University of Rochester
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Style Guide

Numerals

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.
area code

The University area code is (585).

In general publications, when using University phone numbers in running text, use the complete phone number including area code (585). For internal publication, like Currents, the use of University extensions (x5-5277) is acceptable.

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.

biblical references

In citing passages from the Bible, use book, chapter, and verse; roman type, no abbreviations.

2 Chronicles 7:14
Proverbs 3:5-11
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
compound adjectives

Hyphenate most compounds with a number as the first element.

20th-century art; second-highest mountain
BUT 10 percent reduction; $100 million grant
currency

See money.

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
en-dash (–)

An en-dash is used to connect continuing or inclusive numbers, replacing the word to in dates, times, or reference numbers. It is also used instead of a hyphen in compound adjectives when one or more of the elements consists or more than one word.

1968–72
10 a.m.–5 p.m.
pp. 35–45
New York–London flight

An en-dash is half the length of an em-dash and longer than a hyphen. In copy it is usually typed as a hyphen. In Web copy, use the HTML code –

F
figures

See numbers.

fractions

Spell out and hyphenate when a fraction is used as an adjective and not part of a larger figure.

He was two-thirds finished.

Do not hyphenate when a fraction is used as a noun.

He finished two thirds of the project.

When the denominator itself is hyphenated, drop the hyphen between the numerator and the denominator.

five twenty-eighths

When a fraction is added to a whole number, use figures for the entire number.

He'll be here in 2 1/2 days.
G
GPA

Grade point average. No periods. Acceptable on second reference

He had a 3.4 grade point average in high school.
grade
first-grade student
10th-grade student
grade six
grades 10 to 12
low-grade radiation
grade A beef
grader
first grader
10th grader
H
height

Use figures.

She is 5 feet, 2 inches tall.
She is a 5-foot, 2-inch woman.
She is 5 foot 2.
She is a 5-foot-2 point guard.
hyphen

NUMBERS: from twenty-one to ninety-nine, when spelled out, are hyphenated.

FRACTIONS: Hyphenate a fraction when it is used as a adjective (e.g., a two-thirds majority). Write as two words when used as a noun (e.g. two thirds of the participants).

X-TO-Y COMBINATIONS: 16-to-32-year-olds

M
money

Use figures for sums of money, except when they begin a sentence. They are usually treated as singular.

$4; $450; $4 million; 7 cents
The city was advanced a $4.3 million loan.
Fifty thousand dollars was cut from the budget.
About $50 million was stolen.
N
numbers

Numbers between one and nine should be spelled out in text.

Of the seven children in the group, four were girls.

Numbers 10 and above should be figures in text.

There were 12 representatives at the meeting.

However, within a sentence or paragraph, numbers in the same category should be treated alike. If numerals are used for one of the numbers, all numerals should be used for consistency sake.

There are 20 graduate students in the biology department, 5 in philosophy, and 17 in mathematics.

At the beginning of a sentence, ALL numbers are spelled out.

Five years from now, the project will be complete.

All the above rules also apply to ordinal numbers.

This is the third time I've told you.
He walked the stairs to the 12th floor.

Do not write the date as an ordinal number.

December 7, NOT December 7th

In most numbers of one thousand or more, commas should be used between groups of three digits.

1,000
32,987
5,513,654

The number preceding the word "percent" or the symbol "%" is always a figure. Avoid the use of the percent sign in running text.

Of the people in attendance, 23 percent were under the age of 18.
The figures showed a 3 percent increase over last year.
P
percent

Percent should be spelled out in text. The number preceding the word "percent" should always be a figure.

They gave 3 percent of their earnings to charity.

The % sign can be used in charts and tables. Avoid using the % sign in running text.

phone numbers

In general publications, when using University phone numbers in running text, use the complete phone number including area code (585). For internal publications, like Currents, the use of University extensions (x5-5277) is acceptable.

plurals

FIGURES: Add "s."

1940s, B-52s
T
telephone numbers

See phone numbers.

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
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.

Z
ZIP codes

Internal ZIP codes have been set by University Mail Services and box numbers have been issued to all River Campus addresses. Contact Mail Services for a user's guide or check the Web at www.rochester.edu/mailservices/.


Last modified: Tuesday, 10-Jan-2006 16:05:33 EST