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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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             Punctuation - Helpful references - Proofreading tips


wait list.

website. See computer terms.

weight. Use numerals and the abbreviations lbs. and oz. to designate a baby’s weight [Joan was 8 lbs., 5 oz. at birth.].

western. Lowercase when referring to a region. Capitalize in reference to culture and customs [He grew up in western New York. The class studied Western artists.].

whereas. Means “although,” “while on the other hand,” “on the contrary,” or “but by contrast.” Not to be substituted with while (see while). [I always order tuna fish, whereas June prefers ham and cheese.].

which. See that, which.

while. Means “at the same time.” Not a substitute for but, and, although, or whereas [RIGHT: I ran errands while Peter cleaned the living room. WRONG: While your favorite color is blue, mine is green.].

who, whom. Who is used as a grammatical subject, where a nominative pronoun such as I or he would be appropriate. Whom is used where an objective (object of) pronoun such as him or her would be appropriate [To whom did you send the package? The woman whom Joe told us about passed away last week.].

whose, who’s. Whose is a possessive pronoun that can refer to persons or things; who’s is a contraction of who is [I sent a letter to everyone whose address was in Hamilton. The cat, whose claws have been removed, should not be let outside. Does anyone know who’s up on the third floor?].

will. See shall, will.

with regard to. Not with regards to.

woman. Use woman when referring to a female 18 years old or older.

workforce, workplace.

work-study. Always hyphenated.

World War II.

World Wide Web. See computer terms.

Writing and Speaking Center.