Editorial Style and Usage Guide This guide is the established editorial style for e-mail announcements, the Colgate Scene, colgate.edu pages and stories, brochures, newsletters, letters, and more.
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For answers to common questions, see our Quick Tips
NOTE: All entries, in bold type, indicate lower case or capitalization as appropriate
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Punctuation - Helpful references - Proofreading tips
. As an abbreviation for Colgate, lowercase in body copy, but avoid this colloquialism unless your communiqué is particularly informal. ’Gate Card
. Colgate’s official ID. gender neutrality
. Avoid gender-specific terms and titles such as policeman, chairman, foreman, mankind; use instead police officer, chair, supervisor, humanity. Use the same standards for men and women when deciding whether to include specific mention of personal appearance or marital and family situation: e.g., if you refer to a female lawyer as a blonde, also identify the male lawyer’s hair color. Avoid superfluous gender references [He is a nurse, not he is a male nurse]. Treat sports teams equally [The women’s basketball team played on Saturday while the men’s basketball game was on Sunday.]. Avoid personifying inanimate objects such as referring to cars or boats as she. See also he, him, his
. general education
. Lowercase. girl
. Use woman
when referring to a female 18 years old or older. global leaders lecture series
. The official name is Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders at Colgate
. Launched by Colgate’s Society of Families, this series allows the university to invite high-profile guests to campus. Go, ’gate!
Note comma and proper apostrophe. government agencies
. Capitalize the full proper names of agencies, departments, and offices, but lowercase modifiers [the U.S. Department of State, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the Madison County Veteran’s Service Agency, but the state motor vehicles department, the county veteran’s agency]. graduated
. Use with from
[RIGHT: He graduated from Colgate. WRONG: She graduated college.]. grant writing
. grades, grade point average
. The abbreviation for grade point average (spell out on first reference) is GPA; use GPA figures to at least one decimal point: 3.0, 2.75. No punctuation with letter grades [He received an A and three Bs]. Guggenheim
. Use uppercase as shown [John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship(s), Guggenheim Fellowship(s), Guggenheim Fellow(s), John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow(s)]. An individual can be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, but not a Guggenheim Fellowship Award.