NSU Publications Style Manual

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

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