capitalization—In general, capitalize the formal name of an office, department, or organization on first reference (as a proper noun) and lowercase its common-noun equivalent on subsequent reference: the Mathematics Department, the department; the Payroll Office, the office. (See also headline-style capitalization and titles composition.)
capitalization for emphasis—“Initial capitals, once used to lend importance to certain words, are now used only ironically. Capitalizing an entire word or phrase for emphasis is rarely appropriate.” (3)
catalog (not catalogue)
centuries—Spell out; do not capitalize: twentieth century, eighteenth century. (See century.)
century— Hyphenate compound adjectives formed with century: fourteenth-century scholar, twentieth-century China, mid-eighteenth-century poet, late twentieth-century painter. (See mid.)
chair (not chairman, chairwoman, or chairperson)
Chancellor's Award, SUNY Chancellor's Award
Chautauqua Institution (not Institute)
check in (v.), check-in (n.): Volunteers are asked to check in by 9:00 a.m. Report to the lobby by 9:00 a.m. for check-in.
clean up (v.), cleanup (n., adj.): She told him to clean up the mess. The cleanup is the worst part. She volunteered for the cleanup committee.
co- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: coauthor, coeducational, copayment. Use a hyphen between repeated vowels or to avoid confusion or ambiguity: co-opt, co-organize, co-chair, co-create, co-director, co-edition, co-teach, co-workers, co-wrote (but coordinate, coordinate, cooperate, cooperation). (See prefixes and suffixes.)
comma (serial)—Use a comma before the word and or or in a series: He brought a sleeping bag, a flashlight, and batteries. When the elements of a series are simple and all are joined by conjunctions, no commas are required: She needs a math or a science or an engineering course.
committee—Generally lowercase unless part of a proper name: Commencement Committee, the committee.
company names—Capitalize the first letter of company names in all uses, regardless of the company’s styling: Macy’s, Adidas, Spot, Rand Corporation. Company or product names that contain internal capital letters, such as eBay or iPod, may be preserved, even at the start of a sentence; that is, they need not take an initial capital. Names that contain both initial and internal caps (sometimes called midcaps) may also be preserved: LexisNexis, HarperCollins.
compound modifiers—"When a compound modifier—two or more words that express a single concept—precedes a noun, use hyphens to link all the words in the compound except the adverb very and all adverbs that end in ly: a first-quarter touchdown, a full-time job, an easily remembered rule." (4)
counter- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: counterclockwise, counterculture, countermeasures. (See prefixes and suffixes.)
course name/course prefix—Use the three-letter prefix before each course number; separate letters and numbers with a single space; repeat prefix with each reference: MUS 218 and MUS 230 (not MUS 218 and 230).
course titles—Capitalize the titles of academic courses. Do not italicize or enclose in quotation marks: Abnormal Psychology, Intermediate Photography II, Principles of Urban and Regional Planning.
court—Generic terms designating the courts used in place of full names are lowercased even when they refer to a specific court: traffic court, family court, juvenile court. The word court, when used alone, is capitalized only in reference to the U.S. Supreme Court.
courtesy titles—See titles, courtesy.
credit hours, credits—Use figures: 3 credit hours, 6 credits.
cross- (prefix)—Compounds formed with cross can be open, hyphenated, or closed. Check the dictionary: cross product, cross section, cross-country, cross-cultural, cross-listed, cross-purpose, cross-pollination, crossbones, crosscurrent, crossroad, crosswalk. (See prefixes and suffixes.)
currency (American)—Use numerals for sums of dollars and cents. Use the $ sign for amounts of $1 or more; use the word cents for amounts less than $1. People paid $5 to attend. The committee raised $325. I gave him 50 cents. "Whole-dollar amounts are set with zeros after the decimal point only when they appear in the same context with fractional amounts"(5): The price of gold rose from $35 an ounce to $375. Tickets sold for $10.00 and $15.50. (See numbers; millions, billions.)
curriculum (singular), curricula (plural) (but see practicum.)
curriculum vitae (singular), curricula vitae (plural)
(3) Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (2003), 7.50
(4) The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2000), p. 331
(5) Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition (1993), 8.24
Back to Top
Some content on this page is saved in PDF format. To view these files, download Adobe Acrobat Reader free. If you are having trouble reading a document, request an accessible copy of the PDF or Word Document.