Uiw Graphic And Web Style Guide

Spelling And Usage Guide

Home  >  Uiw Graphic And Web Style Guide  >  Spelling And Usage Guide

Commonly Misused Terms

Use the following list as a guideline for treatment of these terms:
  • adviser preferred to advisor
  • affect: (verb) to have an influence on; effect: (noun) result
  • between when referring to a relationship of two things
  • among when referring to a relationship of three or more things
  • capital for the city, Capitol for the building
  • complement for denoting completing something
  • compliment for denoting praise or expression of courtesy
  • coursework, not course work
  • credit-hour (adjective), credit hour (noun)
  • database not data base
  • disabled not handicapped
  • doctorate is a noun, and doctoral is an adjective
  • grade-point average, not grade point average
  • international students, not foreign students
  • principal when referring to someone or something first in rank or authority
  • principle when referring to a fundamental truth
  • theatre when referring to the department, discipline, or a performance; theater when referring to a building; exception with proper name; e.g.: Coates Theatre
  • workplace, not work place
  • workstation, not work station
Avoid using a split infinitive; e.g.:
  • He was told to quickly process the papers. instead of He was told to process the papers quickly.

Latin Terms/Plurals

Use the following list as a guideline for treatment of these terms:
  • alumnus is male singular, alumna is female singular
  • alumni is male plural or generic plural, alumnae is female plural.
  • emeritus is male singular, emerita is female singular (as in president emerita)
  • emeriti is male or generic plural, emeritae is female plural
  • syllabus is singular, syllabi is plural.
  • basis is singular, bases is plural
  • index is singular, indices is plural

Special Capitalization

In general, only capitalize proper nouns and names. There are some terms to be treated with exception.

Use the following list as a guideline:
  • Mass not mass, and Baccalaureate Mass
  • Commencement not commencement
  • Mission (of UIW) not mission
  • 125th Anniversary not 125th anniversary
  • Catholic not catholic and Catholic Church not Catholic church

Electronic Conventions

Electronic addresses should be written in all lowercase, unless the address is case sensitive; e.g.: www.uiw.edu (not necessary to include http://); martin@uiwtx.edu


  • online not on-line
  • Internet not internet
  • homepage not home page
  • website