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.