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Editorial Style and Usage Guide

This guide is the established editorial style for e-mail announcements, the Colgate Magazine, colgate.edu pages and stories, brochures, newsletters, letters, and more.

Have a suggestion for the style guide? Contact Rebecca Downing at rdowning@colgate.edu

For answers to common questions, see our Quick Tips

NOTE: All entries, in bold type, indicate lower case or capitalization as appropriate

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underlining. Underlined words in a manuscript will be printed in italics.

underway, under way. As one word, an adjective meaning “occurring, performed, or used while traveling or in motion” [underway distribution of services]. As two words, serves as an adverb meaning “in motion or in progress” [As soon as the board approves it, we’ll get the renovation under way.”].

uninterested. See disinterest(ed), uninterest(ed).

unique. Means “without equal.” Something cannot be “most unique” or “very unique.”

United States, U.S. Use United States as a noun and U.S. as an adjective [They visited the United States in 2004. All U.S. citizens have certain rights under the constitution.].

university. Capitalize “University” when referring to Colgate, except when used as an adjective (university-level). [The University welcomed 2,400 students as part of the incoming class. The policy will be implemented universitywide.]

University Church.


until. Abbreviate as ’til (not till).


upperclass, upperclassmen. Avoid. The term means juniors and seniors only; it does not include sophomores. Do not use the elitist-sounding phrases upperclass students, upper-class students, or upperclassmen. Use juniors and seniors instead.

upstate. Lowercase [He moved to upstate New York in the mid-1950s.].

Upstate Institute at Colgate University. (Upstate Institute is usually sufficient)

up to date, up-to-date. Use hyphens before a noun; otherwise, it should be left open [We supplied an up-to-date calendar of events. I kept him up to date on my progress.].

utilize. The word use is preferred.