NSU STYLE MANUAL AND PUBLICATIONS SERVICE GUIDE Developed by Nova Southeastern University Office of Printing and Publications Approved by Nova Southeastern University Editorial Board August 2023
NSU STYLE MANUAL AND PUBLICATIONS SERVICE GUIDE Developed by Nova Southeastern University Office of Printing and Publications Approved by Nova Southeastern University Editorial Board August 2023
iii Why an NSU Style Manual? Style affects language in the same way it affects people. We all follow a basic set of laws and mores that allows us to live in a peaceful civilized society, yet we also dress differently, prefer different foods, and enjoy different forms of entertainment. Similarly, our language employs a set of rules that must be followed in order to make communication possible, although differences often arise in the way words are used, phrased, and written. Like any large corporation or institution, Nova Southeastern University each year produces thousands of publications that describe our services to clients, students, associates, and the general public. These include catalogs, brochures, newsletters, advertisements, invitations, flyers, and more. Because these publications convey our image and message to thousands of people, maintaining high standards of accuracy and consistency is essential to exhibiting a positive, professional image of the university. As a service to the university community and its clients, the Editorial Board of Nova Southeastern University created the NSU Style Manual, a nonacademic, in-house reference source that includes hundreds of entries, some related specifically to university-related issues and others to frequently cited style questions. It was created to give the writers and editors of promotional and marketing materials answers to their questions about style and usage. While the manual applies to all material processed by the Office of Publications, it does not attempt to address the style for other kinds of writing, e.g., academic papers, memorandums, and personal correspondence. How to use it In order to make the NSU Style Manual as easy as possible to use, entries have been arranged alphabetically. In addition to the regular listing, the manual includes • a guide to punctuation and usage • a guide to using concise language • a listing of NSU addresses • a listing of NSU academic and administrative units, campuses, and facilities • a discussion of copyright law • a section on proper terminology in the use of phrases referring to people with disabilities • a glossary of publication and printing terms • a list of proofreader’s marks The manual uses The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) as its preferred style source and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (MW) as its preferred dictionary. These are the two most commonly cited sources in other university style manuals, and both have online versions that are continually being updated. If you have questions that are not addressed in these sources, please contact the university editor. Your input is important The NSU Style Manual is not intended to be an allinclusive, comprehensive study of style. Nor should it be interpreted as commandments, an edict, or a dictum. Rather it is a guide to help our writers and editors maintain consistency in university publications, and in doing so, enhance and maintain the university’s professional image. We recognize that usage may conflict with that accepted by certain target audiences and that differences of opinion will arise. Please keep in mind that we are attempting to create one brand voice for the entire university, not just one academic or administrative unit. The manual is subject to change by consensus, and we look forward to addressing suggestions for revisions or supplementary entries or updates. Please address all questions or suggestions to the university editor at (954) 262-8863 or the associate editor at (954) 262-8857. Visit the Printing and Publications website at nova.edu/publications for the most up-to-date information on the services we offer. Foreword
v Foreword.............................................................................................................................................................................. iii NSU Style Manual Alphabetical Listing. ...................................................................................................................................................... 1 Special Sections Using Concise Language............................................................................................................................................... 40 Guide to Punctuation and Usage.................................................................................................................................. 41 NSU Addresses.............................................................................................................................................................. 44 NSU Academic and Administrative Units and Facilities........................................................................................... 46 Proofreaders’ Marks........................................................................................................................................................ 48 A Brief Discussion of Copyright Law........................................................................................................................... 49 Unhandicapping Our Language.................................................................................................................................... 51 Glossary of Publication and Printing Terms................................................................................................................. 53 Table of Contents
1 A abbreviations Abbreviations fall into two categories: acronyms, which are those formed by using only the first letters of a phrase’s constituent words (e.g., NSU for Nova Southeastern University), and those formed by using more than the first letter of each word (e.g., Ph.D.). As these examples illustrate, the former do not take periods and the latter do. The former category has some notable exceptions. The abbreviation for United States (U.S.) takes periods, so as not to be confused with us (or in the NSU arena, with NSU University School). However, USA is written without periods. See also academic degrees and acronyms. academic advisor On business cards and letterhead, this term will be spelled with the -or suffix. If the complete term is used in a document and no other advisers are mentioned, the -or suffix will be used. If the complete term (academic advisor) is not used or other types of advisers are also mentioned, than the word will be spelled with the -er suffix. See also adviser/advisor. academic degrees NSU has chosen to use periods in the abbreviations of all levels of academic degrees listed in university publications, whether they were obtained here or not. • B.A. not BA • M.S. not MS • Au.D. not AuD Use in when describing a degree, not of. • Bachelor of Arts in . . . • bachelor’s degree in . . . • NOT bachelor’s of . . . When an academic degree is used before a school, separate them with commas. • Ph.D., Indiana University • M.S., Nova Southeastern University When an academic degree is used after a name, set it off with commas. • Richard Davis, Ed.D., is the dean. • NOT Dr. Richard Davis • NOT Mr. Richard Davis, Ed.D. • Sample plural forms: Ph.D.s, M.A.s, M.B.A.s Note: NSU has a wide array of faculty members possessing different doctoral degrees (e.g., O.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., Psy.D.). To reduce the resulting confusion, use the specific degree instead of the term doctor when describing a person with a doctorate. • John Jones, Ph.D., will speak at graduation. • NOT Dr. John Jones will speak at graduation. See also capitalization. See also titles of people. Academical Village Not Academic or Academics Village accents, diacritical marks Use only on words that are still considered foreign—not on words commonly used in American English, like cafe and cliche. Here’s the test: If a word appears in the main section of an American dictionary (and not in an appendix on foreign words and phrases), you can consider it assimilated. Capital letters do not take accent marks in Spanish. See also foreign words and résumé. accreditation statement This statement appears on all recruitment collateral, including, but not limited to, brochures, flyers, or advertisements marketing the university and its educational programs. To meet the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) standards, it must be used verbatim, as provided here by the Office of Printing and Publications (PUB). If you are unsure if an accreditation is needed, contact PUB. Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s, educational specialist, doctoral, and professional degrees. Nova Southeastern University also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Nova Southeastern University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org). The Shepard Broad College of Law and the NSU University School have separate accreditations, but all others must use the above accreditation verbatim when an accreditation is required. There are no restrictions as to the point size or style of type in which the accreditation statement must appear.
2 acknowledgment No e before the suffix See also judgment. acronyms An acronym should be in parentheses and follow the term it stands for. Acronyms should only be used if they will be used again in the same story or collateral piece. If the acronym will not be used, then just spell out the term the only time it is mentioned. • Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is in Florida. NSU has more than 21,000 students. • Nova Southeastern University is in Florida. The university has more than 21,000 students. ACT (American College Test) The abbreviation for this college entrance exam is written without periods. See also GRE, PSAT, and SAT. addresses To comply with postal regulations, use the postal abbreviations for states (e.g., FL for Florida) in address fields. In running text, state names should be written out whenever space permits. If space in running text is limited, use the postal abbreviations rather than the traditional abbreviations (FL NOT Fla.). The same applies for street names. Spell out street, avenue, boulevard, drive, etc., where space permits. Although CMS recommends spelling out street addresses under one hundred (as in Ninety-Third Street), this can be cumbersome. NSU style suggests using numerals for all building numbers and street addresses. The important thing is to be consistent. Spell out one-word directionals (South, East, West, and North). Do not use periods in compass-direction addresses such as NW and SE. Finally, NSU addresses must use the plus four (last four digits) on ZIP codes, unless specifically indicated otherwise. • 3200 South University Drive • 3375 SW 75th Avenue See also directions and regions. See also state names. See NSU addresses (page 44) for a current list of university addresses. admissions Please note that NSU’s various admissions offices use the plural. • Office of Admissions • NOT Office of Admission Advanced Placement tests Use the abbreviation AP without periods. adviser/advisor Merriam-Webster’s and most style/grammar guides prefer the -er suffix. For consistency’s sake throughout the university, adviser will be spelled with the -er ending when used independently, with other titles (e.g., residential adviser), or in academic adviser if other advisers are also mentioned in the document. affect, effect Most often, affect is used as a verb and effect as a noun. If you’re not sure which to use, try substituting one of the definitions below into your sentence. If you are using the correct word, the substitution will make sense. Another option is to use the mnemonic device “To Affect is to Act on, but the Effect is the rEsult.” affect (verb): to influence or sway • Rising prices affect everyone. • The loss of her brother affected her deeply. effect (verb): to bring about, cause, or implement • The trade embargo effected the rise in oil prices. • His vitamins effected a positive change in his mood. effect (noun): a result or accomplishment • The rain had little effect on the drought. • Her emotional outburst was just for effect. affect (noun): an emotional state This usage is essentially obsolete, but is still used as a psychological term. • The depressed patient showed little affect.
3 African American African American is preferable to black as a designator of race. Note that it is written without a hyphen, whether it is used as a noun or an adjective. • He is an African American. • The African American population of NSU is growing each year. See also nationality and race. after-school program See also before-school program. ages Spell out all ages under 10. Ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun use hyphens. If no age modifier is specified, it is presumed to be years. • She will turn 15 next week. • He is five years old. but • He is a five-year-old. See also numbers. aid (verb), aide (noun) • This discovery will aid in the fight against diabetes. • She works as an aide in Senator Johnson’s office. allow, enable, empower Allow: to let do, to let happen. Use enable instead, if the context is appropriate; it’s more active and positive. Enable: to provide with means, opportunity, power, or authority Empower: to give power or authority (Use sparingly. This word is becoming a cliche.) The governor signed the education bill, allowing it to pass, empowering school administrators to raise teachers’ salaries, and enabling thousands of children to return to school. all right, not alright Although MW says that the word alright has a respectable etymology, the expression is always written in its twoword form in university publications. all-time (adj.) Use the hyphen. Note: The phrase all-time record is illogical. The word record itself incorporates the data of all previous time, and no record can purport to stand for all time. a lot Always written as two words. Because this phrase lacks precision, try not to use it. See also lots. although Be sure not to confuse the usage of although with that of while, which suggests the passage of time. • Although I studied Shakespeare, I enjoy modern theater. • NOT While I studied Shakespeare, I enjoy modern theater. See also while. alumnus, etc. • One man: alumnus • One woman: alumna • Two or more men: alumni (last syllable rhymes with try) • Two or more women: alumnae (last syllable rhymes with tree) • For a group containing both men and women: alumni Alum can be used in casual conversation or informal writing only to describe one man or one woman. It is not preferred, but the second definition listed in MW is a shortened form of alumnus or alumna. Alums should never be used. a.m., p.m. Use periods and lowercase letters to express morning or afternoon. Always use four digits. Note: Avoid 12 noon and 12 midnight; noon and midnight are sufficient. Please lowercase these designations, as well. • 10:00 a.m. (NOT 10 a.m.; NOT 10 a.m. this morning). • The seminar will meet from 11:00 a.m. to noon. • NOT The seminar will meet from 11 a.m. to Noon.
4 America When you’re referring to this country, use United States instead. The word America refers to two continents rather than to a specific country in one of them. See also U.S. ampersand (&) Avoid using ampersands in running text—and even in charts or other places with limited space. The only case in which ampersands are appropriate is when the symbol is part of the official legal name of a company, organization, or publication. • Jim & Jan Moran Family Center Village • U.S. News & World Report • The Boys & Girls Club • Johnson & Wales University annual An event cannot be described as annual until it has occurred for at least two successive years. Avoid first annual. any more, anymore The two-word any more is used only in the negative sense and always goes with a noun. • NSU cannot award financial aid to any more students this year. Written as one word, anymore is used to modify a verb and should be used only at the end of a thought. • We don’t go there anymore. • I don’t like her anymore. any one, anyone, every one, everyone Use the two-word expressions when you want to single out one element of a group. • Any one of those students can apply to NSU. • Every one of those clues was worthless. Use the one-word expressions for indefinite references; note that these expressions take singular verbs and pronouns. • Anyone who has graduated from high school may apply to NSU. • Everyone wants a happy life. See also none. any way, anyway Write as two words only when you can mentally insert the word one in the middle. The rest of the time, write as one word. • Any [one] way you want to write the letter is fine. • The committee opposed the plan, but it was implemented anyway. apostrophe See the Guide to Punctuation and Usage on page 41. app Computer applications—for generic terms (an app) lowercase, for specific proper names (NSU APP) capitalize. applications (and other university forms) The basic rules are to keep the language simple and direct, to lowercase whenever possible, and to keep parallel parts (headlines, subheads, punctuation) consistent. as far as This phrase is only half an expression. The thought must be completed by words such as is concerned, are concerned, or I know. • As far as her children are concerned, she takes every precaution; but she has no regard for herself. • As far as I know, he’s joining us. • NOT As far as her children, she takes every precaution . . . as per This is an overworked business expression for in accordance with or according to. as regards See regard, regards. assure, ensure, insure Assure goes with some reference to people, and means to convince or to give confidence to. Ensure means to guarantee. Insure involves monetary coverage according to policy. I assured the old gentleman that he could indeed insure his 23 cats, and thus ensure them a decent burial.
5 as yet Yet is nearly always as good, if not better. • We don’t know the verdict yet. • NOT We don’t know the verdict as yet. athletic (adj.), athletics (noun) The singular form is the correct adjective. • The athletic boy played tennis, soccer, and golf. • She is athletic. The adjectival form, however, sounds odd in relation to programs (seeming to suggest, for example, that they are in good cardiovascular condition). Consequently, using the noun as an adjective is acceptable in a case such as • We are proud of our athletics programs. The noun athletics usually takes a plural verb. • Our athletics are the envy of every other local university. When writing fund-raising copy about avid sports enthusiasts, avoid the unfortunate phrase athletic supporters, or the more correct athletics supporters. attributive nouns Attributive nouns modify other nouns, such as state roads, harvest moon, and prison guard. When these forms are used in the plural possessive, they can get tricky. For instance, should it be boys room or boys’ room? What about teachers lounge vs. teachers’ lounge? Although varying opinions exist on this subject, the Chicago Manual of Style says, “although terms denoting group ownership or participation sometimes appear without an apostrophe (i.e., as an attributive rather than a possessive noun), Chicago dispenses with the apostrophe only in proper (often corporate) names that do not officially include one. In a few established cases, a singular noun can be used attributively; if in doubt, choose the plural possessive.” • farmers’ market • women’s soccer team • boys’ clubs • veterans’ organizations • taxpayers’ associations • consumers’ group Exceptions are made for words that don’t take an s in plural form. • women’s room • children’s store Exceptions are also made for proper nouns, such as the names of companies or agencies. • Publishers Weekly • Diners Club • Department of Veterans Affairs audio– Words like audiocassette and audiovisual are closed and do not take hyphens. a while, awhile With for or any other preposition, use two words; otherwise, use one word. • We rested for a while. • We rested awhile.
6 baccalaureate Although MW lists this word as a noun, it is more accurately used as an adjective to describe a bachelor’s degree or a service in which one is conferred. backyard One word based on The safest place for this much-abused phrase is after a to be verb. • Our decision to reprint the Twilight School brochure was based on last year’s increase in enrollment. Don’t let this modifier dangle at the beginning of a sentence. Here’s the test: At the beginning of a sentence, if you can substitute because of or given, do so. • Because of last year’s increase in enrollment, we decided to reprint the Twilight School brochure. • NOT Based on this year’s increase in enrollment, we decided to reprint the Twilight School brochure. You also can substitute on the basis of, but that will clutter your sentence with prepositions. Note: Avoid using based upon; it is unwarranted. See also dangling modifiers and due to. BCE/CE Use BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) instead of BC and AD. They should be all capital letters with no periods. According to CMS, both BCE and CE are listed following the date. See also dates. because Don’t use as a substitute for that. • The reason I left the focus group was that I felt sick. • OR I left the focus group because I felt sick. • NOT The reason I left the focus group was because I felt sick. Beginning a sentence with because is correct as long as you’re not unintentionally creating a fragment. • Because I wanted to have a glowing complexion, I vowed to drink eight glasses of water each day. • NOT Because I said so. See also reason . . . is that and since. Bible, biblical The noun takes an initial cap but no italics or underline; lowercase a preceding the unless it begins a sentence. • She read a verse from the Bible. • The Bible was her only comfort. Lowercase the adjectival form. • The biblical passage brought him to tears. See also dates. black See African American. See nationality and race. boys, girls These terms are acceptable in publications for NSU University School and the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development. In university publications that address adult students, use men, women, or students instead. B
7 bullets When making a bulleted list, do not capitalize the bullets unless they are complete sentences. All the bullets in a list should have parallel construction. This means, they should all be sentences, or all not be sentences. If the bullets complete the sentence before the list, you do not need a colon before the list. Do not use punctuation at the end of the bullet unless it is a sentence. The classes were • math • science • history We will need the following: • a piece of muslin • a flint • some black powder See also lists. businesses See names of businesses. businessman/men The words businessperson and businesspeople are more inclusive. See also sexism. capital vs. capitol capital: topmost or chief (lowercase) • capital punishment • a capital city • a capital letter capitol: a building where a legislature meets (lowercase) • The legislature will meet in the capitol today. But the Capitol: where the U.S. Congress meets (uppercase) • The U.S. Congress will meet in the Capitol in D.C. today. • Capitol Hill capitalization The following rules apply to running text (e.g., copy in paragraph form in brochures, newsletters, magazine articles, flyers, advertisements). These rules adhere to a “down” style of capitalization (i.e., a predominant practice of lowercasing words), which gives the copy a clean and modern look. Capitalization in other formats featuring lists or freestanding lines of text (e.g., memorandum headings, commencement programs, invitations) may differ, often tending toward a more extensive use of capital letters. For a comprehensive discussion of capitalization, see The Chicago Manual of Style. See also titles of people and titles of works. Capitalize these elements. Job titles that directly precede a person’s last name when no first name is used • Dean Pohlman, President Hanbury, Professor Doan Named academic professorships and fellowships • Alfred R. Welman Distinguished Service Professor, Professor Emeritus Wellington Kingsley, The Leo Goodwin Sr. Chair in Law • BUT Fulbright scholar Complete academic degree names (whether spelled out or abbreviated) • She has a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities. • He has a Master of Science degree. • He graduated with a Doctor of Nursing degree. C
8 • She has an M.S. in Education with a concentration in teaching and learning. • BUT bachelor’s degree, doctorate, a business degree Academic degrees and honors, following a personal name, whether spelled out or abbreviated • Jane Smith, Ph.D. • Joseph Hershall, B.A. • Clyde M. Haverstick, Doctor of Laws Full, proper names of academic programs • Leadership Roundtable, Dual Admission Program • BUT dual-degree program, education program Names of specific courses • Biology 101, History of Civilization (Note: no quotation marks) • BUT don’t capitalize the names of general subjects (science, history) Formal names of campus buildings and academic units within NSU and their accepted shortened versions • Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center; Alvin Sherman Library; or Sherman Library • NSU University School or USchool • H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship or Huizenga School Formal names of academic departments or administrative offices • Department of Biology, Office of Publications, Health Professions Division • BUT publications, financial aid, nursing Names of planets • The people of Mars and Earth had a treaty. Do not capitalize earth if it is an adjective or a common noun. • There was an earthy smell. • He was digging in the earth. Political divisions of the world (state, county, etc.) used as part of a proper name • Broward County Nouns designating specific regions of the United States and the world • the South, the Midwest, the West End, South Florida • BUT The family is moving to western Australia. See also addresses. See also directions and regions. State, city, and town, et al., when used as proper nouns • The family recently moved here from Jefferson City. • The Detroit City Commission will vote tomorrow. • BUT NSU’s East Campus is located in the city of Fort Lauderdale. • In the state of Florida, you must wear seat belts. The word president when referring to the President of the United States • President Obama • John Kennedy, President • our President • the Presidents of the United States Titles of awards, prizes, or scholarships, including those nouns (e.g., award) if they are part of the title, but not articles, prepositions, or conjunctions within the title • Academy Award, Pulitzer Prize, International Music Scholarship, Woman of the Year Award Names of religious and secular holidays • Ash Wednesday, Mother’s Day All elements in hyphenated compounds in headlines, unless they are articles, prepositions of less than five letters, coordinating conjunctions, or the second element of a prefix (unless a proper noun or adjective) • Post-Modern Flights of Fancy, Medium-Sized Libraries • Out-of-Fashion Initiatives, Run-of-the-Mill Responses • Strategies for Re-establishment • BUT Sexual Politics in the Post-Kennedy Administrations • AND Pre-Raphaelite Paintings Revisited Full names of committees • The Office of Finance Budget Committee meets on the third Monday of each month. • BUT The committee adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
9 Don’t capitalize these elements. Job titles that follow a proper name • Ray Ferrero, Jr., chancellor of NSU, has a background in law. Freestanding job titles • George L. Hanbury II is the president of NSU. • The committee will include all NSU deans. • Who is chair of the board of trustees? • She is an adjunct professor. Temporary, role-denoting epithets/occupational titles (as opposed to formal titles) • biology professor Jim Smith, astronaut John Glenn Informal references to offices or departments as distinguished from their official names • the college, the business college, academic services department Majors, minors, and areas of specialization • biology major, psychology minor, legal assistant studies specialty • M.S. in Education with a specialization in reading Degrees and degree programs, other than the official, formal name of an academic program • NSU offers more than 15 doctoral programs. • I’m going for a bachelor’s degree in psychology. • I am in the Master of Public Health Program. Areas of study • I’m taking two history courses. • Are you interested in business and entrepreneurship? Grades within NSU University School • Students in grade 1 have progressed well this year. An introductory the preceding the name of a school or organization • the Farquhar Honors College, the Office of Institutional Advancement UNLESS it is part of the proper official name • The Florida Bar, The Bar, The NSU Glass Garden Seasons or school terms • spring 1998, fall term See also seasons. Academic years • freshman, sophomore, junior, senior See also first-year student and freshman. Generic names of buildings on campus or general references to the university, colleges, clusters, sites, etc. • library, residence hall, field house Generic titles of forms • student transaction form, financial aid form, application form The word black to designate race See nationality and race. Adjectives designating regions of the United States • southern, eastern, midwestern Although most religious and secular holidays are capitalized, holidays that are descriptive of an event are not • The library will close for both Memorial Day and Christmas Eve. • The President’s inauguration day follows New Year’s Day. capstone Capitalize only when referring to the full name of the program. • the Capstone Review Program at NSU Lowercase as a modifier. • She completed the capstone paper. cell phone Two words century Lowercase child care, day care, elder care, Two words See also health care.
10 class of There are three acceptable ways to express this. • John Smith, class of ’08, considered a career in business. • John Smith (’08) has now become a stockbroker. • He is a member of the class of 1992. It gets trickier if you add the person’s degree. • John Smith, M.B.A. ’04, sometimes wished that he had chosen oceanography. • OR John Smith (M.B.A. ’99) cliches Avoid the use of cliches. They weaken your writing. Cloud Computing Both capitalized, but the cloud is lowercased. co words Most words that start with co are not hyphenated, according to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. There are a few exceptions (see below), usually where not hyphenating risks mispronouncing the word. • coed, cocurricular • co-organizer, co-own collective nouns Nouns that denote a unit, such as class, committee, faculty, family, group, team, and student body, take singular verbs and pronouns. • The faculty is delighted that the team has committed itself to higher academic standards. See also faculty. Some words that are plural in form become collective nouns and take singular verbs when they represent a unit. • The data that he produced is worthless. colon See the Guide to Punctuation and Usage on page 41. comma See the Guide to Punctuation and Usage on page 41 commit, commitment, committed Exercise care with these commonly misspelled words. communication, communications Generally, the singular form refers to ordinary conversational exchanges. • Had our communication been clearer, I would have understood the degree requirements. The plural form refers to a field of study and appears in such adjectival phrases as communications program or communications major. • We offer a major in communications. companies See names of businesses. compose, comprise Compose means to make up, to form the substance of. • The United States is composed of 50 states. Comprise means to consist of, to include • The United States comprises (is made up of) 50 states. • A zoo comprises mammals, reptiles, and birds (because it is made up of or includes them). Never say comprised of; say composed of. compound words When in doubt, look up individual entries in the Chicago Manual of Style’s hyphenation guide or in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Use a hyphen to separate a compound modifier that comes before the noun it modifies. • He was wearing a blue-green shirt. Adverbs ending in -ly do not take a hyphen. • First Look is a widely distributed university publication.
11 computer terms • app • Blackboard • Blu-Ray • CD: compact disc • CD-ROM: all caps, hyphenated • chatroom: one word • Cloud Computing • cybersecurity • cyberterrorism • database: one word • email • eLearning • homepage: one word • Internet service provider (ISP) • iPad • laptop: one word • listserv • log on • Macintosh: no internal cap • offline, online: no hyphens • PC: personal computer (plural: PCs) • PowerPoint • real time (n.); real-time (adj.) • smartboard • smartphone • the cloud • URL: uniform resource locator • videoconferencing • webcam • WebSTAR • Wi-Fi • wordprocessor, -ing: one word • World Wide Web, the web, website, BUT web page See also the individual entries for many of these terms. Congressman, Congresswoman Avoid these. Representative or U.S. representative is preferred. See also sexism. continual vs. continuous continual: recurring in steady succession continuous: never ending/uninterrupted co-op Although the word cooperative is written without hyphenation, its abbreviated form is hyphenated to prevent confusion with the word coop. copyedit, copywrite, copywriter One word copy editor Two words couple Don’t drop the of in such phrases as a couple of mistakes. coursework One word cross country No hyphen, two words See also sports terms. currently Use this word to mean now—as opposed to the word presently, which means soon. • Currently, I am working on my master’s degree; I expect to finish it presently. curricula, curriculums The preferred plural of curriculum according to MW is curricula. Curriculums is listed only as a secondary option. curriculum vitae (singular), curricula vitae (plural)
12 dangling modifiers Careful writers avoid these. A dangling modifier is a word or phrase that modifies either a term that has been omitted from a sentence or a term to which it cannot easily be linked. The modifying phrase preceding the comma in the second example below is a dangling modifier because it seems to modify the test rather than the sentence’s ostensible subject, the people who arrived late. • Having arrived late, we missed the beginning of the test. • NOT Having arrived late, the test was in progress when we started. See also based on, due to, hopefully, and thankfully. dash See the Guide to Punctuation and Usage on page 41 data (plural), datum (singular) The singular is rarely used. To avoid the tricky question of subject-verb agreement presented by the word data, which can be used as either a singular or a plural, try using synonyms: research, research findings. See also collective nouns. database See computer terms. dates For an abbreviated year, use an apostrophe, not a single open quotation mark. • class of ’07 • NOT class of ‘07 Express centuries and decades as follows: • the 20th century, the 1880s, the ’60s, mid-1980s Spell out the days of the week and the months of the year, unless it is necessary to abbreviate in charts, tables, or advertising material with limited space. Note the punctuation of these sentences. • The events of Saturday, April 18, 1997, were unforgettable. • The events of August 1918 were decisive. Note: Although the day of the month is actually an ordinal (and pronounced that way in speaking), the American practice is to write it as a cardinal number. • April 18, NOT April 18th Use an en-dash between dates in sequence. • 1901–1925 If using BCE and CE, remember • BCE counts backward 327–321 BCE 15 BCE • CE counts forward from 1 2000–2015 CE 115 BCE–1980 CE See also BCE/CE. day care, elder care, health care See child care. D.C. District of Columbia—capped with periods, no spaces between letters degrees See academic degrees. different For statements of comparison, say different from, NOT different than. directions and regions Lowercase north, northeast, south, etc., when they indicate compass directions. Capitalize them when they designate regions. • This university is located just west of Fort Lauderdale. • I enjoy living in South Florida, but I miss Southern California and the West Coast in general. Note: Names of countries take capitals: South Korea, Northern Ireland. See also addresses. See also capitalization. D
13 disabled See Unhandicapping Our Language on page 51. dormitory NSU’s preferred term is residence hall. dual admission Two words, no hyphen BUT the Dual Admission Program dual-degree (adj.), dual degree (noun) As an adjective, this phrase takes a hyphen. • The versatile young woman sought a dual-degree program in Spanish and international business. As a noun, a hyphen is not used. • The confused young man has a dual degree in engineering and psychology. due to Often misused, so watch out. Avoid beginning a sentence with this phrase; the safest place for it is after a form of the verb to be. • The cancellation was due to bad weather. • NOT Due to bad weather, the game was canceled. When in doubt, see if you can substitute the phrase caused by. If you can, your sentence is correct. See also based on. each and every Both a cliche and a redundant phrase; avoid eCommerce, etc. When referring to a type of distance learning class, NSU style leaves the e lowercase, but italicizes it. There is no hyphen and no space between the e and the word. editor in chief Three words, no hyphens e.g., i.e. These abbreviations take periods and are always followed by a comma. The former stands for the Latin exempli gratia, meaning for example. • NSU students can choose from a wide variety of South Florida entertainment options (e.g., swimming, golfing, shopping). Don’t confuse e.g. with i.e., which stands for id est, or that is. Whereas e.g. refers the reader to several possible examples of a given case, i.e. refers him or her to all examples of a case. • Please refer all questions of style to the correct office (i.e., the Office of Publications). elder care, day care, health care See child care. ellipsis (. . .) See the Guide to Punctuation and Usage on page 42 email Lowercase the e (except when the word appears in a headline or at the beginning of a line or sentence). Do not use a hyphen, and do not italicize the e. email addresses These should be italicized, not underlined. If an email address falls at the end of a sentence, include the terminal period. Contact the director of publications at email@example.com. E
14 em-dash/en-dash/hyphen Use the em-dash (—) to indicate a pause in a sentence, introduce amplifying information, or to set off a series. • Our alumni—successful doctors, lawyers, scientists, and educators—are making an impact in their chosen fields. Use an en-dash (–) between numbers in a series. • He was there from 1980–1984. • We will need three–six children for the class. • She read 10–12 books in a year. Use a hyphen (-) between compound words or to split a word at the end of a line so part of it moves to the next line. • The ocean was a blue-green color. • It was a four-story building. See dash and hyphen in the Guide to Punctuation and Usage on pages 41 and 42. emeritus (m., singular), emerita (f., singular), emeriti (plural) • Abraham Fischler was president emeritus of NSU. • Professor Emerita Mary Smith • The president addressed the professors emeriti. emigrate, immigrate • emigrate from • immigrate to emphasis Resist the urge to emphasize words, as bold, italic, underlined, and uppercase type can be jarring to readers. Do not use multiple type styles for emphasis. If you feel something must be emphasized, ask your designer for suggestions. ensure See assure. et al. An abbreviation for the Latin et alia, meaning “and others,” it is used only in note citations and bibliographies, not in regular text. Each academic unit should follow the rules of its own discipline in terms of note citation and bibliography; hence the type style of et al. may vary across the university’s scholarly publications. etc. This is an abbreviation for the Latin et cetera, meaning “and so forth.” Avoid using this abbreviation, because its vagueness tends to weaken writing. Instead of tacking etc. on the end of a sentence, indicate up front that the list of examples will not be exhaustive. • NOT We will engage in activities such as hiking, fishing, swimming, etc. • BUT Our activities will include hiking, fishing, and swimming. every day (adv.), everyday (adj.) • She goes to work every day. • He is wearing everyday shoes. every one, everyone See any one, anyone. exclamation point See the Guide to Punctuation and Usage on page 42. ex officio No hyphen, two words ext. In accordance with our “down” style of capitalization, we lowercase the abbreviation for extension in telephone listings. Remember to use the five-digit extension, when appropriate. • The H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship can be reached at 800-262-7223, ext. 25100. See also phone numbers.
15 factor This word is often misused. It should be used to indicate an ingredient or an aspect of a subject. • Exercise is an important factor in maintaining good health. It should not be used to modify a noun. • NOT We must consider the personal safety factor. • BUT We must consider personal safety. faculty Use this word only if you’re referring to the singular, collective body of teachers at a school. Staff and other collective nouns follow the same rules as faculty. • The students are high achievers, and the faculty is known for excellent teaching. When you’re referring to individual teachers (singly or in a group), use the more personal faculty member or faculty members. • She is the faculty member most popular with students. • Students and faculty and staff members are part of the NSU community. • Students and faculty members served on the committee. Singular: faculty—one group entity faculty member—one person Plural: faculties—more than one faculty faculty members—more than one person Note: The phrase student/faculty ratio is incorrect; most colleges have only one faculty, regardless of the number of students. Use student/professor ratio or student/teacher ratio instead. See also collective nouns. See also ratio. farther, further Farther denotes physical distance; further denotes an extension of time or degree. We must not go any farther into the woods until we have further considered our strategy. fax (adj., noun, verb) This word, which is short for facsimile, is not an acronym; it should not be written in all caps. See also phone numbers. federal No initial cap unless the word is part of a proper name. • The federal guidelines are very clear. • We sent the package via Federal Express. • The U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. fewer See less. first, firstly When you’re conveying information in order of importance, and you want to alert your reader to this strategy, use first, second, third—NOT firstly, secondly, thirdly. first-class (adj.), first class (adv., noun) • We stayed in a first-class hotel. • He pronounced the accommodations first class. first-come, first-served (adj.) NOT first-come first serve firsthand (adj.) One word, no hyphen first-year student This phrase applies to students pursuing an initial year of study in NSU’s graduate programs. For a first-year undergraduate, use the term freshman. See also freshman. foregone, forgo Foregone means to have gone before. To forgo means to abstain from. That she would forgo roast beef when she became a vegetarian was a foregone conclusion. foreign words If you’re using words that have been assimilated into the English language and appear in the main section of the dictionary, skip the diacritical marks. Examples: cafe, cliche See also accents, diacritical marks, résumé. F
16 If you’re quoting a foreign phrase, put it in italics and include the appropriate diacritical marks. If you’re mentioning the name of a foreign place or person, include diacritical marks but skip the italics. foreseeable future Avoid this cliche. Fortune 500 A specific designation; do not italicize. fractions In nonscientific, running copy, spell out all fractions. • Less than one-third of the class failed the exam. Use numerals for fractions with whole numbers. • That fax machine uses only 8½ by 11-inch paper. Whenever possible, use case fractions (¾) as opposed to writing out the numerals with a slash (3/4). If case fractions are not available, leave a space between the whole number and the fraction, as in 8 1/6. freelance One word, no hyphen freshman Although some institutions use this term to refer to both undergraduate and graduate students in their first year of study, NSU designates the former group of students freshmen until they have fulfilled certain curricular requirements. To avoid giving the impression that a student automatically fulfills these requirements after one calendar year of study, use the term freshman in all undergraduate publications. See also first-year student. Fulbright Always takes an initial cap, as in a Fulbright grant. full-time, full time (also part-time, part time) • (adj.) She has a full-time job. • (adv. phrase) She works full time. fund-raiser (noun), fund-raising (noun), fund-raising (adj.) MW hyphenates the nouns, as well as the adjective. • Her success as a fund-raiser was unequalled. • Fund-raising is at a record high. • Our fund-raising success exceeds our wildest dreams. See also compound words. further See farther, further.
17 G geographical terms See directions and regions. See also addresses and capitalization. GI Bill® girls, boys See boys, girls. Give Kids A Smile Day Note the capitalization. GPA, grade point average GPA stands for grade point average. The abbreviation does not take periods, and the words grade point average are not capped, even when they precede the parenthetical abbreviation. She has a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5. grades (academic) Lowercase the word grade in running text. When a number follows the word grade, express the number as a numeral. Students in grade 2 at NSU University School put on a play. When a number precedes the word grade (i.e., when the number is ordinal rather than cardinal), lowercase the word grade and spell out the number. NSU University School’s fourth grade went on a field trip. See also numbers. grades (letter) Use the capital letter alone—no quotation marks around it. Make the letter italic. Those who miss the final exam will receive an F in the course. graduate (verb) Use the active voice. She graduated (NOT was graduated) from NSU. Grandparents Day No apostrophe GRE Graduate Record Exam (Note: Record is singular.) groundbreaking, groundbreaker Single words, no hyphens, whether adjectives or nouns
18 handicapped See Unhandicapping Our Language on page 51. headlines Capitalize all major words. Alumni and Students Gather for Homecoming health care The preferred usage is to leave both the adjectival and noun forms of this word open. • Our programs cater to health care professionals. • The nation needs a better system of health care. See also child care, day care, and elder care. high school Two words; no caps unless you’re using the school’s proper name. Hyphenate as an adjective. • She enjoys high school. • She goes to Piper High School. • She couldn’t find a date for her high-school prom. high-tech (adj.), high tech (noun) Hispanic See nationality and race. historic, historical, history Historic refers to a noteworthy or famous event in the past; historical can refer to any event in the past. History refers to a chronological record of events affecting a nation, an institution, or a person. Avoid past history. It is redundant. Holocaust Cap only when specifically referring to the event during World War II. homecoming Lowercase when it refers to the general event. Uppercase when used as the official proper name of the event. • At my college, homecoming was the social event of the year. • We are making preparations for Homecoming 2020. hometown (adj., noun) hopefully This often-misplaced modifier means “full of hope.” If your sentence reads, Hopefully, the sun will shine tomorrow, it means that when the sun shines tomorrow, it will be full of hope. To express the idea that you are full of hope, revise your sentence. I hope the sun will shine tomorrow. Hopefully can fall at the beginning of a sentence as long as it is placed next to the term it is supposed to modify. Hopefully, the puppy sat beneath the finicky toddler’s high chair. See also importantly and thankfully. hors d’oeuvre(s) Two words; note the apostrophe. The word appetizers works just as well, and you don’t have to worry about spelling it. however In general, this word serves better when it doesn’t begin a new sentence. Either attach it to the previous sentence with a semicolon, or place it later in its own sentence. • The semester seemed interminable; however, summer vacation arrived at last. • OR The semester seemed interminable. At last, however, summer vacation arrived. • NOT The semester seemed interminable. However, summer vacation arrived at last. hyphen See the Guide to Punctuation and Usage on page 42. hyphenated words See compound words. H
19 I I.D. Capped with periods, no spaces between the letters i.e. See e.g., i.e. impact (verb) Avoid using this word to mean affect. • How will your decision affect her? • NOT How will your decision impact her? imply, infer According to MW, infer means “to derive as a conclusion from facts or premises,” whereas imply means “to involve or indicate by inference, association, or necessary consequence rather than by direct statement.” • I infer from his silence that he does not approve. • His silence implied his disapproval of the situation. importantly The ly sounds as if the subject is performing, in a self-important way, whatever action is modified by importantly. Avoid by rephrasing. • More important, we offer free tuition. • OR What’s more, we offer free tuition. • NOT More importantly, we offer free tuition. See also first, firstly and hopefully. Inc. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, in straight text, the abbreviation Inc. usually can be dropped from a company name. In other cases, use a comma between the company name and Inc. J. C. Penney, Inc., announced that its stock is splitting. Indians See nationality and race. individual Whenever you can, avoid using this word (which works fine as an adjective) as a singular noun. In noun form, it can sound pretentious; use person instead. • She is an accomplished person. • NOT She is an accomplished individual. If you’re talking about more than one person, use people. Individuals as a plural is okay, and sometimes is preferred to people. Persons is not a preferred plural for person and should not be used. initials When a person uses initials instead of a first name, the space between the initials should be the same as that between the initials and last name: H. L. Mencken. Entire names represented by initials, like FDR or JFK, don’t take periods. in spite of Despite means the same thing and is shorter. insure See assure. in terms of A piece of padding best omitted. Rephrase. • The salary made the job unattractive. • NOT The job was unattractive in terms of salary. Internet Internet is always capped. For Internet service provider, only cap Internet. However, when using the abbreviation ISP, all three letters are capped. It is . . . Generally, a weak beginning for a sentence. Recast. • I am proud to welcome the graduating class. • NOT It is with pride that I welcome the graduating class. its, it’s Possessive pronouns (its, ours, his, hers, theirs, yours) don’t take apostrophes. Its means “belonging to it”; it’s is a contraction for “it is.” See apostrophe in the Guide to Punctuation and Usage on page 41.nova.edu