Style Guide -- General Points
Office of Marketing and Communications

UC Style Guide

General Points of Style


Though you should use numerals when referring to a decade as a single period of time, do not use an apostrophe to form the plural: 
  • That was in the 1930s.
  • She was born in the '80s.

Abbreviation of Junior

When using Jr. following a name, do not set off the abbreviation with commas:
  • John C. Gazak Jr. is an adjunct professor of mathematics. 

In the case of an alumnus, use the following convention:

  • Frank Jones Jr. '02 is planning a reunion.
  • Horace Wallinger Jr. '84, M.D. runs a clinic in Denver.

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Telephone Numbers

Always include the area code, set in parentheses:
  • (315) 792-3047

When providing campus extension numbers in conjunction with the Rome telephone line, use this convention:

  • (315) 339-3880, ext. 3047


Zip Codes

The College uses the U. S. Postal Service's ZIP + 4 program. In practice, the only ZIP + 4 code most people in the UC community are likely to use is the one in the College's mailing address:

Utica College
1600 Burrstone Road
Utica, NY  13502-4892

A listing of special ZIP + 4 numbers and information on procedures for Business Reply Mail is available from the Office of Marketing and Communications

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Optional Spellings

The following optional spellings have been adopted as part of UC's style:
  • adviser (not advisor)
  • aesthetics (not esthetics)
  • catalog (not catalogue)
  • coordinate (not co-ordinate)
  • coeducational (not co-educational)
  • cooperative (not co-operative)
  • percent (not per cent)
  • theatre (not theater)

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Italics vs. Quotes

Italicize the names of:
  • books
  • newspapers
  • journals
  • films
  • full-length plays
  • symphonies
  • operas
  • ships 
  • airplanes

Place quotation marks around:

  • articles
  • poems
  • papers
  • lectures
  • titles
  • songs
  • one-act plays
  • television programs
  • series of books
  • sculptures

Times of Day

Basic style points:
  • Use a colon and two zeros when designating the top of the hour: 8:00 a.m.; not 8 a.m.
  • Morning and afternooon are designated by lower case initials: a.m. and p.m.  
  • Do not employ redundant language such as "8:00 p.m. this evening" or "8:00 o'clock".

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Month / Year

When referring to a month in a specific year, do not use a comma:
  • She graduated in May 2005.


Spell out numbers from one to nine; use numerals for 10 and above:
  • Sheila has 10 dogs, six cats, and 97 hamsters.


Do not use ciphers when referring to monetary amounts:
  • $6 (not $6.00)

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Multiple References to a Person

In written materials, when referring to a person for the second time, use only his/her last name (or the title "professor", when applicable):
  • Frances Jones becomes Jones
  • Professor John H. Johnsen becomes Professor Johnsen
  • Emily J. Franklin, M.D. becomes Dr. Franklin

Placement of Modifiers

As a general rule, the modifiers "also" and "currently" should precede the verb rather than follow it.
  • He currently is a UC student (not: He is currently a UC student) 

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Use the ampersand (&) in place of "and" only when it is an integral part of a corporate name:
  • Ernst & Young  


Depending upon the context, faculty may be treated as a collective singular or a plural. When referring to the group as a whole, use the collective singular:
  • The biology faculty has grown in number.
  • Teaching is the faculty's first priority.

However, when drawing attention to individual members of the group, treat faculty as a plural:

  • The faculty were discussing the issue amongst themselves.

Use "faculty member" when referring to an individual.  


Utica College / UC

It is permissable to refer to Utica College by its initials UC. No periods should be used in this abbreviation. 


Health Care and Headcount

In normal usage, "health care" is two words. However, it may be expressed as one word within the formal name of an organization.
  • Many Americans do not have adequate health care coverage.
  • She is a doctor at Oneida Healthcare Center.  
On the other hand, UC style treats "headcount" as one word, not two:
  • Franklin did a headcount at the start of the meeting. 

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Joe Perry '90, M.A.
Director of Creative Services
and Senior Writer
Champlin House, Room 207

(315) 792-3026
(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502