Brand Identity & Visual Standards

Guidelines for creating UofL-branded marketing materials and websites

Style Guide

Is it “theater” or “theatre”? The 1990’s or 1990s? “She said” or “She says”?

Every day (or is it everyday?) the number of writing questions that we encounter when preparing university documents grows. That’s why it is important to develop a common editorial style guide.

Editorial style is the way we present ourselves to the public through written words, whether in a brochure, magazine, newspaper ad or website. Having a common style assists us in projecting a cohesive, coordinated image to the public. It also can offer a quick answer to what otherwise might prove a time-consuming dilemma.

The university's official guide for nonacademic communications, including all recruitment and marketing materials, is the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual. Widely used by newspapers and magazines, the AP style is familiar to readers, easy to read and makes sense. Although some AP rules stray from those taught in English composition classes (e.g., the final comma in a simple serial listing is eliminated), this is done intentionally with brevity and clear communication in mind.

For the few exceptions that AP style does not address we use A Manual of Style, while Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition is our source for spelling issues.

Despite the scope of editorial knowledge contained in these references, these sources do not address some issues that are unique to UofL or that are encountered frequently by the communications and marketing staff. This style guide (items are arranged alphabetically) is intended to provide an answer fast.

For questions or to suggest future revisions, contact the Office of Communications and Marketing at 852-6171.

Copies of the AP Stylebook and Libel Manual can be obtained through AP Newsfeatures, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020. A Manual of Style can be purchased in area bookstores. Those who are interested in other fast and easily read references dealing with everyday writing issues should check out “When Words Collide,” by Lauren Kessler and Duncan McDonald, and “The Writer’s Handbook,” by John B. Karls and Ronald Szymanski.

Suggestions?

If you have any suggestions for the Editorial Styleguide, please send them to us.

Basic Guidelines:

  1. Use AP Stylebook as a first reference when UofL Style Guide does not override.
  2. No rule overrides good judgment. There are cases when artistic license may prevail.

A

A&S

Acronym for the “College of Arts and Sciences.” Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal publications, A&S may be used if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

a.m., p.m.

Use without 0s to designate hours and lowercase with periods: 8 a.m.; 11 p.m.

AAUP

Acronym for the “American Association of University Professors.” Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal publications, AAUP may be used if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

Abbreviations

For companies, associations, organizations, etc., use the official name on first reference. On second reference, an abbreviation or acronym may be used if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use an abbreviation or acronym for second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference: She is on staff at the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics (ICT). Part of her work at the ICT involves studying sickle cell anemia.

Avoid acronyms and abbreviations that are used only within a given unit.

For all usages the University of Louisville may be abbreviated as UofL on second reference, written with no space after the "U" and before the "L." Never use the university monogram, UofL, as a substitute for UofL in text or headlines.

Abbreviate "company," "corporation," "incorporated" and "limited" when part of a name; do not set off with commas: the Coca-Cola Co., Rock Island Line Inc.

Abbreviate "junior" and "senior" as part of a name; do not set off with commas: John Doe Jr.

Note that ampersands (&) are not used in running text.

Beginning with the 2014 edition, the AP Stylebook has changed its rule for abbreviating state names. All states are now spelled out in full. The only exception is the two-letter postal code abbreviations used in conjunction with a full address (e.g., KY, IN).

United States is spelled out when standing alone: She traveled throughout the United States. The abbreviation is appropriate when used as an adjective: U.S. government.

U.S. – the abbreviation is acceptable as an adjective (e.g., U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Supreme Court); spell out United States as a noun.

USA does not have periods.

See also academic degrees

academic degrees

Lowercase degree names: The department offers a master of arts and a master of arts in teaching.

Avoid abbreviations in body copy: Jane Smith earned her bachelor's degree in English and then went on to gain a master's in biology and a doctorate of medicine.

Abbreviations (MD, JD, PhD, BA etc) can be used in lists. There are no periods in the abbreviations and abbreviations may not be used as part of a person’s title.

Use an apostrophe when writing bachelor's degree, specialist's degree or master's degree but not when naming the full degree: bachelor of arts degree

Academic departments/units

Use lowercase except for words that are proper nouns or adjectives: sociology department, English department or when department is part of the official, formal name: University of Louisville Department of Sociology.

Capitalize names of colleges when using the full, official name: Brandeis School of Law. Lowercase when using a reference that isn’t the official name or on second reference: law school.

"University," "college" and "department" are never capitalized unless they part of the official name or the first word of a sentence.

Academic disciplines

In text, capitalize only proper nouns and adjectives: members of the chemistry faculty; two English professors.

Academic titles

Do NOT use Dr., MD or PhD as titles. Use the individual’s UofL-related title. (e.g., Susan Harkema, a professor at UofL’s Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center NOT Dr. Susan Harkema, MD, PhD)

If a person has multiple titles, use only their primary title on first reference: David Jenkins, dean of the Kent School of Social Work NOT David Jenkins, dean of the Kent School of Social Work, professor of social work and director of the master’s in social work program.

When using MD, PhD, JD etc. as degree listings, there are no periods or spaces.

Capitalize an individual’s title if it precedes the name (e.g., "President Neeli Bendapudi," "Professor Smith")

Do not capitalize the title when it is used as a descriptor following an individual’s name (e.g., "Joe Smith, a professor of history…")

Always use "President Neeli Bendapudi" — NOT "UofL President Neeli Bendapudi"

Official chair names are capped (e.g., “Calvin and Helen Lang Distinguished Chair in Asian Studies”)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

See also titles

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ACT

Although ACT still officially stands for American College Test, the abbreviation is sufficient even on first reference: ACT, no periods.

Ad Astra

Signature sculpture at the School of Medicine.

ADA

Acronym for the “Americans with Disabilities Act” of 1990. Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, ADA is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

adjunct

Always lowercase: adjunct professor John Thompson.

admissions office

Use Office of Admissions on first reference. Use admissions office thereafter. The Office of Admissions handles undergraduate applications; the Graduate School deals with graduate admissions.

adviser, advisor, advisory

Use "-er" unless "advisor" is part of an official title: The U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor provides employers with information on minimum wage, overtime, child labor and record-keeping requirements; She served as an adviser to the government on this project. However, "advisory" is the correct spelling.

Affect, effect

Affect is almost always a verb that means to "influence" or "put on": How this will affect her grade is uncertain at this point or She affected an English accent because she thought it made her seem more sophisticated.

Effect is nearly always a noun that means "result": The effect upon her grade is uncertain at this point. Occasionally "effect" is used as a verb in formal writing to mean "to bring about": They wanted to effect some immediate changes in their academic policy. "Affect" can be used as a noun in very narrow usage, to denote certain behavior in psychology.

affirmative action statement

An equal opportunity statement must be printed on all publications directed to audiences outside the university community.

CATALOGS AND HANDBOOKS: The full text of the statement must be included in all student catalogs, student handbooks and official employee handbooks: The University of Louisville is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate against persons because of race, religion, sex, age, handicap, color, citizenship or national origin.

MARKETING MATERIALS: Advertisements, brochures and other marketing materials aimed at students or potential students must include the following abbreviated equal opportunity statement: The University of Louisville is an equal opportunity institution.

Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Office of Affirmative Action at 852-6538.

African American

African American is not hyphenated. AP style prefers Black when describing race. Capitalize Black on all references when used to describe race.

ages

Generally, avoid referring to a person's age unless it is relevant to your copy. Do not refer to the age of a university faculty or staff member without his or her permission.

When age is relevant, always use numerals: He was 3 years old. Ages that are expressed as adjectives before a noun or that substitute for a noun use hyphens: The 3-year-old boy wandered off. Police are searching for a 3-year-old who wandered off from his home yesterday.

alma mater

The college one attended (lowercase); Alma Mater (uppercase, in italics) is the song.

alumna, alumnae (pl.)

Feminine noun for a graduate of the institution.

alumni

Masculine or mixed masculine and feminine plural noun; one graduate is an alumnus (masculine) or an alumna (feminine).

Alumni codes

NoteWhen referring to alumni, add the year of their graduation to their name as an identifier. Alumni are represented by the last two numbers of their year of graduation. Do not set off the year with parentheses or commas: John Doe ’81. A comma can be used when separating multiple degrees: Sarah Smith ’99, ’02. The apostrophe faces the missing numbers. We do not use degree codes (BA, BS) with alumni names.

When the "19" or "20" is omitted from a written year, an apostrophe is used to indicate the contraction: '87. Be aware that some word-processing programs will incorrectly insert a single open-quotation mark (the tail of the mark will be turned toward the number) rather than an apostrophe (the tail of the mark is turned away from the number), which the writer must then change manually.

alumnus

Masculine singular form of a graduate.

Alzheimer's disease

Do not capitalize "disease." "Alzheimer's" (alone) is acceptable on second reference.

American Association of University Professors

On first reference, use the full name. Second reference may be AAUP or "the association."

among, between

"Between" is used to show the relationship between two entities; "among" is used when more than two are involved: It was a choice between red and blue. It was a choice among red, blue and yellow. However, "between" is correct when expressing the relationships of three or more items considered one pair at a time: Negotiations on a debate format are under way between the network and the Ford, Carter and McCarthy committees.

ampersand

Do not use an ampersand (&) in running text unless it is part of a name.

EXCEPTIONS: In informal use A&S is acceptable as a second reference for the College of Arts and Sciences. Also, in a list where space is an issue an ampersand is allowed.

and/or
Do not use this construction.
apostrophe

Do not use an apostrophe when forming plurals of dates or abbreviations: 1890s, 1920s, M.D.s, Ph.D.s

Arts and Sciences, College of

A&S is acceptable on second reference in informal use.

Asian American

No hyphen

athletic association

Officially the University of Louisville Athletic Association; second reference, athletic association.

Atlantic Coast Conference

Use full name on first reference; use ACC on second reference and after

athletics director

NOT "athletic" director. Use lowercase except before a name: Joan Doe, athletics director at the university; Athletics Director Joan Doe spoke at the conference.

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B

Belknap Academic Building

Can be referred to as BAB on second reference.

Belknap Campus

Capitalize Campus when using as a proper noun: The Belknap Academic Building is on Belknap Campus.

between you and me

NOT between you and I.

between, among

"Between" is used to show the relationship between two entities; "among" when more than two are involved: It was a choice between red and blue. It was a choice among red, blue and yellow.

Big Red

A university landmark sculpture by artist Thomas Lear, erected in 1989.

Black, white

Capitalize Black and lowercase white as adjectives when referring to people, according to a 2020 AP style change on race references.

Board of Trustees

Capitalize and use full name on first reference. Use "the board," "the trustees" (lowercase) for subsequent references: The UofL Board of Trustees met to discuss the proposal. The board discussed the proposal. The trustees voted on the issue.

brackets vs. parentheses

AP style does not use brackets.

Brandeis School of Law

While the "Louis D. Brandeis School of Law" is the official name, "Brandeis School of Law" is acceptable for all but the most formal usage. On second reference, "Brandeis" (in contexts where the law school cannot be confused with its namesake) or "the law school" is acceptable.

Buildings

Capitalize buildings that have a formal name, including the words "Building" or "Center": the Houchens Building. Capitalize only proper nouns in common references: the Interfaith Center building.

Use lowercase for buildings with generic names that reflect the discipline taught or the activity conducted therein: the education building.

Lowercase facilities and rooms within buildings: University Club dining room. However, use figures and capitalize room with used with a figure: Room 211.

bulleted series

Introduce the series with a colon.

Do not use periods or semicolons at the end of each item unless the item is a complete sentence (and be consistent—if one item is a sentence, make them all sentences).

Do not set off the next-to-last item with "and":

She said that several things led to her entrepreneurial success:

  • perseverance
  • a sense of humor
  • a supportive family
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C

campus

Capitalize when used with the full name of the campus: Belknap Campus, Health Sciences Campus, Shelby Campus. Lowercase when it stands alone: The Grawemeyer Award winners visited campus.

campuswide

One word.

Cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation

Cancellation is the only word that uses the double l.

capitalization

The full, formal names of the university and its colleges, schools and departments are capitalized: the University of Louisville; the School of Music

Use lowercase when not using the full, formal name: the university; the music school.

Capitalize the full, formal names of centers and institutes and use lowercase on second reference or in informal usage: The Center for Safe Urban School Communities helps communities access risk factors for youth violence. The center also promotes the healthy development of young people.

Capitalize the formal names of campus organizations and ongoing programs: Interfraternity Council, University Honors Program.

See also buildings, composition titles

Cardinal Bird

The name of UofL's athletic mascot. Do not set off in quotation marks: The halftime program featured Cardinal Bird and the cheerleaders.

Cardinal Family

Use as a proper noun; capitalize accordingly.

Cardinal(s)

The name given to UofL teams that participate in intercollegiate sports. Always capitalize Cardinal(s) but not the rest of the team name: the Cardinal men's basketball team; the softball Cardinals.

catalog

Not "catalogue"

CEHD

Acronym for the “College of Education and Human Development.” Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, CEHD is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers.

center, centre

"Center" is the American spelling; "centre" is British. Always use "center" except when "centre" is part of an official name.

See also theater, theatre

century

Lowercase, spelling out numbers less than 10: the first century; the 21st century. Do not hyphenate: This was a 21st century addition to the university.

See also em dash, en dash

chair

Use the full name and capitalize first reference of endowed chairs: William Ray Moore Chair of Family Practice. On second reference the Moore chair is acceptable.

chair, chairman, chairwoman

Chair is preferred: Jane Smith is chair of the biology department. Do not use "chairperson" unless it is the organization's formal office title.

city
Do not capitalize in "city of" constructions: city of Louisville.
Classes, courses

Lowercase when making a general reference to courses: He studies history and political science. Uppercase when referring to a specific class or when the class name includes a proper noun or numeral, and set off in quotations: I took "Psychology 100" and "Spanish 101."

Clock Tower

A campus landmark. Capitalize.

CODRE

Acronym for the “Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality.” Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, CODRE is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

coed

Coed residence halls house students of both sexes, and coed colleges admit students of both sexes. Never use "coed" to refer to a female college student.

collective nouns

The collective nouns "faculty" and "staff" can take singular or plural verbs, depending on whether group members are acting individually or as a group. The French department faculty meets regularly with the Spanish department faculty. The staff sometimes disagree among themselves.

When "data" is used as a collective noun that represents a unit it takes a singular verb: The data is invalid. When it refers to individual items, use a plural verb: The data were collected by a team of biologists.

colleges and schools

The distinction between schools and colleges is, in general, one of breadth: colleges consist of multiple academic units, schools of one or two. Do not call a college a school.

Capitalize the full, formal names of UofL's schools and colleges. If the college is named after someone, include the honoree's last name: Brandeis School of Law. First names and initials need be included only in the most formal settings, such as commencement programs: Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Where possible, use full names on first reference and informal names thereafter: the College of Arts and Sciences, A&S; the College of Education and Human Development, CEHD.

On first reference for external communications, preface the name of the school or college with "the University of Louisville's" unless the full university name has been used earlier: the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law. On second reference, informal names are lowercase: the law school.

Use alphabetical order for formal listings of the university's schools and colleges (dates when units originated are included here, too, for reference purposes):

  • Brandeis School of Law (1846)
  • College of Arts and Sciences (1907)
  • College of Business (1953)
  • College of Education and Human Development (1968)
  • Graduate School (1915)
  • Kent School of Social Work (1936)
  • School of Dentistry (1887)
  • School of Medicine (1846*)
  • School of Music (1932)
  • School of Nursing (1979)
  • School of Public Health and Information Sciences (2002)
  • J.B. Speed School of Engineering (1925)

* Date indicates when UofL was chartered by the General Assembly, absorbing LCI (est. 1837) and the Louisville Medical Institute (est. 1833); a law department also was established at this time.

colleges and universities

For colleges and universities other than UofL, use the full formal name on first reference; abbreviations and acronyms may be used in subsequent references. Beware of mixing up athletic nicknames and academic institutions.

commas

Avoid excessive use.

Do not use a comma before the final conjunction in a simple series: The president delivered an address before an audience made up of state legislators, U.S. senators and local government officials.

Do not use a comma to introduce a subordinate clause: She decided to take a class in social deviancy because she thought it would help her understand her teenager's request to officially change his name from John to The Son Who Was Formerly Known as John.

DEPENDENT CLAUSES: If the second half of a compound sentence does not contain its own subject and predicate, do not separate the clauses with a comma: The ticket office is in the Swain Student Activities Center and is open from 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

INDEPENDENT CLAUSES: Use a comma between the two independent clauses of a compound sentence (preceding the conjunctions "and," "but," "or," "nor," "for," "so" and "yet"). The second half of the sentence must contain its own subject and verb: The ticket office is in the Student Activities Center, and it is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

DATE: Use a comma between a specific date and year: June 10, 1964. A comma should follow the year when a specific date is mentioned mid-sentence: May 11, 1988, was the date of the party. Do not use a comma between month and year or season and year: March 1997, summer 1999.

LOCATIONS: When using a city name with a state or country in a sentence, place a comma afterward: She is a Louisville, Kentucky, native.

See also semicolon

commencement, Commencement

Uppercase the formal ceremony; lowercase for generic usage: Maya Angelou spoke at Commencement; UofL holds commencements in December and May of each year.

Committee

Capitalize the full names of committees that are part of formal organizations. Lowercase shortened and informal versions of committee names

committees, task forces

Capitalize the official names of specific committees or task forces: The Task Force on Gender Equity met yesterday. Lowercase second general reference: The task force is developing a proposal on gender equity.

Commonwealth

Do not uppercase in "commonwealth of" constructions: (commonwealth of Kentucky) or in stand-alone use (in the commonwealth)

complement, compliment

"Complement" is something that completes or enhances; "compliment" is an expression of respect or admiration: The black complements the red in UofL's logo. She complimented the university on its red-and-black logo.

Composition titles

Capitalize the first and last word of the title along with all verbs, nouns and principal words: A Dog Named Spot. Capitalize all prepositions and conjunctions in a title that consist of four or more letters: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; The House That Jack Built.

Use quotation marks around titles of books, plays, movies, poems, albums, songs, paintings and television and radio programs. … "The Star-Spangled Banner," the "Today" show, "Game of Thrones"

Sculptures are capitalized without quotes: The Thinker

The Bible and books that are primarily catalogs of reference material are capitalized only. This category includes almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks and similar publications.

Translate a foreign title into English unless the work is known to the American public by its foreign name.

comprise

Avoid using if possible, but when necessary remember that "comprise" means to contain or include. Use in active voice: UofL comprises 12 schools and colleges NOT UofL is comprised of 12 schools and colleges.

course titles

In most cases, a description of subject matter rather than an official title will suffice: He teaches freshman English each fall. She developed the course on contract law.

courtesy titles
Generally omitted.

See also titles

COVID-19

COVID-19, the disease, is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Coronavirus is a family of viruses but a 2020 change permits use of "the coronavirus" in first reference in stories about COVID-19.

CPE

Acronym for the “Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.” Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, CEP is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers.

cum laude

Means"With distinction"; Lowercase.

CV

Acronym for “curriculum vitae.” Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, CV is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

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D

Dash

UofL uses the en dash with spaces for all instances where a dash is necessary: Her research found that this is especially true for women – the vast majority of welfare recipients

The en dash (–) is shorter than an em dash but longer than a hyphen.

Do not pair an en dash with the word "from": 1968–72 or from 1968 to 1972 NOT from 1968–72).

Data, datum

Data typically takes singular verbs and pronouns when writing for a general audience. For academic writing, plural verbs and pronouns are preferred. Use datum when you mean a single piece of information.

dates

Spell out months when used alone or with the year only: September 1991. Abbreviate the month―except for March, April, May, June and July―when used with a specific day: Sept. 2.

Do not use a comma between the month and year when no specific day is mentioned: January 1994. The same rule applies to seasons: fall 1996.

When referring to a month, day and year, place a comma between the day and year: Dec. 7, 1945.

Place a comma after the year when a phrase with a month, day and year is used in a sentence: Feb. 18, 1987, was the target date.

Do not use "on" with dates unless its absence would lead to confusion: The program ends Dec. 15 NOT The program ends on Dec. 15.

To indicate sequences or inclusive dates and times, use an en dash instead of "to": Apply here May 7–9, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Do not use "st," "rd" or "th" with dates: Oct. 14 NOT Oct. 14th; Feb. 2 NOT Feb. 2nd.

dean

Capitalize only when it precedes a name. Don't combine dean or any administrative title with an academic title before a name: Dean John Doe NOT Dean Dr. John Doe.

See also titles

dean's list

Do not capitalize.

Degrees

Lowercase degree names: The department offers a master of arts and a master of arts in teaching.

Avoid abbreviations in body copy: Jane Smith earned her bachelor's degree in English and then went on to gain a master's in biology and a doctorate of medicine.

Abbreviations (MD, JD, PhD, BA etc) can be used in lists. There are no periods in the abbreviations and abbreviations may not be used as part of a person’s title.

Use an apostrophe when writing bachelor's degree, specialist's degree or master's degree but not when naming the full degree: bachelor of arts degree.

When referring to alumni, we no longer use degree codes. Also see alumni codes.

Departments

Use lowercase except for words that are proper nouns or adjectives: sociology department, English department … or when department is part of the official and formal name: University of Louisville Department of Sociology.

Disabled, handicapped

Avoid describing a person as disabled unless it is pertinent to the story. If so, try to be specific and avoid descriptions such as "afflicted with" or "suffers from." EX: He has multiple sclerosis. Use wheelchair user not wheelchair-bound. Avoid the word handicap in describing a disability.

doctoral, doctorate

"Doctorate" is a noun; "doctoral" is the adjective. You may have a doctorate or a doctoral degree, but not a doctorate degree: He received his doctoral degree in English; He holds a doctorate in English.

dorms/dormitories

Avoid this old-fashioned and limited term; use "residence hall " instead.

Dr.

Do not use as a title. The university does not use Dr. or academic titles in general external communications because it is assumed that UofL faculty possess the terminal degree in their field.

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E

email

Do not hyphenate.

e.g., i.e

E.g. stands for "for example"; i.e. stands for "that is." The two are not interchangeable but each is always followed by a comma.

EEOC

Acronym for the “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.” Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, EEOC is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

Ellipsis

Treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, with a space before and after it but none inserted between the three periods: Metropolitan College … provides both employment and a free college education.

emeritus, emerita, emeriti

The title of "emeritus" is not synonymous with "retired"; it is an honor bestowed on a small number of retired faculty and should be included in the title. At UofL this honorary title may be conferred upon a retired faculty member if requested by the dean and unit faculty (or, if permitted in unit personnel documents, by department faculty) and then approved by the president and trustees.

"Emerita" is feminine; "emeriti" is plural. The word may precede or follow "professor": John Doe is a professor emeritus of art. Jane Doe, professor emerita at UofL

entitled, titled

"Entitle" means having the right to something: She was entitled to the promotion because she met all the qualifications and had the full support of the department.Do not use it to mean "titled".

Title is the name of a publication, musical composition, etc.: Her first book, titled "The Applewhites of Door County," was an enormous success.

everyday, every day

"Everyday" is an adjective; every day is an adverb: Missing class was an everyday occurrence for her, while he went to class every day.

everyone, every one, everybody

"Everyone" and "everybody" (one word) refer to all people; "every one" and "every body" (two words) refer to individual items.

"Everyone" and "everybody" are singular pronouns, taking a singular predicate: Everyone here is eligible for the new program. Everybody is ready to go.

When "every" is used as an adjective, the noun it modifies always takes a singular verb: Every one of us is a potential candidate for the job. (This is also true of "each," "either" and "neither.")

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F

faculty

Lowercase unless it is part of a specific name.

Faculty Senate

Uppercase.

Fellowship, fellowship

Use uppercase for a named fellowship and lowercase for generic use: She received a fellowship from the institution. He was awarded the Founders Fellowship in 1999.

FERPA

FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a federal law applying to educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under a program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Under FERPA, schools must generally afford students who are aged 18 or over, or are attending a postsecondary institution, access to their education records, an opportunity to seek to have the records amended and some control over the disclosure of information from the records.

fewer, less

Use "fewer" when referring to items that can be counted: He said that fewer than 10 responses would not provide an adequate sample for his survey. "Less" refers to an uncountable bulk or quantity: Less than half of the blood supply was usable.

financial aid office

The formal name is Office of Financial Aid.

foreign words and phrases

Some words or phrases, such as bon voyage, have become accepted into English, but if the term is not understood universally, surround it with quotation marks and provide an explanation.

forgo, forego

"Forgo" is the preferred spelling when meaning "to overlook or neglect" or "to do without or give up."

formal vs. occupational titles

Formal titles generally denote a scope of authority, professional activity or academic accomplishment so specific that the designation becomes almost as much an integral part of an individual's identity as a proper name itself. Capitalize when they appear before a name: The session was led by President George Bush.

Founder's Day

Commemorates the drafting of an agreement to establish the university on April 3, 1798.

fractions

Spell out when used in text; use numerals in charts. For fractions and percentages, the verb should agree with the noun following the "of": Three-fourths of the students were English majors. Three-fourths of the project is completed.

Fraternities, sororities

The full, formal name should be used on first reference: Sigma Phi Epsilon.

A member is a member, never a "brother" or "sister."

In reference to a fraternity or sorority's building, the word "house" should be capitalized when it follows the name of the organization: Sigma Phi Epsilon House; fraternity house.

from

In a construction indicating range or extent, do not use an en dash if the word "from" has been used: He served as head of the department from 1995 to 1997. The lecture is scheduled 2:30–5 p.m.

See also range

FTE

Acronym for “full-time equivalency.” Avoid using except in the most casual circumstances, and only if you are certain that your audience is familiar with the term.

Fulbright

Uppercase as shown: Fulbright Scholar Award, Fulbright Scholar Program, Fulbright Scholars, Fulbright Scholar Grant, Fulbright Distinguished Fellow. Lowercase as shown: a Fulbright grant, a Fulbright fellowship, a Fulbright award.

FYI The Fulbright Scholar Program was established in 1946 under congressional legislation introduced by Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. Grants are awarded to Americans to lecture or conduct research abroad and to foreign scholars to visit the United States. The program is funded and administered by the U.S. Information Agency through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

full time, full-time

Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: She is a full-time employee of the university. She works full time at the university.

Fundraiser, fundraising

One word in all uses.

FY

Acronym for “fiscal year.” Acceptable for use in financial tables and lists; avoid otherwise.

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G

grade point average, GPA

GPA is acceptable in all references

GRE

Acronym for the “Graduate Record Examinations.” Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, GRE is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

greek

Lowercase for fraternities and sororities; uppercase when referring to someone from Greece: The Greek student decided to go greek during rush week and try out for a sorority; he didn't make it.

ground-breaking, groundbreaking

ground-breaking (adj.), groundbreaking (n.)

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H

health care

Two words, except when part of a formal name: Advancing health care is a very important part of the university's Challenge for Excellence agenda; UofL Health Care; Norton Healthcare.

HIPAA

Acronym for the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.” Avoid. Refer to privacy laws or the federal law restricting release of medical information.

His/her

Don’t presume construction. Try to reword to avoid gender. If essential, the pronoun "they" can be used as singular with plural verb.

home page

Two words. The front page of a particular website.

Homecoming

Uppercase when referring to the UofL Homecoming event; lowercase for generic usage: He was his high school's homecoming king.

Honors Program

The official name is University Honors Program, but Honors Program also is acceptable. Uppercase. However, "honors classes" and "honors professor" are lowercase.

House Bill 1

Short for the "Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997." It is acceptable to use House Bill 1 on first reference as long as it is in a context that clearly explains to readers what the bill is about.

HSC

Acronym for the “Health Sciences Campus.” Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, HSC is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers.

hyphen

Use a hyphen to avoid ambiguity: He was a small-business man.

Hyphenate modifiers that follow forms of the verb "to be": The cancer program is world-renowned for its innovative treatments.

Hyphenate compound modifiers except when the compound modifier follows the noun: She is a part-time worker. She works part time.

EXCEPTIONS: No hyphen is needed for compound modifiers using the adverb "very" and all adverbs ending in -ly: She was a very qualified candidate. This is not such an easily remembered rule.

However, note that when " family" (which, of course, is not an adverb) is part of a compound modifier, the modifier is hyphenated: family-owned business.

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I

Inc.

Abbreviate when part of a name; do not set off with commas: Rock Island Line Inc.

See also abbreviations, acronyms

inpatient, outpatient

One word.

institutes

Uppercase on first and formal references with complete names. Note that some institutes are in fact academic departments within a school or college, while most are independent of academic affiliation or multidisciplinary.

See also capitalization

internet

Always lowercase.

IT

Jargon abbreviation for "information technology"; do not use in normal text except in informal usage when referring to the various IT departments: She contacted IT for assistance with her e-mail account.

italics

AP Style doesn’t use italics in copy.

it's, its

This one is easy―but, nevertheless, often misused. Remember that "its" is the possessive form of the pronoun "it": The group decided that its rules were too strict. "It's" is a contraction for "it is" or "it has": It's easy to make this mistake.

HINT: A quick way to check if you've used the correct version is to read the sentence back to yourself, inserting "it is" in place of it's or "its" to determine if it still makes sense.

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J

jargon

Avoid at all times.

JCPS

Acronym for the “Jefferson County Public Schools.” Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, JCPS is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

JCTC

Acronym for "Jefferson Community & Technical College." Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, JCTC is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

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K

KCTCS

Acronym for the “;Kentucky Community and Technical College System.”; Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, KCTCS is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

KEA

Acronym for the “Kentucky Education Assocation.”; Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, KEA is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers. “The association” is also acceptable as a second reference. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

KEES

Acronym for "Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships." Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, KEES is acceptable (refer to it as "KEES money") if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

KERA

Acronym for the “Kentucky Education Reform Act Initiatives.” Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal usage, KERA is acceptable if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

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L

Latino, Latina

Latino is often the preferred noun or adjective for a person from, or whose ancestors were from a Spanish-speaking land or culture or from Latin America. Latina is the feminine form. Some prefer the recently coined gender-neutral term Latinx, which should be confined to quotations, names of organization or descriptions of individuals who request it and may be accompanied by a short explanation. EX: Hernandez prefers the gender-neutral term Latinx.

For groups of females, use the plural Latinas; for groups of males or of mixed gender, use the plural Latinos. Hispanics is also generally acceptable for those in the U.S. Use a more specific identification when possible, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican or Mexican American.

law school

Second reference both for the Brandeis School of Law and for the building in which it is housed.

lectures

Put the full titles of lectures in quotation marks: The subject of his lecture is "The World of Ambrose Bierce."

Capitalize lecture titles and lecture series titles; do not capitalize preceding adjectives: She delivered the fourth annual Holmes-Hunter Lecture.

libraries

The university library system includes:

  • Ekstrom Library (the main unit)
  • Kornhauser Health Sciences Library
  • Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library
  • Laura Kersey Library of Engineering, Physical Sciences and Technology
  • Dwight Anderson Memorial Music Library
  • University Archives and Records Center
  • Law Library

The system is named UofL Libraries and, therefore, uses a singular verb: UofL Libraries was accepted recently into the Association of College and Research. One way around this somewhat awkward-sounding construction is, when possible, to refer to it as "the UofL library system."

listserv

Avoid using this as a term for an e-mail discussion group as it is the name of a particular software program designed for automating e-mail discussions.

Louisville Alumni

The official name of UofL’s alumni office.

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M

magazine names

Capitalize but do not italicize or put in quotes magazine names. Newsweek

magna cum laude
"With great distinction," lowercase.
majors
Do not capitalize.
multi

In general, no hyphen when used as a prefix: multicultural.

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N

newspaper names

Capitalize the definite article if that is the way the publication prefers to be known: The New York Times.

However, do not capitalize the definite article in a story that mentions several papers where some papers use "the" as part of their name and others do not: the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Courier Journal and the New York Times.

Where location is needed but is not part of a newspaper's name, use parentheses: The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

NIH

Acronym for the "National Institutes of Health." Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal publications, NIH may be used if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

non

In general, no hyphen when used as a prefix: nonprofit; nonentity.

EXCEPTIONS: Use a hyphen before proper nouns and in awkward constructions: non-English speaking people; non-nuclear submarine.

NSF

Acronym for the "National Science Foundation." Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal publications, NSF may be used if the meaning will be clear to readers. If you intend to use the acronym on second reference, let readers know this by setting it off in parentheses directly after the first official reference.

numbers

Spell out those less than nine; use numerals for 10 and above.

Always spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence, except for calendar years.

Always use numerals for percentages: 7%,13%>

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O

OB/GYN
Acceptable in all references for obstetrics and gynecology.
online

One word.

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P

Pan-African studies

Hyphenate "Pan-African" and uppercase.

peer institutions
See "benchmark institutions"

See also benchmark institutions

percent

Use symbol when paired with numeral and with no space in most cases: 3%, 55%, 0.6%.

possessives

Follow AP style

postgraduate

No hyphen; use as an adjective only: She was a postgraduate student in biology. NOT: She was a postgraduate in biology.

president

Uppercase only before the name: former UofL President Donald Swain; Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States. When used without the name, always lowercase: The president spoke before Congress.

prices

For tickets, admission, etc., list the price to the general public first, followed by that for students or staff.

principal, principle
"Principal" can be either a noun or an adjective: She returned to her old high school last year as its principal. The principal reason she enjoys her job is because she gets to work with the children of her former classmates. "Principle" is a noun only. It can mean a "truth, doctrine or rule of conduct" (It compromised her principles.), a scientific law (the principle of cell division) or an essential element or quality that produces a specific effect (the active principle of a medicine).
professor

Professor should be lowercase, unless it is part of the person’s official title before the name: Associate Professor Jane Smith.

EXCEPTION: Full titles of endowed professorships are capitalized: Ben A. Reid Professor of Surgery

program

Capitalize only when program is part of the formal name: the department's visiting scholars program; the University Honors Program.

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Q

Quad, Quadrangle

Either reference is acceptable for this popular campus landmark located between Ekstrom Library and the Humanities Building on Belknap Campus.

quotation marks

Periods and commas always go within the quotation marks; dashes, semicolons, question marks and exclamation points go within the quotes when they apply to the quoted matter and outside when they apply to the whole sentence.

For quotes within quotes, alternate between double and single quotation marks; use three marks together (with a space in between) if two quoted elements end at the same time: "It was an atomic absorption spectrometer," Pierce recalls. "When I said that, the guy looked up from his notepad and went, 'Uh, yeah.' "

FYI If working in Word, be aware that the program will automatically turn a closing double quotation mark ( " ) into an opening one ( " ) when it follows a single ending quote mark. To get around this, type the ending single and double quote marks with no space between them, then go back and insert the space.

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R

REACH

Acronym for "Resources for Academic Achievement," which is the university's centralized academic support unit for undergraduate students.

registrar

Lowercase.

registrar's office

Acceptable on most references.

residence hall

The preferred term for on-campus student living accommodations; do not use "dorm" or "dormitory" unless it is part of the official name.

Rhodes Scholar, Rhodes Scholarship
The Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international fellowships, were established to honor British financier and administrator Cecil Rhodes after his death in 1902. Their purpose is to bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford. The first American Scholars were elected in 1904.
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S

SAC

Acronym for the "Swain Student Activities Center."

See also Swain Student Activities Center

SAT

Although SAT still officially stands for Scholastic Assessment Test, the abbreviation is sufficient even on first reference: SAT, no periods. Score totals are written without a comma: 1300. As with GPAs, federal law prohibits releasing individual student scores without the explicit written permission of the student.

See also FERPA

scholarship

Lowercase except for named awards: He received an athletic scholarship. She received a National Merit Scholarship.

School of Music

An academic unit; "music school" on second reference.

schools and colleges

See colleges and schools.

seasons

Always lowercase, even when naming an issue of a publication: the fall 2003 issue of UofL magazine.

semesters

Academic semesters are lowercase with no comma preceding a year: fall semester 2002.

semicolon

Semicolons may be used to separate the elements of a series when the elements themselves include commas. Do not use semicolons in a series if commas will work. Note Using semicolons in this way does not dictate the use of a colon to introduce the series; conversely, using a colon does not dictate the use of semicolons.

When semicolons are used, include one before the conjunction at the end of the series.

Use a semicolon to connect two closely related sentences, thus avoiding comma splices or run-on sentences: We set some lofty goals when we developed the Challenge for Excellence plan in the latter half of the 1990s; five years later, we've already accomplished many of them.

spacing

For publications, single space between sentences rather than double space (as in a letter).

Speed School

Acceptable as a second reference for "J.B. Speed School of Engineering."

state names

In text, always spell out state names when they stand alone: She visited Kentucky for the first time to attend the Derby.

When used in conjunction with a city or town, abbreviate per AP style and set off with commas: Louisville, Ky., is the site of the Kentucky Derby.

Do not abbreviate Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah, unless as part of an address with a ZIP code.

stereotypes

Avoid racial and sexual references or mention of debilitating physical conditions if they are not germane to the story. The phrase "people with disabilities" is preferable to "the disabled"; the term "disabled" to "handicapped."

Don't say "afflicted with" or "the victim of"; instead: She has a spinal injury.

Don't use a disease as a descriptive: He has diabetes. NOT He is a diabetic.

ExceptionSurvivor of is acceptable, as in He is a survivor of cancer.

student-athlete

Follow UofL Athletics style: student-athlete is hyphenated.

student data

Certain federal laws govern the release of student information.

See also FERPA

Student Government Association

Capitalize on first reference; SGA is acceptable on second reference.

summa cum laude

"With greatest distinction"; lowercase

Swain Student Activities Center

Use full name on first reference; the popular term the SAC is acceptable after that.

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T

task force

If a task force has a formal name, capitalize it: The University Task Force on the Environment will discuss several very interesting issues at its next meeting. If the reference is general or generic, do not capitalize: The university will appoint a task force to discuss environmental issues on campus.

telephone numbers

Use figures and separate with hyphens, not periods or parentheses. 502-852-6171

tense

Quote in the past tense for general university publications: "It's a great idea," he said.

that, which

"That" is used to introduce an essential clause (one that cannot be eliminated without changing the meaning); "which" is used to introduce a nonessential clause: She signed up for the science course that she needed to complete her major. She took biology, which is a course that she needed to complete her major.

An essential clause must not be set off from the rest of the sentence by commas; a nonessential clause must.

that, who

Use "that" when referring to inanimate objects and to animals without a name: She works for the company that pioneered biomedicine. There goes the dog that bit me.

Use "who" when referring to people or to animals with a name: She was the one who started the company. It was Lassie who bit me.

the

Do not capitalize "the" within a sentence unless there are quotation marks around a composition title or the article is part of a publication’s formal name: He attended the University of Louisville. She requires her students to read "The Lottery" each year.

If “the” is part of the formal company name, use it on first reference.

theater, theatre

Use "-er" unless "theatre" is part of the formal name: Classes in UofL's theater program are often held in Thrust Theatre.

FYI While this can be confusing (especially as UofL's theater department uses the "–re" spelling for its formal name), it becomes much more simple if you remember that the only time the "–re" spelling should be used is for instances in which "Theatre" is capitalized.

time

Use figures except for "noon" and "midnight."

Use a colon to separate hours from minutes: 8:45 a.m.

Use 8 a.m. rather than 8:00 a.m.

Avoid redundancies such as 10 a.m. this morning.

Avoid constructions using "o'clock."

titles

In general, capitalize formal or courtesy titles—president, dean, senator—before names of individuals and lowercase when they follow names. Lowercase descriptive or occupational titles: editor John Doe.

Use full names on first reference. On second and subsequent references, use only last names, without courtesy titles, for both men and women regardless of marital status.

Exception To distinguish between a husband and wife quoted in the same story, confusion often can be avoided by using first names: John and Jane Smith collaborated on the study. "We reported our findings at the next conference," Jane said. "It was an interesting session," John said.

JOB TITLES: Use lowercase for titles unless they are directly before a name and function as part of the name: Dean Joe Jones met with President Brenda Smith to discuss several research issues. Jane Doe, dean of the medical school, also attended.

Do not capitalize titles in generic usage: The deans met with the president.

As a general rule, titles containing more than four words should be placed after the name.

TITLES OF EVENTS: Capitalize, in quotation marks, the full, formal titles of workshops, conferences, seminars, speeches and similar events: A workshop titled "The Use of the Library" will be held next week. Use lowercase for subject matter: Ekstrom Library will offer a workshop on library use.

COURTESY TITLES: In a formal list (of participants or donors, for instance) "Mr.," "Mrs.," "Miss," and "Ms." should be omitted, except when a woman specifically requests to use her husband's name: Mrs. Joseph Doe, Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.

See also academic titles, composition titles

trademark

UofL is a university trademark. Be aware that all university logos and marks are protected under federal trademark law. See the Guide to Graphic Identity for more information.

For other products, when possible use the generic equivalents: facial tissue. If the trademarked name is necessary, capitalize the first letter only: Kleenex NOT KLEENEX

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U

UBM

Acronym for "unit business manager."

UK

Acronym for the "University of Kentucky." Always use the official name on first reference. On second reference in informal publications, UK may be used if the meaning will be clear to readers.

ULink

Acronym for the "University of Louisville Information Network," the university’s website portal.

underway

One word in all uses.

university names

Spell out on first reference. On subsequent references, can abbreviate or drop the full formal name. She enrolled at Northern Kentucky University. The NKU student is a history major. Bellarmine University is participating in the consortium. The Bellarmine senior was the first to volunteer.

University of Louisville

On first reference, use the University of Louisville. After first reference, you may alternate between UofL and the university.

See also capitalization

University Theatre

Not a place but the annual series of drama department productions.

UofL

Acceptable as a second reference for the University of Louisville, both as an adjective and noun: She graduated from UofL. He is attending UofL's Speed School.

There are no spaces in UofL.

UofL magazine

The name of the university’s magazine for alumni and friends.

URL

All UofL URLs are listed as louisville.edu/entity name (note: no www. prefix).

Never allow a Web address to break over two lines with a hyphen; break if necessary using a required soft return following a slash or other mark of punctuation that is part of the address.

See also web, World Wide Web, web

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V

vice president

Do not hyphenate. Do not capitalize in text unless the title precedes the name

Visitors Center

No apostrophe; capitalized.

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W

Web, World Wide Web

It’s acceptable to use “web” as a shorter substitute for World Wide Web.

Do not use "www" as an abbreviation within a sentence; instead, use "the web."

When writing out web addresses, http:// is not necessary, nor is www. Periods may be used at the end of the web address.

On advertising materials, the use of http:// as well as www before a URL is antiquated and unnecessary.

Avoid breaking web addresses at the end of a line.

white

When used to denote race, lowercase white.

who, whom

In formal English "who" functions as a subject: Who was that? "Whom" functions as an object: To whom was the package sent? [object of to].

who's, whose

"Who's" is a contraction: Who's there? "Whose" is possessive: Whose book is that?

work-study
Of or relating to any of various programs that enable students to engage in part-time employment while continuing their studies.
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