The LMU Style Guide provides basic standards for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It is intended as a general guide and extension of the Associated Press Stylebook, one of the most popular and standardized mass communication guides used throughout the world for the past century. Writers working in broadcasting, magazine publishing, marketing departments and public relations firms traditionally adopt and apply AP grammar and punctuation styles. Therefore, LMU has adopted AP style for its official communications and publications.
The first section covers matters of style and preferences specific to Loyola Marymount University. Like every style guide, our aim is consistency, clarity and correctness. While you may not agree with every “rule” set forth in this guide, you may find an answer to a persistent question. If you have a question that is not addressed in this guide, please feel free to contact Marketing and Communications.
Updated August 2018
Preferred Style, Quick Reference
1 LMU Drive – not One LMU Drive
Academy for Catholic Thought and Imagination – ACTI on subsequent reference
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam – The Jesuit motto. The Latin translates to “For the Greater Glory of God.”
AFROTC – Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (note possessive), the ROTC program at LMU
African American Studies – a major and a minor offered in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts.
Note: no hyphen in the department name, however African-American in text.
Ahmanson Auditorium – alternately known as University Hall, Room 1000
AJCU – Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, a consortium headquartered in Washington, D.C., of which LMU is a member.
Alpha Sigma Nu – The Jesuit honor society
Alumni for Others – service project organized in Alumni Relations
Alumni Weekend Celebration
Asian and Pacific Studies – a major and a minor offered in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts
Asian Pacific American Studies – a minor offered in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts
Athletics Department – also LMU Athletics. Note: capitalize when referring to the department, don’t capitalize if you are referring to athletics in general.
Basil P. Caloyeras Center for Modern Greek Studies
LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts – Always use the full name on first reference, including LMU; Bellarmine College or BCLA is acceptable on subsequent references.
Bird Nest – not Birds Nest, Bird’s Nest or Birds’ Nest.
bluff – lowercase when referring to the beloved campus location overlooking Playa Vista.
Board of Trustees – Capitalize when referring to LMU’s Board of Trustees (this is an exception to AP style). Do not capitalize when referring to the board.
Board of Regents – Capitalize when referring to LMU’s Board of Regents (this is an exception to AP style). Do not capitalize when referring to the board.
Books – Use quotation marks for titles of books, not italics (follow AP Stylebook rules for composition titles).
Burns Recreation Center – Use full name.
Capitalization – Capitalize a person’s title when it appears before a name but not when they follow a name (for more details, see AP Stylebook)
Do not capitalize university when referring to Loyola Marymount University in a subsequent reference or a generic sense, per the AP Stylebook: “Lowercase these common nouns when they stand alone in subsequent references.” e.g., Promoting academic excellence is embedded in the university’s strategic plan.
Capitalize all schools, colleges and academic centers: the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts; the School of Film and Television; the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, etc.
Capitalize the names of buildings, departments, centers, and divisions, but not majors or general areas of expertise, e.g., the College of Communication and Fine Arts and the Center for Service and Action together offer a course on social justice.
Specific course titles, and papers and presentations and should be in quotes and capitalized (but not italicized). e.g., The College of Communication and Fine Arts and the Center for Service and Action together offer a course called “The Legacy of Mary Poppins.”
Her presentation, “Ways to Work Together,” won an award at the conference.
Capitalize Mass, Board of Trustees, Board of Regents. Do not capitalize when referring only to the board.
Center for Accounting Ethics, Governance, and the Public Interest – Located in the College of Business Administration
Center for Ethics and Business – Located in the College of Business Administration
Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Center for the Study of Los Angeles – Use the full name, the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, on first reference; thereafter, Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles and LCSLA are acceptable.
Children’s Center – LMU Children’s Center is the proper name.
college – Lowercase when it stands alone, even when referring back to a specific college.
LMU College of Business Administration – Always use the full name on first reference, including LMU; thereafter CBA is acceptable.
LMU College of Communication and Fine Arts – Always use the full name on first reference, including LMU; thereafter CFA is acceptable.
Conrad N. Hilton Center for Business – This is the name of the building in which the College of Business Administration is housed. The college itself is not named.
courses – Capitalize specific course titles and put in quotes, e.g., Bob Smith, professor of communication, teaches the graduate-level course “Media Relations in Ethical Business.”
C.S.J. – Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. One of the sponsoring orders of LMU. Use C.S.J. If you bold person’s name, then also bold C.S.J. Do not use Sister or Sr. with C.S.J. or R.S.H.M.
cura personalis – An Ignatian term meaning a personal concern and respect for others. Use italics because it is a foreign phrase.
Doctor – Use when referring to a medical doctor, preferably not for professors. Abbreviate as Dr. before full name only in direct quotations. Use M.D. in all other cases.
Drollinger Parking Plaza – Use plaza, not Drollinger Parking Lot E
eloquentia perfecta – Rhetorical tradition central to Jesuit education that combines oral and written rhetoric, speech/listening with writing/reading. Jesuit eloquentia perfecta is a form of Christian rhetoric based on an Ignatian pedagogy aimed at educating the whole person and producing women and men for others.
emeritus – A designated title for a former professor (it frequently comes with an office and benefits). Not all retired professors are given emeritus status. Capitalize as a formal title before a name, lowercase after.
Father – Spell out before a priest’s name. Do not use Father with S.J.; instead, omit Father and use S.J. after the name. Do not abbreviate as Fr.
first-year –Hyphenate when the words first year are used as an adjective together, e.g., first-year student, first-year course. Except: LMU’s First Year Experience.
fleur-de-lis – Traditionally the heraldic sign of the French royal family. It is used in the presidential seal to represent the French origins of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (R.S.H.M.). Always hyphenate. Note that the plural is fleurs-de-lis.
foreign words/phrases – Use italics except if the word or phrase has been accepted into the English language; consult the dictionary. Use quotation marks if an explanation is necessary.
LMU Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering – Always use the full name on first reference, including LMU; Seaver College on subsequent reference.
Hannon Parking Lot
William H. Hannon Library – Dedicated in August 2009; Hannon Library on subsequent reference.
health care – two words per the Associated Press Stylebook, except when referring to the Healthcare Systems Engineering program or the Lean Healthcare Systems program, both in the LMU Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering.
Ignatian – A descriptive term for those things of or relating to St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, or the Jesuit order.
JAA – Jesuit Advancement Administrators
Jesuits – One of the founding religious orders of LMU. Also known as the Society of Jesus. Capitalize. The order was established on Sept 27, 1540.
KXLU – LMU’s radio station. Frequency is 88.9 FM.
Laband Art Gallery – a part of the College of Communication and Fine Arts, located in the Burns Fine Arts Complex. Laband on subsequent reference.
Latino Alumni Association – until 2012 was called the Mexican American Alumni Association.
Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles – Use full name, the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, on first reference; thereafter, Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles and LCSLA are acceptable.
lectures – Capitalize with quotation marks when title is given.
Lions – Refers to all LMU athletes, male and female. Never use the term “Lady Lions.”
Loyola Law School – Always use the full name on first reference; the law school is the preferred subsequent reference, but LLS is acceptable when necessary. Capitalize only when the full name is used. In LMU Magazine, use Law to indicate degree achieved by an alumnus or alumna of the law school: John Lion [LibArts’77, Law ’81].
Los Angeles Loyolan – The student-run, weekly campus newspaper, in print and online.
LMU – Spell out first reference to Loyola Marymount University, use LMU, or university (lowercase) in subsequent references.
LMU CARES – Note all caps; use the acronym on first reference, but in a story try to spell it out for clarity in a subsequent reference. The acronym stands for Campus Awareness Resource Education Services, the entity that educates the campus community about resources, support and policies at the university regarding sexual and interpersonal misconduct and prevention.
Los Angeles – Abbreviate as L.A. when used as an adjective: L.A. City Council. When used as part of LMU brand, no periods.
Mass – Capitalize.
Mass of the Holy Spirit – Traditional Mass at Jesuit schools to begin the school year. Capitalize.
The Marymount Institute – Use Marymount Institute for Faith, Culture and the Arts on first reference. The institute is located in the Marymount Center in University Hall.
magis – An Ignatian term meaning “a striving for excellence.” Italicize.
Murphy Recital Hall – Located in the Burns Fine Arts Complex.
O.Carm. – No space. An abbreviation of the religious Order of the Carmelites, e.g., Albert Koppes, O.Carm., associate chancellor and former dean of the School of Education. If you bold the person’s name, then also bold O.Carm.
Office of Admission – Not “Admissions.” Capitalize.
President’s Day – Specify as “LMU President’s Day”
professor – Capitalize only when it comes directly before the name.
professor titles – Professors’ titles should be written in the following style: Mary Smith, professor of psychology, was honored at the conference. Avoid using Ph.D. with professors’ names. Do not use Dr. when referring to an academic.
Ralph M. Parsons Environmental Engineering Laboratory
Regents Terrace – Between St. Robert’s and Malone; no apostrophe is used in the name of the terrace.
religious orders – The use of a religious order’s abbreviation following a name is preferred to the use of a title such as Father, Sister, etc. (William Fulco, S.J.). Do not use both a title and the order’s abbreviation.
Roski Dining Room – Located in University Hall.
R.S.H.M. – Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, one of the founding orders of Marymount College. Do not use Sister with R.S.H.M. or with C.S.J. If you bold a person’s name, then also bold R.S.H.M.
Sacred Heart Chapel
Seaver College of Science and Engineering – Always use the full name on first reference: LMU Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering
Sir Thomas More Chair of Engineering Ethics
Sister – Preferred usage is the abbreviation of the specific religious order after the name (see S.J.). Do not use Sister with C.S.J. or R.S.H.M. e.g., Peg Dolan, R.S.H.M., is the alumni chaplain. Do not abbreviate as Sr.
St. Ignatius de Loyola – Founder of the Society of Jesus. Born Iñigo Lopez de Loyola, he lived from 1491 to 1556.
LMU School of Education – Always use the full name on first reference, including LMU. Capitalize only when the full name is used.
LMU School of Film and Television – Always use the full name on first reference, including LMU. Capitalize only when the full name is used. SFTV on subsequent references.
Sculpture Garden -located west of Sacred Heart Chapel
S.J. – Abbreviation for the Society of Jesus. Place after the name of all Jesuit priests or brothers on first reference. Always set off by commas, e.g., Robert B. Lawton, S.J., is the former president of the university.
Society of Jesus – The religious order also known as the Jesuits. One of the founding orders of LMU.
Sunken Garden – Not “Gardens.” Capitalize.
theatre – Preferred use of the word in deference to usage by the LMU College of Communication and Fine Arts.
Theatre Arts – The Department of Theatre Arts and Dance.
Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles – Use full name on first reference, and Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles and LCSLA on subsequent references.
titles/names – The general rule is: titles are capitalized before a name, but not after the name.
President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.; Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., president of Loyola Marymount University (preferred)
Elena M. Bove, senior vice president for student affairs; Senior V.P. Elena M. Bove
Thomas O. Fleming Jr., senior vice president and chief financial officer; CFO Thomas O. Fleming Jr.
John S. Kiralla, vice president for marketing, communications, and public relations; V.P. John S. Kiralla
Thomas Poon, executive vice president and provost; Provost Thomas Poon
Abbie Robinson-Armstrong, vice president for intercultural affairs; V.P. Abbie Robinson-Armstrong
Evelynne B. Scarboro, executive vice president and chief administrator officer ; Chief Administrative Officer Evelynne B. Scarboro
John Sebastian, vice president for mission and ministry; V.P. John Sebastian
Michael Waterstone, senior vice president and dean of Loyola Law School; Dean Michael Waterstone
Bryant Keith Alexander, dean, LMU College of Communication and Fine Arts; Dean Bryant Keith Alexander
Kristine R. Brancolini, dean, LMU William H. Hannon Library; Dean Kristine R. Brancolini
S.W. Tina Choe, dean, LMU Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering; Dean S.W. Tina Choe
Robbin D. Crabtree, dean, LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts; Dean Robbin D. Crabtree
Dayle M. Smith, dean, LMU College of Business Administration; Dean Dayle M. Smith
Mary McCullough, interim dean, LMU School of Education; Dean Mary McCullough
Peggy Rajski, dean, LMU School of Film and Television; Dean Peggy Rajski
titled/entitled – titled means named; entitled means to have a right to.
time – Include a.m. and p.m. Do not include minutes unless necessary, e.g., The class begins at 8 a.m.; The class begins at 8:15 a.m. Also, use noon and midnight instead of 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.
toward – Not towards.
Tower – The LMU yearbook.
UC Schools – Spell out locations except for UCLA and USC, e.g., UC Santa Barbara, etc. Spell out names of all other schools, e.g., University of Nevada, Las Vegas, California State University, Fullerton.
UCLA – Do not spell out; no periods.
university – Do not capitalize when referring to LMU in subsequent references or in the generic sense.
University Hall – first preference is to spell this out; if it needs to be abbreviated because of format, U Hall is preferred, then UNH, then UHall or Uhall.
USC – Do not spell out; no periods.
U.S. – Use as adjective only. Spell out when used as a noun.
vice president/president – Only capitalize when title appears directly before the name.
Von Der Ahe – use upper case for initial letter of all three parts of the name when referring to the Charles Von Der Ahe building (formerly Von der Ahe library). Except: Von der Ahe Suite in the William H. Hannon Library.
WCC – West Coast Conference. Spell out on first reference; thereafter, WCC is acceptable.
Web – Use Web. Avoid using World Wide Web, Information Highway, etc. When writing a URL, don’t use http://www. if possible. Use only www.—-
years – Use figures without commas, even at the beginning of a sentence. Use an “s” without an apostrophe to indicate spans of time or centuries, e.g., the 1980s.
If you don’t see your answer here, please consult the printed or online complete Associated Press Stylebook.
A (or B, C, D or F) – When referring to a letter grade, do not use quotation marks to set the grade apart, or an apostrophe for a plural. Note: Use an en dash for a minus: A–, etc. Grace saw that her final exam score raised her grade to an A in political science, meaning she had earned all As for the fall semester.
a / an – Use “a” before heroic, historian (in front of a consonant or words beginning with a pronounced h); a one-year fellowship (before a “w” sound); a united voice (before a “you” sound). “A” comes before words with a consonant sound, including v, h, w, no matter how the word is spelled (a eulogy, a historic event, a quality product).
“An” comes before words with a vowel sound (an LSAT exam room, an X-ray report, an hour late).
abbreviations/acronyms – With organizations, spell out titles on first reference. If the organization is well-known (such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association), then on first reference do not follow the organization’s name with its abbreviation in parentheses. If the organization is not well-known, it is acceptable, but not preferable, in the first reference to follow the name with its abbreviation in parentheses. Use the abbreviation in subsequent references.
In general, avoid abbreviations or acronyms that the reader would not quickly recognize; also avoid lists of abbreviations or acronyms that produce the effect of alphabet soup.
Do not abbreviate the names of campus buildings, e.g., St. Robert’s, not St. Rob’s; Burns Recreation Center, not Burns Rec.
Some exceptions to the use of periods: LMU, USC, UCLA, CFO, CEO
academic degrees – In general, identify professors by their title with their academic department: Mary Smith, professor of psychology, was honored at the conference. If mention of a degree is necessary to establish someone’s credentials, avoid an abbreviation and use instead a phrase such as: Jane Doe, who has a doctorate in psychology, was honored today.
Use periods in academic degrees and enclose with commas when used as reference to a person’s degree, e.g., John Doe, M.B.A., was a rich man; M.D., Ph.D., B.A., B.S., M.A., M.B.A.
Spell out degree if using in a generic sense, using the following style: Bachelor of Arts, a bachelor’s degree, Master of Arts, Master of Science, a master’s degree, a doctorate, e.g., She wanted to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Take care in copy to note that degrees are earned, they are not received
- affect means to influence: Your test scores will affect your overall GPA.
- affect, when used as a noun, suggests emotion; Joe exhibited a peaceful affect.
- effect, as a verb, means to cause: The manager will effect positive change in the office.
- effect, as a noun, means result: The relocation’s effect was positive.
affirmative action (generic term); Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer
African-American – Acceptable for an American black person of African descent. Also acceptable is black. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable. People from the Caribbean, for example, generally refer to themselves as Caribbean-American. Follow the person’s preference. Associated Press hyphenates, except: African American Studies, the department at LMU.
- aid is assistance: The newly accepted freshman was relieved to see the college’s financial aid offer.
- aide is a person who offers assistance: The politician’s aide was capable and disciplined.
- Alumna refers to a singular female graduate.
- Alumnae refers to graduates of an all-women’s school or to groups of female graduates only.
- Alumnus refers to a singular male graduate.
- Alumni refers to male graduates and to mixed groups of male and female graduates.
The word alumni is not capitalized.
Render the year an alum has graduated as: Billy Bean ’86 (closed single quote where possible); multiple degrees are: Sid Johnson ’76, M.A. ’79, Ed.D. ’12
For married alumni, render their years as: Maureen ’87 and Bryan Costello ’87 (not Maureen ’87 and Bryan ’88 Costello).
American Indian, Indian, Native American – American Indian refers to historically indigenous people of North America, although tribal names are often used instead. Depending on the circumstances, this identification is probably a better choice than Native American since many natives are often of other backgrounds.
and, & – And is preferable to an ampersand, which should be used only when the name of a company, group, or composition specifically calls for it, as in AT&T. Use of ampersands in headlines, posters, or Web content is acceptable. Do not include a comma before an ampersand.
- The driver assured me that the bus would arrive on schedule.
Ensure means to make certain something will happen.
- Generous alumni donations ensure that there are enough scholarships for incoming students.
Insure means to purchase insurance.
- After a professional appraisal, the family heirloom was insured for its current market value.
- Emmy award
- honorary degree
- awhile (for a while) adverb: Brittany decided to stay awhile.
- a while (noun): After traveling around the state, Nick moved into the city for a while.
- B.A.; Bachelor of Arts; bachelor’s degree; B.A.’s
- B.S.; Bachelor of Science; bachelor’s degree; B.S.’
- New Testament, Old Testament, Gospel
- Matthew 8:32–33 (note use of colon, en dash, and spacing after colon)
- 2 Samuel 7:18
Board of Trustees, trustee – Capitalize Board of Trustees when in reference to LMU’s administrative body. Subsequent use in a shortened form, however, is lowercased: the board, the trustees.
Brother – Do not abbreviate.
capitalization – In general, avoid unnecessary capitalization. Use a capital letter only if you can justify by applying these standards: Proper noun, proper name, it is listed separately here or in the Associated Press Stylebook. Lowercase common nouns when they stand alone in subsequent references, e.g. university (referring to LMU), foundation, center, etc.
captions – For consistency and quick identification in photo captions, list subjects from left to right, using each person’s full name and title, and include “left to right” or “from left,” for clarity, in the caption.
centered on, NOT centered around
chair – Chair has come to replace chairman, chairwoman, and chairperson, although all of these terms are still acceptable. Use the terminology that the chairholder’s organization, or the chairholder, prefers.
- She is the chair of the Department of Engineering.
- He is the Casassa Chair of Social Values.
- We will check in at 3 p.m.
- Check-in begins at 4 p.m. in the main ballroom.
Class – Capitalize the word Class in reference to a graduating class. (Note the single closing quotation mark before the year.) Class groups such as freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate are not capitalized when in reference to the year in which a course is taken or to the student’s classification.
- The driver had two possibilities: to swerve or to slam on his brakes.
- The driver had a revelation: He had to swerve to miss the bus.
When using a colon, be sure that the words that come before it form an independent clause.
A colon should not be used after at or such as, between the verb and the rest of the sentence, or between a preposition and its object. This rule includes situations in which a list follows these elements. Items following a colon are not automatically separated by semicolons. The rules for dividing items in a series by commas should be followed.
Place a comma after a digit signifying thousands, except when the reference is to a year: 1,150 students or the year 2005.
When writing a date consisting of month, day, and year, place a comma after the day and the year.
- July 4, 1776, is the date the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Commas are not used, however, when only the month and day, or only the month and year, are written.
- The Declaration of Independence was signed in July 1776.
- Americans greet July 4 with spectacular fireworks.
However, commas are not used before Jr., Sr., II, III, at the end of a person’s name.
- Sammy Davis Jr.
- Thurston Howell III
- He spoke at LMU’s 50th Commencement.
- Where is LMU’s commencement usually held?
A compliment is an admiring remark. Complimentary also means to give free as a courtesy.
Constitution of United States (capitalize)
consistency – Shifting between first, second, and third person when addressing the same subject is a common problem. If referring to students as they, for example, do not refer to them elsewhere as you.
For consistency and ease of identification in photo captions, list subjects from left to right, using each person’s full name and title, if any, and include the obligatory “left to right” or “from left” instruction in the caption.
- U.S.—adjective (the U.S. Department of State)
- United States—noun (living in the United States)
course, subject – Capitalize a specific course or subject name, such as ACCT 10350, Federal Taxation. Names of college studies, fields of study, options, curricula, or subjects are not capitalized, except names of languages, unless a specific course name is noted.
- Jane is studying architecture and Spanish.
- Students must take courses in theology and mathematics.
- He is majoring in political science and biochemistry.
Use an em dash (—) to set off parenthetical matter that calls for emphasis; to show an interruption in speech; to occasionally set off appositives; and to prepare for restatements, lists, or a change in thought. An em-dash is the length of two hyphens.
- Baseball — which traces its origin to a British sport — is today considered the American pastime.
Use an en dash (–), slightly longer than a hyphen, within sets of numerals (such as date ranges) or letters, and to separate multiple compound modifiers that are made up of multiple proper nouns or hyphenated words.
- the NFL–AFL merger
- open Monday–Friday (but not: open from Monday–Friday)
- April 1–13, 2008; 2010–13
- July 4, 1776, is the date the Declaration of Independence was signed.
In running text, names of months are abbreviated: The advisory board will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Exceptions: March, April, May, June and July are never abbreviated
Commas are not used, however, when only the month and day, or only the month and year, are written.
- The Declaration of Independence was signed in July 1776.
- Americans greet July 4 with spectacular fireworks.
- The dean met with a large group of prospective students to discuss the college’s programs.
decision-making process (hyphenated when an adjective)
- bachelor of arts degree
- bachelor’s degree / master’s degree
- Sid Johnson ’76, M.A. ’79, Ed.D. ’12
Capitalize letter abbreviations of academic degrees.
Generally, names of degrees are lowercased, designating a field of study:
- He has a bachelor of arts in communication studies.
- He has a bachelor’s degree in communication.
- Department of Studio Arts, Office of Undergraduate Admission
- The department celebrated the end of the school year with a luncheon.
- The diocese supported the local high school’s food drive.
- The Diocese of Los Angeles is headquartered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.
Dr. – Dr. is used to refer to a doctor of medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. It is not used to refer to people who hold a doctor’s degree but don’t practice in one of these fields, including professors.
- Professor Jones teaches English.
- Dr. Jones is a well-known obstetrician.
- The chairman retired because of an ongoing, prolonged illness.
- The chairman’s retirement was due to an ongoing, prolonged illness.
- BUT NOT: The chairman retired due to an ongoing, prolonged illness.
- Sam would move heaven and earth to be at the party.
- Does life exist on Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn—or are we alone here on Earth?
- blog (verb and noun)
- CMS (content management system)
- email (one word, no hyphen)
- homepage (one word)
- Internet (proper noun)
- log in (verb)
- login (noun)
- log on (verb)
- logon (noun)
- online (one word, no hyphen)
- toolbar (one word)
- username (one word)
- Web, website, webpage, webinar
LMU’s main website is lmu.edu (no need to include www. in the address).
When determining if www. is needed in listing a website, check it to see if the site is accessible without this designation. Avoid including it if possible. Web addresses do not need to be italicized but can be bolded or placed in color to attract attention or to clarify.
When including a URL in running copy, aim to avoid placing it at a line break; rewrite the sentence if necessary. If a Web address is at the end of a sentence include a period or other ending punctuation as necessary.
ellipses – Ellipsis points are used to show omission within a quotation. However, it is not necessary to place the points at the beginning or end of a quotation, even if an omission is being made at that point.
Use ellipsis points in sets of three. Leave a space between each point, as well as between the words on either side of them.
- I pledge allegiance to the flag . . . with liberty and justice for all.
Ellipses should be used sparingly.
- The article is titled “101 Ways to Study for Finals.”
- His writing of the book entitled him to 50 free copies.
- Losing an hour in traffic has become an everyday occurrence in the lives of L.A. residents.
- On average, L.A. drivers lose an hour of their lives every day in gridlock.
- farther refers to a physical distance: Stephanie ran farther into the woods by taking the steeper trail.
- further refers to time or degree: The professor will look further into the mystery of the disease.
first annual – Something cannot be annual until it has been conducted for two successive years. In place of first annual, mention that the event is scheduled to become annual or write first or inaugural.
- flyer — pamphlet (often used to promote an event), and a person flying in an aircraft
- flier — the proper name of some trains and buses, and the preferred spelling for the colloquialism “take a flier” meaning to take a risk
gender, sex – Gender should be limited to discussion of the social and psychological distinctions between men and women. In all other cases, sex can be used to differentiate between men and women when there is no chance of misinterpretation.
- He enrolled in four graduate-level courses as a senior.
Hispanic, Latino/Latina – Hispanic refers to those from, or whose ancestors are from, a Spanish-speaking country. Latino and Latina are sometimes preferred. These terms also include those of Brazilian background, where Portuguese is spoken.
Adverbs ending in –ly don’t take a hyphen to connect them to the word they describe.
- His publicly traded shares
- a highly anticipated news conference
The words vice president and vice chair are not hyphenated.
Use a hyphen between prefixes and proper nouns, such as in un-American or non-Catholic.
Compound modifiers (a string of words that works together to modify another word) should all be hyphenated.
- the 17-year-old girl
- the basketball player was 6-foot-11
- the 2,340-square-foot laboratory allows for new research equipment
Dollar figures of $1 million or more are not hyphenated when used as a modifier.
- the $3.7 million gift
- the $10M gift
- not the $3.7-million gift
Example: Please take the medication for the time prescribed (i.e., three to five days).
Its means belonging to it.
- The department held its Christmas party at a nearby coffee shop.
It’s means it is.
- “It’s an inspiring spiritual, intellectual, and social place for four remarkable years of your life.”
- Saturday’s kickoff will be at noon.
- The game will kick off at noon.
like, such as – Like should not be used as a synonym for such as, which directly points to examples. Like should be used in the sense of “similar to” and such as as meaning “including these examples.”
- login (noun)
- log in (verb)
- logon, although not in Webster’s, is used as a noun.
- log on is a verb.
Loyola Marymount University
1 LMU Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045
No. – Use to indicate rank or position, especially in sportswriting). Do not use # as it now means hashtag in social media.
numbers, numerals – For print, use figures for numbers 10 and larger, including ordinal numbers (22nd, 34th, and so on). Exceptions: Use numerals, even when the number is less than 10, to indicate age, quantities containing both whole numbers and decimals or fractions, statistics, voting results, sports scores, percentages, amounts of money, times of day, days of the month (when used after the name of the month, as in February 5), latitude and longitude, degrees of temperature, dimensions, measurements, proportions, distances, and numbers that are part of titles. Note: For Web, use numerals for all numbers for faster scanning.
- There are 26 teams in the old league but only eight in the new one.
- 4:35 p.m., 5 a.m. (Note the periods in a.m. and p.m.)
- $3.00, $5.95, 75 cents
- Longitude 67° 03’ 06” W
- The temperature fell to 12 degrees below zero.
- The tree stood 5 feet high.
- The proposal was defeated, 25 votes to 3.
- Capitalize the word room in reference to a room followed by a number.
- We are meeting in Room 502.
In month-day combinations, ordinals are not used.
- Sept. 17 instead of Sept. 17th
However, in other contexts, such as in using a number to denote the repeating occurrences of a regularly occurring event, ordinals are used.
- 23rd anniversary
For spans of years. Note that for 1999–2000, or for any span of years in which three or more numbers will change, the entire number for both years should be written out.
- 1861–65 but: 1999–2000 (not 1999–00)
For numbers in the millions and beyond, spell out the word million, billion, etc., unless it is necessary to give an exact figure.
- The university raised $33.8 million in the 1984–85 academic year.
- She lives in off-campus housing this year, and pays rent with her job at a University department off campus.
- WRONG: He was an expert in eating, drinking, sleeping and how to win an argument.
- RIGHT: He was an expert in eating, drinking, sleeping and knowing how to win an argument.
- WRONG: Students will study physics, learn certain mechanical functions, and various Internet applications.
- RIGHT: Students will study physics, learn certain mechanical functions, and master various Internet applications.
- WRONG: The bed is designed to support your back while improving your sleep.
- RIGHT: The bed is designed to support your back and improve your sleep.
- RIGHT: The bed supports your back while it improves your sleep.
Observe parallelism throughout the items in a list:
- RIGHT: The class has three objectives: (1) to help people lose weight, (2) to encourage fitness, and (3) to promote better health.
- WRONG: The class has three objectives: (1) to help people lose weight, (2) to encourage fitness, and (3) promoting better health.
papal, papacy (lowercase)
In reference to the time of day, use the abbreviations a.m. and p.m., with periods between the letters. In text material, they should be written in lowercase letters or small caps.
Place periods between the letters of academic degrees (M.A., Ph.D.) and abbreviations of religious orders (R.S.H.M., S.J.).
There are no periods in acronyms unless the entity that the acronym represents specifically uses periods. Use this same principle in making subsequent references to famous people who are popularly known by their initials.
- JFK, MLK, NATO, NFL
- He was the pope in 2013. He spoke to Pope Francis on Monday.
- papal; papacy
- doctoral; postdoc
- postgame; postseason (no hyphen)
- pregame; preseason
Most instances, closed: preempt, preeminent, preexist
president – Capitalize when the title is listed before the name (past or present presidents). Lowercase when the title follow the name. Examples: President Ford or former President Lawton, but president of his alumni club.
President’s Professor – not Presidential Professor. It is a designation assigned by the president; there are six: education (Antonia Darder); theatre arts (Beth Henley); rhetoric (Steven Mailloux); education (Martha McCarthy); marketing (David Stewart); biology (Eric Strauss).
- M.B.A. program; ACCESS program
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quotation marks – Set quotation marks outside periods and commas and inside colons and semicolons. They also should be placed inside exclamation points and question marks that are not part of the quotation.
- “Ask what you can do for your country.”
- Barry exclaimed that “it was a long trip”; was it really over?
- “What’s the matter?” she asked.
- Do you understand the statement “I think; therefore, I am”?
Use single quotation marks for quotations printed within other quotations.
- Brett said, “I remember when my mother told me, ‘Wash behind your ears.’ ”
If several paragraphs are to be quoted successively, use quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph and at the end of the last paragraph only.
sacraments – Capitalize the sacraments — Baptism, Eucharist — as well as the word Bible, in reference to either the Old Testament or New Testament. Church should be capitalized when in reference to any Catholic Mass or to the Catholic Church as an institution (as in “the Church has issued a decree”). The word biblical is lowercased. Scripture is capitalized when referring to books of the Bible.
- The literature class will also have assigned readings from Scripture.
Use a semicolon to take the place of a coordinating conjunction in joining two independent clauses.
- The board’s first item of business was to approve its annual budget; doing so would not be a simple task.
Sister – Do not abbreviate as Sr.; the religious order is preferred. The first reference to a nun should give her full title: Mary Thomas, O.P. Thereafter, she may be referred to as Sister Mary or Sister Thomas. Note that in running text, there is always a comma after the religious designation (C.S.J., S.J.) unless it falls at the end of the sentence.
- Call 310.258.XXXX
Which can be used to introduce a clause containing nonessential or essential information, but that can be used only for essential information. Some writers use which to cover the functions of both relative pronouns, but this sometimes creates difficulty in understanding whether the information being given is essential to the meaning of the sentence.
A good set of rules to follow: If that can be substituted for which without changing the meaning of the sentence, use that. If the information following which is necessary in understanding the sentence, use that. If the information can be omitted from the sentence without affecting its meaning and in most cases can be set off by commas, use which.
- The retreat, which is located on 20 acres, was surrounded by towering trees and bordered by a shimmering lake.
- The retreat that I attended took place last July.
Exception: To avoid immediately repeating that in certain constructions, it is acceptable to use which in place of one occurrence of that.
- That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
they, he, she, he/she – Although the generic he is perfectly grammatical, many today view it as being sexist. Be aware of the sensitivities of your audience in choosing generic, third-person pronouns. For example:
- The customer might not be aware that he can request this service.
If you believe this sentence could cause offense, you first should consider recasting the sentence in the plural:
Customers might not be aware that they can request this service.
Avoid using clumsy he or she and his or her constructions. When they must be used, use them sparingly. Never use awkward expressions such as he/she, his/her, s/he, he (she), or his (her). Don’t alternate between generic he sentences and generic she sentences as a way of achieving balance.
Another alternative to the generic he and the cumbersome he or she is to switch to the second-person pronoun:
- You might not be aware that you can request this service.
time – Times of the day should be expressed in numerical terms of hours and minutes, with a colon separating the hours from the minutes and a designation of whether the time is in the morning or the evening, using a.m. and p.m., in lowercase letters or small caps. Leave a space between the time and the a.m. or p.m., and make sure to use periods in the a.m. and p.m.
- 8 a.m., not 8:00 a.m. or 8 am or 8am
- 3:52 p.m., not 3:52 pm or 3:52pm
Exception: *Neither of the 12 o’clock times during the day can accurately be expressed as being “a.m.” or “p.m.” At midday, 12 o’clock should be written as noon, not 12:00 p.m. At night, it should be written as midnight, not 12:00 a.m.
When referring to a time span between two points on the clock, it is not necessary to repeat a.m. or p.m. for both times, if they both occur together in the a.m. or p.m. hours. If the time span crosses from a.m. into p.m. or vice versa, however, designate each time with the appropriate mark.
- 9:30–11 a.m., not 9:30 a.m.–11 a.m.
- 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m., not 10:30–3:00 p.m.
- “Talk of the Town,” in last week’s National Review
- Miles Davis’s “So What,” from “Kind of Blue”
- Chapter 7, “How to Campaign for Office”
- “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
- “Animal Farm”
- “The Thinker”
Periodicals, such as newspapers and magazines are not put in quotes or italicized.
- Wall Street Journal
- Los Angeles Times
- LMU Magazine
Capitalize all educational, occupational, and business titles when used specifically in front of the name, unless a comma follows the title. Titles usually are not capitalized when they follow the name.
Second references to professors, deans, and administrators may be by last name only.
titles (religious) – The first reference for a religious should include the order: William Fulco, S.J. Do not use Father and the order on the same reference. Subsequent references can be Father Fulco (spell out Father).
United Kingdom (UK)
United Nations (UN General Assembly)
- U.S.—adjective (the U.S. Department of State)
- United States—noun (living in the United States)
vice president (open, no hyphen)
Web and email addresses – In most instances, it is no longer necessary to include http:// or www. in Web addresses. However, to be sure, check that the address links without the prefix. Some http addresses are secure, and thus require https://.
Use periods at the end of sentences that end with a Web address or an email address, just as you would punctuate any other sentence. Concluding slashes on Web addresses should be omitted.
Whose is possessive: Whose keys are these?
Who’s is a contraction of who is, who was, or who has: Who’s been sleeping in my bed?
- Find us on the Web at comms.lmu.edu, our helpful, creative website.
- A (and B, C, D, F)
- academic degrees
- affect, effect
- affirmative action, Affirmative Action
- all right
- alma mater
- alumna, alumnae, alumnus, alumni
- Dean’s List
- decision making
- Departments, Offices
- due to vs. because of
- electronic content terms
- entitled, titled
- everyday, every day
- farther, further
- fax, facsimile
- federal government
- first annual
- first-class mail
- flier, flyer
- follow up
- foreign words
- Fort, Ft.
- full-time, full time
- fundraiser, fundraising
- gender, sex
- Golden Dome
- grade point average
- health care
- high school students
- Hispanic, Latina/Latino
- its, it’s
- Jr., Sr., III, comma with
- kickoff, kick off
- law school
- Law School Admission Test
- like vs. such as
- mailing addresses
- mic, microphone
- Middle Ages
- middle class
- months, abbreviations of
- national anthem
- not only
- Office of . . .
- percent, %
- persons, people
- plurals and possessives of last names and other proper nouns
- postgame; pregame
- prior to, before
- problem solving
- quotation marks
- reunion events
- reunion packages
- reunion weekend
- room numbers
- Saint, St.
- screen saver
- states, abbreviations for
- street names
- telephone numbers
- Ten Commandments
- that, which
- Third World
- three Rs
- titles of publications, compositions, events
- titles, rank
- titles, religious
- toward, towards
- Twitter, tweet
- U.S., United States
- under way vs. underway
- United Nations
- user ID
- user name
- Veterans Day
- Visitors Center
- voice mail
- Web and email addresses
- Web master
- Web page
- who’s, whose
- World Wide Web
- worldview, World View