KU Editorial Style Guide
Kutztown University's style guide is offered as a resource to university communicators to establish consistent and appropriate editorial style for correspondence, print publications, websites, social media, etc. written for and about Kutztown University.
This guide relies primarily on “The Associated Press Stylebook” and “The Chicago Manual of Style.” Where conflicts exist, “The AP Stylebook” takes precedence in news releases, brochures, booklets, pamphlets, flyers, posters, catalogs, course schedules and official university publications. “The Chicago Manual of Style,” written by the late Kate Turabian, takes precedence in books, official proceedings, and papers and articles for professional journals. Unless otherwise specified by the individual colleges, “Turabian” governs the preparation of theses and dissertations. An entry with an asterisk (*) notes an entry unique to Kutztown University.
The official name is Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. The full name must appear on the front or back covers of magazines, books and brochures. In general use, however, it is sufficient to refer to the university as Kutztown University or KU. Do not use KUP. Do not capitalize the “u” in university when the word stands alone: The university comprises four colleges.
KU Style Guidelines
academic departments* — Capitalize on first, or in formal reference of academic departments or university offices. Lowercase second or informal designations except for words that are proper nouns or adjectives:
— Department of History, the history department.
— Department of English, the English department.
— Office of the Provost, the provost's office.
academic majors* — Lowercase all majors except those incorporating proper nouns: art education, Latin American studies.
academic titles — Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as chancellor, chair, etc. when they precede a name. Lowercase elsewhere.
Lowercase modifiers such as department in department Chair Jerome Wiesner.
See doctor and titles.
accept, except — Accept means to receive. Except means to exclude.
acronyms — See abbreviations.
administration — Lowercase: the administration, the president’s administration, the governor’s administration, the Biden administration.
adverse, averse — Adverse means unfavorable: He predicted adverse weather.
Averse means reluctant, opposed: She is averse to change.
adviser — Not advisor.
affect, effect — Affect, as a verb, means to influence: The game will affect the standings.
Affect, as a noun, is best avoided. It occasionally is used in psychology to describe an emotion, but there is no need for it in everyday language.
Effect, as a verb, means to cause: He will effect many changes in the company.
Effect, as a noun, means result: The effect was overwhelming. He miscalculated the effect of his actions. It was a law of little effect.
afterward — Not afterwards.
all right — Never alright. Hyphenate only if used colloquially as a compound modifier: He is an all-right guy.
all time, all-time — An all-time high, but the greatest runner of all time. Avoid the redundant phrase all-time record.
alma mater— The college or school that one attended. Its official anthem or hymn.
alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae, alum — The terms alumnus (s.) and alumni (pl.) for men, and alumna (s.) and alumnae (pl.) for women, are acceptable. If a gender-neutral term is desired, alum or alums is acceptable.
alumni associations* — Always capitalized when referring to the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Alumni Association, including second reference.
a.m., p.m. — Lowercase, with periods. Avoid the redundant 10 a.m. this morning.
ampersand (&) — Do not use the ampersand in text, titles or names, except when it is part of a company’s formal name or composition title: provost and vice president for academic affairs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, House & Garden, Proctor & Gamble, Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway.
The ampersand should not otherwise be used in place of and, except for some accepted abbreviations: B&B, R&B.
annual — Avoid the term first annual. You may use inaugural.
anybody/any body, any one/anyone — One word for an indefinite reference: Anyone can do that.
Two words when the emphasis is on singling out one element of a group: Any one of them may speak up.
author — A noun. Do not use it as a verb.
Avalanche — The name of Kutztown University's mascot.
Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science — A bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s is acceptable in any reference.
See academic degrees for guidelines on when the abbreviations B.A. or B.S. are acceptable.
between, among — Between two things; among three or more. As with all prepositions, any pronouns that follow these words must be in the objective case: among us, between him and her, between you and me.
biannual, biennial — Biannual means twice a year and is a synonym for the word semiannual.
Biennial means every two years.
bimonthly — Means every other month.
Semimonthly means twice a month.
biweekly — Means every other week.
Semiweekly means twice a week.
board of directors, board of trustees — Always lowercase. See organizations and institutions.
book titles — See composition titles.
boy, girl — Generally acceptable to describe males or females younger than 18. While it is always inaccurate to call people under 18 men or women and people 18 and older boys or girls, be aware of nuances and unintentional implications. Referring to black males of any age and in any context as boys, for instance, can be perceived as demeaning and call to mind historical language used by some to address black men. Be specific about ages if possible, or refer to black youths, child, teen or similar.
Use plural possessive: girls and boys high school sports.
See race-related coverage and gender and sexuality.
breath noun, breathe verb.
bring, take — Bring implies action toward the speaker; take implies motion away.
I will take these trousers to the cleaners, and bring my shirts back.
building names — Kutztown University building names and pronunciations.
cabinet — Capitalize references to a specific body of advisers heading executive departments for a president, king, governor, etc.: The president-elect said he has not made his Cabinet selections.
campus community* — The campus community includes all students, faculty and staff and is part of the much larger university community, which also includes alumni, professors emeriti, parents and families of students, and friends of KU.
campuswide — One word, not hyphenated.
cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation — Not cancelled.
capital, capitol — Capital is the city where a seat of government is located. Do not capitalize. The capital of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg.
Capitol is a building. Capitalize U.S. Capitol and the Capitol when referring to the building in Washington. Follow the same practice when referring to state capitols: The Pennsylvania Capitol is in Harrisburg.
century — Lowercase (unless part of a proper name). Spell out numbers under 10: the first century, the 21st century.
chair, chairperson, chairman, chairwoman — In general, use terms such as chair or chairperson, councilperson unless the -man or -woman terms are specified by an organization.
Capitalize as a formal title before a name: company Chair Henry Khan, committee Chairwoman Margaret Chase Smith.
Do not capitalize as a casual temporary position: chair Dara Jackson.
Chair is acceptable as a verb: She chaired the meeting; he chairs the committee.
check-in noun and adjective, check in verb; checkout noun and adjective, check out verb.
chief — Capitalize as a formal title before a name: She spoke to police Chief John Dillon. He spoke to Chief Craig Summers of the Kutztown Borough police.
Lowercase when it is not a formal title: union chief Walter Reuther.
class* — Capitalize when referring to a KU graduating class: Class of 2021. Do not capitalize class when it appears alone.
Some individuals are not comfortable with the word freshman. You may avoid it by referring to a first-year student, the incoming class, etc. Avoid the style: Incoming Class of 2002 – such a reference is ambiguous. The incoming class of 2002 is the Class of 2006. There is only one class of a given year; those who graduated that year.
clergy* — Capitalize clerical titles when used in front of a name: Pastor David Miller, Rabbi Ben Shuler, Imam Thomas el Eslam, The Reverend Billie Graham.
Lowercase when used alone: A pastor, a priest and a rabbi walk into …
The Rev. Dr. is used if the cleric has an earned doctorate.
coeducational* — Do not abbreviate. Use only in reference to programs and institutions. Do not use co-ed as a reference to an individual.
college — Capitalize when part of a proper name: Dartmouth College, the Kutztown University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Lowercase when used alone: The colleges of Kutztown University are: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
See organizations and institutions.
commencement* — Not capitalized except when referring to Kutztown University Commencement or Spring 2021 Commencement.
committee — Do not abbreviate. Capitalize when part of a formal name: the House Appropriations Committee.
Do not capitalize committee in shortened versions of long committee names: The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, for example, became the Senate banking committee.
commonwealth — A group of people united by their common interests. Lowercase in all cases, including commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
compared to, compared with — Use compared to when the intent is to assert, without the need for elaboration, that two or more items are similar: She compared her work for women’s rights to Susan B. Anthony’s campaign for women’s suffrage.
Use compared with when juxtaposing two or more items to illustrate similarities and/or differences: His time was 2:11:10, compared with 2:14 for his closest competitor.
complement, compliment — Complement is a noun and a verb denoting completeness or the process of supplementing something: The ship has a complement of 200 sailors and 20 officers. The tie complements his suit.
Compliment is a noun or a verb that denotes praise or the expression of courtesy: The captain complimented the sailors. She was flattered by the compliments on her project.
composition titles — Apply these guidelines to the titles of books, movies, plays, poems, albums, songs, operas, radio and television programs, lectures, speeches and works of art:
— Capitalize all words in a title except articles (a, an, the); prepositions of three or fewer letters (for, of, on, up, etc.); and conjunctions of three or fewer letters (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet, etc.) unless any of those start or end the title.
— Put quotation marks around the names of all such works except the Bible, the Quran and other holy books, and books that are primarily catalogs, this category includes almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers, handbooks and similar publications.
continual, continuous — Continual means a steady repetition, over and over again: May graduations happen continually. The merger has been the source of continual litigation.
Continuous means uninterrupted, steady unbroken: All she saw ahead of her was a continuous stretch of desert. The earth circles the sun continuously.
county — Capitalize when a proper name or formal title; lowercase county of or plural
combinations. Berks County; Lehigh County; Schuylkill County; Berks, Lehigh and Schuylkill counties; the County Commission; the county; the commission.
courtesy titles — In general, do not use courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.) except in direct quotations. When it is necessary to distinguish between two people who use the same last name, as in married couples or brothers and sisters, use the first and last name.
criterion, criteria — Criteria is the plural of criterion.
curricula, curriculum — Curricula is the plural of curriculum. Do not use curriculums.
data — The word typically takes singular verbs and pronouns when writing for general audiences and in data journalism contexts: The data is sound. In scientific and academic writing, plural verbs and pronouns are preferred. The data are persuasive.
Use databank and database, but data processing (n. and adj.) and data center.
dates — Always use Arabic figures, without st, nd, rd or th.
Right: April 4.
Wrong: April 4th.
See years and months.
daylight saving time — Not savings. No hyphen.
When linking the term with the name of a time zone, use only the word daylight: Eastern Daylight Time, Pacific Daylight Time, etc.
Lowercase daylight saving time in all uses and daylight time whenever it stands alone.
A federal law specifies that daylight time applies from 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March until 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November in areas that do not specifically exempt themselves.
days of the week — Capitalize them. Do not abbreviate, except when needed in a tabular format: Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat (three letters, without periods, to facilitate tabular composition).
dean — Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name: Dean John Jones, Deans John Jones and Susan Smith.
Lowercase in other uses: John Jones, dean of the college; the dean.
dean’s list — Lowercase in all uses: He is on the dean’s list. She is a dean’s list student.
degrees — See academic degrees.
demonstration* — Use demonstration, not protest.
departments* — Do not abbreviate. Preferred styling on first reference in text and on stationery is Department of Psychology, rather than Psychology Department. Second reference may be more casual. The Department of Mathematics will host an open house Tuesday. The math department is home to several of the university’s most popular professors.
Lowercase department in plural uses, but capitalize the proper name element: the department, the departments of Labor and Justice.
directions and regions — In general, lowercase north, south, east, west, northeast, northern, etc. when they indicate compass direction; capitalize these words when they designate region.
Compass directions: He drove west. The cold front is moving east.
Regions: A storm system that developed in the Midwest is spreading eastward. It will bring showers to the East Coast by morning and to the entire Northeast by late in the day. The three Middle Atlantic states are New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Also, mid-Atlantic.
disabilities — The terms disabilities and disabled include a broad range of physical, psychological, developmental and intellectual conditions both visible and invisible. In general, refer to a disability only if relevant to the story.
Use care and precision, considering the impact of specific words and the terms used by the people you write about. When possible, ask people how they want to be described. Be mindful that the question of identity-first vs. person-first language is vital for many.
Avoid descriptions that suggest pity, such as afflicted with, battling or suffers from multiple sclerosis. Rather, has multiple sclerosis, was able to walk again. Avoid clichés such as inspiring and brave.
disburse, disperse* — Disburse means to pay out, expend: "Financial Aid was disbursed."
Disperse means to break up, scatter: "The crowd was dispersed."
discreet, discrete — Discreet means prudent, circumspect: “I’m afraid I was not very discreet,” she wrote.
Discrete means detached, separate: There are four discrete sounds from a quadraphonic system.
disinterested, uninterested — Disinterested means impartial, which is usually the better word to convey the thought. Uninterested means someone lacks interest.
dissociate — Not disassociate.
divorce — Use the same standards for men and women in deciding whether to mention marital status in a story. Avoid describing a woman as a divorcee, or a man as a divorce, unless used in an essential quote. When the news isn’t about a marital breakup, but marital status is relevant, say in the body of the story that the woman or man is divorced.
doctor* — Use Dr. in first reference as a formal title before the name of an individual who holds a doctor of dental surgery, doctor of medicine, doctor of optometry, doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of podiatric medicine, or doctor of veterinary medicine. At KU, use Dr. in first reference as a formal title before other types of doctoral degrees: Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson.
The form Dr., or Drs., in a plural construction, applies to all first-reference uses before a name, including direct quotations. Do not continue to use Dr. in subsequent references.
Cassandra Karoub, who has a doctorate in mathematics, was lead researcher. U.S. first lady Jill Biden, who has a doctorate in education, plans to continue teaching. U.S. second gentleman Doug Emhoff, a lawyer, is joining the faculty of Georgetown Law. In a list: Stephanie Sanchez, Ph.D.
dorm* — Use residence hall, rather than dorm. Avoid dormitory.
email — Acceptable in all references for electronic mail. Also: esports. Use a hyphen with other e- terms: e-book, e-reader, e-commerce.
emeritus — This word often is added to formal titles to denote that individuals who have retired retained their rank or title. Plural emeriti.
When used, place emeritus after the formal title, in keeping with the general practice of academic institutions:
— Professor Emeritus Samuel Eliot Morison; Samuel Eliot Morison, professor emeritus of history.
— Dean Emeritus Ashanti Washington; Ashanti Washington, dean emeritus.
ensure, insure, assure — Use ensure to mean guarantee: Steps were taken to ensure accuracy.
Use insure for references to insurance: The policy insures his life.
Use assure to mean to make sure or give confidence: She assured us the statement was accurate.
entitled — Use it to mean a right to do or have something. Do not use it to mean titled.
Right: She was entitled to the promotion.
Right: The book was titled “Gone With the Wind.”
Eskimo — In general, avoid the term Eskimo for native peoples of northern North America except when paired with a group’s ethnic name in Alaska: Inupiat Eskimos, a Yup’ik Eskimo community, a Cu’pik Eskimo, etc. Follow the preference of those involved in the story, such as identifying someone simply as Yup’ik. The term Eskimo was assigned by non-native people and in some cultures, has since taken on offensive connotations. The term Inuit is used in Canada, Greenland and by some groups in northern Alaska.
Essential clauses, nonessential clauses
faculty* — Refers to a group. Do not use faculty to refer to a single member thereof.
Dr. Jones is a member of the faculty.
Wrong: Dr. Jones is faculty.
Wrong: Dr. Jones is on the faculty.
farther, further — Farther refers to physical distance: He walked farther into the woods.
Further refers to an extension of time or degree: She will look further into the mystery.
fewer, less — In general, use fewer for individual items, less for bulk or quantity.
Wrong: The trend is toward more machines and less people. (People in this sense refers to individuals.)
Wrong: She was fewer than 60 years old. (Years in this sense refers to a period of time, not individual years.)
Right: Fewer than 10 applicants called. (Individuals.)
Right: I had less than $50 in my pocket. (An amount.) But: I had fewer than 50 $1 bills in my pocket. (Individual items.)
flyer, flier — Flyer is the preferred term for a person flying in an aircraft, and for handbills: He used his frequent flyer miles; they put up flyers announcing the show. Use flier in the phrase take a flier, meaning to take a big risk.
foreign words — Some foreign words and abbreviations have been accepted universally into the English language: bon voyage; versus, vs.; et cetera, etc.
Many foreign words and their abbreviations are not understood universally, although they may be used in special applications such as medical or legal terminology. If such, a word or phrase is needed in a story, place it in quotation marks and provide an explanation: “ad astra per aspera,” a Latin phrase meaning “to the stars through difficulty.”
former — Always lowercase. But retain capitalization for a formal title used immediately before a name: (lowercase) former (capitalize) President Bill Clinton.
freshman, freshmen* — Freshman is a singular noun or adjective: a college freshman, the freshman class. Freshmen is a plural noun: The freshmen assembled quietly.
If a gender-neutral term is desired, first-year student can be used.
full time, full-time — Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: He works full time. She has a full-time job.
FTE* — Full-time equivalent.
fundraising, fundraiser — One word in all cases.
Golden Bears* — Always capitalized. Nickname for Kutztown University’s varsity sports teams. The KU student body is often referred to as Golden Bears.
GPA — Acceptable in all references for grade-point average.
graduation year* — Omit the comma between an alumnus’ name and graduation year. Insert an apostrophe (’), not an opening single quotation mark (‘). Camille DeMarco ’05, M ’05.
his, her — Do not presume maleness in constructing a sentence. Do not use constructions such as his/her, his or her, he or she, etc. Rewording to avoid a pronoun is preferable. The foundation gave grants to anyone who lost a job this year (instead of anyone who lost their job).
hometown — Use a comma to set off an individual’s hometown (both the city and, when needed, the state) when it is placed in apposition to a name, whether of is used or not: Tim Johnson, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was arrested Thursday; Mary Richards, Minneapolis. See state names.
honorary degrees — All references to honorary degrees should specify that the degree was honorary. Do not use Dr. before the name of an individual whose only doctorate is honorary.
internet — A decentralized, worldwide network of computers and other devices that can communicate with each other.
The web, like email, is a subset of the internet. They are not synonymous and should not be used interchangeably in stories. See web.
intramural* — No hyphen. Nor is there a hyphen in extramural, extracurricular or cocurricular.
irregardless — A double negative. Regardless is correct.
junior, senior — Abbreviate as Jr. and Sr. and do not precede by a comma: Martin Luther King Jr.
kid(s)* — Use student(s) when referring to those enrolled at KU. Use children unless you are talking about goats.
kosher — Always lowercase.
Kutztown Folk Festival* — The Kutztown Folk Festival is the oldest continuously operated folklife festival in America. This nine-day event continues to draw visitors from all over the world, entertaining families while providing valuable insight into the traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch and their fascinating way of life.
Kutztown University, KU, Kutztown* — The official name is Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. The full name must appear on the front or back covers of magazines, books and brochures. In general use, however, it is sufficient to refer to the university as Kutztown University or KU. Do not use KUP. Do not capitalize the u in university when the word stands alone: The university comprises four colleges.
Avoid using Kutztown to refer to the university to avoid confusion with the borough of Kutztown.
The accurate way to pronounce Kutztown: the first syllable "KUTZ" rhymes with "PUTS" or if the plural of foot was "FOOTS."
lay, lie — The action word is lay. It takes a direct object. Laid is the form for its past tense and its past participle. Its present participle is laying.
When lie means to make an untrue statement, the verb forms are lie, lied, lying.
Lie also has various other meanings, including to recline, to be situated or to exist. It does not take a direct object. Its past tense is lay. Its past participle is lain. Its present participle is lying.
LGBTQ+ Resource Center* — The LGBTQ+ Resource Center is a safe space for all members of the Kutztown University community.
lists, bulleted lists — AP uses dashes instead of bullets to introduce individual sections of a list; others may choose to use bullets. Put a space between the dash or bullet and the first word of each item in the list. Capitalize the first word following the dash or bullet. Use periods, not semicolons, at the end of each section, whether it is a full sentence or phrase. Use parallel construction for each item in a list:
— Start with the same part of speech for each item.
— Use the same voice (active or passive) for each item.
— Use the same verb tense for each item.
— Use the same sentence type for each item.
— Use just a phrase for each item, if desired.
Introduce the list with a short phrase or sentence: Our partners: or Our partners are:
magazine names — Capitalize the initial letters of the name but do not place it in quotes. Lowercase magazine unless it is part of the publications’ formal title: Harper’s Magazine, Newsweek magazine, Time magazine, Tower magazine.
Check the masthead if in doubt.
majors — See academic majors.
Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration — Abbreviated M.A., M.S. but MBA. A master’s degree or a master’s is acceptable in any reference.
See academic degrees.
Middle Atlantic states — As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, they are New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Less formal references often consider Delaware part of the group. Middle Atlantic or mid-Atlantic.
middle names — Use them only with people who are publicly known that way (James Earl Jones), or to prevent confusion with people of the same name.
midnight — Avoid using the term if it would create ambiguity about what day something is taking place, since some users’ understandings may vary. Instead: 11:59 p.m. Thursday or 12:01 a.m. Friday.
Do not put a 12 in front of it. It is part of the day that is ending, not the one that is beginning.
military titles — Capitalize a military rank when used as a formal title before an individual’s name. Gen. John Jones is the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. The general endorsed the idea. Majs. John Jones and Robert Smith; retired Army Gen. John Smith; police Sgt. William Smith, fire Capt. David Jones.
months — Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone.
When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas.
EXAMPLES: January 2016 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. His birthday is May 8. Feb. 14, 2013, was the target date. She testified that it was Friday, Dec. 3, when the crash occurred. The meeting is 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, in the Georgian Room.
In tabular material, use these three-letter forms without a period: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec.
See dates and years.
more than, over — Acceptable in all uses to indicate greater numerical value. Salaries went up more than $20 a week. Salaries went up over $20 a week. See over.
mountains — Capitalize as part of a proper name: Appalachian Mountains, Ozark Mountains, Rocky Mountains. Or simply: the Appalachians, the Ozarks, the Rockies.
multi- — The rules in prefixes apply, but in general no hyphen: multicolored, multilateral, multimillion, multimillionaire.
music — Capitalize, but do not use quotation marks on descriptive titles for orchestral works: Bach’s Suite No. 1 for Orchestra; Beethoven’s Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola. If the instrumentation is not part of the title but is added for explanatory purposes, the names of the instruments are lowercased: Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major (the common title) for violin and viola. If in doubt, lowercase the names of the instruments.
Use quotation marks for nonmusical terms in a title: Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony. If the work has a special full title, all of it is quoted: “Symphonie Fantastique,” “Rhapsody in Blue.”
In subsequent references, lowercase symphony, concerto, etc.
See composition titles.
names — In general, use only last names on second reference. When it is necessary to distinguish between two people who use the same last name, generally use the first and last name on subsequent references.
national anthem — Lowercase. But: “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
New Jersey — Abbreviate N.J. in datelines only; spell out in stories. Postal code: NJ
newspaper names — Capitalize the in a newspaper’s name if that is the way the publication prefers to be known. Do not place name in quotes.
noon — Do not put a 12 in front of it. See midnight and times.
numerals — In general, spell out one through nine: The Yankees finished second. He had nine months to go.
Use figures for 10 or above and whenever preceding a unit of measure or referring to the ages of people, animals, events or things. Also, in all tabular matter, and in statistical and sequential forms.
USE FIGURES FOR:
Academic course numbers: History 6, Philosophy 209.
Addresses: 210 Main St. Spell out numbered streets nine and under: 5 Sixth Ave; 3012 50th St.; No. 10 Downing St. Use abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Spell them out and capitalize without a number: Pennsylvania Avenue. See addresses.
Ages: a 6-year-old girl; an 8-year-old law; the 7-year-old house. Use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun. A 5-year-old boy, but the boy is 5 years old. The boy, 5, has a sister, 10. The race is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s. 30-something, but Thirty-something to start a sentence.
office — Capitalize office when it is part of an agency’s formal name: Office of Management and Budget; Oval Office.
Lowercase all other uses, including phrases such as: the office of the attorney general, the U.S. attorney’s office.
on — Do not use on before a date or day of the week when its absence would not lead to confusion, except at the beginning of a sentence: The meeting will be held Monday. He will be inaugurated Jan. 20. On Sept. 3, the committee will meet to discuss the issue.
Use on to avoid an awkward juxtaposition of and date and a proper name: John met Mary on Monday. He told Biden on Thursday that the bill was doomed.
online — One word in all cases for the computer connection term.
organizations and institutions — Capitalize the full names of organizations and institutions: the American Medical Association; First Presbyterian Church; General Motors Corp. or Geneal Motors; Harvard University, Harvard University Medical School; the Procrastinators Club; the Society of Professional Journalists.
Capitalize the names of major subdivisions: Division of University Relations and Athletics, the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors.
over — Acceptable in all uses to indicate greater numerical value. The crop was valued at over $5 billion. See more than, over.
Pennsylvania — Abbreviate Pa. in datelines only; spell out in stories. Postal code: PA
No state name is necessary if it is the same as the dateline.
Pennsylvania Dutch — The individuals are of German descent. The word Dutch is a corruption of Deutsch, the German word for “German.”
percent, percentage, percentage points — Use the % sign when paired with a number, with no space, in most cases: Average hourly pay rose 3.1% from a year ago; her mortgage rate is 4.75%; about 60% of Americans agreed; he won 56.2% of the vote. Use figures: 1%, 4 percentage points.
For amounts less than 1%, precede the decimal with a zero: The cost of living rose 0.6%.
Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center (Heritage Center)* — The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center is an open-air folklife museum and research center dedicated to preserving and celebrating Pennsylvania German folk culture, history, and language in a unique educational setting at Kutztown University.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education/PASSHE/State System — Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education was established on July 1, 1983, and is comprised of the 14 state universities: Bloomsburg University, PennWest California, Cheyney University, PennWest Clarion, East Stroudsburg University, PennWest Edinboro, Indiana University, Kutztown University, Lock Haven University, Mansfield University, Millersville University, Shippensburg University, Slippery Rock University and West Chester University.
System name: On initial reference, Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education should always be used; subsequent references may use the acronym PASSHE or the State System.
Ph.D., Ph.D.s — The preferred form is to say a person holds a doctorate and name the individual’s area of specialty. See academic degrees and doctor.
Philadelphia — The city in Pennsylvania stands alone in datelines.
phon-a-thon — AP stories prefer phone-a-thon. With another spelling, the formal name of a one-time event could be enclosed in quotes.
Pittsburgh — The city in Pennsylvania stands alone in datelines.
The spelling is Pittsburg (no h) for communities in California, Illinois, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Texas.
planets — Capitalize the proper names of planets. In order from the sun, they are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. (Pluto was redefined as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union in 2006.)
Capitalize Earth when used as the proper name of our planet: The astronauts returned to Earth.
Lowercase sun and moon.
Capitalize nouns and adjectives derived form the proper names of planets: Martian, Venusian. But lowercase adjectives derived from other heavenly bodies: solar, lunar.
p.m., a.m. — Lowercase, with periods. Avoid the redundant 10 p.m. tonight.
podium — A speaker stands behind a lectern, on a podium or rostrum, or in the pulpit.
pre- — Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Hyphenate if not listed there. In recognition of common usage and dictionary preferences, do not hyphenate double-e combinations with pre- and re-. Examples: preeclampsia, preelection, preeminent, preempt, preestablished, preexisting and those listed in re-.
Some examples: prearrange, precondition, precook, predate, predecease, predispose, preflight, pregame, preheat, prehistoric, preignition, prejudge, premarital, prenatal, prenuptial, pretax, pretest, prewar.
Some hyphenated coinage, not listed in the dictionary: pre-convention, pre-noon.
prefixes — Generally, do not hyphenate when using a prefix with a word starting with a consonant. Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary.
Three rules are constant:
— Use a hyphen if the prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel. Exceptions: cooperate, coordinate, and double-e combinations such as preestablish, preeminent, preeclampsia, preempt.
— Use a hyphen if the word that follows is capitalized.
— Use a hyphen to join doubled prefixes: sub-subparagraph.
presently — Use it to mean in a little while or shortly, but not to mean now.
president — Capitalize president only as a formal title before one or more names: President Joe Biden, former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
Lowercase in all other uses: The president said Monday he will look into the matter. He is running for president. Lincoln was president during the Civil War.
Full names: Use the first and family name on first reference to a current or former U.S. president or the president-elect: President Joe Biden, former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama. On subsequent references, use only the last name.
For presidents of other nations and of organizations and institutions, capitalize president as a formal title before a name: President Kenneth S. Hawkinson, Ph.D., President Francois Hollande of France, President John Smith of Acme Corp. On second reference, use only the last name.
professor — Never abbreviate. Lowercase before a name, but capitalize Professor Emeritus as a conferred title before a name: Professor Emeritus Susan Johnson. Do not continue in second reference unless part of a quotation.
See academic titles, emeritus and titles.
provost* — A provost is the senior academic administrator at many institutions of higher education: Provost Lorin Basden Arnold, Lorin Basden Arnold, university provost.
re- — Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Hyphenate if not listed there unless the hyphen would distort the sense (see the list below). In recognition of common usage and dictionary preferences, do not hyphenate double-e combinations with re- and pre-. Those included reelect, reemerge, reemphasize, reemploy, reenact, reengage, reenlist, reenter, reequip, reestablish, reexamine and those listed in pre-.
Other rules in the prefixes apply.
For some words, the sense is the governing factor: recover (regain); re-cover (cover again); reform (improve); re-form (form again); resign (quit); re-sign (sign again).
recur, recurred, recurring — Not reoccur.
residence hall* — Do not use dorm or dormitory.
rooms — Capitalize the names of specially designated rooms: Blue Room, Georgian Room, Lincoln Room, Oval Office.
room numbers precede the building. The meeting will be held in 312 Old Main.
school — Capitalize when part of a proper name: Kutztown Elementary School, Fleetwood Senior High School.
seasons — Lowercase spring, summer, fall, winter and derivatives such as springtime, unless part of a formal name: Winter Olympics, Summer Olympics.
*Capitalize fall or spring if it is in conjunction with the particular year, lowercase in all other uses. the Spring 2021 semester; He studied trumpet during the fall semester; The team practiced in fall.
state — Lowercase in all “state of” constructions: the state of Maine, the states of Main and Vermont.
Four states – Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia – are legally commonwealths rather than states. The distinction is necessary only in formal uses. Lowercase commonwealth. The commonwealth of Pennsylvania filed a suit. For simple geographic reference, Corn is grown in the state of Pennsylvania.
Do not capitalize state when used simply as an adjective to specify a level of jurisdiction: state Rep. William Smith, the state Transportation Department, state funds.
Apply the same principle to phrases such as the city of Reading, the borough of Kutztown.
See state names.
state names — Follow these guidelines:
Spell out: 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. No state name is necessary if it is the same as the dateline. This also applies to newspapers cited in a story. For example, a story datelined Providence, R.I., would reference the Providence Journal, not the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal.
Eight not abbreviated: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah are never abbreviated in datelines or text.
Abbreviations: Use the following abbreviations when using state names in datelines, lists, tabular material and short-form party listings: Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kan., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Neb., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., N.D., Okla., Ore., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.
subcommittee — Lowercase when used with the name of a legislative body’s full committee: a Ways and Means subcommittee.
Capitalize when a subcommittee has a proper name of its own: the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
suffixes — Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary for words not in this book.
If a word combination is not listed in Webster’s New World College Dictionary, use two words for the verb form; hyphenate any noun or adjective forms.
sun — Lowercase.
superintendent — Do not abbreviate. Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name. See titles.
telephone numbers — Use figures. The form: 610-683-4114.
For international numbers use 011 (from the United States), the country code, the city code and the telephone number: 011-44-20-7535-1515. Use hyphens not periods.
The form for toll-free numbers: 800-111-1000.
For a university internal extension, ext. 3-4114. If extension numbers are needed, use a comma to separate the main number from the extension: 212-621-1500, ext. 2.
television program titles — Follow the guidelines in composition titles.
Put quotation marks around show only if it is part of the formal name. The word show may be dropped when it would be cumbersome, such as in a set of listings.
(Italics are used here only to illustrate examples; do not use italics on the wires.)
In text or listing, treat programs named after the star in any of the following ways: “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Mary Tyler Moore” or the Mary Tyler Moore show. But be consistent in a story or set of listings.
Use quotation marks also for the title of an episode: “The Clean Room Infiltration,” an episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” Also: “NBC Nightly News,” the “Today” show, “The Tonight Show.”
temperatures — Use figures for all except zero. Use a word, not a minus sign, to indicate temperatures below zero.
Right: The day’s low was minus 10.
Right: The day’s low was 10 below zero.
Wrong: The day’s low was -10.
Right: The temperature rose to zero by noon.
Right: The day’s high was expected to be 9 or 10.
Also: 5-degree temperatures, temperatures fell 5 degrees, temperatures in the 30s (no apostrophe).
Temperatures get higher or lower, but phrasing such as warmer temperatures or cooler temperatures is also acceptable.
In recipes: 450 F or 232 C.
that (conjunction) — Use the conjunction that to introduce a dependent clause if the sentence sounds or looks awkward without it. There are no hard-and-fast rules, but in general:
— That usually may be omitted when a dependent clause immediately follows a form of the verb to say: The president said he had signed the bill.
— That should be used when a time element intervenes between the verb and the dependent clause: The president said Monday that he had signed the bill.
— That usually is necessary after some verbs. They include: advocate, assert, contend, declare, estimate, make clear, point out, propose and state.
— That is required before subordinate clauses beginning with conjunctions such as after, although, because, before, in addition to, until and while: Haldeman said that after he learned of Nixon’s intention to resign, he sought pardons for all connected with Watergate.
When in doubt, include that. Omission can hurt. Inclusion never does.
that, which (pronouns) — Use that and which in referring to inanimate objects and to animals without a name. Use that for essential clauses, important to the meaning of a sentence, and without commas: I remember the day that we met. Use which for nonessential clauses, where the pronoun is less necessary, and use commas: The team, which finished last a year ago, is in first place.
(Tip: If you can drop the clause and not lose the meaning of the sentence, use which; otherwise, use that. A which clause is surrounded by commas; no commas are used with that clauses.)
theater — Use this spelling unless the proper name is Theatre: Shubert Theatre.
they, them, their (pronouns) — Plural pronouns take plural verbs even when used as a singular pronoun.
times — Use figures except for noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 9-11 a.m., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Avoid such redundancies as 10 a.m. this morning, 10 p.m. tonight or 10 p.m. Monday night. Use 10 a.m. or 10 p.m. Monday, etc. as required by the norms in the time element.
The construction 4 o’clock is acceptable, but time listings with a.m. or p.m. are preferred.
titles — In general, confine capitalization to formal titles used directly before an individual’s name.
Lowercase and spell out titles when they are not used with an individual's name: the president issues a statement. The pope gave his blessing.
Lowercase and spell out titles in constructions that set them off from a name by commas: The vice president, Kamala Harris, was elected in 2020. Pope Francis, the current pope, was born in Argentina.
Capitalize formal titles when they are used immediately before one or more names: President Kenneth S. Hawkinson, Vice President Matt Santos, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Dr. Benjamin Spock, retired gen. Colin Powell.
A formal title denotes a scope of authority, professional activity or academic activity. Other titles serve primarily as occupational descriptions: astronaut Sally Ride, poet Maya Angelou.
today, tonight — Use the day of the week, not today or tonight, in news stories. In news stories, use today or tonight only in direct quotations, and in phrases that do not refer to a specific day: Customs today are different from those of a century ago.
In other types of writing, today, this morning, this afternoon and tonight are acceptable if using the day of the week would be awkward. For example, in an internal note Wednesday to company staff: Xin Chen took over as vice president for human resources today. In an external announcement: Xin Chen took over as vice president for human resources Wednesday.
tomorrow — Use only in direct quotations and in phrases that do not refer to a specific day: The world of tomorrow will need additional energy resources.
Use the day of the week in other cases.
toward — Not towards.
Tower* — Kutztown University Magazine.
trademark — A trademark is a brand, symbol, word, etc., used by a manufacturer or dealer and protected by law to prevent a competitor from using it: AstroTurf, for a type of artificial grass, for example.
In general, use a generic equivalent unless the trademark name is essential to the story.
The International Trademark Association, located in New York, is a helpful source of information about trademarks.
T-shirt — Acceptable to use tee on subsequent references.
unique — It means one of a kind. Do not describe something as rather unique, most unique or very unique.
union names — The formal names of unions may be condensed to conventionally accepted short forms that capitalize characteristic words from the full name followed by union in lowercase.
Follow union practice in the use of the word worker in shortened forms: United Auto Workers, United Mine Workers.
When worker is used generically, make autoworkers and steelworkers one word in keeping with widespread practice; use two words for other job descriptions: bakery workers, mine workers.
Kutztown University Employee Groups*:
— American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees: These employees typically perform work in the clerical field, accounting, maintenance and trades, grounds keeping, custodial and information technology. Subsequent references may use the acronym AFSCME.
— Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties: The employees hold positions as full and part-time teaching faculty, department chairpersons, librarians, athletic trainers and faculty members whose basic responsibilities lie outside of the classroom setting. Subsequent references may use the acronym APSCUF.
— Coaches (APSCUF Non-Faculty Athletic Coaches): These employees hold positions as non-faculty athletic coaches.
— Office of Professional Employees International Union Heathcare Pennsylvania: these employees typically hold university registered nurse; university certified registered nurse practitioner; or university registered nurse supervisory positions. Subsequent references may use the acronym OPEIU.
— Nonrepresented Employees: These employees hold professional and managerial positions such as accountants, bursars, registrars, human resource generalists, maintenance managers, information technology specialists and academic deans.
— The State College and University Professional Association: These employees typically hold professional positions working in admissions, financial aid, residence life, registrar or career services. Subsequent references may use the acronym SCUPA.
— Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America: These employees hold professional positions working as a police or security supervisor. Subsequent references may use the acronym SPFPA.
United States — Use periods in the abbreviation, U.S. within texts. In headlines, it’s US (no periods).
university — Do not capitalize the “u” in university when the word stands alone: The university comprises four colleges.
University Senate* — A representative body of Kutztown University faculty and professional staff.
versus — Spell it out in ordinary speech and writing: The proposal to revamp Medicare versus proposals to reform Medicare and Medicaid at the same time … In short expressions, however, the abbreviation vs. is permitted: The issue of guns vs. butter has long been with us.
For court cases, use v.: Marbury v. Madison.
web — Short form of World Wide Web, it is a part of the internet that enables the distribution of image-rich content and information. The web is not the same as the internet, but is a subset; other applications, such as email, exist on the internet. Also, website, webcam, webcast, webfeed, webmaster, webpage. But web address, web browser. See internet.
website — Also, webcam, webcast, webpage, webfeed, the web.
weights — Use figures. The baby weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces. She had a 9-pound, 7-ounce boy.
who, whom — Who is the pronoun used for references to human beings and to animals with a name. Write the person who is in charge, not the person that is in charge.
Who is grammatically the subject (never the object) of a sentence, clause or phrase: The woman who rented the room left the window open. Who is there?
Whom is used when someone is the object of a verb or preposition: The woman to whom the room was rented left the window open. Whom do you wish to see?
See essential clauses, nonessential clauses for guidelines on how to punctuate clauses introduced by who, whom, that and which. Also see that, which (pronouns).
-wide — No hyphen. Some examples: campuswide, citywide, continentwide, countrywide, industrywide, nationwide, statewide, worldwide.
wide- — Usually hyphenated. Some examples: wide-angle, wide-awake, wide-brimmed, wide-eyed, wide-open.
Xmas — Don’t use this abbreviation for Christmas.
years — When a phrase refers to a month and day within the current year, do not include the year: The hearing is scheduled for June 26. If the reference is to a past or future year, include the year and set it off with commas: Feb. 14, 2025, is the target date. Use an s without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries: the 1890s, the 1800s.
Years are an exception to the general rule that a figure is not used to start a sentence: 2013 was a very good year.
yesterday — Use only in direct quotations and in phrases that do not refer to a specific day: Yesterday we were young.
Use the day of the week in other cases.