronoff)
  • Baur Room — room at CCM
  • Bearcat Plaza — a three-level outcropping on the north side of TUC
  • Blegen Library — houses Archives and Rare Books Library, Department of Classics and others (Carl Blegen)
  • Braunstein Hall — also known as Old Physics (John Braunstein)
  • Brodie Gallery — room 615J, Rieveschl Hall (in the Brodie Science Complex)
  • Brodie Science Complex — includes several buildings, George Rieveschl Hall (formerly Brodie A1), Crosley Tower, Rhodes Hall and Zimmer Auditorium
  • Calhoun Street Garage — formerly Calhoun Garage
  • Campus Green — the lawn area east of the Alumni Center
  • Campus Green Drive Garage — formerly CBA Garage
  • Campus Recreation Center — Campus Rec Center on second reference
  • CARE/Crawley — Center for Academic and Research Excellence/Crawley Building, connected to the Medical Sciences Building
  • CCM Boulevard Garage — CCM Garage
  • Champion’s Walkway — part of the Sheakley Athletic Complex
  • Charles M. Barrett Center for Cancer Treatment and Research — Barrett Center
  • Clifton Court Garage — formerly Brodie Garage
  • Cohen Family Studio Theater — CCM's small black box theater with flexible seating (Dolly and Ralph Cohen)
  • Corbett Auditorium — the College-Conservatory of Music's large 738-seat performance hall (J. Ralph and Patricia Corbett)
  • Corbertt Center for the Performing Arts — part of the CCM Village (J. Ralph and Patricia Corbett)
  • Patricia Corbett Theater — CCM's smaller 400-seat theater
  • Corry Boulevard Garage — Corry Garage, located in the Edwards Center
  • DAA Addition — one of the buildings that make up the DAAP complex
  • Darwin Turner Hall — part of the Jefferson Residence Hall
  • Dieterle Vocal Arts Center — formerly Schmidlapp Hall, located in the CCM  Village (Louise Dieterle Nippert)
  • Dyer Hall — formerly Old Biology (Elizabeth Dyer)
  • Ed Jucker Court — basketball court of Fifth Third Arena in the Shoemaker Center
  • Edwards Center — contains four separate sections, each with its own front-door entrance on W. Corry Boulevard: Edwards One, Edwards Two, Edwards Three, Edwards Four. Corry Garage is also part of the Edwards Center. (Vera Edwards)
  • Engineering Research Center — also known as the ERC, which is acceptable upon second reference
  • Fifth Third Arena — consists of Ed Jucker Court, 13,176 seats, 16 private executive suites and a restaurant and lounge that overlook the court — all located in the Shoemaker Center. Fifth Third Arena is the preferred reference for the location of basketball games.
  • Fifth Third Terrace — part of the Sheakley Athletic Complex
  • Hastings L. and William A. French Building — houses the College of Allied Health Sciences, the former Shriners Burns Institute, aka the French Building
  • French Hall — located on West Campus (Herbert Greer French)
  • James and Joan Gardner Family Foundation Field — the large field of the Sheakley Athletic Complex
  • Geology-Physics Building — hyphenated
  • Gettler Stadium — the track and soccer complex (Ben and Dee Gettler)
  • Jefferson Residence Hall Complex — comprises Schneider Hall and Turner Hall
  • Kingsgate Circle Garage — Kingsgate Garage
  • Kingsgate Conference Center — the Marriott facility on East Campus
  • Kresge Auditorium -- College of Medicine's large lecture and performance hall, located on E-level of the Medical Sciences Building at the Albert Sabin Way entrance
  • Langsam Library — main library on Woodside Drive (Walter Langsam)
  • Carl H. Lindner Hall — Lindner Hall, two n's, houses the Carl H. Lindner College of Business
  • Richard E. Lindner Center — Varsity Village's athletics center
  • MainStreet — uppercase S, no space. A corridor that begins at the University Pavilion, includes TUC, the Student Life Center and the Student Recreation Center, then concludes at the Jefferson Residence Complex. It also includes the open spaces of McMicken Commons, Bearcat Plaza, the Mews and Sigma Sigma Commons.
  • Marge Schott Stadium — the baseball stadium
  • MarketPointe at Siddall — the dining room at Siddall
  • Medical Sciences Building — s at the end of Sciences; aka MSB
  • Mews — a secluded open space between Swift Hall the Steger Student Life Center
  • Mick and Mack — k on both names
  • Morgens Residence Hall — (Howard J. Morgens)
  • Robert Werner Recital Hall — located on the third level of CCM's Emery Hall
  • Russell C. Myers Alumni Center — alumni center, not the alumni house
  • Procter Hall — e, not o
  • Rieveschl Auditorium — located in the Vontz Center (George Rieveschl)
  • Rieveschl Hall — located between Langsam Library and the DAAP complex (George Rieveschl)
  • Room 525, Old Chemistry — a large lecture hall on West Campus
  • Herman Schneider Residence Hall — part of the Jefferson Residence Hall Complex
  • Marge Schott Stadium — the baseball stadium
  • Sears building — Colloquial name for the Campus Services Building at 2900 Reading Rd., formerly a Sears store.
  • Myrl H. Shoemaker Multipurpose Center — the Shoemaker Center, aka the Shoe, houses the Fifth Third Arena and support services for each of the Bearcat sports teams, including the women's basketball offices, meeting rooms, locker rooms and related facilities.
  • Siddall Residence Hall — located behind the old YMCA building (Helen Siddall)
  • Sigma Sigma Commons — the Tower of Light and amphitheater near French Hall (Sigma Sigma Fraternity)
  • Sheakley Athletics Complex — the football practice field, formerly known as the Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex (Raymond D. Sheakley)
  • Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center — Steger Student Life Center
  • Tangeman University Center — TUC on second reference
  • Teachers College — the building name, not the college name; no apostrophe
  • University Avenue Garage — formerly Scioto-Jefferson Garage
  • University Commons — the green space behind the Kingsgate Center
  • University Hall — on East Campus
  • University House at Edgecliff Point — the president's residence
  • University Pavilion — on West Campus
  • Asa and Julia Van Wormer Hall — Van Wormer Hall (formerly the Administration Building)
  • Richard E. Lindner Varsity Village — Varsity Village
  • Vera Clement Edwards Center — Edwards Center
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center — no apostrophe
  • Veterans Bridge — The bridge between TUC and CCM.
  • Albert H. Vontz Center for Molecular Studies — Vontz Center
  • Walter C. Langsam Library — Langsam Library, UC's central library
  • Wolfson — an original DAAP building
  • Woodside Drive Garage — formerly Library Garage
  • Zimmer Auditorium — Brodie Science Complex's large lecture/presentation facility



UC has several campuses that are designated as follows:

  • Center Hill Campus — The Center Hill Research Center comprises UC's Large Scale Test Facility, Combustion Research Laboratory, High Temperature Erosion Lab, Gas Turbine Simulation Lab and Leather Industries Research Building. The center is located at 5997 Center Hill Ave., Cincinnati.
  • UC Clermont College — UC's regional campus in Clermont County, referred to by address: 4200 College Dr., Batavia, Ohio 45103-0162.
  • East Campus — The same as the medical campus, which is the preferred usage. (See below.)
  • medical campus — This comprises the Academic Health Center (which consists of the buildings associated with the colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and allied health sciences), as well as Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center, University of Cincinnati Medical Center hospital, Hoxworth Blood Center, UC Health Physicians Office — Clifton and the Charles M. Barrett Center for Cancer Research and Treatment. Usage preferred over the term "east campus." See affiliates for teaching and research affiliates.
  • Reading Campus — The UC-owned buildings at 2180 E. Galbraith Rd. in Reading, Ohio, formerly known as the Genome Research Institute. The UC Metabolic Diseases Institute is the primary research program at this campus.
  • UC Blue Ash College UC's regional campus in Blue Ash, referred to by address: 9555 Plainfield Rd., Blue Ash, Ohio 45236-1096.
  • Uptown Campus  East Campus and West Campus combined. Replaces the outdated term Central Campus. 
  • Victory Parkway Campus  The site of the former College of Applied Science. The street address is preferred for off-campus communication: 2220 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45206-0103.
  • West Campus  All academic colleges in the area bounded by Martin Luther King Drive, Jefferson Avenue, Calhoun Street and Clifton Avenue. It is often referred to as the Clifton Campus, which derives from its location along Clifton Avenue, but the area is not in Clifton, and that name is to be avoided.

Avoid these terms:

  • Main campus — Sounds as if campuses are on a hierarchy. Use the term Uptown Campus instead.
  • Branch campus — Sounds like a secondary campus. Use the term regional campus instead.

cancer institutes and centers

  • Charles M. Barrett Center for Cancer Research and Treatment
    A building on the UC medical campus located between the UC Health Physicians Office — Clifton and University of Cincinnati Medical Center. It opened in 1988. Much of the outpatient cancer services of the UC Medical Center are located here. The building is named for Charles Barrett, MD '39, once chairman and CEO of the Western-Southern Life Insurance Co. and chairman of the UC Board of Trustees.
  • Cincinnati Cancer Center
    This is a joint cancer program involving the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The collaborative initiative brings together interdisciplinary research teams of caring scientists and health professionals to research and develop new cures, while providing a continuum of care for children, adults and families with cancer.
  • University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute
    Part of the Cincinnati Cancer Center, the UC Cancer Institute organizes cancer adult patient care, research and education missions within the College of Medicine and throughout patient-care settings in UC Health, including adult cancer-care services provided at the Barrett Cancer Center, the UC Health Physicians Office — Clifton, the UC Health Physicians Office North, Precision Radiotherapy in West Chester and UC Health West Chester Hospital.


Capitalize only proper names. Avoid capitalizing generic terms (such as university, college, professor, faculty, administration, student life). Always be sure to include UC or the University of Cincinnati in the name if the context does not make it obvious. Specific examples follow:

  • awards — Always lowercase the word award when not used as part of an official name: the awards committee, the writing award, the A.B. Dolly Cohen Award
  • academic calendar — Do not capitalize academic terms: fall semester.
  • academic departments/subjects — Do not capitalize academic subjects unless a word is a proper noun: His favorite courses are archaeology and English. Capitalize words in academic departments only if they are proper nouns or they compose the official department name: He is studying journalism in the English department. She wants to earn a professional writing certificate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.
  • acronyms — See separate listing for acronyms.
  • administrative offices — Do not capitalize units unless using the full proper name of the department: She is a photographer for University Relations. The Office of the President will be closed on Labor Day. The library staff held a party. She works in radiology. 
  • athletic teamsUniversity of Cincinnati Bearcats, the Bearcats, the Cats, are all acceptable in context. Also do not capitalize the sport: Bearcat football, Bearcat football team. Both men's and women's teams are known simply as the Bearcats (not the Lady Bearcats).
  • Big East Conference — Upper and lowercase all three words. This contradicts the way the conference writes BIG EAST conference.
  • centers — Always lowercase the word center when not used as part of a proper name: the conference center, the UC Career Development Center.
  • class titles — Use lowercase: sophomore, senior.
  • colleges — Capitalize only full proper names of colleges: UC College of Law, UC’s law college, the college, the colleges of law and medicine.
  • committee names — Capitalize full proper names of officially established committees. Lowercase otherwise: the Academic Coordinating Committee, the editorial committee.
  • company, product names — See separate entry for company, corporate, product names. (Also, see acronyms.)
  • degrees — Lowercase: bachelor of arts, master's degree, doctorate. 
  • departments — Do not capitalize generic department names: He is studying archaeology in the classics department. Or, Good resources are found in UC archives. Capitalize departments only when the official proper name is used: A new professor joined the UC Department of History. Visitors to the University Libraries should take time to check out the Archives and Rare Books Department. Also, always remember to capitalize individual proper names: English department.
  • divisions — Capitalize full proper names; lowercase unofficial division names: the Division of Student Affairs and Human Resources, the human resources division.
  • events — The name of some events can serve as either generic or proper names, particularly the words homecoming and commencement. To determine if they are being used as proper names, which would require capitalization, notice if you can structure the sentence without using an article: We are attending Homecoming. We are attending the homecoming. For comparison, this is similar to the following two sentences: That's my dad. That's Dad.
  • headlines — See entry for headlines.
  • offices — Do not capitalize units unless using the full proper name of the department: She works in the Disabilities Services Office. The Office of the President will be closed on Labor Day. The library staff held a party. She works in radiology. 
  • programs — Lowercase all common names. Correctcomputer science, interior design, musical theater.
    Also, some units write programs names in all uppercase letters even though the letters do not form an acronym, do not stand for anything and are not pronounced. For consistency of style, units other than those related to the program may choose to write the program name with only a single capitalized letter. Before doing so, be sure an acronym is not at play. Correct: GEARUP (which is an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). Subject to discretion: Advance program or ADVANCE (an African American, professional development, student organization at UC).
  • proper names — Capitalize the full proper name such as the Charles McMicken Society. On second reference, lowercase the shorter form: the society. More examples:
    • University of Cincinnati, the university
    • College of Law, the college
    • Institute for Policy Research, the institute
    • 14th Annual Cincinnati Conference on Romance Languages and Literatures, the conference
    • American Medical Association, the association
    • Ohio Board of Regents, the regents
    • University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees, the board
  • schools — Capitalize full proper names of schools: School of Architecture and Interior Design, the school.
  • titles — Lowercase and spell out most titles relating to people: professor Jim Lange, coach Paul Brown, department head Joan Russell, astronaut Neil Armstrong. (See more examples under titles, publication titles and composition titles.)
  • university — Uppercase only the full proper name: University of Cincinnati, the university, the universities of Cincinnati and Indiana.

(Also see abbreviations, acronyms, capitalization in company names.)


The commitment by UC Athletics to win a Big East championship in every sport in five years — a goal that takes the Bearcats through 2011.


Preferred word is white because common ancestry related to the Caucasus Mountains region should not be assumed.

C.E. (common era) and B.C.E. (before the common era) may be appropriate in some professional publications, but they are not the standard for general-interest audiences. Use B.C. and A.D.

centers and institutes

Capitalize center names when names are used in their entirety. Lowercase the word center when used alone. Use full name for first reference. Examples of preferred second references follow in parentheses:

  • Arlitt Child and Family Research and Education Center (Arlitt Center)
  • Center for Academic Research Excellence (CARE)
  • Center for Reproduction of Endangered Wildlife (CREW)
  • Center for the Study of the Practice of Architecture (CSPA)
  • Goering Center for Family/Private Business (Goering Center)
  • Helen Weinberger Center for the Study of Drama and Playwriting (Weinberger Center)
  • Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR)
  • Institute for Policy Research (IPR)
  • Manney Language and Research Center (Manney Center)
  • University of Cincinnati Information Technology (UCIT)

Always use numerals. Write out the word when there is no dollar figure. Do not use zeros after the dollars to indicate no cents. Examples: 5 cents, $10.59, $25.


Lowercase. Use the 20th century, not the 1900s.
Takes a hyphen when used as a compound modifier. Example: 20th-century writers.


Chief executive officer can be referred to as a CEO on first reference, but all other C-level positions should be spelled out the first time. Abbreviations can always be used on second reference. Use is tabular material could be an exception. (See tabular material entry.)


Preferred over chairperson. Chairman and chairwoman are also acceptable, especially if it is the preference of the person.


(Updated October 2016)
Capitalize official names, including separate political entities such as East St. Louis, Illinois, or West Palm Beach, Florida. The preferred form for a section of a city is lowercase: the west end, northern Los Angeles. But capitalize widely recognized names for the sections of a city: South Side (Chicago), Lower East Side (New York).

Capitalize city if part of a proper name, an integral part of an official name or a regularly used nickname: Kansas City, New York City, Windy City, City of Light, Fun City. Lowercase elsewhere: a Texas city, the city government, the city Board of Education, the city of Boston.

Capitalize when part of a formal title before a name: City Manager Francis McGrath. Lowercase when not part of the formal title: city Health Commissioner Frank Smith.

Regardless, the following cities are so well known that they do not need to be followed by a state name: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco. (See also states.)

For cities outside of the United States, follow the name of a city with the country in which it resides. The following cities, however, are so well known that including the name of its country is unnecessary: Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bangkok, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Djibouti, Dublin, Geneva, Gibraltar, Guatemala City, Havana, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Kuwait City, London, Luxembourg, Macau, Madrid, Milan, Monaco, Montreal, Moscow, Munich, New Delhi, Panama City, Paris, Prague, Quebec City, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, San Marino, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vatican City, Vienna, Zurich.

clinical trials

The U.S. National Institutes of Health explain that clinical trails are conduced in four phases, denoted by Roman numerals -- Phase I, Phase II, Phase III and Phase IV. Phase IV takes place after the Federal Drug Administration has approved a medication. Phase III is the last phase before approval.


Lowercase, as in "cloud computing" or "cloud technology" for collecting data using remote servers.


Retain the hyphen when forming nouns, adjectives and verbs that indicate occupation or status: co-author, co-chairman, co-defendant, co-host, co-owner, co-partner, co-pilot, co-sponsor, co-star, co-worker.

Use no hyphen in other combinations: coed, coeducation, coequal, coexist, coexistence, cooperate, cooperative, coordinate, coordination, copay.


No hyphen. Short for coeducational. The word is no longer used to talk about a female student.

collective nouns

Some words can be singular or plural, depending upon their usage. Collective nouns can take a singular verb when they denote a single unit, but they can take a plural noun when they denote individual items. Examples:

  • The faculty is meeting today. (as a unit)
  • Many faculty are working on their projects this weekend. (individual members)
  • A million dollars is a large request. (a unit)
  • A million dollars were collected. (individual items)

colleges, degree-granting units
The university has 13 colleges and 14 degree-granting units. This is the list of official names of colleges and the one other degree-granting unit, with the acceptable second reference where applicable:

  • Carl H. Lindner College of Business — Lindner College of Business upon second reference
  • College of Allied Health Sciences — includes the School of Social Work
  • College-Conservatory of Music — CCM (note hyphen in entire name)
  • College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning — DAAP (Comma after Art is an exception to the punctuation rule; see entry for commas, in a series.)
  • College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services — CECH, not Teachers College, which is the name of a building (Comma after Justice is an exception to the punctuation rule; see entry for commas, in a series.)
  • College of Engineering and Applied Science — CEAS
  • College of Law (not the Law School)
  • College of Medicine — The college, the UC Medical Center and medical campus are not synonymous.
  • College of Nursing
  • James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy — Winkle College of Pharmacy upon second reference
  • Graduate School
  • McMicken College of Arts and Sciences — A&S
  • UC Blue Ash College — UC Blue Ash is acceptable on second reference. UCBA should be used for internal reference only (formerly Raymond Walters College or RWC, but this language should be avoided)
  • UC Clermont College — UC Clermont

(Also, see references in the entry for capitalization.)


Capitalize the first word following the colon if it begins a complete sentence or is a proper noun. Examples: The goal was simple: Keep customers first. / Three words best describe the day: wet, dreary, disappointing.


  • in numbers — Use commas in numbers of four digits or more. Examples1,248 or 47,193.
  • in a series — Do not use a comma before the word and in a series, unless the sentence structure is so complex that a comma keeps its meaning clear. ExamplesRed, white and blue Popsicles are my favorites. The list of evidence includes a knife with fingerprints on it, cigarette butts and ashes, and a matchbook. ExceptionsCollege of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning; College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services
  • with semicolons — When writing a series of items in which at least one of the items contains an internal comma, then you need to place semicolons between each item, and you must include a semicolon before the conjuction. Example: They will honor Mary Smith, communication professor; Bob Brown, engineer; and Barb Jones, nursing alumna.
  • with adjectives — See coordinate adjectives.
  • with Jr. or Sr. — Do not use in names. ExampleRon Culhane Jr.
  • with dates and times — Offset the date with commas, but not the time. ExampleThe president will address the faculty at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, in Great Hall. 
  • with "which" — Phrases beginning with the word which are non-essential clauses. Place commas before and after the phrase. ExampleMy car, which is a Ford, needs new tires. (See that, which.)
  • in phrases giving times, distances, measurements — Do not use commas. ExamplesHe was 6 feet 4 inches tall. She ran the relay in 2 minutes 3 seconds.
  • to indicate missing words -- Use a comma to indicate that words are missing from a phrase. ExampleAmong UC’s graduate programs, DAAP is nationally known for interior design; CCM, for opera/voice.
  • in compound sentences —  If two independent clauses are joined with a conjunction, a comma must come before the conjunction. Examples: The dean is serving an outdoor lunch, and it is free. You can come along, but we have a long drive ahead of us.

company, corporate, product names (See also trademarks.)
In general, follow the spelling and capitalization used by the company. Examples: inCircle, eBay, iPod, MasterCard, Macintosh, Kmart. Additional treatments of company names follow:

  • capitalization in company names
    • first letter -- Regardless of corporate policy, always capitalize the first letter of all sentences.
    • word "the" -- Lowercase the before a company name regardless of the company’s preference, unless doing so makes the name confusing. This style recommendation is adopted outside of Associated Press guidelines and in alignment with “The Chicago Manual of Style” because using an uppercase the creates three problems. 1) It looks like a typographical error in many instances. 2) It is too difficult to know which companies officially used the capital T. 3.) It opens the door for worrying about making other articles part of a proper name (e.g., a or an). Examples: Procter & Gamble, Gannett Co., Microsoft Corp., the Kroger Co., the Cincinnati Enquirer, General Electric Aircraft Engine Group.
    • all letters in a name -- Regardless of corporate policy, do not use all capital letters in a corporate name unless all the letters are pronounced. Correct: Big East (not BIG EAST), Imax (not IMAX), Ikea (not IKEA). Also correct: BMW, IBM, ESPN. When using a genuine acronym, be sure to explain what the letters stand for on first reference.
  • ampersands in company names -- Use ampersands as the official company or product name dictates.
  • abbreviations in company names -- Abbreviate Co. and Corp. Delete references to Ltd. or Inc., unless doing so makes the name confusing. When one needs to use Inc. or Ltd., do not use a comma before the abbreviation even if it is used in the formal name. Use the same guideline for the following abbreviations: LLC (limited liability corporation), LLLP (limited liability limited partnership), LC (limited company), PLLC (professional limited liability company), PL (professional limited company), LP (limited partnership), LLLP (limited liability limited partnership), PC (professional corporation).
  • graphic elements in company names -- Although clever graphic elements may be part of a company’s logo, editorial content never uses typographic symbols or unusual fonts in a name, including exclamation points, quotation marks, plus signs, asterisks, bold type or italic type. Incorrect: Yahoo!, Toys”R”Us, E*Trade. Correct: Yahoo, Toys R Us, E-Trade.


  • Many of these guidelines have been implemented because editorial text, when treated as a graphic element, often looks like a typographical error to readers and is almost impossible for a proofreader to know what is correct. UC is adopting AP Style on this.
  • To check on the formal names of many companies, consult the national stock exchanges: New York Stock Exchange (www.nyse.com), Nasdaq (www.nasdaq.com) or the American Stock Exchange (www.amex.com).
  • (See entries for law firms and publication titles, too.)

compare to, compare with

  • When you compare to, you look at the similarities. Example: UC Magazine has been compared to Rutgers’ magazine.
  • When you compare with, you look at differences or a combination of similarities and differences. Example: When you compare UC Magazine with Notre Dame’s magazine, you find both are excellent publications for their audiences, yet not for each other’s audience.
compose, comprise, constitute

The whole comprises the parts. The parts compose or constitute the whole. The whole is composed of the parts. Never use the phrase comprised of. Consult AP stylebook for more information.

composition titles (See entry for publication titles, also.)
Use these guidelines for the titles of books, movies, operas, plays, poems, songs, television programs, lectures, speeches and works of art:

  • Capitalize all principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. 
  • Capitalize articles (the, a, an) and all shorter words if they are the first or last words in a title. Do not omit the first articles.
  • Put quotation marks around the names of all such works except the Bible and books that are primarily catalogs of reference material. In addition to catalogs, this category includes almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers, handbooks and similar publications. Do not use quotation marks around such software titles as WordPerfect or Windows. Note: When listing series of two or more related publications — for example, a chapter in a volume of a series of books — using these guidelines can result in a too many quotation marks. In these cases, use quotations around the smallest subset of the series and no quotation marks around subsequent larger parts of the set.
  • In general, translate a foreign title into English unless the work is generally known by its foreign name. Examples: Wagner's operas "Die Walküre" and "Gotterdammerung." Consider carefully the extent to which foreign titles will be generally known for your particular audience. 
  • For course names, capitalize only, use no quotation marks or italics.

compound modifiers
When two or more modifiers express a single concept before a noun, link the modifiers with hyphens. Examples: long-term assignment, full-scale investigations, small-business owner, part-time or full-time worker. But: She works part time.

The point is to clarify which word modifies which word. Examples: Squad helps dog bite victim. Squad helps dog-bite victim.

  • Words ending in ly -- An exception is very or words ending in ly, which are never hyphenated. Examples: very good food, organically grown food.
  • Understood words -- Another exception occurs when two words are so commonly associated together that no confusion would occur. Examplereal estate agent.
  • Campus differences -- There is one instance in which the East Campus and West Campus could arguably handle this differently involves using "health care" as a compound modifier. Health-care system is appropriate, but if an audience is quite accustomed to such phrases, it works as an open compound without the hyphen. Systems biology program is another example. The audience's familiarity should be the guide.
  • Numbers -- For compound modifiers involving numbers, generally, hyphenate a compound modifier consisting of a cardinal number and a unit of measure. Do not hyphenate a compound modifier that contains "percent," which is not a unit of measurement. Example: 100-calorie snacks, 80-MB hard drive, 2-inch margins, 2-quart pitcher, 80-degree weather, 8-pound baby, 12th-grade class, 20th-century writers. ... But, 35 percent increase, 10 percent raise, 3 percent tax hike, 2 percent tuition increase.

comprise (See entry for compose.)

computer terms (See entry for internet, also.)
Spelling of internet-related words are aligned with the AP stylebook, including:

  • World Wide Web (a proper name)
  • the web (abbreviated proper name), web page, website, webcast, webmaster
  • Also:
    • Android (uppercase)
    • app (short for application on second reference)
    • Blu-ray Disc (uppercase D)
    • Bluetooth
    • cache
    • CD-ROM
    • crowdsourcing
    • cyberspace
    • download
    • dot-com (informal adjective)
    • DNS (domain name system)
    • drop-down menu
    • DSL (digital subscriber line)
    • Ethernet (uppercase)
    • firewall (lowercase)
    • Flickr
    • freeware
    • FTP (file transfer protocol)
    • hashtag
    • home page
    • html (hypertext markup language)
    • http (hypertext transfer protocol)
    • hyperlink
    • Instagram
    • instant messaging
    • internet, internet2
    • intranet
    • IP address (internet protocol address)
    • Java (a trademark)
    • listserv
    • login, logon, logoff, log (nouns)
    • log in, log on, log off (verbs) / Usage example: You can log in for this account.
    • metadata
    • microblogging
    • MP3
    • online
    • podcast
    • pull-down menu
    • screen saver
    • shareware
    • slide show (two words)
    • Skype
    • smart phone (two words)
    • tablet
    • URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
    • virus
    • VoIP (Use Voice over Internet Protocol on first reference.)
    • Wi-Fi

Congress, congressman, congresswoman
Capitalize the reference for the U.S. Congress and for foreign legislative bodies that use the word as part of a formal name.

  • Lowercase the words congressman and congresswoman.

conjunctive adverbs
The words in the list below can be used in many ways, but when you use them to join together two independent clauses, place a semicolon after the first clause and a comma after the conjunctive adverb.

  • accordingly
  • additionally
  • again
  • almost
  • although
  • also
  • anyway
  • as a result
  • besides
  • certainly
  • comparatively
  • consequently
  • contrarily
  • conversely
  • elsewhere
  • equally
  • eventually
  • finally
  • further
  • furthermore
  • hence
  • henceforth
  • however
  • in addition
  • in comparison
  • in contrast
  • in fact
  • incidentally
  • indeed
  • instead
  • just as
  • likewise
  • meanwhile
  • moreover
  • namely
  • nevertheless
  • next
  • nonetheless
  • notably
  • now
  • otherwise
  • rather
  • similarly
  • still
  • subsequently
  • that is
  • then
  • thereafter
  • therefore
  • thus
  • undoubtedly
  • uniquely
  • on the other hand


  • It is so hot outside; consequently, I’m sure to collapse while walking across campus.
  • It is so hot outside; certainly, I’ll collapse while walking across campus.
  • It is so hot outside; undoubtedly, I’ll collapse while walking across campus.
  • It is so hot outside; therefore, I’m sure to collapse while walking across campus.
  • It is so hot outside; indeed, I’m sure to collapse while walking across campus.
  • It is so hot outside; furthermore, I’m sure to collapse while walking across campus.
  • It is so hot outside; however, I’m sure to collapse while walking across campus.
  • It is so hot outside; incidentally, I’m sure to collapse while walking across campus.

(See separate listing for however.)

Connection Center

MainStreet Connection Center, on first reference.

continual, continuous

Continual means repeated in rapid succession. Continuous means uninterrupted in time or space.

convince / persuade
  • To convince is to change one’s mind. Exampleconvinced her that I was right. ... Convince cannot be followed by an infinitive, but could be followed by of or that.
  • To persuade is to move someone to action. Examplepersuaded him to go to lunch. ... Persuade may be followed by to, of or that.

Hyphenate the abbreviated reference to cooperative education. Use the longer word on first-reference if the audience is unfamiliar with the abbreviation. Avoid using the word as a verb, but when necessary to do so, the correct spelling follows: co-oped, co-oping.

cooperative education

No hyphen in cooperative, but hyphenate the abbreviated reference co-op.

coordinate adjectives
In strict grammatical terms, you should insert a comma between coordinate adjectives, although many people only insert commas when they clarify confusion. Whether you prefer the strict grammar approach or need to clarify a sentence, be sure you understand this usage.

Coordinate adjectives equally modify a noun. Example: the exciting, productive meeting. "Exciting" and "productive" equally modify the "meeting." Thus, commas are used.

In contrast, hierarchical adjectives modify each other in an order that sounds correct. The "little old lady" is a natural-sounding phrase, whereas the "old little lady" is unnatural. The order of the adjectives is important. Similarly, the "cold December wind" sounds correct, but the "December cold wind" sounds awkward. "Cold" modifies "December wind" more than it modifies the word "wind" alone. Those are hierarchical adjectives that do not take commas.

To identify coordinate adjectives, use the words in these two situations and see if they still sound correct.

  • Add “and” or "but" between the adjectives.
  • Reverse the order of the adjectives.


  1. Please welcome the two new research assistants. — The sentence makes no sense when you insert "and" between the adjectives: two and new and research assistants. Similarly, the sentence cannot be understood if the adjectives are reordered: the research new two assistants. The order of the adjectives is critical; they are hierarchical. Therefore, commas should not be used.
  2. A lovely nostalgic song played on the radio. — Although you can argue for saying "a lovely and nostalgic song," it sounds awkward to say "nostalgic lovely song." In reality, "lovely" is modifying "nostalgic song." Commas should be avoided.
  3. Having an old, worn-out library chair in the living room looked tacky. — "Old and worn-out chair" sounds fine, so insert a comma between the words. "Worn-out and library chair" or "old and library chair" sounds wrong, so omit a comma before "library." Similarly, the sentence works fine if you change the order of the first two adjectives: a worn-out, old library chair, thereby verifying use of the first comma.


This prefix never uses a hyphen. Examples: counteract, counterattack, counterbalance, counterclockwise, counterpart, counterreform.

course names

Capitalize only, use no quotation marks or italics. When numbers are used in the course name, use Arabic numerals and capitalize the subject: History 6, Philosophy 209. Otherwise, lowercase: calculus, world history. (See composition titles.)

course work

Two words.


Hyphenated and capital C only. Not C-claw. The symbol is reserved for sporting events or student-focued events. Its use in academic references is inappropriate.

“Creating Our Third Century”
President Santa Ono’s effort to sharpen the vision set forth in former President Greg William's UC2019/Academic Master Plan. This effort aims for better alignment and prioritization in redeploy existing resources. In all, the primary emphasis remains on quality instead of quantity. This is not another "strategic plan."
(See notes on shortening the name to "Third Century.") Also see the president's "Creating Our Third Century" website.)

cum laude
Lowercase. Latin for "with outstanding honor." Magna cum laude means "with high honor." Summa cum laude means "with highest honor."

Undergraduate students who have earned at least 90 hours toward a baccalaureate degree or 45 hours toward an associate degree at UC qualify for graduation with Latin honors as follows:

  • cum laude honors if their university grade point average is between 3.6 and 3.7499
  • magna cum laude honors if their university grade point average is between 3.75 and 3.8999
  • summa cum laude honors if their university grade point average is between 3.9 and 4.0.

cyber prefix  

Many words beginning with the prefix cyber, meaning cybernetic, are now one word if their use has become common. Other cyber words remain two words or hyphenated, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary and the AP Stylebook. Some cyber words are not addressed at all in the above sources, leaving us to favor hyphens, because they create the least confusion. Here is a list of the most-common words with the prefix cyber. Examples:

  • cyber-alert
  • cyberattack
  • cyberbully
  • cybercafé
  • cybercrime
  • cyberculture
  • cyber-dating
  • cyber date
  • cyber-fraud
  • cyberpunk
  • cyberspace
  • cyberterrorism


dangling modifiers

Make sure your modifiers actually refer to the proper word.

  • Incorrect: Looking for safer ways to treat drinking water, the college's $750,000 grant will investigate ... . The college is looking, not the grant.
  • Correct: Looking for safer ways to treat drinking water, the college has applied for and received a $750,000 grant from the Safer Water Association.

dashes (See entry for hyphens, also.)
Dashes are longer than hyphens. Hyphens should not be used in the place of dashes. In a normal sentence, dashes are always preceded and followed by a spac. If dashes are used as bullets in a list, a space is not needed proceding the dash. Spaces are not used in in sports agate summaries, either.

Publishing systems enable you to create an em-dash (the length of a capital M). Word-processing programs feature dashes as a "symbol," found under the "Insert" menu. Most software programs also allow the character to be key stroked. The help menu will provide instructions for your software. When dashes cannot be produced, two hyphens typed together are substituted. For internet use, two hyphens may be used for a dash because some browsers have trouble reading the symbol that some software uses to create the dash. If using two hyphens, insert the space before and after the pair.

Dashes can be used in the following instances:

  • to denote an abrupt change in thought or add emphasis to a pause (Example: The actor spent nine hours improvising — and wrinkling — in a hot tub.)
  • to set off a list items in place of commas because the extra punctuation would be confusing (Example: Most movies shot on location have poor sound quality because of the environment — planes, traffic and people making noise.)
  • to set off attribution of a quote (Example: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” — Confucius) Note: The period goes at the end of the sentence, not at the end of the attribution in this instance.

dates (See entries for months and years, also.)
When dates include a month and date, abbreviate all months. Exceptions are March, April, May, June and July. Examples: Jan. 15 was Martin Luther King's birthday. Their anniverary is sometime in January. Spring break starts on March 14.

When a a date and month is followed by a year, surround it with a pair of commas. Examples: My son graduated on June 9, 2001, from the University of Cincinnati. My son graduated in June 2001 from the University of Cincinnati.

Use only Arabic numbers after the month. Correct: Jan. 1. Incorrect: Jan. 1st, January first.

For readability and clarity, express dates of events in this sequence: time, day of the week, date, place. ExampleThe colloquium will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, at the Faculty Club.

dawn, sunrise

Dawn is the twilight period immediately before sunrise.

Follow prefix guildelines, hyphenating between vowels. Examples: de-ice, de-emphasize vs. debase, deride, debug, deforest, defraud, detour, derail. But some words (like deactivate) do not follow the rules. Check the dictionary.

dean's list

Use lowercase and possessive. To be on the dean's list, a UC student must have a term grade point average of 3.4 or higher while enrolled in six or more credits per term.


Means to destroy a small part (exactly one-tenth). Not synonymous with completely or widespread destruction. Do not say somewhat decimated.

degrees (See entry for academic degrees.)

departments (See entry for capitalization.)

different from, different than, differently

Different from is usually right. Different than requires a verb. Examples: Holiday parties at a state institution are different than parties corporations have. Holiday parties at a state institution are different from parties in the corporate world.

When using the word differently, use thanExample: He led the meeting differently than I would have.


Refers to facing two unpleasant courses of action. Not a synonym for predicament.

directions and regions

Lowercase compass directions. Capitalize words that denote specific regions. Examples: He drove west. The Midwest is known for great basketball. (Consult AP stylebook for additional information.)

Hyphens are generally not used with this prefix. Examples: disadvantage, disallow, discontinue, dismount, disobey, disregard, displace, distrust. (See prefixes.)


Don't refer to people in terms of their disabilities, refer to them as people with disabilities.

disappointed in, disappointed with

You are disappointed in a person, with a thing.

disassemble, dissemble

Disassemble means to dismantle. Dissemble means to tell lies.

disc, disk

disc — In computer terminology, discs are optical and laser-based devices. ExamplesBlu-ray Disc, compact disc, DVD, video disc. They are removable and can be ejected from your computer. Non-computer related uses of disc: photograph records and related terms (disc jockey), a type of vehicle brake (disc brake), circular steel tools with sharpened edge in a plow (from Latin discus).

disk — In computer terminology, disk refers to magnetic media on which data for a computer is stored. Examples: a floppy disk, the disk in your computer's hard drive, an external hard drive. They are always rewritable (unless intentionally locked). They can also be partitioned into smaller volumes. Non-computer related uses of disk: astronautical references (solar disk), medical references to one's back (slipped disk).


Not synonymous with invent or create. Something discovered already existed, but was unknown.

disinterested / uninterested

Disinterested means to not be biased about something, to have no personal stake in an issue. Uninterested means to not be interestedExample: She could chair the negotiations well because she was disinterested. But she would have been ineffective is she was totally uninterested in the points being made.

divisions (See entry for capitalization.)


The dock is the water adjacent to a pier. You can dive off a pier into a dock, not visa versa.

doctor (See entry for MD.)
Do not use Dr. and MD together. Incorrect: Dr. David Davis, M.D. In most instances, Dr. is unnecessary — assuming the copy adequately explains the person's position.

Dr. only appears before a name on first reference and when the person is physician. Do not use the title Dr. for PhDs because the average reader associates it with an MD. When usage is required for someone with a PhD, copy should clearly explain the individual's type of degree. (See academic degrees.)

Do not use Dr. to refer to a recipient of an honorary degree.

dollar (See entry for cents also.)
Use numerals like $5, rather than 5 dollars except in casual references or amounts without a figure. Example: My aunt gave me a dollar. For amounts of more than $1 million, use the $ and up to two decimal places. Example: He proposed a $4.5 billion budget.

dormitories, dorms
The preferred term is residence halls.

double-check, double check
Double-check is the verb and the most common usage. Double check (no hyphen) is the noun.

due to (See entry because / due to.)



e- prefix
All words that use the prefix "e" (to stand for the word electronic) should be hyphenated. Writing words without the hyphen (ereader) looks confusing and is not a real word found in Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The word email is an exception, according to the AP Stylebook, because its use has become so common. Examples:

  • e-book
  • e-banking
  • e-business
  • e-calendar
  • e-commerce
  • e-learning
  • e-magazine
  • email
  • e-news
  • e-planner
  • e-reader
  • e-ticket

If the e-word is a proper name, follow the formal corporate name style. Often that will be a lowercase "e," followed by no hyphen and an uppercase letter. Example: The HIMSS eLearning Academy is an online source for distance education in health-care information technology.

Inventing words without a hyphen and uppercasing the letter after the e to make it more recognizable is not promoted by the UC Stylebook, but we realize it happens on campus. Nevetheless, if the word is not a proper noun, the UC Stylebook recommends using the format given above. Example: Education is being tranformed by e-learning.

Avoid starting sentences with such words, but if you do, the "e" must be capitalized.

East Campus (See entries under campuses, also.)
Officially called the Academic Health Center or the medical campus.

effect (See entry for affect.)


This Latin abbreviation means "for example." A comma always follows it, and the phrase is either set off with a dash or put in parentheses. Example: UC has a large selection of club sports (e.g., ice hockey, handball, rugby).

electronic media

Spelled out on first reference. On second reference, e-media is acceptable.

The three dots represent omitted words or a pause in speaking. They are preceded and followed by spaces: She talked about the morning traffic, her previous vacation, her son's wedding plans … and enough topics to bore everyone.

  • With quotations — When extracting quotes for an article, do not use ellipses at the beginning and end of direct quotes, as long as the quotes constitute complete thoughts, even if they were condensed.
  • With other punctuation — When using an ellipsis right before other punctuation, one should still insert a space after the three dots to make both punctuation marks distinct: "We gather here to dedicate this new exciting program … ," the chairman announced.
  • Formatting — Most word processing programs will allow you to insert an ellipsis as a special character, which keeps the three dots united as a single unit rather than three separate ones. The advantage of this is that the dots will never become separated from each other in a line break.

No hyphen, lowercase. (But words like e-book and e-commerce retain the hyphen.)

For references to email functions that appear as official names, generally, write the names uppercase with quotation marks, separated by commas when needed, treating them as titles to distinguish them from generic words. Example: To send the same message again, click on "Message," "Send Again."

email addresses

Although UC email addresses are not case sensitive, writing letters lowercase is preferred for consistency of style.


Not the same as retired. The titles emeritus (male) or emerita (female) are bestowed on many, but not all, retiring faculty. Place the word emeritus after the formal title. Examples: professor emeritus of biologypresident emeritusdean emerita of arts and sciences.

Emeriti (all men or both men and women) and emeritae (all women) are plural nouns. Emeritus and emerita can be singular nouns or adjectives for singular and plural nouns. Examples: among the ranks of emeriti (plural noun), among the ranks of emeritus professors (singular adjective).

You can, however, change emeritus to emeriti when it follows a plural word. Exampleamong the ranks of professors emeriti. (See also academic ranks.)

Words using this prefix generally have no hyphen. Examples: engulf, enlighten, entangle, enrage, enmesh. (See prefixes.)


More commonly means a great wickedness, a monstrous or outrageous act. Should not be used to simply mean enormous size or extent.

ensure (See listing for assure, ensure, insure.)

Means a right to do or have something. Does not mean titled. Examples: She was entitled to the promotion. The book was titled "Gone With the Wind."

epitome / quintessence

Epitome means abstract, summary or embodiment. It does not mean an ideal, which is quintessence.

Capitalize commonly accepted epochs in history and names for periods and events. Examples: the Bronze Age, the Middle Ages, the Great Depression, Prohibition, the Atomic Age. Lowercase common nouns or adjectives in general descriptions. Examples: Victorian era, ancient Greece. (See A.D., B.C.)

et al.
Latin abbreviation meaning "and others." Usually used at the end of a list. A period is required even if it does not fall at the end of a sentence.

Avoid using this Latin abbreviation, which means "and so forth." A partial list should be denoted as being partial in another way. If you do use etc., never use the abbreviation with the conjunction “and.” Example: Students enjoy UC's large selection of club sports, including ice hockey, handball, rugby, wrestling, rowing, etc.

ethnic references
In most general uses, the preferred terms are the following:

(See individual entries for more information.)

events (See entry for capitalization — events.)


  • When using this prefix, do not hyphenate words that mean "out of." Examples: excommunicate, expropriate.
  • Do hyphenate words that mean "former." Examples: ex-convict, ex-wife, ex-president.
  • No not capitalize the prefix if the root word is a proper noun. Example: ex-Cincinnati mayor. (See prefixes.)


exclamation mark

As a rule, avoid using exclamation marks. They tend to look trite. If you absolutely must use one, never use more than one, and follow these guidelines in regard to placement with quotation marks:

  • Place the exclamation mark inside quotation marks when it is part of the quoted material. Examples: ”How wonderful!“ he exclaimed. ”Never!“ she shouted.
  • Place the mark outside quotation marks when it is not part of the quoted material. Example: I hated reading Spenser’s ”Faerie Queene“!



facilities (See entry for buildings and facilities.)

farther, further

Farther refers to physical distance. Further refers to an extension of time or degree.


Acceptable as a shortened version of facsimile or facsimile machine. Use as a verb is also acceptable. Example: He faxed the results of the survey to his clients.

Use lowercase unless it is part of a formal name. Examples: Federal Bureau of Investigation, federal District Court.

fewer, less

Fewer applies to numbers and modifies a plural noun. Less applies to quantities and modifies a singular noun. Example: She now eats fewer meals and less candy.


Only refers to a business partnership (law firm, engineering firm, architectural firm), not just any business entity. The Kroger Co. is not a firm.

first aid (n.), first-aid (adj.)

fiscal year
In copy for general external audiences, write out the word, lowercase, referencing both years in the period. Example: fiscal year 2011-12. For internal documents in which abbreviations are standard, use FY11. (See listing for years.)

food names, food-related terms
Most proper nouns are capitalized when are used to name a food. When the food name has become generic in use, lowercase is used. That rule is inconsistent, so this link contains a lengthy list of the names of food and drinks, as well as culinary terms, complete with the proper capitalization, punctuation and spelling.

forgo vs. forego
Forgo means to pass something up or do without. Example: I’ll forgo the fried potatoes this time.

Forego means to come before something else in time or place. Examples: Megastars bring in top box-office dollars because their reputations forego them. A foregone conclusion means you made up your mind ahead of time.

Follow rules in prefixes, but hyphens are rare. Examples: forecast, foretell, foregone, foreman, forebrain, forefather. Exceptions come from nautical terms: fore-topgallant, fore-topsail, fore-topmast.

Do not abbreviate for cities and military forts. Examples: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Bragg, Fort Mitchell.


Means happening by chance, accidental. Not a synonym for fortunate

founder / flounder

Founder means to fill with water and sink. Flounder means to flop around as a fish, clumsy, confused.


Spell out amounts less than one, using hyphens: two-thirds, seven-sixteenths. Use figures for precise amounts larger than one, converting to decimals whenever practical. In tabular material, use figures exclusively.

To determine verb usage, follow this guideline: When the subject is a fraction or a word such as "half," "part," "plenty" or "rest," its intended number is suggested by the object of the preposition that follows it. Examples: Three-fourths of the enemy's army is wounded. Three-fourths of the enemy's soldiers are wounded. 

freshman, freshmen
To avoid gender bias, the term first-year student is acceptable. As an adjective, use freshman, not freshmen, which is always a noun. Examples: Student Government is hosting a welcome party for the freshman class. All freshmen are invited.

No hyphen is needed with this suffix, which is always spelled with one L. If the last letter of the root word is a Y, change it to an I. Examples: resentful, stressful, plentiful. (See suffixes.)

Hyphenate this prefix to form compound modifiers. Examples: full-blooded, full-blown, full-court press, full-fledged, full-length.

fundraising, fundraiser
One word in all uses.




Abbreviation for General Education Development. Use as an adjective: GED tests, GED certificate. GED is not a noun. 

gender (See also sexist language.)

When possible, avoid words that assume maleness. Use humanity, instead of mankind. Male pronouns (he, his) are acceptable when the antecedent could be male or female — and are preferred over combination pronoun forms: he or she, his/her. Yet a better option is to revise nouns to plural forms: they, theirs. Avoid forcing neutrality with a construction that calls attention to itself. Avoid manufactured words such as spokesperson.

general education

The General Education Program requires students in all academic programs to have an exposure to a variety of traditional academic disciplines, in addition to a concentration within a program or major.


Lowercase the words traditionalists, millennials and baby boomers. Uppercase Generation X, in keeping with AP style.

genus and species (See entry for scientific names.)

geographical regions (See entry for directions and regions.)

Depending upon usage, this work can be uppercase or lowercase, spelled out or abbreviated. (See abbreviated titles.)

grade point average

May use GPA in all references.

A person who earns a degree, including an honorary degree, is called a graduate. (See entry for alumni, also.)

Great Britain (See United Kingdom.)

Capitalize when referring to a specific community: Greater Cincinnati.

green card
Lowercase the reference for the country's permanent residency document.



hay, straw

Hay is a grassy plant used as animal fodder. Straw is the dry stalk of a cereal plant after the grain has been removed.


Capitalize only the first word and proper nouns. If a single headline continues on more than one line, do not capitalize the first word of the other lines. Use numerals for all numbers and single quotation marks where quotation marks are needed. Follow standard spelling for all words, except for US, UN and UK, which have no periods in headlines.  For U.S. states in headlines, use no periods for those abbreviated with two capital letters. Examples: NY, NJ, NH, NM, NC, SC, ND, SD and RI. Other states retain periods. Examples: Ind., Ky.

health care
Two words. Never one word. It may need to be hyphenated as a compound modifier if usage would confuse a particular audience. (See entry for compound modifiers, also.)

heroic, heroics

Don’t confuse the two. Heroics involve dramatic talk or behavior intended to seem heroic.


  • High is not a prefix. It is an adjective, which is not hyphenated when it modifies a noun by itself. Examples: high chair, high blood pressure, high tech, high school. 
  • But when combined with another adjective, the two words form a compound modifier, which requires a hyphen to hold the two adjectives together. Examples: high-octane, high-minded, high-and-mighty, high-class, high-energy, high-definition. 
  • The only oddity is that the word high-rise is an adjective that can be used as a noun and retains its hyphen. Examples: the high-rise building, the new high rise.

highway designations
Use only numerals. Do not abbreviate. Use no hyphens. Examples: Interstate 75, U.S. Highway 1, state Route 1A, Route 24. On second reference: I-74.


Preferred over Latino when referring to people with a cultural heritage related to Spain. Latino/Latina refers to people specifically from Latin America.

historic, historical

Historic describes an event of importance and shaped history. Historical describes something that just happened in the past.

historical periods (See entries for eras, A.D., B.C.)

holidays, holy days

Capitalize formal names. Examples: Christmas Eve, Kwanzaa, Rosh Hashana. Although Hanukkah has several spellings, this version is preferred by Associated Press. The 10 federal holidays follow: New Year’s, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Means with hope, not I hope or it is hoped. Correct: We hope the budget will pass. Incorrect: Hopefully, the budget will pass.

hospital names
In December 2012, University of Cincinnati Medical Center became the name of UC's primary teaching hospital. The hospital has changed its name several times since it first opened in 1823. The changes follow:

  • 1823 — Commercial Hospital and Lunatic Asylum
  • 1861 — Commercial Hospital
  • 1869 — Cincinnati Hospital
  • 1915 — Cincinnati General Hospital
  • 1982 — University of Cincinnati Hospital
  • 1994 — University Hospital
  • 2010 — UC Health University Hospital
  • 2012 — University of Cincinnati Medical Center

In addition, there is a UC Health West Chester Hospital.

This word can be a modifier meaning “no matter how” or a conjunction meaning “nevertheless.” The two uses are treated differently. A comma always follows the conjunction and never follows the modifier.
Modifier example: However sad you may be today, tomorrow brings new potential. Tomorrow brings new potential, however sad you may be today.
Conjunction example: I am exhausted; however, I promised to help Trevor on his project.

If you use a structure like the conjunction example above, but break the sentence into two sentences and place “however” in the middle of a second sentence, you must surround the word with commas. Modified conjunction example: I am exhausted. I promised, however, to help Trevor on his project.
(See entry for conjunctive adverbs.)


Means to inflate or exaggerate the worth, even deceive. Synonyms are trick, swindlenot promoting or publicizing.

In type, hyphens are different than dashes. (See entry for dashes.)

Hyphens are sometimes used to avoid ambiguity. ExamplesHe recovered from financial collapse. He re-covered his sofa in gray leather.

Hyphens are used for connecting words, as in compound words (father-in-law), prefixes (pre-election), suffixes (emulsion-like), fractions (two-fifths), ratios (2-to-1 ratio) and scores (12-6 victory). They are also used to create compound modifiers (full-time employee). (See entry for compound modifiers.) To determine if a prefix or suffix requires a hyphen, refer to Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Hyphens are also used to denote timeframes, such as 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. No spaces are required before or after the hyphen.


i prefix
The Apple corporation has made products famous by putting a lowercase i before an uppercase word, leaving the i to stand for internet. Examples: iPhone, iPad, iMovie, iBooks, iPhoto and iTunes. All of those words are proper nouns owned by Apple. A few other "i" words have been discontinued (iLife and iGoogle), and the BBC has an iPlayer. Avoid using such words as the first word in a sentence, but if one does begin a sentence, the "i" must be capitalized.


This Latin abbreviation means "that is." Do not use this to mean "for example." You should be able to substitute i.e. for the phrase "in other words." A comma always follows it, and the phrase is either set off by a dash or put in parentheses. Correct: At UC's open-access colleges (i.e., Raymond Walters College and Clermont College), a variety of two-year degree programs are available. Incorrect: UC has a large selection of club sports — i.e., ice hockey, handball, rugby. Correct: UC has a large selection of club sports (e.g., ice hockey, handball, rugby).

This prefix is added to a root word beginning in an L to mean "not." No hyphen is used. Examples: illogical, illegal, illegitimate.

This prefix can be added to words, always with a hyphen. Examples: ill-will, ill-advised, ill-fated.

imply, infer
To infer is to read between the lines. To imply is to suggest something. Example: When Jessie said she was going home early, she was implying that she had nothing left to do, and I inferred that I should find more work for her to do each day.

importantly, important

Importantly means something done in an important manner. Never write “more importantly.” Example: More important, enrollment is on the rise.

The prefix meaning "not" never takes a hyphen. But the prefix has other meanings, which may or may not take a hyphen. Examples: inconclusive, inaccurate, incalculable (meaning "not") -- or inbound, infighting, indoor, inpatient, infield -- compared to in-depth, in-house, in-group, in-law. Best to check the dictionary when the prefix means something other than "not."

This does not mean "hard to comprehend." Instead, it means "not capable of being understood." (Fans of the movie "The Princess Bride" will remember the line: " You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”)


Delete Inc. from a name unless doing so makes the name confusing. Do not use a comma before Inc., even if it is included in the formal name.


Does not mean something cannot be set on fire. It means the same thing as flammable. It means an item can be inflamed.

Initialism is an abbreviation in which one writes a group of initial letters to represent a name or expression, and each letter is pronounced separately. Use all uppercase letters. Punctuation varies among these words, but no periods are used in headlines. Initialisms often are used in the following examples:

  • Common objects or referencesDVR, CD, TV, UFO, CGI
  • Countries: U.S.A., U.K. (Use periods in most two-letter abbreviations.)
  • Familiar institutionsMIT, UCLA, FBI, CBS
  • Famous peopleJFK, FDR, LBJ, MLK
  • Trademark names GE (General Electric), EU (European Union), BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), PBS (Public Broadcasting System) and U.N. (United Nations). (Periods may or may not be used in a such names.)

(See entries for abbreviationsacademic degrees, acronyms, buildings, states, tabular material and truncation.)


Generally avoid using middle initials. When two initials are used together, omit the space in the middle. Example: M.J. Nicholson.

institutes related to health
Four institutes operate in partnership with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and UC Health: the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute, UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, University of Cincinnati Cardiovascular Institute and Cincinnati Diabetes and Obesity Center.

insure (See entry for assure, ensure, insure.)

interdisciplinary (See entry for multidisciplinary.)

internet (now lowercase per AP style, 2016 change) (See entries for computer terms, links and web addresses, also.)
Spelling of internet-related words are aligned with the AP stylebook, including:

  • World Wide Web (a proper name)
  • the web (abbreviated proper name)
  • web browser, web page, web server, web feed
  • webcam, webcast, webinar, weblog, webmaster, website, webzine

Related terms:

  • aggregator
  • Android
  • app (second reference for application)
  • avatar
  • blog
  • Bluetooth
  • click-throughs
  • cloud
  • crowdsourcing
  • cyberspace
  • Digg
  • download
  • dot-com (informal adjective)
  • DNS (domain name system)
  • DSL (digital subscriber line)
  • e-book, e-magazine
  • emoticon
  • end user
  • Facebook
  • firewall
  • Flickr
  • freeware
  • FTP (file transfer protocol)
  • geolocation, geotagging
  • Google, Googling, Googled, Google Hangout, Google Plus
  • home page
  • hyperlink
  • internet
  • internet2
  • intranet
  • IP address (internet protocol address)
  • iPad, iPhone
  • Java (a trademark)
  • keyword
  • lemoji
  • LinkedIn
  • instant messaging (IM acceptable on second reference, also IM'ing, IM'ed)
  • listserv
  • liveblog
  • login, logon, logoff, log (nouns)
  • log in, log on, log off (verbs) / Example: Log on to this account.
  • metadata
  • microsite
  • MP3
  • MySpace (one word)
  • online
  • PDF (abbreviation for Portable Document Format)
  • Pinterest
  • retweet (lowercase)
  • RSS (abbreviation for Really Simply Syndication)
  • search engine optimization (SEO on second reference)
  • shareware
  • social media
  • social networks
  • social network aggregation
  • status update
  • text messaging
  • tweet (lowercase)
  • Twitter (uppercase)
  • unfriend
  • URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
  • VoIP (Use Voice over Internet Protocol on first reference.)
  • widget
  • wiki
  • Wikipedia
  • YouTube (one word)

Only in a few instances, this prefix is used to mean "not" and added to a root word beginning in an R, but when it occurs, hyphens are unnecessary. Examples: irrational, irresponsible. Note: Irregardlessis not a word, but a double negative. The proper word is regardless.


Means the opposite of what is appropriate, expected or fitting. It is not synonymous with coincidenceExample: It’s ironic that the inside of the building is colder in the summer than in the winter. It is not ironic that it snowed on my camping trip.

its, it's
The first is possessive; the second is a contraction of it is.



jargon that is typical at UC
See the UC Stylebook's list of UC idioms and jargon.

junior, senior
Abbreviate as Jr. and Sr. with full names. Do not precede by, or follow with, a comma. Example: Howard Smith Jr.



Preferred spelling for the sacred book of Muslims.




Certain landmarks on campus are referred to with familiar shorthand. Be sure to use official names or designate locations before resorting to shorthand, as required by context for clarity:

  • Campus Green — the grassy lawn between Martin Luther King Dr. and the Alumni Center
  • Corbett Theater — Patricia Corbett Theater in the College-Conservatory of Music
  • Great Hall — The largest meeting hall in Tangeman University Center
  • Hiatt Plaza — the brick back porch on the east side of McMicken Hall
  • Lindner Auditorium — Room 112 Lindner Hall
  • McMicken Commons — the green space between McMicken Hall and TUC
  • Mick and Mack — the twin lions guarding the entrance at McMicken Hall
  • Ronald Walker Light Tower — located at Sigma Sigma Commons, near French Hall
  • (the) Shoe — Shoemaker Center (but preferred reference is now Fifth Third Arena)
  • U-Square — short for U-Square at the Loop, not part of the university, but the commercial area developed in 2013 between Calhoun and McMillan (use hyphen)
  • Quad — Herman Schneider Quadrangle, bounded by Swift and Baldwin Halls and the Old Chemistry Building. On the west side, the Herman Schneider monument honors the founder of cooperative education.
  • TUC — Tangeman University Center, the student union building

Not a synonym for past.

Latino, Latina

Latino is the masculine word; Latina, the feminine. Latino can refer to a mixed group of both genders. The word refers to people of Latin American descent. When referring to Latinos plus all people with a cultural heritage related to Spain, use Hispanic. Use specific nationalities when available. Examples: Peruvian, Bolivian, Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Colombian.

law firms
Generally drop the initials LLP or LLA at the end of a name.

lay, laid, laid, laying
In meaning to put or to place, lay is a transitive verb that requires an object. Example: I want to lay my books down. Notice, however, that once someone lays an object down, it continues to lie there of its own accord. (See entry for lie.)

lend / loan
Lend is a verb. Loan is a noun. Example: Please lend me the money. I will repay the loan.

No hyphen is used before this suffix. Examples: helpless, priceless, tasteless, worthless, tailless. (See suffixes.)

less / fewer

  • Less represents quantities and units of measure (e.g., expenses, work, respect, money). Example: Everyone has less work than I do.
  • Fewer represents multiple things, things you can count (e.g., co-workers, faculty, appointments). Example: I wish I had fewer appointments.
  • Less also represents singular items. Example: I actually have one less paper on my desk this morning. But ... I have fewer papers today than yesterday.

Level I Trauma Center

University of Cincinnati Medical Center hospital is a Level I Trauma Center, as verified by the American College of Surgeons. Usage style of the term is the one adopted by the ACS. 

Acceptable on first reference for lesbian, gay, bi-sesxual, transgender individuals. Sometimes used as LGBTQ on campus, meaning lesbian, gay, bi-sesxual, transgender and questioning.

Lindner Center of HOPE
Technically, the Craig and Frances Lindner Center of HOPE, founded with a $30 million gift from the Craig and Frances Lindner and Carl H. and Edyth Lindner Jr. families. Located in the UC Department of Psychiatry, it is a nonprofit, mental health center offering scientifically-advanced treatment for mental illnesses. Part of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Can be refered to as LCOH on second reference. HOPE stands for "Helping Other People Excel," which is why it is all uppercase.

lie, lay, lain, lying

In meaning to rest or to recline, lie is a intransitive verb that cannot use an object. Example: He was lying on the floor. (See the entry for lay.) Lie is also the proper verb to use for inanimate objects in some uses: Once someone lays the newspaper on the counter, the paper lies there on its own.

like / as

  • Like applies to nouns and pronouns. Example: The sun shone like a red rubber ball.
  • As applied to phrases and clauses containing a verb. Example: She ran as if her life depended upon it.


When using this suffix, do not add a hyphen unless the letter L would be tripled (dill-like taste, shell-like shape) or the root word is a proper noun (Broadway-like). Standard usage would be businesslike. One exception from all rules is flu-like symptoms. (See suffixes.)

likely, probable (probably), possible (possibly)

Adjective usage

Possible is an adjective that denotes "something is capable of happening." Examples:

  • It is possible for me to walk to school.
  • Learning the entire textbook overnight is impossible.

Probable and likely are both adjectives that denote "something may happen in the future." Examples:

  • It is probable that I will finish my homework tomorrow.
  • It is likely that I will finish my homework tomorrow.
  • It is improbable that I will start that big project tonight.
  • It is unlikely that I will start that big project tonight.

As an adjective, likely can be used with the superlatives "most," "more," "less" and "least." Examples:

  • The most likely way for me to go home is via the expressway.
  • The more likely answer to our dilemma is lack of funding.
  • The least likely day we would choose would be Labor Day.

Likely can also be used ad an adjective to mean “suitable” before nouns such as "candidate," "successor" and "replacement." Examples:

  • He is a likely candidate for the job opening.
  • The provost is a likely successor to the outgoing president.
  • This book is a likely replacement for the obsolete textbook.

Adverb usage

Possibly and likely are both adverbs denoting that an action is "probable."

  • It is probable that I will finish my homework tomorrow.
  • I probably will finish my homework tomorrow.
  • I likely will finish my homework tomorrow.

Likely can ...

  • be followed by a subordinate clause. Example: It seems likely that tax rates will rise again.
  • introduce a prepositional phrase beginning with the word “to.” Example: The governor is likely to announce the new board member on Monday.
  • be used with intensifiers such as ""quite," "rather," "somewhat," "very" and "extremely." Example: The committee is quite likely to nominate John as chairman.

Limited, Ltd.

Delete Ltd. from a name unless doing so makes the name confusing. Do not use a comma before Ltd., even if it is included in the formal name. Use the same guideline for the following abbreviations: LLC (limited liability corporation), LLLP (limited liability limited partnership),  LC (limited company), PLLC (professional limited liability company), PL (professional limited company), LP (limited partnership), LLLP (limited liability limited partnership), PC (professional corporation).

lineup / line up

Lineup is a noun. Line up is a verb.


Generally, write the names of internet links uppercase with quotation marks, separated by commas when needed, treating them as titles to distinguish them from generic words. Example: When you visit www.magazine.uc.edu, click on "Editor's Picks," "Audio Clips" to hear a champion whistler.

logo (See entries for seal and branding, also.)

The UC logo consists of two elements: the words "University of Cincinnati" and the UC symbol. All UC publications must carry the UC logo in a prominent location, preferably on the front cover. Web publications must include the symbol on every page.

Use of the university's logo is protected under trademark laws. The logo elements cannot be separated, altered, retyped or recreated in any way. Please refer to the UC Branding guidelines online for complete information.

For use of the logo on specialty items such as T-shirts, mugs and banners, contact Carla Crabtree, UC director of licensing and contracts in the Office of General Counsel (513-556-3483). Any use of the logo by non-university entities must also be approved by that office.

Other uses not covered by those guidelines should be referred to the University Brand Review Committee. Contact Angela Klocke, 513-556-5223.

-ly  (See suffixes.)

  • When using this suffix, one usually adds ly to the end of a word. Exampleshardly, mostly, sickly.
  • If the root word ends in an e, you usually drop the e, but not always. Examples: truly, simply, possibly vs. barely, surely.
  • If the root word ends in an L, you usually double the last letter. Examples: awfully, equally, ideally, eventually, but curly.
  • If the last two letters of the root word are L, do not add a third L. Examples: chilly, smelly, hilly.



No periods. (See entry for academic degrees.)

magazine, journal titles (See entry for publication titles.)
Capitalize the initial letters of the name but do not place quotation marks around it.

magna cum laude
Lowercase. Undergraduate students qualify for graduation with magna cum laude honors if their university grade point average is between 3.75 and 3.8999. (See cum laude.)

main campus
Preferred term is Uptown Campus. Main campus makes other campuses sound inferior.


Uppercase S, no space. A corridor that begins at the University Pavilion, includes TUC, the Student Life Center and the Student Recreation Center, then concludes at the Jefferson Residence Complex. It also includes the open spaces of McMicken Commons, Bearcat Plaza, the Mews and Sigma Sigma Commons. 

MainStreet Connection Center

Located in the lobby of Tangeman University Center to provide directions, schedules and a lost and found.

master class

Lowercase. No apostrophe s.

master's degree (See entry for academic degrees.)

matriculated student
A student who has been officially admitted to a college.

may, might

Use may if something may have really happened. Use might if something is totally hypothetical. Examples: Her proposal may have been approved if she had submitted a formal report. (possible) Her proposal might have changed the future of the company if she had submitted it. (purely hypothetical)


As with all academic degrees, do not use periods. (This is an exception to AP.) (See entry for doctor.)

medal (See entry for awards.)

medical campus
This comprises the Academic Health Center (which consists of the buildings associated with the colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and allied health sciences), as well as Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Hoxworth Center, UC Health Physicians Office — Clifton and the Charles M. Barrett Center for Cancer Research and Treatment. Usage preferred over the term "east campus."

See entry for campuses.



Mick and Mack
The lions in front of McMicken Hall.

Mick and Mack's Cafe


mid- (See entry for directions and regions, also.)

When using this prefix, generally no hyphen is used unless the root word is a proper noun. Examples: midair, midday, midlife, midterm, but mid-America, mid-Atlantic. But the geographic region Midwest is capitalized with no hyphen.  

Also use a hyphen when connecting a word with a numeral. Example: mid-'70s.

middle initials (See entry for initials.)


Use a hyphen when referring to nurse-midwifeExample: University Nurse-Midwifery Associates.


Short for microphone. Use only on second reference or in casual usage. The verb and adjective forms are miked, miking.

military titles

When listing military rank as a title before a person's name, capitalize and abbreviate it in most instances. In secondary references, use only an individual's last name; omit the military rank. When naming the rank without a name attached, it is lowercase. Do not confuse rank with job descriptions such as machinist or radarman. Examples: Gen. George Patton is a general who served in North Africa. Patton received 12 medals during his career. 

The following list shows how to write the more commonly used ranks as a title before a name. Any title not listed here is likely to be spelled out and not abbreviated. A complete list of military titles is available in the AP Stylebook, but is too long to list here.

admiral — Adm.
brigadier general — Brig. Gen.
captain — Capt.
colonel — Col.
commander — Cmdr.
corporal — Cpl.
general — Gen.
first lieutenant — 1st Lt.
first sergeant — 1st Sgt.
lieutenant — Lt.
lieutenant colonel — Lt. Col.
lieutenant commander — Lt. Cmdr.
lieutenant general — Lt. Gen.
major — Maj.
major general — Maj. Gen.
master sergeant — Master Sgt.
private — Pvt.
private first class — Pfc.
rear admiral — Rear Adm.
second lieutenant — 2nd Lt.
sergeant — Sgt.
sergeant first class — Sgt. 1st Class
sergeant major — Sgt. Maj.
specialist — Spc.
staff sergeant — Staff Sgt.
vice admiral — Vice Adm.

months (See entry for dates, also.)
Abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. when used with a specific date. My birthday is Jan. 15. Spell out when used alone or only with a year. Example: January 1989 was the coldest on record. When using a month, date and year, set off the year with commas. Example: June 6, 1944, was D-Day.

No hypens are needed unless the writer is making up a word. Hyphens are not required when the root word begins with an S. Examples: misspell, misshapen, misbehave, misread, mistake, mistrial.

monetary units
Use numerals. Examples: 5 cents, $5 bill, 8 euros, 4 pounds.


Means debatable. Use irrelevant or null, if that’s what you mean.


Spell out in all uses. Examples: Mount Healthy, the College of Mount St. Joseph.

mouse, mice

Mice is the word to use when referring to the more than one computer mouse.


Multidisciplinary means many disciplines are present. Interdisciplinary means many disciplines are not only present, but are working together to accomplish something. Cross-disciplinary relates to the involvement of two or more academic disciplines, but in a less formalized involvement than multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary situations. Example: A multidisciplinary meeting might attract faculty from several colleges, each making individual presentations. An interdisciplinary meeting would attract the same experts, but instead of just listening to one another's presentation, they work together toward a common goal.

When used as a noun, the word means exactly 10,000. When used as an adjective, it means many.



Native American

Also acceptable is American Indian for those in the U.S. Follow the person's preference.

nationalities and races

See entries for African-American, American Indian, Asian, Asian-American, black, Native American, Oriental.

nauseous, nauseated

Technically speaking, nauseous describes something that is sickening to contemplate, and nauseated indicates being sick at the stomach.

New Year's Day

The word "year" is possessive in this usage and requires an apostrophe. Examples: New Year's Eve, but happy new year.


This format is acceptable when referring to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.


Generally, hyphens are not used for words with this prefix. Hyphens are necessary before proper nouns, when a word is not listed in the dictionary or when confusion would result. (See prefixes.) Examples: noncredit, nonmetallic, nonprofit, nontenured, nontraditional, but non-nuclear, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, non-load-bearing tile.


Use word noon instead of 12 p.m. in all instances.


The word is related to notorious. It is not synonymous with noted.


Use Arabic numerals for numbers 10 and higher. Spell out numbers under 10. This holds true for all casual uses and distances. Examples: hundreds of items, two miles, Fifth Street, 12th Avenue, eighth century, 20th century,

The exceptions, which use numerals exclusively, follow:

  • academic course numbers (Philosophy 209)
  • ages (the 4-year-old child)
  • acres
  • cents (5 cents)
  • dimensions (The rug is 6 feet wide. The 9-by-12 rug. One exception: two-by-fours.)
  • distances (They hiked 8 miles. He missed a 3-foot putt.)
  • dollar amounts ($1 million)
  • formulas
  • heights (6 feet 2 inches, 6-foot man, 7-footer on the team)
  • highway designations (Interstate 5, U.S. Highway 1, state Route 1A)
  • military and political designations (2nd District Court, 7th Fleet)
  • percentages (7 percent)
  • planes, ships and spacecraft designations (B-2 bomber, Queen Elizabeth 2, Apollo 9). Sometimes Roman numerals are used (Titan I, Titan II). Air Force One is the only exemption.
  • ratios (a 2-1 ratio)
  • sizes (a size 9 shoe)
  • speeds (50 mph)
  • temperatures (except zero)
  • volume (2 ounces)
  • weights (the baby weighed 8 pounds, two ounces)

Other uses:

  • Numerals in proper names are written as the organization writes them. Examples20th Century Fox, Twentieth Century Fund. 
  • When the word number is used with a figure to express a concept, use "No." Examples: No. 1 team, No. 3 choice.
  • For plural numerals, add an s with no apostrophe. Example: 1990s.

Consult the AP stylebook entry for numerals.



on to / onto
  • When on is part of the verb, it’s two word. Example: Step on to the stage. Log on to the website.
  • If it is part of the preposition, it’s one word. Example: Attach the Word document onto the previous document.

One Stop Student Service Center

May abbreviate to One Stop on second reference.

organizations and institutions

(See entry for company, corporate, product names.)


Asian is the acceptable term for an inhabitant of East Asian nations.


Preferred spelling. Orthopaedic is appropriate only when used in publication titles.

Most commonly, this prefix is used without a hyphen. Examples: outsource, outwit, outpost, outbox, output, outdated, outfox, outtalk, outpatient. Check the dictionary, but hyphenate any words you cannot find. (See prefixes.)

Because there are numerous examples of this suffix being used with and without a hyphen, it is best to follow the dictionary. Here are basic guidelines:

  • Most nouns and adjectives using this suffix do not take a hyphen. Examples: fallout, walkout, hideout.
  • Yet some do require a hyphen. Examples: cop-out, fade-out.
  • Verbs are always two words. Examples: It's time to fade out the camera. We need to hide out. I think the candidate should pull out. Those who are really mad should just walk out. A walkout would cost the employees two days pay.

over / more than
Over relates to a concept of space. When referring to quantities, use more thanExample: Over 6 feet tall. More than $1,000. More than 10 minutes.




All caps. Abbreviation for Portable Document Format.


Means next to lastNot synonymous with ultimate.



Use as one word, preceded by numerals. Example: 5 percent.


Only one space should follow the period at the end of a sentence. (See entry for spaces for a greater explanation.)

persons, people

Persons mean individuals with identities. People mean a large and anonymous mass.


No periods. (See entry for academic degrees.)

phone numbers

(See entry for telephone numbers.)

pique one's interest

The word is not peek or peak.


Plethora does not mean "a lot," but means "too many." Example: If you have a plethora of ideas, you have too many ideas and probably don’t know what to do with them all.

  • compound words — For those terms that include two or more separate words or a hyphenated word, add the to the most significant word. Examples: attorneys general, daughters-in-law, deputy chiefs of staff, lieutenant colonels.
  • multiple letters — Add an s with no apostrophe. Examples: ABCs, VIPs.
  • numerals — Add an s with no apostrophe. Example: 1990s.
  • single letters — Add 's to avoid confusion. Example: His report card was full of A's and B's.
P.O. Box

Periods in the abbreviation when used in editorial copy in brochures or publications. Omit the periods for U.S. postal use on labels and in tabular material if needed. (See entry for tabular material.)


podium is a small raised platform on which someone like a conductor stands. One stands behind a lecternTip: Podium comes from podos, meaning foot. Think of podiatrist.


When referring to police, use University of Cincinnati Police or UC Police Division. The UC Police are a division of the Office of Public Safety. As a state-designated police district, the UC Police are never correctly referred to as "campus security."

The UC Police department has two types of officers: police officers (sworn officers who carry guns) and security officers (unarmed, non-sworn). All are employed by the UC Police. Occasionally (usually at large events), UC will hire contract guards who are not, technically, part of the department — but even they are hired by the UC Police.

pompous words

Be wary of words such as conceptualize, signage, health-care delivery systems, explicate, linkages, interface, replicate, input, output, utilize. Never use a big word when a small one will do.


  • descriptive phrases — An apostrophe is usually omitted on a plural word ending in s, when the word is part of a descriptive phrase and does not show possession. To determine if that is the case, usually the word for or by could be appropriately inserted rather than of. Examples: citizens band radio (a radio band for citizens), writers guide (guide for writers), children's hospital (because children does not end in s) and the boy's dog (the dog belonging to the boy).
  • double possessive — A double possessive is a phrase such as the friend of Joe's. (The possessive apostrophe seems duplicative because the word of already denotes possession.) An apostrophe is not used in all cases. To determine if a possessive form of the word following of (thus an apostrophe) is needed, two things must exist: The word after of must be animate, and the word before of must include only a portion of the animate object's belongings. Examples: a few friends of Joe's, the theories of Marx, the friends of the program.
  • compound words — In keeping with the related guidelines for a particular word, add an apostrophe or 's to the word closest to the item being possessed. Examples: the attorney general’s opinion, the deputy chief of staff’s vacation, John Smith Jr.’s report.
  • possessive adjectives — The words minute, hour, day, week, month and year require an apostrophe when used as an possessive adjective. Examples: an hour's work, two weeks' vacation. You can more clearly hear the latter by using a singular amount and noticing the need for an "s" in this phrase: one week's vacation. The same is true for amounts using the words dollars or cents: 2 cents' worth.
  • joint possession — Use 's only with the last name in a series. Example: Ted, Tom and Mary's car.
  • individual possession — Use 's with both names. Example: Tom's and Mary's clothes.
  • singular proper names ending in s — Use only an apostrophe. Example: Dickens' novel.
  • singular proper names ending in z or an s sound — Add an apostrophe s.
  • singular common nouns ending in s or an s sound — Add 's unless the final word begins with s. Examples: the princess’s crown, the dress’s hem, the stylus’s nib, the boss’ strategic plan. When a common noun either ends in s or ends with an s sound AND the noun is followed by a word beginning in s, add only an apostrophe only to show possession. Examples: for appearance' sake, for conscience' sake, for goodness' sake.
  • plural nouns ending in s — Add only an apostrophe. Examples: the athletes’ locker room, the girls' toys, the passengers’ itineraries.
  • pronouns — The following pronouns do not contain an apostrophe to show possession: ours, yours, hers, its, theirs.

When referring to the internet, avoid confusion with publish. You publish on a site and post responses to a site or in a chat room.

possible, possibly  (See likely.)


Following the rules for prefixes can be tricky with this prefix. Generally, one should look up the word in the dictionary. Examples: postdoctoral, postelection, postgame, postgraduate, postmodern, postoperative, postscript, postwar, postdate -- but post-bellum, post-convention, post-mortem, post-op, post-traumatic.

poured, pored

You pour water. You pore over a book. (Hint: If you poured something over what you were reading, you wouldn't be able to read it anymore.)

Follow the rules for prefixes. Generally, hyphenate the word only if the first letter of the root word is an e. Also double-check to see if the word is in the dictionary. Examples: pre-empt, pre-election, pre-eminent, pre-exist, compared to prearrange, prehistoric, precondition, precook, prejudge, prenatal, predispose, pregame, preheat.
If a coined word uses the pre prefix and is not listed in Merriam-Webster, use a hyphen. Examples: pre-convention, pre-dawn.

A prefix is syllable added to the beginning of a word, thus changing the meaning of the root word. Varying hyphenation practices are involved:

  • In most instances, do not use a hyphen when a prefix joins a word starting with a consonant. Examples: subterranean, prologue, pretax, semisweet vs. semi-arid.
  • Generally use a hyphen when a prefix ends in a vowel and joins a word starting with the same vowel. Example: pre-eminent, post-taxes. Exceptions: cooperation and coordinate take no hyphens.
  • Use a hyphen with the root word is capitalized. Example: sub-Saharan Africa. The notable exception are Apple Products. Example: iTunes, iPhone.
  • Use a hyphen to join doubled prefixes. Examples: sub-subparagraph, pre-prequel.
  • When creating a new word not on the dictionary, use a hyphen. Examples: pre-closing, pre-noon, pre-convention.

prefixes meaning "not"
Six different prefixes can mean "not," thus reversing the meaning of a root word. Two of them — non- and un — are rarely confused as to which prefix to use. Examples: unethical, nonprofit. The other four are more similar and can cause confusion -- il-, im-, in-, ir-.

  • il- is used before a root word beginning with L (illogical).
  • im- is used before a root word beginning with B, M or P (imbalance, immoral, impractical).
  • ir- is used before a root word beginning with R (irreducible).
  • in- is used before other sounds (inconclusive, inaccurate, insufferable).

(See individual entries for these prefixes: anti-counter-, cyber, de-, dis-, e, en-, fore-, full-, iil-, ill-in-, ir-, mid-, mis-, non-, re-, out-, post-, pre-, re-, semi-, sub-, un-, wide-. Also check the styebook's spelling guide.)

premier, premiere

The word with e on the end relates to entertainment (a first performance). This version is the only one with a verb form. Premier means leader of a country, as well as first or most important.


One of its meanings is in the near future. It does NOT mean at the present time. To avoid confusion, use currently.

Uppercase or lowercase, depending upon usage. (See formal titles.)

principal, principle

Principal (n., adj.) refers to someone or something first in authority or importance. Examples: school principal, principal player, principal problem. Principle (n.) refers to a fundamental truth. Example: principle of self-determination.

principal investigator

Lowercase. Do not abbreviate as PI on first reference.

probable, probably (See likely.)

product names (See entry for company, corporate, product names.)


Spell out and lowercase in all uses. (See entry for titles.)

Titles of an academic program are lowercase, unless proper names are used. Example: the fashion design program.
For names of non-academic programs, see entry for company, corporate, product names.

Be sure pronouns match the noun they represent in tense. Example: The Board of Trustees at its meeting (not theirs) ... .

Sometime, revising the sentence is necessary to avoid writing his or her. Incorrect: The survey allows each student to express their opinions. (Singular student does not work with plural pronoun.) Correct:The survey allows all students to express their opinions. (Students has the plural pronoun required.)

publication titles (See entry for composition titles, too.)
For newspapers, magazines, journals and other regularly occurring publications, capitalize the name but do not use quotes or italics unless needed for clarity. Examples: People magazine interviewed our visiting scholar. "People" interviewed our visiting scholar. 

Capitalize only words that are part of the publication's formal name -- not the word magazine, for example, if it is not part of the official name. Examples: Time magazine, the journal Science. Check the mastheads to confirm formal names.

Although clever typographic elements may be part of a publication's nameplate, editorial content never uses graphic symbols or stylized fonts, including exclamation points, quotation marks, plus signs, asterisks, bold type or italic type. Furthermore, regardless of another publication's own styleguide, UC style says to always capitalize the first letter of all sentences, lowercase the word the when part of a publication's title and refrain from using all capital letters in a title unless all the letters are pronounced. Incorrect: The Cincinnati Enquirer, TIME magazine, ESPN The Magazine, LIFETIMES. Correct: the Cincinnati Enquirer, Time magazine, ESPN the Magazine, Lifetimes.

Place quotation marks around names of poems, books, movies, plays, operas, songs, television programs, lectures and works of art.


quotation marks (See entry for publication titles, too.)
Periods and commas, when used with quotation marks, always go within the quotation marks. Example: The project is "long overdue," said Angela. Dashes, semicolons, question marks and exclamation points go within quotation marks only when they relate to the quoted matter. Examples:

  • You never saw "The Wizard of Oz"?
  • Ask him, "How do you plan to implement the proposal?"

Means perfect example of quality. Not a synonym for epitome, which means means abstract, summary or embodiment. (See entry for epitome.)




Rack has many definitions and unusual uses. As a noun, it can mean the forequarter of pork, lamb of veal (rack of lamb); a pair of antlers; a fast gait of a horse; or a framework for holding items (wine rack, torture rack). As a verb. rack can mean placing on or in a rack. Example: racking billiard balls. It can also refer to inflicting torture, pain, trouble or ruin. Example: She racked her brain. (Basically meaning to stretch her brain as if it were on a torture rack.)

Do not confuse rack with wrack, both of which can refer to pain, ruin or destruction. Examples: racked my brain, but wracked with doubt, wracked with pain, nerve-wracking. (See wrack.)

Follow rules in prefixes, omitting a hyphen unless the root word begins with an E. Examples: re-elect, re-enlist, re-election, re-enter, re-enact, re-establish, re-examine, compared to reapply, reboot, reread, reuse, resell. Otherwise, follow Merriam-Webster Dictionary and common sense. Examples: resign (quit), re-sign (sign again).

Reading Campus (See entry for campuses.)

refer, revert

Don't refer back or revert back to something. It's redundant. Back is the only way to go.

Refute does not mean "to argue against," but "to of disprove something with evidence."


Be careful of the phrase in regard to (never in regards to).

regions (See entry for directions and regions.)

renown, renowned

Renown is a noun. Renowned is the adjective.


Use RN for internal Academic Health Center stories only. For most external uses, content should spell out that the person is a nurse.

Roman numerals in names
Preference is to use a year rather than a Roman numeral. Example: 2014 Super Bowl, not Super Bowl XLVIII.

room numbers

For consistency (before building names), use the following format: The class will meet in Room 392, Swift Hall.

Reserve Officers' Training Corps (plural possessive)
It can be singular or plural in usage, depending upon context.



Saint, Sainte

Abbreviate as St. and Ste. in city name or person's name.

Schneider, Herman

Former UC president who founded cooperative education while dean of the UC College of Engineering.

scientific names

The scientific names for animals and plants are composed of two words, known as generic name and trivial name. The common house cat, for example is Felis domesticus. The first, or generic, name is always capitalized. The second, or trivial, is always lowercase. Both words are italicized.

seal (See entries for logo and branding.)
The University Seal is reserved for formal presidential, academic or board-related university publications as approved by the University Brand Review Committee. Use of the university's seal is protected under trademark laws, and seal elements cannot be separated, altered, retyped or recreated in any way.


All four seasons should use lowercase. Examples: spring, summer, fall and winter. Lowercase references to academic semesters, too. Example: spring semester. Uppercase all words in a formal name. Example: SAE Spring Fling.

secondly, thirdly

There's no firstly, so you can't have a secondly, either. It's first, second, third.

Always hyphenate when used as a prefix. Example: self-appointed self-cleaning, self-destructive.



Lowercase references to academic semesters. Example: spring semester. Uppercase all words in a formal name. Example: SAE Spring Fling.

Hyphens are rare with this prefix, but follow the rules for prefixes. Also double-check to see if the word is in the dictionary. Examples: semifinal, semiofficial, semitropical, semi-invalid, but semi-automatic.

When items are listed in a series and at least one of the items contains an internal comma, semicolons are needed between each item in the series, then alsoo use the semicolon before the conjunction. Example: They will honor Mary Smith, communication professor; Bob Brown, engineer; and Barb Jones, nursing alumna.

Semicolons are also needed when two independent clauses are joined together without a conjunction. Example: Look out for professor Smith today; he's in a bad mood.

senior (See entry for junior.)

sexist language (See entry for freshman, freshmen, too.)
Unless referring to a known gender in context, avoid the use of masculine and feminine forms and masculine- or feminine-marked words as much as possible. This avoidance includes using alternatives to generic terms that contain masculine or feminine markers. Use parallel terms for both sexes: men and women, husband and wife, mothers and fathers. Don't refer to men as husbands and fathers unless women are also being identified as wives and mothers.

Be alert to phrases that suggest all readers are men. Use graduate students and their spouses were invited, rather than graduate students and their wives were invited. Avoid unnecessary references to a person's marital status. Examples:

  • businessperson, business executive, business manager for businessman
  • camera operator or videographer for cameraman
  • chair for chairman
  • member of Congress or representative for congressman
  • firefighter forfireman 
  • police officer for policeman
  • mail carrier formailman 
  • humanity for mankind
  • workforce, workers, employees formanpower 
  • leader, public servant for statesman

Also be cautious about pronoun usage. Plural pronouns can eliminate the need for gender-specific pronouns. Avoid: A student nurse gains a clinical experience after she completes a certain amount of class work. Preferred: Student nurses have clinical experiences after they complete a certain amount of class work.

signature architect buildings
A major component of UC's Campus Master Plan, developed by Hargreaves Associates, are the following buildings, listed with the date they opened and the signature architects who designed them:

  • Edwards Center, 1992 (designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Ownings and Merrill, in collaboration with local firm Glaserworks)
  • Engineering Research Center, 1995 (designed by Michael Graves, DAAP ’58, HonDoc ’82, in collaboration with local firm KZF Design)
  • Aronoff Center for Design and Art, 1996 (designed by Peter Eisenman in collaboration with Lorenz & Williams of Dayton, Ohio)
  • College-Conservatory of Music Village, 1999 (designed by Henry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, in collaboration with local architects NBBJ Architects)
  • Vontz Center for Molecular Studies, 1999 (designed by Frank Gehry in collaboration with local firm BHDP Architects)
  • University Pavilion, 2003 (designed by Andrea Leers and Jane Wienzapfel of Leers Weinzapfel Associates in collaboration with local firm GBBN Architects -- the only women signature architects on campus)
  • Steger Student Life Center, 2004 (designed by Buzz Yudell of Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners, in collaboration with local firm Glaserworks)
  • Tangeman University Center, 2004 (designed by Charles Gwathmey of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, in collaboration with local firm GBBN Architects)
  • Lindner Center, May 2006 (designed by Bernard Tschumi of Bernard Tschumi Architects and by local firm: Glaserworks)
  • Campus Recreation Center, 2006 (designed by Thom Mayne, of Morphosis, in collaboration with local firm KZF Design)
  • Van Wormer Library renovation, 2006 (designed by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, in collaboration with Lorenz & Williams of Dayton, Ohio)
  • Medical Sciences Building renovation/CARE-Crawley addition, 2008 (designed by Eric Sueberkrop, DAAP ’72, of Studios Architecture, in collaboration with local firm HarleyEllis)

For formal building names, see entry for buildings, facilities.

In addition, the following green spaces and plazas were designed by signature architects:

  • Library Plaza, 1995 (designed by George Hargreaves and Mary Margaret Jones of Hargreaves Associates)
  • Campus Green, 2000 (designed by George Hargreaves of Hargreaves Associates)
  • Sigma Sigma Commons, 1998 (designed by George Hargreaves and Mary Margaret Jones of Hargreaves Associates)
  • Ronald Walker Light Tower, 1998 (designed by Rodolfo Machado of Machado & Silvetti)
  • MainStreet open space, 2004 (designed by George Hargreaves of Hargreaves Associates, in collaboration with local firm Glaserworks)
  • McMicken Commons, 1990 (designed by George Hargreaves of Hargreaves Associates)
  • Mews Gardens, 2004 (designed by Buzz Yudell of Moore Rubles Yudell Architects & Planners)
  • University Commons, 2000 (designed by George Hargreaves of Hargreaves Associates)
  • Eden Quad greenspace, 2008 (designed by George Hargreaves of Hargreaves Associates, in collaboration with local firm HarleyEllis) 
slide show

Two words.

social media

This term refers to tools for sharing information among online communities. This can be done through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, wikis and other forums. Related terms follow:

  • emoji
  • selfie
  • Snapchat
  • Vine

(See internet for list of related terms.)


One space should be placed after all punctuation, including periods and question marks, at the end of sentences.

The use of two spaces between sentences was preferred with typewriters because mono-spaced characters made it difficult to determine the end of sentences. Books and newspapers, however, never used double spaces. The typographer took care of setting the proper spacing regardless of the text that had been turned in. Today, most computer software programs use proportionally spaced fonts, which automatically insert the proper amount of space after punctuation. As a result, single spaces between sentences are appropriate for all copy.

For people who find it hard to break the two-space habit, most versions of Microsoft Word will let you set a preference for how many spaces you want between sentences, and grammar-check will flag inconsistencies. You can also do a global search and replace (searching for two spaces and replacing it with one) after you are finished writing.

(Updated October 2016)
The names of the 50 U.S. states should be spelled out when used in the body of a story, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city, town, village or military base.

  • State names must be included along with city names except in the following cases: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and other well-known cities as listed in the cities entry.
  • In general editorial uses, lowercase the word state. Examples: state of Ohio, state Rep. John Doe.
  • When using a state name with a city name, surround the state name with commas. Example: Her office in Evansville, Indiana, has shown great profits.
  • The names of eight states are never abbreviated in text: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. Use the state abbreviations (listed below) in: lists, tabular material and credit lines or in short-form listings of political party affiliation: D-Ala., R-Mont.

Following are the state abbreviations (with postal code abbreviations in parentheses):

Ala. (AL)
Alaska (AK)
Ariz. (AZ)
Ark. (AR)
Calif. (CA)
Colo. (CO)
Conn. (CT)
Del. (DE)
District of Columbia (DC)
Fla. (FL)
Ga. (GA)
Hawaii (HI)
Idaho (ID)
Ill. (IL)
Ind. (IN)
Iowa (IA)
Kan. (KS)

Ky. (KY)
La. (LA)
Maine (ME)
Md. (MD)
Mass. (MA)
Mich. (MI)
Minn. (MN)
Miss. (MS)
Mo. (MO)
Mont. (MT)
Neb. (NE)
Nev. (NV)
N.H. (NH)
N.J. (NJ)
N.M. (NM)
N.Y. (NY)
N.C. (NC)

N.D. (ND)
Ohio (OH)
Okla. (OK)
Ore. (OR)
Pa. (PA)
R.I. (RI)
S.C. (SC)
S.D. (SD)
Tenn. (TN)
Texas (TX)
Utah (UT)
Vt. (VT)
Va. (VA)
Wash. (WA)
W.Va. (WV)
Wis. (WI)
Wyo. (WY)


UC's preferred acronym for collectively referring to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. The Ohio Board of Regents uses the acronym STEM, omitting the reference to medicine. When appropriate to use the state's style, do so.

street names
Many campus street names are confusing to an external audience and should be used only when necessary. Be aware that the following street names were changed in August 2004:

  • College Court — now Clifton Court
  • Corbett Drive — now CCM Boulevard
  • Campus Drive (in front of McMicken Hall) — now Campus Way

(Also, see entry for addresses for post office use and tabular material.)


The rules in 
prefixes apply, but hyphens are rare with this prefix. Examples: subterranean, subtext, subdivide, subprime.

See separate listings for suffixes — -ly, -ful, -less, -like, -out. If a word cannot be found here or in the dictionary, follow this rule: Use two words for verbs and hyphenate nouns and adjectives.

summa cum laude
Lowercase. Undergraduate students qualify for graduation with summa cum laude honors if their university grade point averages are between 3.9 and 4.0. (See cum laude.)



tabular material

The use of abbreviations and addresses that meet postal regulations, but not typical editorial guidelines, are acceptable in tabular material when lengthier material will not fit. Making such exceptions to standard style guidelines are also appropriate in website footer areas if it makes the content clearer and more usable.

Teachers College

No apostrophe. This is the name of a building, not a college.

telephone numbers

Depending upon how many elements are necessary for the audience, use this format: 513-556-5225, ext. 4.


Use figures for all except zero. Use a word, not a minus sign, to indicate temperatures below zero. Example: The day's low was minus 10, or 10 below zero.

that (as a conjunction)
That can be a conjunction when it introduces a dependent clause.

  • The word that is usually unnecessary, but sometimes it clarifies a sentence. Examples: The teacher said school would begin in two weeks. The minister said that the creed encapsulated the church’s beliefs. (If you omitted “that,” you would begin to incorrectly read, “The minister said the creed .... .”)
  • As a rule, the following words need the conjuncton that after them: advocate, assert, contend, declare, estimate, make clear, point out, propose, state.
  • These words may need a that before them: after, although, because, before, in addition to, until, while.


that, which
That and which are two pronouns that are often used incorrectly. In general, if the clause in question could be omitted without leaving the noun it modifies incomplete or without altering the meaning, which should be used to introduce the clause, preceded by a comma. If the clause is limiting or defining, that is the word to use. 

  • Correct: He has invented a process that will supply the world with free fuel. The process, which was invented by A.J. Smith, will supply the world with free fuel.
  • Incorrect: He has invented a process, which will supply the world with free fuel. (Consult AP stylebook entries for essential clauses and non-essential clauses.)

"Third Century"
President Santa Ono's vision for the future is named "Creating Our Third Century." Do not shorten the name to "Third Century" unless it is a second reference in the text or it is a generic reference targeted to an internal UC audience who are certain to understand the term. (See "Creating Our Third Century.")


3-D is preferred.


  • In general, list the time, day and date in that order: 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 1.
  • .duration —Consistently use either the format from 3 to 5 p.m., or 3-5 p.m. In most cases, use only the starting time. The ending time is relevant only when listing a series of events. Example: Jeremy Johnson will be at CCM from 8-9 a.m. and in the Great Hall from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Jenny Jones will be in the library from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
  • time of dayWrite a.m. and p.m. lowercase, using periods and with a space after the numeral. Correct: 8 a.m. Incorrect: 8am
  • Use noon or midnight, rather than 12 a.m. or 12 p.m., which are confusing. Avoid redundancy as in 10 a.m. this morning.


Lowercase and spell out most titles relating to people.

  • formal titles — The only title to ever be uppercase is a formal title appearing directly before a name. Formal titles reflect positions so impressive that they are as much a part of people's identities as their names. Examples: President Santa Ono, former President Steger, Pope Benedict, Dean Herman Schneider, Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
    • Formal titles appearing before a name are lowercase when they are set off with commas. Example: Our president, Joan Brown, will address the meeting.
    • Formal titles appearing after a name or without a name are lowercase. Examples: The president will issue a statement tomorrow. Larry Johnson, the dean, attended the board meeting.
    • The word elect is hyphenated and lowercase when used. Example: President-elect Gerald Ford.
  • occupational titles — Lowercase titles that mostly describe occupations. Examples: professor Jim Lange, coach Paul Brown, department head Joan Russell, astronaut Neil Armstrong.
  • abbreviated formal titles — These formal titles are capitalized and abbreviated when used before a name. Examples: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep., Sen. and certain military ranks. (See entry for military titles.)
    • The word elect is hyphenated and lowercase when used. Example: Gov.-elect John Brown.
  • honorifics — Honorifics, such as Esq. and His Royal Highness, are not used in general editorial text.

(Also, see entries for composition titles, professor, publication titles.)

toes the line
The word is not tows, and it is plural, in reference to lining people up with everyone's toes touching a line. It is also a cliche and should be avoided.


Not towards.


Trademarks must be capitalized, yet certain trademarks have become so common in English usage that we forget they are trademarks. Examples: Allen wrench, AstroTurf, Band-Aid, Breathalyzer, Dumpster, Fiberglas, Freon, Frisbee, Heimlich Maneuver, Jacuzzi, Jaws of Life, Jazzercise, Jell-O, Kleenex, LaserJet printer, Lucite, Mace tear gas, Magic Marker, Muzak, Photostat, Plexiglas, Realtor, Rolodex, Scotch Tape, Seeing Eye dogs, Sno-Kone, Styrofoam, Xerox.

Trademarks should be followed with generic terms, when appropriate. Example: Kleenex tissues. Better yet, avoid trademarks and just use the generic term as long as it is easily understood. For a more complete listing of trademarks, visit the International Trademark Association's website.

The Associated Press Stylebook states, "There is no legal requirement to use the trademark symbol."

Tristate (See entry for directions and regions, also.)
Uppercase when referring to the specific geographical Tristate area involving Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky area of Greater Cincinnati.


  • Truncation is a way of shortening a word by only using the first few letters or a word or a couple of words Examples: Oct. for October, Thurs. for Thursday, Ky. for Kentucky.
    Latin terms are sometimes truncated. Examples: etc. for et cetera, i.e. for id est (or that is).
  • When reading such abbreviations, you generally pronounce the common original word, regardless of the letters used. Example: Ky. is read as Kentucky, not "kay-why"; e.g. is read as “for example" not as "ee-gee" (or exempli gratia).

(See entries for abbreviationsacademic degreesacronymsbuildings, initialismstates and tabular material.)

A Twitter message is called a tweet. The verb form of the word is to Twitter or to tweet.



To signify the University of Cincinnati, use UC, without periods.

UC Health
The university's health system that includes University of Cincinnati Medical Center, UC Health University of Cincinnati Physicians, UC Health West Chester Hospital, UC Health Drake Center, UC Health Surgical Hospital and Lindner Center of Hope. UC Health came into existence when the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati dissolved in 2010.

UC Health University of Cincinnati Physicians
This is the multi-specialty clinical practice group of the UC College of Medicine faculty and is affiliated with UC Health. The group includes approximately 650 physicians and an additional 200 nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, psychologists and certified nurse anesthetists who provide care to more than 1 million patients annually through all Greater Cincinnati hospitals and nearly 30 outpatient locations. The group also provides physician coverage for the region’s only Level I adult trauma center and emergency departments at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Jewish Hospital and UC Health West Chester Hospital.

On second reference, you can refer to the group as UC Physicians. The group has three offices, none of which use the words University of Cincinnati, as in the group's official name:

  • UC Health Physicians Office — Clifton
  • UC Health Physicians Office — North
  • UC Health Physicians Office — South



No periods, all uppercase, two words. This is an abbreviation, not an acronym.

UC's strategic academic master plan, implemented by former President Gregory Williams and unveiled at his investiture. Can be written as UC2019. The formal name is "UC2019►Accelerating our Transformation." In general, President Santa Ono’s “Creating Our Third Century” has replaced it.

The university's strategic academic plan, implemented by former President Nancy Zimpher. The formal name was "UC|21: Defining the New Urban Research University." This program was been transformed into President Santa Ono's "Creating Our Third Century."

Generally, no hyphens are used with this prefix, even if the root word begins with an N. Examples: untie, uncork, unpack, unreal, unknown, unaware, unnecessary. But, if the root word is a proper noun, a hyphen is needed (un-American).

One word in all uses.


Not a synonym for unusual. It means strictly one of a kind. Nothing can be rather unique or most unique.

United Kingdom, Great Britain
The United Kingdom comprises Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but not the Irish Republic. Great Britain (or Britain) comprises England, Scotland and Wales, but not Northern Ireland or the Irish Republic.

units of measure

Express the unit of measure in a singular form, and hyphenate the numeral and the unit when used as a compound modifier. Examples: 100-calorie snacks, 80-MB hard drive, 2-inch margins, 2-quart pitcher, 80-degree weather, 8-pound baby. Note: Do not hyphenate a compound modifier that contains "percent," which is not a unit of measurement. Examples: 35 percent increase, 10 percent raise, 3 percent tax hike, 2 percent tuition increase.


Do not capitalize university, except when used in a proper name. Examples: Classes begin at the University of Cincinnati on Sept. 22. The university began classes Sept. 22. The same usage applies to college, center, board, council.

University Hospital
This is an old name. See current name, University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

University of Cincinnati Medical Center
Primarily refers to the hospital formerly known as University Hospital, but also includes the Charles M. Barrett Center for Cancer Research and Treatment, Holmes Hospital, the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center, Hoxworth Center outpatient clinics, the UC Health University of Cincinnati Physicians Office — Clifton and psychiatry services at the former Deaconess Hospital. UC's health colleges are not part of this center.

Do not precede the name University of Cincinnati Medical Center with the article "the."

Uptown Campus

East Campus, West Campus and the Victory Parkway Campus combined. Replaces the outdated term Central Campus. Both words uppercase.

URLs (See entry for Web addresses.)

U.S., USA, United States
To signify the United States, use U.S., with periods.  The abbreviation is acceptable as a nouns and an adjective. Periods are omitted from US in headlines. When writing USA, no periods are used.


U-Square at the Loop
Although this commercial area is not part of the university, it is frequently mentioned in print, especially since UC offices are part of it. This new complex of buildings opened in 2013 and falls between Calhoun and McMillan streets. Use a hypen.


verb usage
The trickiest part of selecting the proper verb is determining whether the subject is singular or plural. Some tips for making that determination follow:

  • Agreement — Usually, the verb needs to agree with the related noun, not the object of a preposition. Example: The goal of their efforts was to cultivate goodwill.
  • Fractions, pieces — The exception involves fractions or a word such as half, part, plenty or rest. In such cases, one must determine the plurality of the entire phrase. Examples: Half the students are sick. One-third of the students are sick. Half a class is not enough to complete the project. There are plenty of ways to remedy the situation. Sometimes the plurality of the noun is only suggested: So many students are sick that half are going home.
  • To be — When using a verb that is a form of to be, the verb must agree with the subject, not the predicate nominative. Example: The best item on the menu was the meatballs. ("Item was," not "meatballs were.")
  • Always singular — These words always take a singular verb — each, either, neither, one, no one, every one, anyone, someone, everyone, anybody, somebody, everybody. Examples: Each can have a piece. Everyone is invited.
    • When the words "every" or "many a" appear before a word, the subject takes a singular verb. Examples: Every man, woman and child was asked to leave. Many a college student wishes to return to the easy days of high school.
    • Some singular nouns look plural, such as: economics, physics, mathematics, civics, measles, mumps. Example: Economics is an interesting field.
  • Always plural — These words always take a plural verb — several, few, both and many. Examples: Many are on their way. Several know the answer.
  • Singular or plural — These words can be singular or plural — some, any, none, all, most. You need to determine if they represent a whole entity or individual pieces of one. Example: None of us is perfect. (Not one of us is perfect.) None of the committee members agree on the next step. (No two agree.)
  • Don't let phrases baffle you — These phrases do not affect the subject: together with, as well as, in addition to, accompanied by. Example: Josh, accompanied by his father, is on his way.
  • Or, nor — When a singular and plural subject are joined by "or" or "nor," the verb agrees with the nearer subject. Examples: Neither the mice nor the cat is paying any attention to each other. Neither the cat nor the mice are paying any attention to each other.
  • Collective nouns — Collective nouns refer to a group and can be plural or singular in usage, including words such as class, faculty, army, audience, class, crowd, media, public, team. To determine verb usage, decide whether the collection considered as a whole or as individuals. Examples: The media is covering the event in several ways. (each media outlet) The media is driving us crazy. (all the media) (See entry for collective nouns for more examples.)
  • Amounts — Amounts are usually singular, including time, money, measurement, weight, volume, fractions. Examples: Four hours is enough time for the exam. Be aware that $25 is the price of admission.
verbal agreement 

Verbal means written or oral. Say oral, if that’s what you mean.


Abbreviate as vs. in all uses.


In titles, use as a separate word without a hyphen. Example: vice president.


Not a synonym for actual or nearly. It means something has the effect but not the form. Example: When the president resigned, the vice president became the virtual head of the company, even though he had not been so named.



wake, woke, waked

"Woken" is not a word.

Washington, D.C.

When the name appears in copy not at the end of a sentence, set off D.C. with a pair of commas. Example: I am attending a Washington, D.C., conference.

web (now lowercase per AP style, June 2016) (See entries for internet and computer terms, also.)
Lowercase compound words formed with the word web. Examples: the web, web page, web server, but ... webcast, webcam, webinar, webmaster, website, webzine. Spelling is aligned with the AP stylebook.

In regards to formatting, generally follow the UC Stylebook for editorial copy. For content within the footer area of a web page, however, you can use abbreviations when needed to make the content fit the space and to create copy that might be easier to read. (See related entry for tabular material.)

web addresses, URLs

To save space, do not include http:// if the URL contains www. If the URL does not include www, the http:// may be necessary to avoid confusion. Use your own best judgment, but be sure the URL can be perceived as a URL and not as plain text.

Always include a period at the end of a sentence even if a web address or email address appears at the end. ExampleMy email address is bearcat@uc.edu. When possible, enclose URLs and email addresses in parentheses or brackets. ExamplePlease send me the file via email (bearcat@uc.ed).

If a web address cannot be kept together on one line of copy, never add a hyphen or other punctuation to a URL. Only allow a line-break to occur before a period, slash, dash or underscore so it remains obvious that the two lines belong together.


One word, but web page is two words. (See internet for list of terms.)

West Campus

All academic colleges in the area bounded by Martin Luther King Drive, Jefferson Avenue, Calhoun Street and Clifton Avenue. It is often referred to as Clifton Campus, which derives from its location along Clifton Avenue, but the area is not in Clifton.

which (See entry for that, which.)


While means during the time that. It is used to link simultaneous occurrences. Do not use to mean although, whereas, and or but. In such circumstances, often only a semicolon is necessary.

Lowercase. Preferred term over Caucasian because common ancestry related to the Caucasus Mountains region should not be assumed.

who, whom
When a phrase describes a person or an animal with a name, the pronoun who or whom always takes place of the word that or which. Example: I would like you to meet the student who worked with me on the project. Not "the student that worked with me on the project."

In deciding between the words who and whom, use who if the pronoun functions as a subject of a verb. To determine if that is the case, you can substitute the pronouns he, she or they for who. Examples:

  • Give this to the woman who endowed the grant. (Invert the words to read: She endowed the grant.) 
  • Please ask the man who is sitting by the window. (Change this to: He is sitting by the window.)

Use whom if the pronoun functions as an object of a verb or preposition. To determine if that is the case, you can substitute the pronouns his, her or them. Examples:

  • Give this to the woman for whom the grant is named. (Invert words to read: The grant is named for her.) 
  • Give this to the student whom you already met. (Change this to: You already met him or her.)

This prefix usually takes a hyphen. Examples: wide-eyed, wide-angle, wide-open. (See prefixes.)

The word means ruin or destruction. The word is generally used only in these phrases: wrack and ruin, wracked with doubt, wracked with guilt, wracked with pain, nerve-wracking. The verb wrack is rarely used, because it is substantially synonymous with rack, which is the preferred word. (See rack.)



Use X-ray in all uses, whether noun, verb or adjective. Use for both the photographic process and the radiation particles themselves.



years (See entries for academic year and fiscal year.)

  • Set the year off with two commas when it appears with a full date. Example: Jan. 15, 1993, was the target date.
  • For decades, use an s without an apostrophe. Examples: 1960s and '60s, not the 1960's and 60's. On first reference, use 1960s, not '60s.
  • For centuries, the preferred format is the 20th century, not the 1900s.
  • Do not routinely name the current year unless it is necessary for avoid confusion. Correct: the April 1 meeting. Incorrect: the April 1, 2004, meeting.
  • For periods covering multiple years (academic and fiscal years, in particular), use 2006-07, not 2006-2007. Writing about the end of a century is an exception. Example: 1999-2000.



Hyphenate as an adjective and an adverb.


ZIP codes

The ZIP is uppercase because it stands for Zoning Improvement Plan. (See entry for addresses for on-campus ZIP code usage.)

Zip drive, Zip disks

Uppercase. Registered trademarks.