University of Rochester
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Style Guide

Date and Time

A
academic year

An academic year straddles two calendar years. Drop the first two digits of the second year and connect with an en-dash.

2002–03

See class year.

A.D.

Precedes the year, no comma.

The skeleton dates to A.D. 800.

C.E.(Common Era) is also acceptable usage.

age

Ages follow the rules for numbers. Spell out nine and under, use figures for the rest.

It was sad to watch the two-year-old boy struggle with his crutches.
Her daughter turned five last month.
When he was 16, he learned to drive.
ages and eras

Capitalize historical designations.

Stone Age
Middle Ages
Renaissance

Lowercase when merely descriptive.

space age
computer age
Reagan era
alumni, alumnus

When referring to an alumnus in text, include the last two digits of his or her class year after the name with an apostrophe.

Patricia Kraut Mossel ’55 attended the event with her daughters.

When discussing an alumnus with multiple degrees from the University, list the degrees in the order in which they were received, with abbreviations following the graduate degrees.

"You have to drink tea everywhere, all day," says Pelin Aylangan ’90, ’98S (MBA), an expert on tea and Turkish culture.

When referring to a couple who are both University alumni, use the following construction:

Henry '70 and Marlene Herman Etlinger '70
a.m.

See time.

B
B.C.

Follows year or century; no comma.

painted in the ninth century B.C.
died in 12,500 B.C.

B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era) are also acceptable usage.

biannual

Twice a year. May also use semiannual. For every two years, use biennial.

bimonthly

Once every two months. For twice a month, use semimonthly.

biweekly

Once every two weeks. For twice a week, use semiweekly.

C
centuries

Lowercase; spell out under 10.

ninth century
15th century
the 1700s
13th-century architecture
class year

When referring to an alumnus in text, include the last two digits of his or her class year after the name with an apostrophe.

Patricia Kraut Mossel ’55 will retire at the end of the year.

When referring to an alumnus with multiple degrees, list the degrees in the order in which they were received.

"You have to drink tea everywhere, all day," says Pelin Aylangan ’90, ’98S (MBA), an expert on tea and Turkish culture.

When referring to a couple who are both University alumni, use the following construction:

Henry '70 and Marlene Herman Etlinger '70
D
dates

Follow the month-day-year sequence when writing dates in text. The year is set off by commas.

The events of December 7, 1941, will long live in infamy.

BUT if the day is not specified then there is no comma before or after the year.

The events of December 1941 will long live in infamy.

Do not write the date as an ordinal number.

December 7, not December 7th
E
eras

See ages and eras.

F
fall

See seasons.

figures

See numbers.

H
historic, historical

Historic means "history making."

Columbus's voyage was a historic moment. (NOTE: not "an historic")

Historical means "pertaining to the study of history."

The report is a historical analysis of the Cold War. (NOTE: not "an historical")

Names of individual, easily recognized historic events should be capitalized. If in doubt, lowercase.

World War II; Boston Tea Party
holidays

Capitalize holidays, special days, special weeks, etc.

Christmas; Veterans Day; Breast Cancer Awareness Week
long-term

Always hyphenate, as both a noun and adjective.

We plan to change our policy in the long-term.
Our long-term policy will change.
longtime

Not hyphenated.

His longtime friend nominated him for the award.
M
months

Do not abbreviate the months of the year in running text.

See dates.

N
numbers

Do not write the date as an ordinal number.

December 7, NOT December 7th
P
p.m.

See time.

S
seasons

The seasons of the year are lowercase.

We will begin in the spring.
The program ended in winter 1996.
He is enrolled for the fall semester.
semester

Semesters are lowercase.

I want to graduate this semester.
The fall semester begins in late August.
semiannual

Twice a year. May also use biannual.

semimonthly

Twice a month. For once every two months, use bimonthly.

semiweekly

Twice a week. For once every two weeks, use biweekly.

spring

See seasons.

summer

See seasons.

T
time

Use figures for clock time and for hours, minutes, seconds, days, weeks, months and years greater than nine.

3 p.m.; 5:30 a.m.; 6 o'clock; 18 years

Spell out for nine or less, except when a fraction is connected to a whole number or in combination with figures above nine.

She is nine years old.
She lived there for nine years.
The movie lasted three hours.
The movie lasted 2 1/2 hours.
The senator spoke for 2 days and 13 hours.

Avoid such redundancies as 10 o'clock p.m. and 12 noon. Midnight is the end of the day, not the beginning. Do not use 12 a.m. or 12 p.m.. Write noon or midnight.

See age.

Y
winter

See seasons.

Y
yearlong
The yearlong effort paid off in the end.
years

Use figures.

1964
1964–66
1960s
'60s
the 1800s
March 1968
the year 2000

An academic year straddles two calendar years. Drop the first two digits of the second year and connect with an en dash

2002–03

See age, dates, academic years.


Last modified: Tuesday, 10-Jan-2006 16:05:20 EST