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Editorial Styleguide

SMU Brand Guidelines

A - B - C

Do not use abbreviations, except in special publications and sports schedules, that call for abbreviated months/dates; states; with company names because of space considerations; and with addresses as they actually appear on mailings.
academic degrees
Lowercase and use an apostrophe in nonspecific uses: He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, or She has a master’s. But: He has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. SMU has awarded 1,182 bachelor’s, 678 master’s and 76 doctoral degrees. When used after a name, the degree name is set off by commas: Bob Smith, Ph.D., spoke. (See the degrees entry for a complete listing of degrees offered by SMU.)
academic titles
Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as professor, chancellor, chair and dean when they precede a name: Dean William B. Lawrence, Professor of Anthropology Ronald K. Wetherington. Lowercase when the title follows a name, unless the title is an endowed chair: Albert W. Niemi, Jr., dean of Edwin L. Cox School of Business; Dinesh Rajan, chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering; David D. Blackwell, the W.B. Hamilton Professor of Geological Sciences.
When using dean, notation should read as the dean of ; James E. Quick, dean of research and graduate studies.
See the entry.
Because it is difficult to make unfamiliar acronyms memorable unless you have the resources of an AT&T or IBM — or the combined strength of everyone at SMU — avoid the use of acronyms, particularly in communications with external audiences. When you do need to use acronyms (such as in longer internal documents), use them only after the full name has been used at least once previously. Use acronyms without periods.
Commonly used acronyms:
Keep address style consistent with postal regulations, using no punctuation.
Office of Public Affairs
PO Box 750174
Dallas TX 75275-0174
Use appropriate street abbreviations (see the Division of Enrollment Services entry): Ave., Ln., Ste. (Suite), Blvd., St.
If using indicia, Southern Methodist University must go on the top line in all return addresses.
Southern Methodist University
Division of Enrollment Services
Office of Undergraduate Admission
PO Box 750181
Dallas TX  75275-0181
See the Division of Enrollment Services entry. The Office of Undergraduate Admission (singular, not Admissions). When referring to a particular office within a school, Admissions may be acceptable: The Office of Admissions, Cox School of Business.
Not advisor or advisors.
affect vs. effect
Affect, as a verb, means to influence: The final exam will affect his final grade.
Effect, as a noun, means result: The effect of the Hopwood decision on minority enrollment is substantial.
Effect, as a verb, means to cause or bring about: The new athletics director will effect many positive changes in the department.
African American
See the minorities entry.
Not afterwards.
Always use figures. When the context does not require year or years old, the figure is presumed to be years.
 Ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun use hyphens.
 Examples: A 5-year-old boy. The boy is 5 years old. The boy, 7, has a sister, 10. The woman, 26, has a daughter 2 months old. The law is 8 years old. The race is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s (no apostrophe).
all right
Two words.
alma mater
Alternative Breaks
Alumni is used for both male and female (plural) graduates (not alums). Alumnus is used for a single male graduate, alumna is used for a single female graduate and alumnae is used for plural female graduates.
a.m., p.m.
Lowercase, with periods. Avoid redundant usage: 8 a.m. this morning. See also the TDP and times entries.
American Athletic Conference
among, between
Use between when introducing two items and among when introducing more than two. It’s between you and me, but The vote was divided among several candidates.
However, between is the correct word when expressing the relationship of three or more items considered one pair at a time. Negotiations on a debate format are under way between the network and the Ford, Carter and McCarthy committees.
In general, not a substitute for the word and. In narrative copy always spell out. Use only when part of a formal name: AT&T, Barnes & Noble, Procter & Gamble.
annual giving
For the many, varied uses of the apostrophe, see the comprehensive entry within the punctuation section in The AP Stylebook.
If the clause is restrictive, meaning that it is necessary to understand the meaning of the sentence, then commas are omitted. Computer scientist Margaret Dunham wants to know how an individual can effectively use a laptop to retrieve data. Put commas around an identification (appositive) that follows a name: R. Gerald Turner, president of the University, spoke to the group of students; or His wife, Gail, had lunch with an alumni group. But John and his daughter Christine went to the mall together; restrictive clause because John has more than one daughter.
See the ensure, insure entry.
Always capitalize when referring to the SMU department (Department of Athletics). It is Director of Athletics or Athletics Director (not Athletic Director) when used before a name and director of Athletics following a name. As a general term (not part of a departmental title), athletics is lowercase.
Lowercase as a general term (i.e., not as part of a full degree name, such as Bachelor of Arts degree). Elmore earned a bachelor’s degree at SMU. See entries for degrees, master’s and doctoral.
Not barbeque, Bar-B-Q, B-B-Q or any other variation.
because, since
Use because to denote a specific cause-effect relationship: Because he was 12 years old, he got in at children’s prices. Since is acceptable in a causal sense when the first event in a sequence led logically to the second but was not its direct cause. Since 1915, students have attended SMU.
The rules in th pre- entry apply, but in general, no hyphen is used: bifocal, bilateral, bipartisan, bilingual, bimonthly, biweekly, biannual. (See the entry in The AP Stylebook.)
biannual, biennial
Biannual means twice a year, synonymous with semiannual. Biennial means every two years.
Capitalize, without quotation marks, when referring to the Scriptures in the Old Testament or the New Testament. Also capitalize related terms, such as the Gospels, Gospel of St. Mark, the Scriptures, the Holy Scriptures.
 Do not abbreviate individual books of the Bible.
 Also, lowercase bible as a nonreligious term: The SMU Editorial Style Guide is my bible.
Lowercase in all uses.
Every other month. Semimonthly means twice a month.
Every other week. Semiweekly means twice a week.
blond, blonde
Follow The AP Stylebook: “Use blond as a noun for males and as an adjective for all applications: She has blond hair. Use blonde as a noun for females.”
Blu-ray disc
Board of Trustees
References to SMU’s Board of Trustees are in uppercase: He is on the Board of Trustees or He is on the Board. She is a member of SMU’s Board of Trustees.
book titles
See the composition titles entry (The AP Stylebook).
brunet, brunette
Use brunet as a noun for males, and as the adjective for both sexes. Use brunette as a noun for females.
Budd Center for Involving Communities in Education, The
building names
See Appendix
Building and Campus Feature Names
George W. Bush Presidential Center
(Full name for first reference to the entity that includes the Library, Museum and Institute)
 Second reference: Bush Presidential Center
 More informal in context after first and second reference: Bush Center

 George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
 (Referring only to that joint entity)
 Second reference: Bush Library and Museum
 More informal in context after first and second reference: Library and Museum or Presidential Library and Museum
Note: the Library and Museum should generally be treated as one entity.

 George W. Bush Institute
 Second reference: Bush Institute
 More informal in context after first and second reference: the Institute 

Note: When including “the” to begin a title, “the” should not be capitalized unless beginning a sentence.
Further note: It is acceptable to add “at SMU” after the Center or Library and Museum, but not after the Bush Institute. In the latter case, the identification should be: the George W. Bush Institute, housed at the Bush Presidential Center. In certain circumstances, the George W. Bush Institute can stand alone, without locating it at the Center.
Calatrava Sculpture Fountain
Sculpture located in front of the Meadows Museum. See entry for Wave .
call letters
(radio and television)
Use all caps. Use hyphens to separate the type of station from the basic call letters: WKRP-AM, KPLX-FM, WFAA-TV, KERA-Channel 13.
Uppercase when referring to The Second Century Campaign: You can help make The Second Century Campaign a success. Lowercase subsequent references: Brad E. Cheves announced that the campaign is already off to a running start.
Campaign Executive Committee
Campaign Leadership Committee
Campaign Steering Committee
capital vs. capitol
Capital is the city where a seat of government is located. Do not capitalize: Austin is the state capital of Texas.
When used in a financial sense, capital describes money, equipment or property used in a business by a person or corporation.
Capitol describes the actual building where a seat of government is located. Capitalize U.S. Capitol and the Capitol when referring to the building in Washington: The meeting was held on Capitol Hill in the west wing of the Capitol.
Follow the same practice when referring to state capitols: Texas pink granite was used in the construction of the Capitol of Texas. The State Capitol is on Congress Avenue.
The centennial of SMU’s founding is 2011. The centennial of SMU’s opening is 2015. Always lowercase when not part of a title. Note that the official name of SMU’s centennial commemoration (2011–15) is The Second Century Celebration. Also note the following entries, which comprise the list of centennial titles. [Titles already appear in the style guide.]
Centennial Center
Centennial Chair
Centennial Convocation
Centennial Fountain, Cooper
Centennial Hall
Visitor Center in Hughes-Trigg Student Center
Centennial Homecoming
Centennial Host Committee
Centennial Pavilion, Gail O. and R. Gerald Turner
Centennial Professorship
Centennial Promenade
Centennial Quadrangle, R. Gerald Turner
Centennial Reunion
Centennial Scholarship, Endowed
Uppercase when referring to a specific SMU center or the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies brings many policy experts to campus. Events sponsored by the Center are well attended.
centers and institutes
Spell out the full name on the first reference: The Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, The John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies. On subsequent references: Maguire Center, Tower Center. Uppercase Center, School and Program when referred to on subsequent references without the proper noun. The Center helps students interested in political careers. The new engineering building will enhance the SEAS Program.
Lowercase, spelling out numbers less than 10: the first century, the 21st century. For proper names, follow the organization’s practice: 20th Century Fox, Twentieth Century Fund. Hyphenate when used as an adjective: 18th-century literature.
According to SMU guidelines on the use of nonsexist language, use chair – not chairman or chairwoman for SMU Board members and department heads. Follow the corporation’s nomenclature for positions outside of SMU: W.R. Howell, retired chairman, J.C. Penney Co. Inc.
Cheves, Brad E.
Capitalize as part of the formal name of a building, a congregation or a denomination, but lowercase in other uses: Highland Park United Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic Church, but a Methodist church, a Baptist church.
Retain the hyphen when forming nouns, adjectives and verbs that indicate occupation or status: co-author, co-chair, co-defendant, co-host, co-owner, co-pilot, co-signer, co-star, co-worker, co-sponsor, co-chair and co-op.
Do not use a hyphen in other combinations: coed, coeducation, coequal, coexist, cooperate, cooperative and coordinate.
collective nouns
Nouns that denote a unit take singular verbs and pronouns: class, committee, crowd, faculty, family, group, herd, jury, orchestra and team. For example: The committee is meeting to set its agenda. The faculty at SMU is one of the best in the nation. The jury has reached its verdict. A herd of cattle was taken to market. Central University Libraries seeks funds to expand its collection. Although Mustang Mondays is a collective noun, it should take a plural verb. At SMU, Mustang Mondays attract many high school students.
Uppercase when referring to Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences is the heart of SMU. Various departments are housed in the College.
colons and commas
See the punctuation entry in The AP Stylebook.
company names
Do not abbreviate except in special publications or when the company name is abbreviated in its own title: Texas Instruments Inc., Trammell Crow Company, IBM Corporation. Do not punctuate with a comma before Inc. SMU board member Milledge A. Hart, III, is chairman of Hart Group Inc.
complement vs. compliment
Complement is a noun and a verb denoting completeness or the process of supplementing something: The ship has a complement of 444 sailors and 44 officers, or The tie complements the suit.
Compliment is a noun or verb that denotes praise or the expression of courtesy: The captain complimented the sailors on their fine work, or She was flattered by the compliments on her new outfit.
complementary vs. complimentary
The husband and wife have complementary careers, but They received complimentary tickets to the baseball game.
compose, comprise
Compose means to create or put together. It commonly is used in both the active and passive voices: He composed a song. The United States is composed of 50 states. The zoo is composed of many animals.
Comprise means to contain, to include all or embrace. It is best used only in the active voice, followed by a direct object: The United States comprises 50 states. The jury comprises five men and seven women. The zoo comprises many animals. In general, the whole comprises the parts. When the sentence starts with the larger item, use comprise. Never use is comprised of.
composition titles
Apply the guidelines listed here to titles of books, movies, operas, plays, poems, songs and television programs, as well as lectures, speeches and works of art.
The guidelines, followed by a block of examples:
* Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters.
* Capitalize an article – the, a, an – or words of fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in a title.
Titles of books, including reference books, and periodical titles are italicized, except for the Bible, which is in roman typeface. Journal of Air Law and Commerce, The Chicago Manual of Style.
Use quotation marks and roman typeface for titles of movies, television programs, songs and operas. “The Sound of Music,” “NCIS,” “Varsity,” “The Magic Flute.”
congress, congressional
Capitalize U.S. Congress when referring to the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Although Congress sometimes is used as a substitute for the House, it properly is reserved for reference to both the Senate and House.
Also capitalize Congress if referring to a foreign body that uses the term, or its equivalent in a foreign language, as part of its formal name: The Argentine Congress, the Congress.
Lowercase congressional unless it’s part of a proper name: congressional salaries, the Congressional Quarterly, the Congressional Record.
connote vs. denote
Connote means to suggest or imply something beyond the explicit meaning: To some people, the word marriage connotes too much restriction.
Denote means to be explicit about the meaning: The word demolish denotes destruction.
continual vs. continuous
Continual means a steady repetition, over and over again: The merger has been a source of continual litigation.
Continuous means uninterrupted, steady, unbroken: All she saw ahead of her was a continuous stretch of road.
council, counsel, counselor
A council is a deliberative body, and council members are those who belong to them.
To counsel is to advise, hence a counselor is one who advises, such as a guidance counselor, or an admission counselor, counselor-at-law.
couple of
The of is necessary; never use a couple tomatoes or a similar phrase. The phrase takes a plural verb in constructions such as: A couple of tomatoes were stolen.
course numbers
Use Arabic numerals and capitalize the subject when used with a numeral: Philosophy 209.
One word.
court names
Capitalize the full proper names of courts at all levels. Retain capitalization if U.S. or a state name is dropped: the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court, the State Superior Court, the Superior Court. For courts identified by a numeral: 2nd District Court, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
courtesy titles
In general, do not use the courtesy titles Miss, Mr., Mrs., or Ms. on first and last names: Joe Jones, Emily Smith. Exceptions on second reference include individual preferences, particularly in development and donor publications/lists. Cultural dictates may also override SMU style.
cross country
Two words, no hyphen.
curriculum, curricula
Curriculum is the singular form, while curricula is the plural form.