Always lowercase and never abbreviate: the federal government, the state government, the U.S. government.
Abbreviation for global positioning system.
Hyphenate both the noun forms (ﬁrst-grader, second-grader, 10th-grader) and the adjectival forms (a fourth-grade pupil, a 12th-grade pupil).
grade point average
Spell out on ﬁrst reference: His grade point average is 3.8. Abbreviate on second reference: His high GPA earned him many awards.
Examples: an A, a B, a C, a D, an F, an I (Incomplete), a WP (Withdraw Passing), a WF (Withdraw Failing).
Spell out the last three items on ﬁrst reference because they are not commonly known. Do not use quotation marks around A or B, etc.
When talking about grades in the plural, use an apostrophe: A's, B's, C's, etc.
As a verb, use graduate in the active voice: She graduated from the University. Passive voice is correct, although unnecessary: He was graduated from the University. Do not drop from: John Smith graduated from SMU.
Not grey. But, greyhound for the animal, and Greyhound for the bus company.
Capitalize when used in reference to a Greek-letter fraternity or sorority.
One word as an adjective and noun.
Avoid using as a generic term. Avoid the problem where possible by changing to plurals; otherwise, use he or she: The campus always seems strange to a ﬁrst-year student (rather than him or her). The students will prepare for their exams. If he or she cannot attend AARO, a new date must be scheduled.
Recognizes donors who make gifts and pledge payments in consecutive fiscal years.
historian, historic, historical, history
A historic event is an important occurrence, one that stands out in history. Any occurrence in the past is a historical event. Always use a – not an – before each of these words: a history, a historian, a historic event, etc.
House of Representatives
Capitalize when referring to a speciﬁc governmental body: the U.S. House of Representatives, the Texas House of Representatives, etc.
Also capitalize shortened references that delete the words of Representatives: the U.S. House, the Texas House, etc.
See the punctuation entry in The AP Stylebook and Table 6.1 in The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition. Normally, close words with the following preﬁxes: re, pre, non, post, unless the second element begins with the same vowel or a proper noun. Pre-element, re-election, post-Renaissance. For noncontinuous numbers use hyphens: 214-768-9999.
Certain terms are hyphenated, as well, whether they are adjectives or nouns: President-elect Doe has yet to select any Cabinet members. The president-elect will be sworn into office January 20.
"That is" or "such as" should be used instead, except with certain technical or legal references.
imply vs. infer
Writers or speakers imply with the words they use. A listener or reader infers something from the words.
See the ensure, insure entry.
Uppercase when referring to a specific SMU institute or the George W. Bush Institute. The Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute brings together experts from diverse fields. Events organized by the Institute generate great interest.
it's vs. its
It's is a contraction for it is or it has: It's up to you, It's been a long time. Its is the possessive form of the neuter possessive pronoun: The company lost its assets.