Wiegand Gallery at NDNU

Style and Branding Guide

For Print and Online

Notre Dame de Namur University’s publications represent the university to the rest of the world. Because of this, written style and graphic standards are vital parts of our image.

We’re one institution, and it’s important we show consistency in the way we present our programs and services. Although this style manual is for use primarily by those in the NDNU community who create documents or publications for external audiences, it’s useful as a set of guidelines for internally distributed materials as well.

This manual is also meant to be a fluid document, updated often to reflect current usage and changes on campus. We welcome comments and suggestions to help us keep it current, relevant and useful; inquiries regarding graphic standards should be directed to Karen Plesur at kplesur@ndnu.edu; inquiries regarding written standards should be directed to marketing@ndnu.edu.

Graphic Standards

The NDNU logo, namebar, seal and official athletic symbols are the only graphics approved to represent the university. The design or use of any other mark representing the university is prohibited.

Use only university-approved digital art of the logos — logos must not be altered.

Written Standards

NDNU follows the guidelines provided by The Associated Press in The Associated Press Stylebook, augmented with guidelines specific to the university. Some of the more commonly used rules have been provided in our style guide for your convenience.


abbreviations and acronyms
Do not use abbreviations or acronyms that are not easily recognizable by the reader.

Abbreviate titles, such as professor, only when they precede a full name: Dr., Mr., Mrs., the Rev., Fr. and some military titles (refer to “military titles” in the AP Stylebook). Spell out titles when they are used before the surname alone. Do not abbreviate assistant and associate when used in a title, such as assistant professor of astronomy.

  • Prof. H.V. Feinstein (use this construction when space is limited)
  • Associate Prof. Kristen Mitchell
  • Assistant Prof. David Armstrong
  • Profs. W.H. Auden and E.B. White

Do not use an abbreviated title in front of a name in combination with other titles or abbreviations including scholastic or academic degrees.

  • Lois Lyles, Ph.D., not Dr. Lois Lyles, Ph.D.
  • Scott Peck, M.D., not Mr. M. Scott Peck, M.D.

Abbreviate academic degrees as follows:

  • Bachelor of Science: BS
  • Master of Arts: MA
  • Doctor of Education: Ed.D.

We do not abbreviate the names of the college and the two schools.

Use periods when abbreviating dates or numerals:

  • A.D., B.C.
  • a.m., p.m.

These abbreviations are only correct when used with figures:

  • John will visit the dentist at 4:30 p.m.
  • NOT: John will visit his dentist this a.m.

academic degrees
If an academic degree is to be mentioned, the preferred form is to spell out the degree rather than use an abbreviation: Jessica Johnson, who has a master’s degree in political science.

Always put an apostrophe in master’s degree and bachelor’s degree, however, there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Associate degree has no possessive.

Use these abbreviations only after a full name, not just a surname. Set off the abbreviation from the name with a comma: Howard Hughes, Ph.D., addressed the crowd.

Do not precede the name with a courtesy title for an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference.

Lowercase bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, honorary doctorate. Abbreviations of two letters do not use periods – BA, MA, MS. No periods for abbreviations with three or more letters (MFT), except for Ph.D. and Ed.D.

If a person has earned more than one degree from NDNU, list the undergraduate year first. The apostrophe faces away from numerals, e.g., ’83.

academic departments
Lowercase, except College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Management, School of Education and Leadership, words that are proper nouns or adjectives: the English department, the department of French, or when department is part of the official and formal name: Notre Dame de Namur University Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.

academic titles
Capitalize and spell out before names, lowercase after: I am studying chemistry with Assistant Professor John Smith; John Smith, assistant professor of chemistry. Don’t abbreviate titles. If the name of an office, department, or school is part of the title, capitalization rules apply: Joanne Rossi, dean of the School of Education and Leadership.

See abbreviations and acronyms.

Always lowercase. Capitalize any formal titles that follow if they precede a name: acting Director Joseph Barnes.

act numbers
Use numerals, capitalize act: Act 1; Act 2. But: the first act, the second act.

actor and actress
Actor refers to a man, actress refers to a woman. Actor can be used for a woman if she prefers it.

Actors’ Equity Association

Acceptable abbreviation for anno Domini (in the year of the Lord). The abbreviation A.D. goes before the year: A.D. 1851. Do not use century and A.D. in the same construction, as in the fifth century A.D. If A.D. or B.C. is not specified with a year, it is presumed to be A.D.

Avenue, boulevard and street are abbreviated when used to designate a specific address: 1500 Ralston Ave., 1851 Sunset Blvd., 1923 Main St.; spell them out and capitalize when part of a formal street name without a number: Ralston Avenue. Spell out and lowercase when used alone or with more than one street name: Ralston and Burlingame avenues.

Similar words (drive, road, etc.) are always spelled out. Capitalize and lowercase as above.

Always use figures for an address number: 7 Lake Drive.

First through Ninth are spelled out and capitalized when used as street names, but use figures for 10th and above: 15 42nd Street.

 Abbreviate compass points in a numbered address: E. 53rd St., but spell out if the number is omitted: West 17th Street.

 Use periods in P.O. Box.


Do not abbreviate.

Academic advisor, in all other cases adviser.

An American black person of African descent. Black is also acceptable, but the two terms are not necessarily interchangeable. When in doubt, use an individual’s preference.

Not afterwards.

Use only when appropriate or necessary. Acceptable situations include profiles, obituaries, significant milestones and achievements unusual for the age. Do not use ages for someone commented in an official capacity.

Always use the numeral rather than spelling out the name.

Use hyphens for ages used as adjectives: the five-year-old girl.

alma mater

almost never
Do not use. Instead, use seldom or hardly ever.

alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae
Alumnus is the singular, masculine form; alumna is the singular, feminine form; alumnae is the plural feminine form. Alumni may serve as the plural for a group that is composed of men only or of men and women together.

ampersand (&)
Should only be used when it is part of a company’s formal title or in some accepted abbreviations, otherwise, the ampersand should not be used in place of and.

a.m., p.m.
Lowercase with periods. Avoid the redundant 10 p.m. tonight. Use noon, not 12 p.m.

An event must be held for at least two successive years before it could be described as annual. Do not write “first annual.”


Capitalize as part of a proper name; lowercase when it stands alone.

Lowercase unless part of a formal title directly before a name. Do not abbreviate.

Lowercase unless part of a formal title directly before a name. Do not abbreviate.

Associated Students of Notre Dame de Namur University. Refers to the student government on campus.

awards and decorations



Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science
Capitalize the full and proper name of the degree, but lowercase when used in the general sense: He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She will receive a master’s degree.

Bay Area
Capitalize. Also, San Francisco Bay Area.

Acceptable abbreviation for before Christ. The abbreviation B.C. goes after the year: 70 B.C.

Always hyphenate.

Capitalize when referring to the Scriptures in the Old Testament or New Testament. Also capitalize related terms: Gospels, Gospel of St. John, the Scriptures. Lowercase when using in a nonreligious context: The AP Stylebook is my bible. Always lowercase biblical.

Means every other month/week, as opposed to semimonthly/semiweekly, which means twice a month/week.

Acceptable for a person of the black race. Do not use colored. See African-American.

Blessed Sacrament, Blessed Virgin

A website in which entries are usually presented in reverse chronological order, containing news, commentary, photos, video or a combination of these and other items. An update is a blog post or blog entry.

board of trustees
Always lowercase.

The following should appear at the end of every press release:

Notre Dame de Namur University is a Catholic, not-for-profit, coeducational institution serving 2,000 traditional aged and adult students from diverse backgrounds. Established in 1851, by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, NDNU maintains a strong commitment to academic excellence, social justice and community engagement. The university is fully accredited and offers 37 undergraduate, graduate and credential programs. The historic, 50-acre campus is located on the San Francisco Peninsula in Silicon Valley. For more information, visit www.ndnu.edu.

box office (n.) box-office (adj.)



Abbreviate Calif. when used in an article, magazine story or in a dateline.

cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation

Capitalize all conferred and traditional educational, occupational and business titles when used specifically in front of the name or in lists and programs. Do not capitalize such titles in the text when they follow the name, unless the title is a named or distinguished professorship: John Smith, president, or President John Smith.

Do not capitalize unofficial titles preceding the name: the poet Rol Risska. Do not capitalize titles standing alone or in apposition: The dean of the School of Sciences must approve all research projects.

Avoid over use of capitals. Capitalize full names of programs or schools but lowercase otherwise. Lowercase majors or areas of study. Capitalize names of athletic clubs and teams, the San Francisco 49ers, but lowercase names of sports, i.e. men’s golf, women’s volleyball.

Capitalize the name of a specific course or subject: ENG2142 Creative Writing. Capitalize “room” when used to designate a particular room. “The meeting was held in Room 545 of the Humanities Building.”

Capitalize call letters of radio stations and alphabetical abbreviations of groups, organizations or institutions such as NDNU, ASNDNU, USDA, UCLA or MIT, without periods or spaces unless the entity uses such punctuation as part of its proper name. Exception: U.S. should be capitalized and written with periods.

Capitalize names of ethnic groups and nationalities, including when used as adjectives: Lauren Chew, professor of Asian-American Studies, The African-American community, Irish folk music.

Capitalize the principal words in the titles of books, plays, lectures, musical compositions, etc., including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters: “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Exception: The first word of a title is always capitalized, regardless of what part of speech it is.

Capitalize recognized geographical regions, but do not capitalize points of the compass: The professor spends her weekends in Northern California but works in Southern California. He moved to northern Idaho. We are walking northwest across campus. The South, the Midwest, the East.

Capitalize degrees only when using the full and proper name of the degree: He has a Bachelor of Science in biology. She has a master’s degree in human services.

Do not capitalize names of college studies, fields of study, options, curricula, major areas or major subjects unless a specific course is being referenced, or it is the name of a language: Russell is studying philosophy, theology and French. Each student must meet the core requirements in science and the humanities. Notre Dame de Namur University offers a curriculum in music.

Do not capitalize organized groups or classes of students, or the words freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate, when referring to the classification of the student: ENG 101 should be taken in the freshman year. Maria Rodriguez is a senior in the School of Arts and Humanities. The junior class will conduct its annual election tomorrow.

Do not capitalize designations of officers of a class or social organization: She was elected freshman class secretary. Paula Smith is president of ASNDNU.

Do not capitalize these words: honors, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, federal, state, government.

Capitalize seasons when they refer to semesters, but not when they just refer to a season: Tommy will be a freshman in the fall. His brother will graduate Spring 2005.

Do not capitalize.

Capitalize when referring to the Catholic Church, lowercase when used to mean universal.

Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Library

Lowercase unless part of a proper name. Numbers less than 10 should be spelled out: the fifth century, 20th Century Fox.

Only capitalize when using the formal name of a building, congregation or denomination: She attends St. Michael’s Church. He goes to the Catholic church down the street.

cities and towns
Always capitalize. Lowercase a section of a city: the south end, northern Los Angeles. But capitalize widely recognized names for sections of a city: Lower East Side (New York).

Capitalize if part of a proper name: Kansas City, Oklahoma City. Lowercase all city of phrases: city of Redwood City. When city appears in a title, only capitalize if part of the formal title: city Planning Commissioner Helen McGraw, City Manager Agnes Brown.

class years
When a person is an NDNU alumnus, list relevant degrees first, others after comma: Josephine Antonelli BA ’57, MA ’59. Note that the apostrophe faces away from the numbers. When writing about a current student, do not mention expected graduation date.

College of Arts and Sciences
Use the word “and;” do not use the ampersand.

College of Notre Dame
Our former name. It does not start with “the.”

composition titles
Capitalize the principal words in a composition title including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. The first word of the title should always be capitalized.

Set off composition titles with quotation marks (except for the Bible and books that are catalogs of reference material). Do not italicize or underline. Exception: titles should be italicized when used as part of a calendar listing.

Translate foreign titles into English unless the work is widely known by its foreign title. If referring to a musical performance, present the title in the language in which the work was or is to be performed.

course titles
Capitalize, no italics or quotes. Lowercase when describing a course in a generic sense or area of study: He is studying psychology. He is taking Psychology 101. He is taking Psychology of Adolescence.

Cuvilly Hall


dangling modifiers
Do not use modifiers that do not refer to a word in the sentence. Dangling modifier: After reading the book, it was dull and uninspiring. Correct: After reading the book, I found it dull and uninspiring. (The clause “after reading the book” modifies the subject “I.” In the first example, the clause does not modify any word in the sentence.)

In a news story, the dateline should contain the city name, followed by the name of the state, country or territory where the city is located, with some exceptions. Please refer to the AP Stylebook for cities not requiring a state, country or territory. Examples: Boston, Dallas, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, MoscowParis, Tokyo. The state, territory or country should be abbreviated, with the exception of Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah; please refer to the AP Stylebook for the proper abbreviation. The city in the dateline should be the city where the basic information for the story was obtained.

Use Arabic figures without –nd, -rd, -st, etc.: May 5. Always spell out days of the week. Capitalize the names of months. Abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. when used with specific dates. Do not abbreviate March, April, May, June, or July. Spell out when used alone or just with a year: October 1998.

Always include the year when the date is in another calendar year.

When a phrase lists only a month and year, do not separate the year with commas. Use commas when a phrase refers to a day, month and year: July 2003 was a hot month. She started work on the project on Sept. 2, 2002.

Set off the day of the week with a comma: The event took place on Saturday, August 18, 2001.

Always use numbers for years: the 1980s (no apostrophe) or the ’80s, not the eighties.

Capitalize when used before a name, such as Dean Stanley Wong. Lowercase when used after a name: Stanley Wong, dean of the School.

dean’s list
Always lowercase.

See academic degrees.

Lowercase unless using full formal title of a department: He is a member of the Athletics Department. List the subject first: Music Department instead of Department of Music. On second reference, use the phrase the department rather than an acronym. When referring to two or more departments, lowercase departments but capitalize the proper names: the departments of English and Religious Studies. Never abbreviate department.

disabled, handicapped, impaired
Do not describe an individual as disabled, handicapped or impaired unless it is directly related to the story. Do not use descriptions that connote pity: He has multiple sclerosis instead of He is afflicted with multiple sclerosis.

Capitalize when part of a proper name.

east, north, south, west. Lowercase when they refer to compass directions; capitalize when referring to a specific region.


Falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after March 21. If the full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter is the following Sunday.

Acceptable in all cases for electronic mail. Do not use a hyphen; this is an outdated standard. Do use the hyphen with other e- terms, such as e-book.

Refers to those who have retired but retain their rank or title. Emeritus and all its related forms should be used after the formal title. The word emeritus is the singular, masculine form; for references to women, use emerita (singular) or emeritae (plural). Just as with alumni, emeriti may serve as the plural for a group that is composed of men only or of men and women together: Professor Emeritus Ardavan Davaran, Mary Ellen Boyling, professor emerita of English.


Only capitalize when referring to the architectural style or corporate or governmental bodies that use the word as part of their formal names: Federal Reserve, the federal government.

Use female as an adjective, not woman.

See numerals.

Not forwards.

Spell out fractions less than 1: one-third, three-fourths. Use figures for amounts larger than 1, with a full space between the whole number and the fraction: 1 1/2. If using a table, use figures exclusively.

Do not capitalize.

full time, full-time
Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: Jesse has a full-time job at Oracle. Nora teaches full time.

One word in all cases.


Gen 1 Program

Refers to military personnel in general, usually Army. Believed to have originally stood for government issue supplies. Soldier is the preferred term.

gods and goddesses
Capitalize when referring to the deity of a monotheistic religion; this applies to any other noun references to the deity: God the Son, Holy Spirit. Lowercase personal pronouns: he, him, thee, thou. Lowercase god, gods and goddesses when referring to deities of polytheistic religions and to false gods.

Good Friday
The Friday before Easter.

good Samaritan
Good is capitalized only if the term is used in a title: Good Samaritan Church.

Always lowercase (except when part of a formal name or at the beginning of a sentence), never abbreviate.

GPA (grade-point average)
Always an acceptable abbreviation; no periods are necessary. When giving a GPA, always use a decimal point and carry to at least the 10th place: 3.0, 2.2.

Grades should be capitalized: A, B-, C+, Incomplete, Pass

  • He earned a “B+” in that class.
  • A grade of “NC,” or “No Credit,” may be given in some courses.
  • It was a pass/fail course; I earned a grade of Pass.
  • I took the course pass/fail.

In formal documents, refer to the president as Dr. Judith Maxwell Greig or Judith Maxwell Greig, Ph.D. on first reference, Dr. Greig or President Greig thereafter. At the close of a letter, use Judith Maxwell Greig, Ph.D., President.


Walter Gleason Gymnasium



See disabled, handicapped, impaired.

Herzo Recital Room

historical periods and events
Capitalize the names of widely recognized historical periods and events: the Dark Ages, the Boston Tea Party, the Civil War. Lowercase century: the 21st century. In general descriptions of a period, capitalize only the proper nouns or adjectives: the Elizabethan era, ancient Greece.

Holy Father
Pope is preferred.

Holy Spirit
Preferred over Holy Ghost.

Holy Week
The week before Easter.

home page
Use two words when referring to the front page of a website.

honorary degrees
Each time an honorary degree is referenced it should be specified that the degree was honorary. Do not use Dr. before the name of an individual whose only doctorate is honorary.


illegal immigrant
Use undocumented, not illegal immigrant (this is an exception to the AP Stylebook). Denotes an individual who has entered or resides in a country illegally. Do not use illegal alien, an illegal or illegals.

Never say “more importantly.”

Use periods and no space: E.B. White.

Uppercase the word. Lowercase Internet addresses unless entries are case-sensitive. Do not italicize Web and email addresses within blocks of text: NDNU’s Website is www.ndnu.edu. Do not break a Web address in a line. It is not necessary to use http://. If a Web address falls at the end of a sentence, follow with a period. Otherwise, set off with commas.

it’s, its
It’s = it is; its is a possessive form: It’s going to be a challenging semester. I read the letter and its message is clear to me.


May also be called Jesus Christ or Christ. Pronouns referring to Jesus are lowercase.

Do not capitalize. Abbreviate as Jr. with a full name, but do not set off with a comma: Michael Samuel Johnson Jr. When distinguishing between father and son on second reference, use the elder Johnson or the younger Johnson.


Koret Field


Last Supper

Usually the preferred term for a person from Latin American or a Spanish-speaking country or culture, or someone descended from individuals of that description. Use Latina for women. Follow an individual’s preference and use a more specific term when possible.

The 40-day period from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday. The six Sundays between Ash Wednesday and Easter do not factor into the 40 days.

Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Library

Lord’s Supper


magazine names
Capitalize but do not place in quotes as you would other composition titles. Only capitalize magazine if it is part of the formal title.

NDNU’s magazine is NDNU Today.

Always capitalize when referring to the religious ceremony, but lowercase any preceding adjectives. Mass is celebrated, not said.

Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration
A master’s degree or master’s is acceptable in any reference. The correct abbreviations are MA, MS and MBA.

mission statement
Founded upon the values of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and rooted in the Catholic tradition, Notre Dame de Namur University serves its students and the community by providing excellent professional and liberal arts programs in which community engagement and the values of social justice and global peace are integral to the learning experience. NDNU is a diverse and inclusive learning community that challenges each member to consciously apply values and ethics in his or her personal, professional, and public life.

For amounts of $1 up to $999,999.99, use the dollar sign with a decimal point to separate dollars from cents. Leave the decimal point and zeroes off of even dollar amounts: $50, but $50.75.

For even amounts of $1 million or more, omit zeroes and use million.

For amounts under $1, do not use a dollar sign or decimal point. Use the word cents: 37 cents.

See dates/months/years.


Use only an individual’s last name on second reference, unless you need to distinguish between two people who use the same last name.

nationalities and races
Capitalize proper names of nationalities, races, peoples, tribes, etc.

Native American
When possible, use the name of the tribe.

NDNU Theatre

newspaper names
Capitalize but do not place in quotes as you would other composition titles. Capitalize the if it is part of the formal title.

NDNU’s student newspaper is The Argonuat.

Do not hyphenate when used as a prefix unless the word begins with a capital letter: nonjudgmental, nondenominational, non-Catholic.


Notre Dame de Namur University
Use on first reference. Use NDNU or the university in succeeding references.

Use instead of 12 p.m. Do not use 12 noon.

Use figures for numbers 10 or greater, including ordinal numbers, otherwise, spell out: There are at least 10 good reasons to get an education.

Use figures for ages, percentages, headlines, units of credit: She’s taking 4 credits this term.

Use figures for days of the month, omitting st, nd, rd, and th: Oct. 3; May 25.

Use figures for hours of the day: 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. (never 7:00 p.m., unless used in lists of events, etc. to preserve alignment of type).

Use figures for amounts of money with the word cents or with the dollar sign (i.e., $3, $5.09, or 77 cents) unless tabulated in columns.

Use figures for sums that are cumbersome to spell out; however, spell out the words million and billion: 5.75 million.

Use figures for measurements (but spell out percent): 4 feet; 6 inches; 10 cubic centimeters; 39 percent.

Spell out a numeral at the beginning of a sentence: Nine students attended the dinner.

Numbers less than 100 should be hyphenated when they consist of two words: One thousand people; Thirty-nine NDNU students.


Don’t use the current year with dates: She died March 3. Use courtesy titles when referring to the deceased in an obituary.

Capitalize office when it is part of an agency’s formal name: Office of Personnel Management. Lowercase all other uses.

online, offline

on-site, off-site


page numbers
Capitalize page and use figures. A letter appended to the figure should be capitalized, but do not use a hyphen: Page 1, Page 5, Page 10A. Exception: It’s a Page One story.

part time, part-time
Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: William is looking for a part-time job. Jessica works part time at Nordstrom.

Capitalize as part of a proper name: the San Francisco Peninsula.

Use figures for percent and percentages. Use decimals, not fractions (for amounts less than 1 percent, precede the decimal with a zero). Spell out percent: 5 percent, 3.5 percent, 0.7 percent.

If the percentage is the first word in a sentence, spell out the number: Ninety-five percent of the freshman class lives on campus.

The preferred form is to say a person holds a doctorate and name the individual’s area of specialty.

phone, fax numbers
Use figures in the form 650-508-3500.

p.m., a.m.
Lowercase with periods. Avoid the redundant 10 p.m. tonight. Use noon, not 12 p.m.

Capitalize when used directly before a name: President Barack Obama. Lowercase when used alone or after a name.

Never abbreviate when used as part of a sentence. Do not capitalize before a name, but capitalize Professor Emeritus as a conferred title before a name: The class was taught by professor Jones. But: Professor Emeritus Dorris Arrington attended the luncheon.

Capitalize when used before a proper name, lowercase otherwise: She asked the provost for the document. Provost Ewald called the meeting for Friday.


Ralston Hall Mansion

religious affiliations
Capitalize names and terms associated with religious orders: She is a Carmelite. He joined the Society of Jesus.

religious references
DEITIES: Capitalize proper names of monotheistic deities but lowercase pronouns that refer to the deity: God, the Father, Allah, he, him, thee, thou, etc.

Lowercase gods when referring to deities of polytheistic religious.

Lowercase other words built upon god, such as godlike, godsend, etc.

LIFE OF CHRIST: Capitalize names of major events in the life of Jesus Christ that do not use his name, but use lowercase when words are used with his name: the Crucifixion, the crucifixion of Jesus. The same principle applies to events in the life of his mother, Mary.

RITES AND SACRAMENTS: Lowercase sacraments, but capitalize proper names for rites commemorating the Last Supper or signify a belief in Christ’s presence: the Lord’s Supper, Holy Eucharist, baptism, confirmation. Benediction and Mass are capitalized, but words associated with them are lowercase: a requiem Mass.

HOLY DAYS: Capitalize the names of holy days.

room numbers
Use figures and capitalize room when used with a figure: Room 113.

Do not use please with RSVP, as it is already built in (respondez s’il vous plait).


Abbreviate as St. in the names of saints, cities and other places: St. Francis, St. Paul, Minn.


School of Business and Management
Use the word and; do not use the ampersand.

School of Education and Leadership
Use the word and; do not use the ampersand.

Scripture, Scriptures
Capitalize when referring to the religious writings in the Bible.

Lowercase spring, summer, fall, winter and derivatives like springtime, unless part of a formal name, or when referring to a specific semester: fall 2012, Fall 2012 issue of NDNU Today, Fall 2012 semester, Summer Olympics.

Abbreviate only with full names. Capitalize, no comma: Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.

Silicon Valley
But, the valley.

Capitalize before the names of nuns. If no surname is given, the name is the same in all references, but if a surname is given use the surname only on second reference.


staff (plural)

state names
When a state name stands alone, spell it out. When a state name is used with the name of a city, town, village or military base, use the following abbreviations:
Ala. (Alabama)
Ariz. (Arizona)
Arl. (Arkansas)
Calif. (California)
Colo. (Colorado)
Conn. (Connecticut)
Del. (Delaware)
Fla. (Florida)
Ga. (Georgia)
Ill. (Illinois)
Ind. (Indiana)
Kan. (Kansas)
Ky. (Kentucky)
La. (Louisiana)
Md. (Maryland)
Mass. (Massachusetts)
Mich. (Michigan)
Minn. (Minnesota)
Miss. (Mississippi)
Mo. (Missouri)
Mont. (Montana)
Neb. (Nebraska)
Nev. (Nevada)
N.H. (New Hampshire)
N.J. (New Jersey)
N.M. (New Mexico)
N.Y. (New York)
N.C. (North Carolina)
N.D. (North Dakota)
Okla. (Oklahoma)
Ore. (Oregon)
Pa. (Pennsylvania)
R.I. (Rhode Island)
S.C. (South Carolina)
S.D. (South Dakota)
Tenn. (Tennessee)
Vt. (Vermont)
Va. (Virginia)
Wash. (Washington)
W.Va. (West Virginia)
Wis. (Wisconsin)
Wyo. (Wyoming)

The following states are never abbreviated in datelines or text: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah.

A comma should be put between the city and the state name, and another comma after the state name, unless ending a sentence or indicating a dateline: He was traveling from Nashville, Tenn., to Austin, Texas, en route to his home in Albuquerque, N.M.

Use New York State when necessary to distinguish the state from New York City. Use state of Washington or Washington State when necessary to distinguish the state from the District of Columbia: Washington State is the name of a university in the state of Washington.


Tabard Inn

telephone numbers
Use figures in the form 650-508-3500.

Use theatre in reference to the NDNU Theatre, the NDNU Department of Theatre and Dance and our major in theatre arts. For other uses, use theater unless the proper name is Theatre.

Use periods with a.m. and p.m.: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No colon with double zeroes for even times (4 p.m., not 4:00 p.m.). Use figures except for noon and midnight. Do not use 12 noon, 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.

titles, book, magazine, newspaper, etc.
See composition titles.

titles, professional
Only capitalize a formal title if it appears directly before an individual’s name.

Not towards.

Do not capitalize if used before a name.

Twelve Apostles
Do not use a figure for 12 (an exception to the rule to use figures for 10 and above).


United States
Use U.S. on second reference.

Always lowercase. When referring to Notre Dame de Namur University, NDNU is acceptable on second reference. Don’t use “the university” alone on first reference.



Capitalize only when used as part of a full name: Santa Clara Valley, Silicon Valley. Lowercase valley when it stands on its own on second reference.

vice president
Do not hyphenate this or similar titles.


Walter Gleason Gymnasium

website, Web page, the Web
Web is capitalized in terms with separate words, but lowercase in website, webcam, webcast and webmaster.

Wiegand Gallery




Use figures. Set off the year with a comma when it appears with a month and day: Feb. 26, 1972. Express a range of years with an en-dash, even in body copy. If the first two digits are the same for the start and end years, format the range like this: 1990-95. Use 1999-2000, not 1999-00. The span of a decade or century should be expressed with an s without an apostrophe: the 1970s. A sentence beginning with a year should use numerals; this is the exception to the rule that a figure shouldn’t begin a sentence.


ZIP code
Use all caps ZIP but lowercase code. Run the five digits together without a comma, and do not put the comma between the state name and the ZIP code: Belmont, CA 94002.


When referring to years, use only to indicate numerals that are left out. Do not use in plural cases. The apostrophe faces away from numerals.

  • Class of ’96
  • 1960s

Master’s and doctor’s degrees should always be written with an ‘s. Never write masters’ degrees. Men’s and women’s sports should also be written with an ‘s.

Use a colon after an independent clause to direct attention to a list, an appositive or a direct quotation of one or more paragraphs: Students should always carry the following things: paper, pens, textbooks and a positive attitude. My roommate is guilty of two of the seven deadly sins: greed and gluttony.

Use commas to separate elements in a series: I like bananas, apples and peaches. Do not put the comma before the conjunction in a simple series, however, put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: I like cake, ice cream, and peaches and cream. Use a comma before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases. In the case of a complex list in which individual items contain commas, a semicolon should be used instead.

Place a comma after digits signifying thousands: 1,150 students. (Exception: Use no commas when referring to temperature: 4600 degrees.)

Introductory words or phrases beginning with i.e., and e.g., should be immediately preceded by a comma or semicolon and followed by a comma.

When listing names with cities or states, punctuate as follows: Janet Wade, Belmont, director.

When writing a date, place a comma between the day (if given) and the year, and after the year: November 9, 1969, is the date of Erica’s birth.

Use a comma between two or more adjectives when each modifies a noun separately: Her student has become a strong, confident, independent woman.

Do not use commas between cumulative adjectives: Two large dark shadows emerged from the alley. (And cannot be inserted between the adjectives two, large, and dark, and the order of the adjectives cannot be changed.)

Use dashes sparingly!

Use em dashes (two hyphens) to indicate an abrupt change of thought or to set off a parenthetical phrase with more emphasis than commas, or to set off an appositive whenever a comma might be misread as a series comma. Put a full space before or after em dashes. “In San Francisco the cost of basic needs — food, clothing, and housing — has risen dramatically over the past 20 years.”

Use en dashes (hyphens) to replace the word “to” when it represents a duration of time. Do not put a full space before or after the en dash. Do not use the en dash when followed by the word “from.” “The physics class will be held 3 – 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays.” “The physics class will be held from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays.”

En dashes are used instead of a hyphen in a compound adjective when one of the elements is two words or a hyphenated word. Do not put a full space before or after the en dash (except on the Web). “The San Francisco-Los Angeles shuttle leaves at 8:10 a.m.” “Their test scores ranked in the over-two-thirds category.” (The en dash appears between over and two.)

Use the hyphen to connect two or more words functioning together as an adjective before a noun (to avoid ambiguity). Small-business profits, rather than small business profits.

Do not use the hyphen to connect -ly adverbs to the words they modify.
“A slowly moving car tied up traffic on Ralston Avenue.”

Hyphenate part-time and full-time when used as adjectives, and hyphenate any modifying words combined with well when preceding a noun. “The professor is a well-known candidate for the new full-time position.”
Suspend hyphens in a series. “The students received first-, second-, and third-place prizes.”

Use the hyphen with the prefixes all, ex, and self and with the suffix elect. “The University sponsors self-help projects in underserved areas.”
“Joe is the club’s president-elect.”

Do not hyphenate words beginning with the prefix non, except those containing a proper noun. Non-German, nontechnical.

Do not place a hyphen between the prefixes pre, semi, anti, co., etc., and nouns or adjectives, except proper nouns. (Exception: Hyphenate to avoid duplicated vowels or triple consonants.) coauthored, bell-like, reapply, pro-American, pre-enroll, predentistry.

Do not place a hyphen between the prefix sub and the word to which it is attached: subtotal.

quotation marks
The period and comma always go within the quotation marks. The dash, semicolon, question mark, and exclamation point go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.

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