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telephone numbers

• Use hyphens between sets of numbers: 507-646-1234. No parentheses for area codes.


• Spell out as a noun; OK to abbreviate as an adjective. Always upper case when abbreviated.

terms, academic

• Lowercase: fall term, spring semester, summer break.

Theatre and Dance Department

*The facilities within the department include the Main Stage Theatre and the Studio Theatre (the “black box”).

*All other references to theater should end in “er,” not “re,” unless Theatre is part of an organization’s official name, and then use it only in the full name. (See appendix for names of area theaters.)

titles, personal

• Capitalize when they precede a name as a courtesy title; use lowercase when they follow the name or stand alone. Always place long titles after a name. Use lowercase for descriptive titles (“history professor John Smith”) before or after a name; consider former titles to be descriptive. Follow Chicago 8.21–8.35.

Ex.: “Jane Smith, associate professor of English,” but “Professor Smith” (note that the honorific doesn’t distinguish between professorial ranks); “development officer John Smith”; “Dean Smith”; “John Smith, dean of students”; “trustee Jane Smith.”

Consider it to be descriptive (not capitalized) if you would not use the title in addressing the person, i.e., one would not say, “Hello, trustee Smith,” but would say, “Hello, President Smith.”

• Capitalize named professorships and place them after the name: “John Smith, John E. Doe Professor of Philosophy

• Emeritus (retired) professors use their last active title followed by emeritus or emerita “John Doe, professor emeritus”; “Charles Green, professor emeritus of political science”; “John Q. Smith, Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Christian Theology and Culture, emeritus”

• Spell out titles preceding names: “Senator [not Sen.] Amy Klobuchar is from Minnesota.” “General [not Gen.] Colin Powell was a member of the Bush administration.”

• Avoid honorifics like Dr., Rev., and Esq.

titles of works

• Titles in italics: book, magazine, online magazine, newspaper, movie, play, long poem, work of art, opera or other long musical composition, television program or series, art exhibition, record album (vinyl, tape, CD), video, radio program

• Titles in quotes: comic strip, short story, short poem, song or other short musical composition, episode of TV series, college course (quotation marks are not necessary in college catalogs or as part of a long list of course titles)

• Titles roman (no quotes or italics): newspaper/magazine column, computer program, computer game, website

*Web exception: Italics are always preferred to quotation marks. If quotes are necessary, use single quotation marks.


• Capitalize trademarks (trademark symbol is not necessary). Ex: Kleenex, Xerox


*Always capitalize the T.

Twin Cities

• Only to be used in reference to Minneapolis and St. Paul, not Fargo and Moorhead or other paired cities.