Editorial Style

Spelling & Capitalization

Please select a letter.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A
  • A (when referring to a grade; is not put between quotation marks); A’s (or change to grades of A)
    a heroic . . . a historic . . . ;
  • Academy Award winner, Academy Award–winning film (uses an en dash)
  • ACT Assessment (formerly the American College Test)
  • ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • admission (singular as adjective); but: admissions office
  • advisor (Our style formerly called for adviser.)
  • affirmative action (generic); but: IU is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity institution.
  • African American (no hyphen, both as adjective and as noun; okay to use, as is black, though they're not always synonyms)
  • AI (stands for associate instructor; no periods); AIs (no apostrophe)
  • all-grade education
  • Alzheimer's disease (Webster’s recommends the possessive style; the IU School of Medicine uses Alzheimer disease, however.)
  • American Indian (okay to use, though Native American or a specific tribal affiliation may be more appropriate in certain contexts)
  • Asian; Asian American (avoid Oriental)
  • awhile (adverb); a while (noun phrase used as the object of a preposition); e.g., stay awhile or stay for a while

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B
  • B (when referring to a grade; is not put between quotation marks); B’s (or change to grades of B)
  • B.A.; Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Arts degree; bachelor’s degree; bachelor’s; B.A. degrees; B.A.’s
  • B.F.A.; Bachelor of Fine Arts; Bachelor of Fine Arts degree
  • Bachelor of Arts in history program (history lowercased here since it is not part of the official degree title)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (subject area capitalized if it is part of the official title of the degree)
  • bachelor’s degrees (preferable to baccalaureate degrees)
  • Ballet Theater, IU
  • Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life (no serial comma)
  • benefit; benefited; benefiting
  • biannual; biennial; biweekly (Avoid. All are confusing; e.g., biannual can mean either every other year or twice yearly.)
  • Bible (in roman type, no italics); biblical
  • Big Ten
  • black (can be lowercase or uppercase when referring to race; okay to use, as is African American, though they’re not always synonyms)
  • Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau (formally, the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Monroe County)
  • Board of Trustees; the Trustees of Indiana University
  • bulletin (generic); School of Dentistry Bulletin (title not italicized)

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C
  • C (when referring to a grade; is not put between quotation marks); C’s (or change to grades of C)
  • cafe (no accent mark)
  • campus; the Bloomington campus
  • campuswide
  • Carmichael, Hoagland Howard (nicknamed Hoagy, not Hoagie)
  • CD; CDs (compact disc)
  • CD-ROM (adjective, noun)
  • CEO (chief executive officer; no periods); CEOs (no apostrophe)
  • chair; chairperson
  • check in (verb); check-in (noun)
  • co words (Close up most co words, such as coexistence, cocurricular, but hyphenate those that refer to one’s occupation or status, such as co-advisor, co-author, co-director, co-editor, co-host, or co-worker; this is true of verb forms as well.)
  • Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (formerly the Code of Student Ethics)
  • College of Arts and Sciences; the College
  • Collins Living-Learning Center (alternately: the Living Learning Center at Collins)
  • Cook Inc. (no comma)
  • co-op; cooperative
  • course work
  • Cream and Crimson Weekend
  • credit hour; a 3 credit hour course (We don’t hyphenate it.)
  • cross-cultural
  • cum laude (in roman type, no italics)
  • curriculum; curricula
  • curriculum vitae; CV (no periods); plural: curricula vitae; CVs; synonym: vita; plural: vitae
  • cyberpunk; cybersecurity

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D
  • D (when referring to a grade; is not put between quotation marks); D’s (or change to grades of D)
  • data processing
  • database
  • day care (no hyphen as adjective or noun)
  • dean (generic—the dean of SPEA); Dean Merget
  • Dean’s List
  • decision making
  • Department of English; the department
  • Depression, the (Great)
  • distinguished professor (lowercased in running text except when it precedes the name)
  • Division of Residential Programs and Services; RPS
  • doctoral degree; doctorate (see Ph.D.)
  • dormitory; dorm (the term residence center is preferred)
  • Dunn Meadow; but: Dunn’s Woods

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E
  • east (Capitalize if referring to a specific geographic location but not if referring to a compass direction. Don’t spell out in street addresses, e.g., 400 E. Seventh Street.)
  • East Africa
  • Eastern Europe
  • e.g. (in roman type, not italics, and followed by a comma)
  • e-mail; electronic mail
  • emerita (feminine singular); emeritae (feminine plural); emeriti (masculine plural or masculine-feminine plural); emeritus (masculine singular); all adjectives that follow the words professor(s), president(s), etc.
  • entry-level (adjective, e.g., entry-level job); entry level (noun phrase, e.g., hired at the entry level)
  • extracurricular
  • euro (the monetary unit)

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F
  • F (when referring to a grade; is not put between quotation marks); F’s (or change to grades of F)
  • fax (not in all-capital letters; it’s just a shortened form of facsimile)
  • fee scholarships (not fee remissions)
  • fieldwork
  • Fine Arts, Henry Radford Hope School of (not Hope School of Fine Arts, Henry R. Hope School of Fine Arts, or School of Fine Arts without Hope’s full name before it); but: the fine arts school
  • first-class mail
  • first-come, first-served (before a noun such as basis)
  • firsthand
  • first-semester courses; first-term courses
  • first summer session; summer term
  • follow up (verb); follow-up (noun)
  • Ford-Crawford Recital Hall
  • foreign students (avoid; use international students instead)
  • Founders Day (no apostrophe)
  • freshman (with an a) applicants (not freshmen applicants)
  • full-time (adjective, e.g., full-time student), full time (adverb, e.g., works full time)
  • Fund Raising School, The (Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University)
  • fundraising (IU Foundation)

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G
  • GED (stands for General Educational Development)
  • general-education courses
  • GI Bill
  • Global Village Living-Learning Center
  • GPA of 2.0 (C); grade of C (2.0)
  • GPAs
  • grade point average (GPA)
  • graduate-level (adjective, e.g., graduate-level course); graduate level (noun phrase, e.g., studies at the graduate level)
  • groundbreaking

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H
  • hands-on (adjective)
  • hardworking (adjective)
  • health care (no hyphen as adjective or noun)
  • Herron School of Art and Design (not Herron School of Art, Herron School of Fine Arts, or Herron School of Art & Design)
  • high school students
  • Hispanic; Hispanic American (okay to use, as is Latina/Latino, though they’re not always synonyms)
  • Hoagy Carmichael (not Hoagie)
  • home page
  • Hutton Honors College; honors students

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I
  • I (when referring to the grade of Incomplete; is not put between quotation marks)
  • ID; ID card; IDs
  • i.e. (in roman type, not italics, and followed by a comma)
  • impact (not to be used as a verb meaning affect or influence)
  • Incomplete; I (when talking about the grade)
  • Indiana Daily Student, Indiana Digital Student (IDS)
  • Indiana University Bloomington; IU Bloomington
  • Indiana University East; IU East
  • Indiana University Foundation; IU Foundation
  • Indiana University Kokomo; IU Kokomo
  • Indiana University Libraries, IU Libraries
  • Indiana University Northwest; IU Northwest
  • Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus (contains an en dash); IUPU Columbus
  • Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (contains an en dash); IPFW
  • Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (contains an en dash); IUPUI
  • Indiana University South Bend; IU South Bend
  • Indiana University Southeast; IU Southeast
  • in-line skates (preferred in general references; use the trademarked name Rollerblades only when referring to that company or its products)
  • Internet, the; the Net
  • IU (no periods)
  • IU Ballet Theater
  • IU Libraries
  • IU Opera Theater
  • IU Theatre
  • Ivy Tech State College (formerly Indiana Vocational Technical College)

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J
  • jobs fairs; Fall Jobs Fair; Summer Jobs Fair
  • Jr. (no commas, e.g., Martin Luther King Jr.)

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K
  • Kinsey Institute (The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction)

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L
  • Latina (female); Latino (male) (okay to use, as is Hispanic, though they’re not always synonyms; verify with person being described)
  • law school; but: School of Law—Bloomington and School of Law—Indianapolis
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • lecturer in [subject] (e.g., lecturer in accounting; versus professor of accounting)
  • level (hyphenate before level when it’s part of a compound, e.g., undergraduate-level courses)
  • LISTSERV (trademarked software for maintaining Internet discussion groups; change to electronic mailing list, e-mail list, or e-list)
  • Little 500
  • Living Learning Center at Collins (alternately: Collins Living-Learning Center)
  • long-range; long-term (hyphenated when used as adjectives; otherwise left open, e.g., What are your goals over the long range?)
  • longtime (adjective)
  • L.P.N. (Licensed Practical Nurse; takes periods)

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M
  • M.A.; Master of Arts; Master of Arts degree; master’s; master’s degrees; M.A.’s
  • Macintosh computers
  • M.A.E.; Master of Art Education
  • magna cum laude (in roman type, no italics)
  • MasterCard
  • master’s degree; master’s degrees
  • M.A.T.; Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Mathers Museum; the William Hammond Mathers Museum of World Cultures; the museum
  • M.B.A. (refers to a degree, not to a student); M.B.A.’s; M.B.A. student
  • Medical Center, IU (not IUPUI Medical Center)
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • M.F.A.; Master of Fine Arts
  • midcareer; but: Mid-Career Option (SPEA)
  • middle age (noun); middle-aged (adjective); but: the Middle Ages
  • midlife; midsemester; midterm; midyear; but: the mid-1990s
  • Midwest; Midwestern
  • Mini University
  • minicomputer
  • M.S.; Master of Science; Master of Science degree; Master of Science degrees; M.S.’s
  • M.S.N.; Master of Science in Nursing (capitalize the subject area if it is part of the actual title of the degree); M.S.N. degrees; M.S.N.’s
  • multicultural; multidisciplinary; multiethnic;
  • multimedia; multiracial; multitasking (no hyphens)
  • music school; but: School of Music

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N
  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • nationwide
  • Native American (okay to use, though American Indian or a specific tribal affiliation may be more appropriate in certain contexts)
  • Nobel laureate, Nobel Prize winner; but: Nobel Prize–winning scientist (takes an en dash)
  • nonacademic; nonalumni; noncertified; noncredit; nondegree; nondiscrimination policy; nonfiction; nonimmigrant; nonlaboratory courses; nonmajor; nonnative; nonprofit; nonresident; nonscholarship; nonthesis; nontraditional students; nonuniversity; nonviolent (Usually there’s no hyphen, en dash, or space after non.)
  • non–astronomy major; non–Indiana resident; non–law major; non–music major; non–science major; non–teaching major (An en dash is used after non to join it to a two-word, unhyphenated phrase.)
  • non-need-based assistance, non-Western, non-work-study students (A hyphen is used after non in these cases.)
  • north (Capitalize if referring to a specific geographic location but not if referring to a compass direction; don’t spell out in street addresses, e.g., 402 N. Blackford Street.)
  • north central Indiana
  • northeast, northwest (but Northwest Indiana is okay to use in IU Northwest publications)

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O
  • off-campus (Hyphenate as an adjective before a noun; otherwise leave open.)
  • Office of Overseas Study (not Studies)
  • Office of the Bursar; bursar’s office
  • Office of the Registrar; registrar’s office
  • okay
  • Old Crescent
  • on-campus (Hyphenate as an adjective before a noun; otherwise leave open.)
  • 100-level courses
  • OneStart
  • one-third
  • one-year-old child; one and one-half years (or: one and a half years)
  • online (adjective and adverb; e.g., online database, to work online)
  • on-site (hyphenated as an adjective before a noun; otherwise open)
  • open-ended (adjective)
  • Opera Theater, IU

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P
  • Parents Weekend
  • Parkinson’s disease (Webster’s recommends the possessive style; the IU School of Medicine uses Parkinson disease, however.)
  • part-time (adjective, e.g., a part-time student); part time (adverb, e.g., our assistant works part time)
  • Pass/Fail; Pass/Fail option
  • percent (is preceded by a numeral, not a spelled-out number)
  • Ph.D.; Ph.D.’s; doctoral degree (not doctor’s degree); doctorate (not doctorate degree)
  • photocopy (preferred term in general references; use the trademarked name Xerox only when referring to that company or its products)
  • policy maker
  • postbaccalaureate; postdoctoral; postmodern; postsecondary; postwar (no hyphen)
  • practicum; practicums
  • preadmission; prebaccalaureate; precalculus;
  • preclinical; precollege; predentistry; preeminent; preenrollment; preexisting; pregame; prelaw; prelaw major; premajor; premed; premedical; premedicine; premodern; prenursing; preprofessional; preschool; preservice; prewar (Usually there’s no hyphen or en dash after pre.)
  • Pre–Dental Hygiene Program; Pre–Teacher Education Program (An en dash joins pre to a two-word, unhyphenated compound.)
  • premier (means first; is also a political office)
  • premiere (refers to a first performance; no accent marks)
  • President Herbert; Adam W. Herbert, the president of the university
  • president-elect
  • pre-university (takes a hyphen for clarity)
  • prizewinner; prizewinning
  • Psychological and Brain Sciences, Department of (formerly Department of Psychology, Bloomington campus only)
  • problem-solving (adjective); problem solving (noun)
  • Pulitzer Prize winner; Pulitzer Prize–winning author (takes an en dash)

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R
  • R (when referring to a deferred grade; is not put between quotation marks)
  • Radio-Television Services, Department of
  • real-life (adjective, e.g., a real-life situation); real life (noun phrase, e.g., in real life)
  • reapplication; reelect; reenrollment; reestablish; reevaluate; but: re-create (to create again)
  • Redsteppers
  • registrar; Office of the Registrar
  • registration (lowercase when referring to the IU event)
  • Renaissance (capitalized only when referring to the period)
  • residence center (preferred over dormitory or dorm)
  • Responsibility Center Management (RCM); not: Responsibility Centered Management
  • resume (as opposed to resumé or résumé)
  • Rollerblades (okay as a reference to the trademarked company or its products; otherwise, use in-line skates)
  • ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program; note position of apostrophe)
  • RSVP (no periods, either in the abbreviation for the French phrase or in the name of the interactive automated telephone system for student financial assistance)

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S
  • S (when referring to the grade Satisfactory; is not put between quotation marks)
  • SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test; formerly: Scholastic Achievement Test); SATs
  • second-semester courses; second-year courses
  • second summer session
  • self-acquired competency; self-acquired competency credit (avoid pluralizing the word competency)
  • self-evaluation (most self words are hyphenated)
  • semester I; first-semester courses
  • semiannual
  • S/F grades (Satisfactory/Fail)
  • shall (Avoid; replace with should, must, or will as appropriate.)
  • short-term (adjective, e.g., short-term gains); short term (noun phrase, e.g., in the short term)
  • Sibs Weekend
  • sign-up (adjective, noun); sign up (verb)
  • single-handedly
  • sixties; the ’60s; the 1960s
  • size (not sized), as in Olympic-size pool or passport-size photograph
  • Social Security number (lowercase n in running text); but: SSN
  • socioeconomic
  • south (Capitalize if referring to a specific geographic location but not if referring to a compass direction; don’t spell out in street addresses, e.g., 111 S. Jordan Avenue.)
  • south central Indiana
  • southeast; southwest
  • southern Indiana
  • Spirit of Sport All-Nighter
  • spring; spring semester; Spring Break
  • state of Indiana (lowercase the s)
  • state-of-the-art (hyphenate when used as an adjective)
  • statewide
  • Stone Belt (the center)
  • student ID number; student identification number
  • summa cum laude (in roman type, no italics)
  • summer; summer session(s); second summer session; summer session I; summer term
  • symposia (plural); symposium (singular)
  • systemwide

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T
  • team teach (verb); The class was team taught. but: It was a team-taught class.
  • theatre; Department of Theatre and Drama; but: IU Ballet Theater; IU Opera Theater
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • toll-free number; call toll free
  • the Trustees of Indiana University; the trustees
  • T-shirt
  • twentieth century; twentieth-century literature

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U
  • UN (United Nations)
  • under way (adverb; e.g., plans are under way)
  • university (Lowercase even when referring to IU: The president of the university is Adam W. Herbert.)
  • University Division (At IUPUI, the corresponding unit is University College.)
  • University Information Technology Services (UITS)
  • university-wide (adjective, adverb)
  • Unix (refers to a computer operating system); UNIX (refers to a specific software product used for Unix)
  • upperclassmen (Avoid. Means juniors and seniors only; the term does not include sophomores. It’s still preferable to the elitist-sounding upperclass students or upper-class students. If the desired meaning is nonfreshmen, then use sophomores, juniors, and seniors.)
  • up-to-date (hyphenate as an adjective)
  • URL (uniform resource locator)
  • U.S. (adjective only; use United States for the noun)
  • user-friendly (hyphenate in all positions)
  • user ID
  • username
  • USIA (United States Information Agency)
  • U.S.S.R. (Okay in historical references, but in current references to the states of the former Soviet Union, use Russia, Georgia, etc., as appropriate.)

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V
  • VA hospital, Indianapolis (full name: Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center)
  • versus (Avoid the abbreviation vs., especially in running copy; in titles of court cases, though, abbreviate as v.)
  • Veterans Administration (now called Department of Veterans Affairs, though the abbreviation is still VA; no apostrophe after veterans)
  • veterans benefits
  • vice president
  • videocassette; videoconferencing; videotape but: video recorder
  • vis-à-vis
  • Visa card
  • visitors center
  • vita (plural: vitae); curriculum vitae (plural: curricula vitae) or CV (no periods; plural: CVs)
  • voice mail

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W
  • W (when referring to the grade of Withdrawal; is not put between quotation marks)
  • Washington, DC (in addresses); Washington, D.C. (in running text); Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital (note comma after D.C.)
  • website; the web
  • well-being (noun)
  • well-known (Most compounds with well are hyphenated when used as an adjective before a noun. Otherwise leave open; e.g., my methods are well known.)
  • Wells, Herman B (no period after the B)
  • Wells Library (IU Bloomington)
  • west (Capitalize if referring to a specific geographic location but not if referring to a compass direction; don’t spell out in street addresses, e.g., 1481 W. Tenth Street.)
  • West European Studies Program
  • Western civilization; Western world
  • Western Europe
  • Western Hemisphere
  • westward movement
  • WF (grade of Withdrawal with a failing grade; is not put between quotation marks)
  • white (lowercase when referring to race); Caucasian also okay but always capitalized
  • Withdrawal; W (when talking about official withdrawal from a course; is not put between quotation marks)
  • work out (verb); workout (noun)
  • workforce; workplace; workstation
  • work-study; work-study program; Federal Work-Study Program; Federal Graduate Work-Study Program
  • World Wide Web; WWW (but: lowercase www in URLs)
  • world-class (adjective; hyphenated in all positions)
  • worldview
  • worldwide
  • WP (grade of Withdrawal with a passing grade; is not put between quotation marks)

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X
  • X ray (noun); X-ray (adjective, verb)
  • Xerox (okay as a reference to the trademarked company and its products; otherwise, use photocopy)

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Y
  • yearlong
  • year-round (adjective, adverb)

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Z
  • zip code