INTRODUCTION

Western Oregon University’s editorial style guide provides guidelines to maintain consistency and identity through written works – whether a brochure, website, news release or article. This style guide has been developed by Strategic Communications and Marketing as a reference for the WOU community to use when writing documents for campus use or external audiences.

This guide differs from what many are accustomed to as it is based primarily on Associated Press Style (but we have selected specific variations). It is not meant to be used in the academic setting for papers or other academic writings (journal articles, reports, etc), unless it specifically calls for AP Style. Please note this style is different from APA Style.

We recommend you do not print this document, but rather refer to this page as there may be changes due to changes issued from AP as well as changes determined by MarCom.

Below you’ll find the sections for WOU’s Editorial Style Guide with general guidance and WOU-specific examples. Here are the sections:
Abbreviations and acronyms
Addresses
Numbers
Building and department names
Capitalization
Dates, money and times
Degrees
Names and titles
Punctuation
Technical terms and jargon
Tricky grammar and language use
Word list

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

Abbreviation vs. acronym

An abbreviation is formed by taking the first letter of each word, for example, the abbreviation of Federal Bureau of Investigation is FBI. This becomes an acronym when those letters are pronounced together. Example: AIDS is an acronym, HIV is an abbreviation.

General rules

Try to use abbreviations and acronyms sparingly unless your audience is familiar with them. They are intended to be used only when it increases readability of a document, such as using an acronym when referring to a lengthy organization name (but spell out the name on first reference before using the abbreviation).

There are some abbreviations that stand alone and do not require being spelled out on the first use, such as GPA and SAT. Avoid using periods between letters whenever possible (e.g. PR instead of P.R.). However, there are some exceptions to this rule (U.S., P.O., U.K., U.N., B.C., B.A.), consult an AP style guide for specific examples.

Articles (a, an)

Choose the appropriate article (a, an, or the) based on how an article would be chosen in speech. Examples: He worked for the FBI. She enrolled in an MBA program. They may be eligible for a NASA grant.

Ampersand (&)

Do not use the ampersand (&) as an abbreviation for and. Use the ampersand only when it is part of an official name of a company, product, or other proper noun, or on print publications at the discretion of the designer.

State abbreviations

If the name of the state stands alone without a city preceding it, spell out the entire name of the state. If the state is mentioned in an address format, use the postal code abbreviations below in parenthesis. Lastly, if the state name appears in a line of text (e.g. She graduated from a college in Monmouth, Ore., with a master’s.), use the abbreviations below.

Ala. (AL)
Ariz. (AZ)
Ark. (AR)
Calif. (CA)
Colo. (CO)
Conn. (CT)
Del. (DE)
Fla. (FL)
Ga. (GA)
Ill. (IL)
Ind. (IN)
Kan. (KS)
Ky. (KY)
La. (LA)
Md. (MD)
Mass. (MA)
Mich. (MI)
Minn. (MN)
Miss. (MS)
Mo. (MO)
Mont. (MT)
Neb. (NE)
Nev. (NV)
N.H. (NH)
N.J. (NJ)
N.M. (NM)
N.Y. (NY)
N.C. (NC)
N.D. (ND)
Okla. (OK)
Ore. (OR)
Pa. (PA)
R.I. (RI)
S.C. (SC)
S.D. (SD)
Tenn. (TN)
Vt. (VT)
Va. (VA)
Wash. (WA)
W.Va. (WV)
Wis. (WI)
Wyo. (WY)

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ADDRESSES

WOU’s address
345 Monmouth Ave. N.
Monmouth, OR 97361

Abbreviations

Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address, such as 345 Monmouth Ave. N. Spell out those abbreviations when part of a formal street name without the number (Monmouth Avenue). If using the term with multiple street names, lowercase it (Main and First streets). Other words, such as alley, drive, road, terrace, etc, are always spelled out. Follow the same capitalization rules when part of a formal street name without a number and lowercase when used with multiple street names. Directions should be abbreviated when used in an address including an address number (e.g. 345 Monmouth Ave. N.). However, if no address number is used, spell out the direction (Monmouth Avenue North).

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NUMBERS

Always spell out the number at the beginning of a sentence unless the number being used is a year. Spell out numbers in casual expressions (i.e. A thousand times no!). Spell out numbers one through nine, or first through ninth, unless they are used as part of names or military terms.        

Some examples:

  • He only got 11 eggs in the carton.
  • She has three cats.
  • He earned second in the race.
  • This was the 10th time she’d gotten the same letter.
  • 7th Fleet
  • 1st Ward
  • 1st Sgt.
  • Year ranges: 2016-17

Phone numbers

Never use parenthesis with an area code as the area code is no longer optional for dialing. Always use hyphens between the numbers (e.g. 503-838-8000).

Ages

When writing someone’s age, always use figures and include hyphens when the age is expressed as an adjective before a noun or as a substitute for a noun (e.g. Joe is 18 years old. The 10-year-old car has a flat tire. Susie, 10, has a brother, 5, and her mom is in her 40s.)

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BUILDING AND DEPARTMENT NAMES

Administrative departments

The official names of departments and divisions should always be capitalized. When the department refers to a specific person’s role (e.g. president or provost), always begin with “Office of…” (e.g. Office of the President, Office of the Provost). The word “office” or “department” is not used in any other names officially (e.g. Budget, University Housing). The only time “office” should be used is when indicating a physical location (e.g. The Strategic Communications and Marketing office is in the Lieuallen Administration Building).

Academic colleges, divisions, departments and programs

The terms “colleges,” “divisions” and “departments” are to be capitalized in reference to an academic unit. “College” should always precede the name of the college (e.g. College of Education). “Division” may follow or precede the division name, but preceding is preferred to put the differentiating element first and it takes up less space (e.g. Social Science Division is preferred to Division of Social Science). Whichever you choose, it’s important to be consistent. “Department” always follows the department name (e.g. Anthropology Department). The word “program” is not capitalized, but the program’s department may be capitalized (e.g. WOU has a Business program and Athletics program).

Building names and abbreviations list

(coming soon)

Historical name

Since its inception, Western Oregon University has had several names. These are the official names and dates:
Monmouth University: 1856-1865
Christian College: 1865-1883
Oregon State Normal School: 1883-1909
Oregon Normal School: 1911-1939
Oregon College of Education: 1939-1981
Western Oregon State College: 1981-1997
Western Oregon University: 1997-Present

When referring to an alumnus/alumna who attended the university when it went by another name, the proper language is:
“Sally Smith ’19 is a Western Oregon University alum of the OCE era.”

The alum is always referred to as a Western Oregon University graduate first, followed by “of the OCE/WOSC era” if that is pertinent. If the name of the university at the time of graduation is not pertinent to the sentence/statement, it should not be mentioned.

“Sally Smith ’79 is looking forward to Homecoming, when she plans to meet up with several classmates who also attended during the OCE era.”

“Sally Smith ’79 lived in Landers Hall when she attended Western Oregon University.”

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CAPITALIZATION

Avoid excessive and unnecessary capitalization. Using capitals should be reserved for providing emphasis and using them too much can dull the impact on a reader. Many rules of capitalization, such as titles and addresses, can be found in other sections of this style guide.

Composition titles

Use these guidelines for titles of articles, books, computer games, movies, operas, plays, poems, albums and songs, radio and television programs, lectures, speeches, and works of art. Capitalize the principal words. Only capitalize an article (the, a, an) if it is the first letter of the title. Italicize composition titles, unless there is concern for lost formatting, then use quotation marks.

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DATES, MONEY AND TIMES

Dates

Numerical figures should always be used without st, nd, rd or th (e.g. Oct. 13). Always capitalize the names of months. When the month is used in conjunction with a specific date, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. When using the month alone, or just with a year, spell out the month (e.g. December 2009). Do not separate the month from the year with a comma when there is not specific date included. If the date is included, place a comma after the date and before the year (e.g. Dec.1, 2009).

Money

When referring to U.S. dollars, always preface with a $. Do not include numbers past the decimal point if they are zeroes, and use a comma if there are four or more numbers. Always spell out cents instead of using symbols.

Some examples:
-$4
-35 cents
-$4.33 million
-$2,333
-$24.85

Time

Always use ‘to’ instead of a hyphen (e.g. 4 to 5 p.m.). Use numerals for times except for noon and midnight. If both times are in the morning, ‘a.m.’ needs to be used only once. The same goes for ‘p.m.’ Avoid redundancies in times (e.g. Don’t say the meeting began at 8 a.m. this morning). Both ‘a.m.’ and ‘p.m.’ are always lowercase. Midnight always goes with the day before (e.g. The band played from 9 p.m. until midnight). Noon and midnight are preferred over 12 p.m. and 12 a.m., for clarity.

Some examples:
Noon to 2 p.m.
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The party began at 5 p.m. and went for seven hours.

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DEGREES

Doctorates

To establish credentials of a doctorate, either preface the person’s name with ‘“Dr.”, (e.g. Dr. John Smith) or follow their name with a comma then “Ph.D.’ (e.g. John Smith, Ph.D.). Never use both. Upon subsequent references, only use the individual’s last name without ‘Dr.’ Spell out “doctor” in reference to a position (e.g. The town needed a new doctor and hired Dr. Smith). The use of “Dr.” is a personal preference and it is recommended you ask someone how they prefer to be addressed. WOU Style encourages the use of doctorate over Ph.D. when referring to a degree (e.g. He earned his doctorate).

Medical degrees

Use “Dr.” as a formal title before listing the name of someone with a medical degree. It is not necessary to specify the medical degree they hold unless it is relevant to the subject matter of the writing. Upon subsequent references, only use the individual’s last name without “Dr.”

Academic degrees

Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s or master’s degree and keep the words lowercase when listing without a specific program attached (e.g. She earned a bachelor’s). When using the full term, capitalize without possession to show Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Limit the use of abbreviations to long lists of credentials or people, when spelling out the degrees would be cumbersome. The common abbreviations are: bachelor’s (B.A. or B.S.), master’s (M.A. or M.S.) and doctorate (Ph.D.). When using with a name, the academic abbreviation is set off by commas (e.g. Bob Smith, Ph.D., presented his paper).

WOU degrees

WOU offers many different degrees, including A.B., B.A., B.S., B.F.A., B.Mus., M.A., M.S., and M.M. Students with dual majors cannot earn both a B.A. and a B.S. They must choose one.

Header: Physical degrees

In reference to the physical piece of paper WOU graduates receive, the preferred term is degree, not diploma.

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NAMES AND TITLES

Names

On first reference use both the first and last name and any titles if necessary to establish credentials. On all further references, use the last name only. Some exceptions are stories involving children or obituaries/remembrances to soften up the tone of the story. If it’s a serious story involving a major crime and children, use the surname. If a story uses multiple people with the same last name, it is preferred to use first and last name over first name only.

Titles

In general, limit capitalization of titles to formal titles used before a person’s name. A formal title generally denotes a scope of authority, professional activity or academic activity, and there are usually only one within an organization (e.g. Provost John Smith). Other titles that serve primarily as occupational descriptions are lowercased (e.g. moviestar Tom Hanks). In terms of professor, it is generally kept lowercased and used after the professor’s name in conjunction with their field of expertise (e.g. Jane Smith, professor of biology). Lowercase and spell out titles when they are not used with the person’s name (e.g. the president issued a statement).

An exception: when a title is listed as contact information on a second line below a name on printed material like business cards or brochures, all words in the title are uppercase.

Abbreviated titles

Some formal titles are abbreviated and listed before a name. Those include: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep., Sen., and some military ranks.

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PUNCTUATION

Commas

Do not use the Oxford/serial comma in a list unless warranted for clarity. Lists that contain multiple sentences, items featuring “and” and other complexities, the final comma can be added to help the reader. (e.g., She wanted boiled eggs, pepperoni and cheese pizza, and Romaine lettuce). Also, always place a comma within quotation marks whether it’s a full quote or partial quote within a sentence.

Apostrophes

Use an apostrophe to signify possession (e.g. hers, John’s). The apostrophe is not necessary when used in conjunction with certain numbers, such as years or temperature (e.g. 1970s, temperature in the 30s, ABCs). However, it is necessary when referring to grades or shorthand of a decade (e.g. I got all A’s during high school in the ‘70s).

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TECHNICAL TERMS AND JARGON

(coming soon)

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TRICKY GRAMMAR AND LANGUAGE USE

Accept/except
Accept means to receive. Except means to exclude.

Adopt/approve/enact
Amendments, ordinances, resolutions and rules are adopted or approved. Bills are passed. Laws are enacted.

Adverse/averse
Adverse means unfavorable (e.g. He predicted adverse weather). Averse means reluctant or opposed (e.g. She is averse to change).

Adviser/advisor
The default spelling to use is “adviser” as that is the spelling dictated by AP Style. However, in some cases specific job titles (e.g., Student Media Adviser or Academic Advisor) or professional organizations (e.g., The Global Community for Academic Advising) will use “advisor” and for consistency, follow the spelling dictated by job titles or professional organizations.

Affect/effect
Affect, as a verb, means to influence (e.g. The game will affect the standings). It is best to avoid using it as a noun. Effect, as a verb, means to cause (e.g. He will effect many changes in the university). As a noun, effect, means result (e.g. She miscalculated the effect of his actions).

Aid/aide
Aid is assistance and an aide is a person who serves as an assistant.

All time/all-time
The greatest runner of all time had an all-time high.

Allude/refer
To allude to something is to speak of it without specifically mentioning it. To refer is to mention it directly.

Allusion/illusion
Allusion means an indirect reference (e.g. The allusion was to his opponent’s war record). Illusion means an unreal or false impression (e.g. The scenic director created the illusion of choppy seas).

Altar/alter
An altar is a table like platform used in a religious service. To alter is to change.

Alumnus/alumni/alumna/alumnae
Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women.

Among/between
Between introduces two items, and among introduces more than two. However, between should be used when expressing the relationships of three or more items considered one pair at a time (e.g. Negotiations on a debate format are under way between the network and the Ford, Carter and McCarthy committees).

Anticipate/expect
Anticipate means to expect and prepare for something, but expect does not include the notion of preparation.

Awhile/a while
Examples of use: He plans to stay awhile; he plans to stay for a while.

Blond/blonde
Use blond as a noun for males and as an adjective for all applications (e.g. She has blond hair). Use blonde as a noun for females.

Brunet/brunette
Use brunet as a noun for males and as the adjective for both sexes. Use brunette as a noun for females.

Capitol/capital
Capitalize U.S. Capitol and the Capitol when referring to the building in Washington or each state’s capitol building (e.g. The Oregon Capitol is in Salem). Use capital when referring to a state’s capital city (e.g. Salem is the state capital).

Censer/censor/censure
Incense is burned in a container called a censer. To censor is to restrict or prohibit the use of something. To condemn is to censure.

Compared to/compared with
Use compared to when showing that two or more items are similar, without the need for elaboration. Use compared with when juxtaposing two or more items to demonstrate similarities or differences.

Complement/compliment
Complement is a noun and a verb meaning completeness or the process of supplementing something (e.g. The ship has a complement of 200 sailors and 20 officers.) Compliment is a noun or a verb meaning praise or the expression of courtesy (e.g. The captain complimented the sailors).

Compose/comprise/constitute
Compose means to create or put together (e.g. He composed a song). Comprise means to contain, include all or embrace (e.g. The United States comprises 50 states). Constitute is usually used when neither compose or comprise seems to fit (e.g. Fifty states constitute the United States).

Connote/denote
Connote implies something beyond the explicit meaning (e.g. For some, owning a dog connotes too much commitment). Denote means to be explicit about the meaning (e.g. Construction denotes creation).

Continual/continuous
Continual means a steady repetition (e.g. The parking has been a source of continual frustration). Continuous means uninterrupted and unbroken (e.g. The highway ahead of them was continuous).

Contrasted to/contrasted with
Use contrasted to when the intent is to assert, without the need for elaboration, that two items have opposite characteristics. Use contrasted with when juxtaposing two or more items to illustrate similarities and/or differences.

Convince/persuade
One may be convinced of something or that something. One is persuaded to do something.

Cynic/skeptic
A cynic is a disbeliever. A skeptic is a doubter.

Dad/mom
Only uppercase when used in place of a name, as a term of address (e.g. Hi, Mom.).

Disinterested/uninterested
Disinterested is another word for being impartial, whereas uninterested is a lack of interest.

E.g./I.e.
E.g. is used to indicate “an example.” I.e. is used to say “that is.”

Each other/one another
Two people look at each other, while more than two look at one another.

Earth/earth
Capitalized when referring to the planet Earth, as in Mars, Jupiter or Venus. When used in general terms, lowercase the word (e.g. She is down-to-earth).

Emigrate/immigrate
A person who leaves a country emigrates from it, and one who comes into a country immigrates.

Ensure/insure/assure
Use ensure to mean guarantee (e.g. Steps were taken to ensure accuracy). Use insure for references to insurance (e.g. The policy insures the car). Use assure to give confidence (e.g. He assured us it would work).

Farther/further
Farther refers to physical distance (e.g. She walked farther into the woods). Further refers to an extension of time or degree (e.g. He will look further into the mystery).

Faze/phase
Faze means to embarrass or disturb (e.g. The joke did not faze her). Phase is a stage or aspect of something (e.g. They entered a new phase in the project).

Figuratively/literally
Figuratively means in an analogous sense, but not in the exact sense. Literally means in an exact sense.

Fiscal/monetary
Fiscal applies to budgetary matters, and monetary applies to money supply.

Flair/flare
Flair is conspicuous talent. Flare is a verb meaning to blaze with sudden, bright light or to burst out in anger. It’s also a noun meaning a flame.

Flier/flyer
Flier is the preferred term for an aviator or a handbill. Flyer is the proper name of some trains and buses.

Forbear/forebear
To forbear is to avoid or shun, a forebear is an ancestor.

Forego/forgo
To forego means to go before (e.g. foregone conclusion), to forgo means to abstain from (e.g. he decided to forgo the meeting).

Full time/full-time and part time/part-time
Hyphenate the words when used as a compound modifier (e.g. He works full time; she has a full-time job).

Gage/gauge
A gage is a security or a pledge, a gauge is a measuring device.

Gods and goddesses
Capitalize God when referencing the deity of all monotheistic religions. Lowercase gods and goddesses in reference to the deities of polytheistic religions.

Good/well
Good is an adjective meaning something that is better than average or as it should be; good should never be used as an adverb. Well means proper, healthy, and suitable when used as an adjective. If used as an adverb it means in a satisfactory manner or skillfully.

Hangar/hanger
A hangar is a building, a hanger is used for clothes.

Its/it’s
It’s is a contraction for it is or it has (e.g. It’s been a long day). Its is the possessive form of the neuter pronoun (e.g. The university remodeled its building).

Lay/lie
The action word is lay and laid is the past tense form and its past participle. The present participle is laying. Lie indicates a state of reclining along a horizontal plane. Its past tense is lay and past participle is lain. The present participle is lying.

Like/as
Use like as a preposition to compare nouns and pronouns; it requires an object (e.g. Sally blocks like a pro). The conjunction as is the correct word to introduce clauses (e.g. Sally blocks the linebacker as he should).

Loath/loathe
She is loath to leave; he loathes bureaucracy.

Palate/palette/pallet
Palate is the roof of the mouth. A palette is an artist’s paint board. A pallet is a bed.

Pore/pour
The verb pore means to gaze intently or steadily (e.g. She pored over her books). The verb to pour means to flow in a continuous stream (e.g. He poured the coffee).

Principal/principle
Principal is a noun and adjective meaning someone or something first in rank, authority, importance or degree (e.g. She is the school principal). Principle is a noun that means a fundamental truth, law, doctrine or motivating force (e.g. They fought for the principle of self-determination).

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WORD LIST

(coming soon)

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INTRODUCTION

Western Oregon University’s Editorial Style Guide provides guidelines to maintain consistency and identity through written works – whether a brochure, website, news release or article. This style guide has been developed by the Strategic Communications and Marketing office as a reference for the WOU community to use when writing documents for campus use or external audiences.

This guide differs from what many are accustomed to as it is based primarily on Associated Press Style (but we have selected specific variations). It is not meant to be used in the academic setting for papers or other academic writings (journal articles, reports, etc), unless it specifically calls for AP Style. Please note this style is different from APA Style.

 

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

Abbreviation vs. acronym

An abbreviation is formed by taking the first letter of each word, for example, the abbreviation of Federal Bureau of Investigation is FBI. This becomes an acronym when those letters are pronounced together. Example: AIDS is an acronym, HIV is an abbreviation.

General rules

Try to use abbreviations and acronyms sparingly unless your audience is familiar with them. They are intended to be used only when it increases readability of a document, such as using an acronym when referring to a lengthy organization name (but spell out the name on first reference before using the abbreviation).

 

There are some abbreviations that stand alone and do not require being spelled out on the first use, such as GPA and SAT. Avoid using periods between letters whenever possible (e.g. PR instead of P.R.). However, there are some exceptions to this rule (U.S., P.O., U.K., U.N., B.C., B.A.), consult an AP style guide for specific examples.

Articles (a, an)

Choose the appropriate article (a, an, or the) based on how an article would be chosen in speech. Examples: He worked for the FBI. She enrolled in an MBA program. They may be eligible for a NASA grant.

Ampersand (&)

Do not use the ampersand (&) as an abbreviation for and. Use the ampersand only when it is part of an official name of a company, product, or other proper noun, or on print publications at the discretion of the designer.

 

State abbreviations

If the name of the state stands alone without a city preceding it, spell out the entire name of the state. If the state is mentioned in an address format, use the postal code abbreviations below in parenthesis. Lastly, if the state name appears in a line of text (e.g. She graduated from a college in Monmouth, Ore., with a master’s.), use the abbreviations below.

 

Ala. (AL)

Ariz. (AZ)

Ark. (AR)

Calif. (CA)

Colo. (CO)

Conn. (CT)

Del. (DE)

Fla. (FL)

Ga. (GA)

Ill. (IL)

Ind. (IN)

Kan. (KS)

Ky. (KY)

La. (LA)

Md. (MD)

Mass. (MA)

Mich. (MI)

Minn. (MN)

Miss. (MS)

Mo. (MO)

Mont. (MT)

Neb. (NE)

Nev. (NV)

N.H. (NH)

N.J. (NJ)

N.M. (NM)

N.Y. (NY)

N.C. (NC)

N.D. (ND)

Okla. (OK)

Ore. (OR)

Pa. (PA)

R.I. (RI)

S.C. (SC)

S.D. (SD)

Tenn. (TN)

Vt. (VT)

Va. (VA)

Wash. (WA)

W.Va. (WV)

Wis. (WI)

Wyo. (WY)

ADDRESSES

WOU’s address
345 Monmouth Ave. N.
Monmouth, OR 97361

Abbreviations

Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address, such as 345 Monmouth Ave. N. Spell out those abbreviations when part of a formal street name without the number (Monmouth Avenue). If using the term with multiple street names, lowercase it (Main and First streets). Other words, such as alley, drive, road, terrace, etc, are always spelled out. Follow the same capitalization rules when part of a formal street name without a number and lowercase when used with multiple street names. Directions should be abbreviated when used in an address including an address number (e.g. 345 Monmouth Ave. N.). However, if no address number is used, spell out the direction (Monmouth Avenue North).

NUMBERS

Always spell out the number at the beginning of a sentence unless the number being used is a year. Spell out numbers in casual expressions (i.e. A thousand times no!). Spell out numbers one through nine, or first through ninth, unless they are used as part of names or military terms.      Some examples:

  • He only got 11 eggs in the carton.
  • She has three cats.
  • He earned second in the race.
  • This was the 10th time she’d gotten the same letter.
  • 7th Fleet
  • 1st Ward
  • 1st Sgt.

 

Phone numbers

Never use parentheses with an area code as the area code is no longer optional for dialing. Always use hyphens between the numbers (e.g. 503-838-8000).

 

Ages

When writing someone’s age, always use figures and include hyphens when the age is expressed as an adjective before a noun or as a substitute for a noun (e.g. Joe is 18 years old. The 10-year-old car has a flat tire. Susie, 10, has a brother, 5, and her mom is in her 40s.)

 

Room numbers

Capitalize when part of a named room, for example Columbia Room. Lowercase when used with a number: room 315.

 

BUILDING AND DEPARTMENT NAMES

Buildings

Abbreviations for buildings on campus are also listed in the campus directory.

 

APS- Academic Programs and Support Center

Art Pavilion

AD- Lieuallen Administration Building

CH- Campbell Hall

COT- The Cottage

DFSC- DeVolder Family Science Center

GH- Gentle House

HL- Hamersly Library

HSS- Bellamy Hall, Humanities/Social Sciences

HWC- Peter Courtney Health and Wellness Center

ITC- Instructional Technology Center

MA- Masske Hall

MAPLE- Maple Hall

MNB- Marc “Ted” Winters building- math and nursing

MOD- Modular classrooms

NS- Natural Sciences

NPE- New Physical Education

OPE- Old Physical Education

OMA- Oregon Military Academy. Being converted to Welcome Center

PP- Facilities Services/formerly Physical Plant

PS- Public Safety/Watson House

RA- Rice Auditorium

RWEC- Richard Woodcock Education Center

SH- Smith Music Hall

SHC- Student Health and Counseling

 

TH- Terry House

TODD- Todd Hall

UPCC- University Park Conference Center/pending Child Development Center

WUC- Werner University Center

WH- West House

 

Residential Halls

 

ACKER- Ackerman Hall

Alderview Townhouses

BAR- Barnum Hall

BUT- Butler Hall

AR- Cedar Hall- Arbor Park Apartments

AR- Noble Hall- Arbor Park Apartments

GEN- Gentle Hall

HER- Heritage Hall

LAN- Landers Hall

 

Athletics

 

Campus Recreation Turf Field

Campus Recreation Disc Golf course

McArthur Field Football/Track

STDIUM- McArthur Stadium

Soccer field

Varsity Baseball field

Varsity Softball field

 

Dining

 

Caffe Allegro

The Press

Valsetz Dining Hall

Wolf Deli

Wolf Grill

Administrative departments

The official names of departments and divisions should always be capitalized. When the department refers to a specific person’s role (e.g. president or provost), always begin with “Office of…” (e.g. Office of the President, Office of the Provost). The word “office” or “department” is not used in any other names officially (e.g. Budget, University Housing). The only time “office” should be used is when indicating a physical location (e.g. The Strategic Communications and Marketing office is in the Lieuallen Administration Building).

 

Academic colleges, divisions, departments and programs

The terms “colleges,” “divisions” and “departments” are to be capitalized in reference to an academic unit. “College” should always precede the name of the college (e.g. College of Education). “Division” may follow or precede the division name, but preceding is preferred to put the differentiating element first and it takes up less space (e.g. Social Science Division is preferred to Division of Social Science). Whichever you choose, it’s important to be consistent. “Department” always follows the department name (e.g. Anthropology Department). The word “program” is not capitalized, but the program’s department may be capitalized (e.g. WOU has a Business program and Athletics program).

 

CAPITALIZATION

Avoid excessive and unnecessary capitalization. Using capitals should be reserved for providing emphasis and using them too much can dull the impact on a reader. Many rules of capitalization, such as titles and addresses, can be found in other sections of this style guide.

Composition titles

Use these guidelines for titles of articles, books, computer games, movies, operas, plays, poems, albums and songs, radio and television programs, lectures, speeches, and works of art. Capitalize the principal words. Only capitalize an article (the, a, an) if it is the first letter of the title. Italicize composition titles, unless there is concern for lost formatting, then use quotation marks.

Title case vs. sentence case

Title case: First word, last word and principal words in a title are capitalized in headers, as well as all words with four or more letters (how to use AP Title Case)

Sentence case: First word and proper nouns are the only capitalized words in headers

 

Headlines on press releases and WOU Stories articles use title case, even though newspapers generally use sentence case in their headlines.

Most official Western Oregon University documents use title case. However, most marketing materials use sentence case for headlines and headers.

DATES, MONEY AND TIMES

Dates

Numerical figures should always be used without st, nd, rd or th (e.g. Oct. 13). Always capitalize the names of months. When the month is used in conjunction with a specific date, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. When using the month alone, or just with a year, spell out the month (e.g. December 2009). Do not separate the month from the year with a comma when there is not specific date included. If the date is included, place a comma after the date and before the year (e.g. Dec.1, 2009).

Dollars

When referring to U.S. dollars, always preface with a $. Do not include numbers past the decimal point if they are zeroes, and use a comma if there are four or more numbers. Always spell out cents instead of using symbols.

        Some examples:

  • $4
  • 35 cents
  • $4.33 million
  • $2,333
  • $24.85

Time

Always use ‘to’ instead of a hyphen (e.g. 4 to 5 p.m.). Use numerals for times except for noon and midnight. If both times are in the morning, ‘a.m.’ needs to be used only once. The same goes for ‘p.m.’ Avoid redundancies in times (e.g. Don’t say the meeting began at 8 a.m. this morning). Both ‘a.m.’ and ‘p.m.’ are always lowercase. Midnight always goes with the day before (e.g. The band played from 9 p.m. until midnight). Noon and midnight are preferred over 12 p.m. and 12 a.m., for clarity.

        Some examples:

  • Noon to 2 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The party began at 5 p.m. and went for seven hours.

DEGREES

Doctorates

To establish credentials of a doctorate, either preface the person’s name with ‘“Dr.”, (e.g. Dr. John Smith) or follow their name with a comma then “Ph.D.’ (e.g. John Smith, Ph.D.). Never use both. Upon subsequent references, only use the individual’s last name without ‘Dr.’ Spell out “doctor” in reference to a position (e.g. The town needed a new doctor and hired Dr. Smith). The use of “Dr.” is a personal preference and it is recommended you ask someone how they prefer to be addressed. WOU Style encourages the use of doctorate over Ph.D. when referring to a degree (e.g. He earned his doctorate).

Medical degrees

Use “Dr.” as a formal title before listing the name of someone with a medical degree. It is not necessary to specify the medical degree they hold unless it is relevant to the subject matter of the writing. Upon subsequent references, only use the individual’s last name without “Dr.”

Academic degrees

Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s or master’s degree and keep the words lowercase when listing without a specific program attached (e.g. She earned a bachelor’s). When using the full term, capitalize without possession to show Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Limit the use of abbreviations to long lists of credentials or people, when spelling out the degrees would be cumbersome. The common abbreviations are: bachelor’s (B.A. or B.S.), master’s (M.A. or M.S.) and doctorate (Ph.D.). When using with a name, the academic abbreviation is set off by commas (e.g. Bob Smith, Ph.D., presented his paper).

 

WOU degrees

WOU offers many different degrees, including A.B., B.A., B.S., B.F.A., B.Mus., M.A., M.S., and M.M.

Students with dual majors cannot earn both a B.A. and a B.S. They must choose one.

 

Physical degrees

In reference to the physical piece of paper WOU graduates receive, the preferred term is degree, not diploma.

 

DIVERSITY-BASED TERMS

Deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing – All lowercase. Avoid “hearing-impaired.”

Disabled – Acceptable but should be used sparingly. Instead, be specific about a disability and

only when pertinent. For example, “John, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair,

advocated for the addition of an elevator in the historical building.”

Black, African-American – Either is acceptable, usually depending on the preferences of the

subject. “African-American” should only be used for Americans of African descent.

Hispanic, Chicano/a, Latino/a – Not interchangeable. “Hispanic” generally refers to people

who are from Spain, Portugal, Brazil or the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America.

“Latino” generally refers to someone from Latin America (Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican

Republic, Mexico, and Central and South America). “Chicano” is interchangeable with Mexican-

American, so one must be certain the subject’s family is from Mexico.

 

Follow the subject’s preference or use the contextually appropriate term. When possible, use a

specific nationality such as Cuban, Spanish or Mexican-American.

 

GENDER AND IDENTITY-BASED TERMS

Male, female – Because there is a wide range of identities on the spectrum, use the preference of the subject. When unsure of the subject’s preference, use the name where possible. Many students/employees will state a pronoun preference in their written communications, or they can be asked which pronouns they prefer.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender non-conforming, etc. – Because there is a wide range of identities on the spectrum, use the preference of the subject. All terms are lowercase. Only use these terms when pertinent, for example, “Jennifer, who heads the Rainbow Coalition, came out as a lesbian at the age of 12.” Most written communications do not require the subject’s sexual identity to be mentioned.

 

NAMES AND TITLES

Names

On first reference use both the first and last name and any titles if necessary to establish credentials. On all further references, use the last name only. Some exceptions are stories involving children or obituaries/remembrances to soften up the tone of the story. If it’s a serious story involving a major crime and children, use the surname. If a story uses multiple people with the same last name, it is preferred to use first and last name over first name only.

Titles

In general, limit capitalization of titles to formal titles used before a person’s name. A formal title generally denotes a scope of authority, professional activity or academic activity, and there are usually only one within an organization (e.g. Provost John Smith). Other titles that serve primarily as occupational descriptions are lowercased (e.g. moviestar Tom Hanks). In terms of professor, it is generally kept lowercased and used after the professor’s name in conjunction with their field of expertise (e.g. Jane Smith, professor of biology). Lowercase and spell out titles when they are not used with the person’s name (e.g. the president issued a statement).

 

An exception: when a title is listed as contact information on a second line below a name on printed material like business cards or brochures, all words in the title are uppercase.

Abbreviated titles

Some formal titles are abbreviated and listed before a name. Those include: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep., Sen., and some military ranks.

 

Spell out the names of months when they appear alone or with a year: September 2015.

Abbreviate the names of January (Jan.), February (Feb.), August (Aug.), September (Sept.),

October (Oct.), November (Nov.) and December (Dec.) when they appear with a specific date or

dates: Feb. 19. Feb. 19, 2011. Feb. 15-19.

PUNCTUATION

Commas

Do not use the Oxford/serial comma in a list unless warranted for clarity. Lists that contain multiple sentences, items featuring “and” and other complexities, the final comma can be added to help the reader. (e.g., She wanted boiled eggs, pepperoni and cheese pizza, and Romaine lettuce). Also, always place a comma within quotation marks whether it’s a full quote or partial quote within a sentence.

 

Composition titles

Book, movie, magazine, poem and song titles should be in italics. This is an exception to AP style. Reference materials (eg. dictionaries, almanacs) and presentation titles (ie. if a faculty member is presenting a plenary session titled The Importance of Eclipses Through History) are capitalized but not italicized or in quotation marks.

Apostrophes

General: Use an apostrophe to signify possession (e.g., The book is John’s). The apostrophe is not necessary when used in conjunction with certain numbers, such as years or temperature (e.g., 1970s, temperature in the 30s, ABCs). However, it is necessary when referring to a single letter or number or shorthand for a decade (e.g. I got all A’s during high school in the ’70s).

 

For graduation years: Include the graduation years for current and former students in all contexts whenever known. Signify this with an apostrophe and the last two numbers of the graduation (or prospective graduation) year. (e.g., Cheryl Kohls Smith ’95 went on to become a school principal) or (James Colcannon ’22 wants to travel to Kenya after graduating from WOU with a sociology degree).

REFERENCE SOURCES

Most of the information in this style guide comes from the Associated Press (AP) Style Guide. This book provides the guidelines followed by WOU’s Public Relations Office and the work it edits, writes and designs. This guide will be updated as changes are made in the AP Style Guide’s annual edition. Some guidelines set for in this document have been altered from the AP Style Guide to better suit WOU’s publication needs, such as using italics instead of quotes for composition titles in publications.

 

WESTERN OREGON UNIVERSITY NAME USAGE

 

The full name of the university is preferable for first reference. On second reference, the abbreviation “WOU” is preferred (note the absence of periods between letters). The use of “Western Oregon” would be the next most preferred, followed by “Western.” The latter two should only be used in exceptionally long documents where repetition of the former two options would be cumbersome.

 

When discussing the university in general, the preferred term is “university,” always lowercase unless the word starts a sentence. The use of “institution” is discouraged. “College” and “school” should only be used in the broadest sense, for example “an example of college life” or “Students are getting ready to go back to school.”

 

“Campus” should only be used to indicate the physical grounds of the university. “Campus community” is an acceptable way to refer to the student population.

When text is translated into languages other than English, Western Oregon University should not be translated. It should remain Western Oregon University no matter the language or context.

 

HISTORICAL NAMES

Since its inception, Western Oregon University has had several names. These are the official names and dates:

 

Monmouth University: 1856-1865

Christian College: 1865-1883

Oregon State Normal School: 1883-1909

Oregon Normal School: 1911-1939

Oregon College of Education: 1939-1981

Western Oregon State College: 1981-1997

Western Oregon University: 1997-Present

 

When referring to an alumnus/alumna who attended the university when it went by another name, the proper language is:

 

“Sally Smith ’19 is a Western Oregon University alum of the OCE era.”

 

The alum is always referred to as a Western Oregon University graduate first, followed by “of the OCE/WOSC era” if that is pertinent. If the name of the university at the time of graduation is not pertinent to the sentence/statement, it should not be mentioned.

 

“Sally Smith ’79 is looking forward to Homecoming, when she plans to meet up with several classmates who also attended during the OCE era.”

 

“Sally Smith ’79 lived in Landers Hall when she attended Western Oregon University.”

TRICKY GRAMMAR AND LANGUAGE USE

Accept/except

Accept means to receive. Except means to exclude.

Adopt/approve/enact

Amendments, ordinances, resolutions and rules are adopted or approved. Bills are passed. Laws are enacted.

 

Adverse/averse

Adverse means unfavorable (e.g. He predicted adverse weather). Averse means reluctant or opposed (e.g. She is averse to change).

 

Adviser/advisor

The default spelling to use is “adviser” as that is the spelling dictated by AP Style. However, in some cases specific job titles (e.g., Student Media Adviser or Academic Advisor) or professional organizations (e.g., The Global Community for Academic Advising) will use “advisor” and for consistency, follow the spelling dictated by job titles or professional organizations.

 

Affect/effect

Affect, as a verb, means to influence (e.g. The game will affect the standings). It is best to avoid using it as a noun. Effect, as a verb, means to cause (e.g. He will effect many changes in the university). As a noun, effect, means result (e.g. She miscalculated the effect of his actions).

Aid/aide

Aid is assistance and an aide is a person who serves as an assistant.

 

All time/all-time

The greatest runner of all time had an all-time high.

 

Allude/refer

To allude to something is to speak of it without specifically mentioning it. To refer is to mention it directly.

Allusion/illusion

Allusion means an indirect reference (e.g. The allusion was to his opponent’s war record). Illusion means an unreal or false impression (e.g. The scenic director created the illusion of choppy seas).

Altar/alter

An altar is a table like platform used in a religious service. To alter is to change.

Alumnus/alumni/alumna/alumnae

Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women.

Among/between

Between introduces two items, and among introduces more than two. However, between should be used when expressing the relationships of three or more items considered one pair at a time (e.g. Negotiations on a debate format are under way between the network and the Ford, Carter and McCarthy committees).

Anticipate/expect

Anticipate means to expect and prepare for something, but expect does not include the notion of preparation.

Awhile/a while

Examples of use: He plans to stay awhile; he plans to stay for a while.

Blond/blonde

Use blond as a noun for males and as an adjective for all applications (e.g. She has blond hair). Use blonde as a noun for females.

Brunet/brunette

Use brunet as a noun for males and as the adjective for both sexes. Use brunette as a noun for females.

Capitol/capital

Capitalize U.S. Capitol and the Capitol when referring to the building in Washington or each state’s capitol building (e.g. The Oregon Capitol is in Salem). Use capital when referring to a state’s capital city (e.g. Salem is the state capital).

 

Censer/censor/censure

Incense is burned in a container called a censer. To censor is to restrict or prohibit the use of something. To condemn is to censure.

 

Coed

Only used to describe spaces where male and female students are together, such as a coed residence hall. Never used to refer to a female student.

 

Compared to/compared with

Use compared to when showing that two or more items are similar, without the need for elaboration. Use compared with when juxtaposing two or more items to demonstrate similarities or differences.

Complement/compliment

Complement is a noun and a verb meaning completeness or the process of supplementing something (e.g. The ship has a complement of 200 sailors and 20 officers.) Compliment is a noun or a verb meaning praise or the expression of courtesy (e.g. The captain complimented the sailors).

Compose/comprise/constitute

Compose means to create or put together (e.g. He composed a song). Comprise means to contain, include all or embrace (e.g. The United States comprises 50 states). Constitute is usually used when neither compose or comprise seems to fit (e.g. Fifty states constitute the United States).

 

Connote/denote

Connote implies something beyond the explicit meaning (e.g. For some, owning a dog connotes too much commitment). Denote means to be explicit about the meaning (e.g. Construction denotes creation).

 

Continual/continuous

Continual means a steady repetition (e.g. The parking has been a source of continual frustration). Continuous means uninterrupted and unbroken (e.g. The highway ahead of them was continuous).

 

Contrasted to/contrasted with

Use contrasted to when the intent is to assert, without the need for elaboration, that two items have opposite characteristics. Use contrasted with when juxtaposing two or more items to illustrate similarities and/or differences.

 

Convince/persuade

One may be convinced of something or that something. One is persuaded to do something.

Cynic/skeptic

A cynic is a disbeliever. A skeptic is a doubter.

Dad/mom

Only uppercase when used in place of a name, as a term of address (e.g. Hi, Mom.).

 

Disinterested/uninterested

Disinterested is another word for being impartial, whereas uninterested is a lack of interest.

 

E.g./I.e.

E.g. is used to indicate “an example.” I.e. is used to say “that is.”

 

Each other/one another

Two people look at each other, while more than two look at one another.

 

Earth/earth

Capitalized when referring to the planet Earth, as in Mars, Jupiter or Venus. When used in general terms, lowercase the word (e.g. She is down-to-earth).

Emigrate/immigrate

A person who leaves a country emigrates from it, and one who comes into a country immigrates.

 

Ensure/insure/assure

Use ensure to mean guarantee (e.g. Steps were taken to ensure accuracy). Use insure for references to insurance (e.g. The policy insures the car). Use assure to give confidence (e.g. He assured us it would work).

Farther/further

Farther refers to physical distance (e.g. She walked farther into the woods). Further refers to an extension of time or degree (e.g. He will look further into the mystery).

 

Faze/phase

Faze means to embarrass or disturb (e.g. The joke did not faze her). Phase is a stage or aspect of something (e.g. They entered a new phase in the project).

 

Figuratively/literally

Figuratively means in an analogous sense, but not in the exact sense. Literally means in an exact sense.

Fiscal/monetary

Fiscal applies to budgetary matters, and monetary applies to money supply.

 

Flair/flare

Flair is conspicuous talent. Flare is a verb meaning to blaze with sudden, bright light or to burst out in anger. It’s also a noun meaning a flame.

Flier/flyer

Flier is the preferred term for an aviator or a handbill. Flyer is the proper name of some trains and buses.

 

Forbear/forebear

To forbear is to avoid or shun, a forebear is an ancestor.

 

Forego/forgo

To forego means to go before (e.g. foregone conclusion), to forgo means to abstain from (e.g. he decided to forgo the meeting).

 

Full time/full-time and part time/part-time

Hyphenate the words when used as a compound modifier (e.g. He works full time; she has a full-time job).

Gage/gauge

A gage is a security or a pledge, a gauge is a measuring device.

 

Gods and goddesses

Capitalize God when referencing the deity of all monotheistic religions. Lowercase gods and goddesses in reference to the deities of polytheistic religions.

 

Good/well

Good is an adjective meaning something that is better than average or as it should be; good should never be used as an adverb. Well means proper, healthy, and suitable when used as an adjective. If used as an adverb it means in a satisfactory manner or skillfully.

 

GPA

Acceptable in all references for grade-point average. Note hyphen in grade-point.

 

Hangar/hanger

A hangar is a building, a hanger is used for clothes.

 

Its/it’s

It’s is a contraction for it is or it has (e.g. It’s been a long day). Its is the possessive form of the neuter pronoun (e.g. The university remodeled its building).

Lay/lie

The action word is lay and laid is the past tense form and its past participle. The present participle is laying. Lie indicates a state of reclining along a horizontal plane. Its past tense is lay and past participle is lain. The present participle is lying.

Like/as

Use like as a preposition to compare nouns and pronouns; it requires an object (e.g. Sally blocks like a pro). The conjunction as is the correct word to introduce clauses (e.g. Sally blocks the linebacker as he should).

Loath/loathe

She is loath to leave; he loathes bureaucracy.

 

Palate/palette/pallet

Palate is the roof of the mouth. A palette is an artist’s paint board. A pallet is a bed.

Pore/pour

The verb pore means to gaze intently or steadily (e.g. She pored over her books). The verb to pour means to flow in a continuous stream (e.g. He poured the coffee).

Principal/principle

Principal is a noun and adjective meaning someone or something first in rank, authority, importance or degree (e.g. She is the school principal). Principle is a noun that means a fundamental truth, law, doctrine or motivating force (e.g. They fought for the principle of self-determination).

 

WORD LIST (if a word is capitalized in this list, then it should always be capitalized)

– A –

A.D.

administration

adviser

advisory

afterward (not afterwards)

aka

all-around, all-clear, all-out, all-star

all right

alma mater

amid (not amidst)

amok (not amuck)

archaeology

arctic, Arctic Circle, arctic fox, Arctic Ocean

ATM

– B –

B.C.

backward (not backwards)

Bluetooth

bona fide

brand-new (adjective)

break in (verb), break-in (noun and adjective)

build up (verb), buildup (noun and adjective)

– C –

call up (verb), call-up (noun and adjective)

cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation

change up (verb), change-up (noun and adjective)

check-in (noun and adjective), check in (verb)

checkout (noun and adjective), check out (verb)

child care

citywide

clean up (v.), cleanup (n. and adj.)

clear-cut (adj.)

close-up (n. and adj.)

cover up (v.), cover-up (n. and adj.)

cross section (n.), cross-section (v.)

cut back (v.), cutback (n. and adj.)

cut off (v.), cutoff (n. and adj.)

– D –

database

daylong

daytime

dead center

dead end (n.), dead-end (adj.)

– E –

easygoing

e-book, e-reader, e-book reader

email

entitled

every day (adv.), everyday (adj.)

– F –

face to face

fact-finding (adj.)

far-flung (adj.)

far-off (adj.)

far-ranging (adj.)

first class, first-class (hyphenate as a modifier before a noun)

first degree, first-degree (hyphenate as a modifier before a noun)

first-generation (hyphenate as a modifier before a noun.) first-gen on second reference.

firsthand (adj. and adv.)

first quarter, first-quarter (hyphenate as a modifier before a noun)

forsake, forsook, forsaken

freelance (v. and adj.), freelancer (n.)

front line (n.), front-line (adj.)

front page (n.), front-page (adj.)

– G –

 

– H –

handheld (n.), hand-held (adj.)

hands off, hands-off (hyphenate as a modifier before a noun)

hang-up (n.), hang up (v.)

hit and run (v.), hit-and-run (n. and adj.)

hold up (v.), holdup (n. and adj.)

home page

hometown

HTML

HTTP

– I –

Internet

intranet

IP address

iPad, iPhone, iPod

– J –

Java

JavaScript

– K –

know-how

– L –

lame duck (n.), lame-duck (adj.)

left hand (n.), left-handed (adj.), left-hander (n.)

let up (v.), letup (n. and adj.)

lift off (v.), liftoff (n. and adj.)

likable

Listserv

livable

long term, long-term (hyphenate as a modifier before a noun)

– M –

make up (v.), makeup (n., adj.)

media

mix up (v.), mix-up (n. and adj.)

mock-up (n.)

mo-ped

mop up (v.), mop-up (n. and adj.)

mpg

mph

MP3

– N –

nationwide

never-ending

nowadays

– O –

offline

online

– P –

PDA

PDF

Ph.D., Ph.D.s

Potato, potatoes

– Q –

– R –

rock ‘n’ roll

R.S.V.P.

– S –

Adviser

– T –

Theatre in most contexts

Theater when concerning buildings/titles/proper nouns

– U –

Adviser

– V –

Adviser

– W –

Adviser

– X –

Adviser

– Y –

Adviser

– Z –

Adviser

 

 

CONTACT US

Strategic Communications & Marketing

503-838-8208 | or e-mail: marcom@wou.edu | Location: Admin 302