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campuswide - one word

canceled - not cancelled. Also use canceling (one "l"). Only cancellation has double "l."

cannot - not "can not"

capitalization — Avoid the overuse of capitalization. Do capitalize the word university when using it to mean the University of Houston.

capitalization, titles of works — Capitalize the first letter of each word in a title. Articles (“a,” “an,” “the”), conjunctions (“and,” “but,” “for,” “nor,” “yet,” “so”) and prepositions (“at,” “in,” “to,” “with”) are not capitalized unless they are the first word in the title.

century — Spell out numbers less than 10 (in lowercase letters).

Yes: the first century
Yes: the 21st century
Yes: The class consisted of 13 undergraduate students and seven graduate students.

For proper names, follow the organization’s practice.

Yes: 20th Century Fox
Yes: Twentieth Century Fund

chairman, chairwoman — not chairperson, chair or co-chair unless it is the organization’s formal title

check-in (n.) — an act of checking in

check in (v.) — to register at a hotel; to report one’s presence or arrival

checkout (n.) — the action of or instance of checking out, the action of examining and testing something for performance, suitability or readiness

check out (v.) — to vacate and pay for one’s lodging or purchase

city — Capitalize when it is part of a proper name, an integral part of an official name or part of a formal title before a name. Lowercase in all city of phrases.

Yes: Texas City, New York City, a Texas city
Yes: city of Houston
Yes: City Manager John Doe
Yes: city Director of Plant Operations John Smith

No: City of Houston

see state

colons — Use a colon to introduce a list, but do not use it between a verb and its compliment or object.

Yes: The president named three possible candidates for the deanship: Potter, Jones and Williams.

No: The three candidates are: Potter, Jones and Williams.

Use a colon to introduce a long quotation:

In 1863, on a battlefield turned cemetery in Pennsylvania, President Lincoln spoke these words:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

A colon may be used when the second independent clause amplifies the first independent clause. Capitalize the first letter of the first word when a complete sentence follows a colon or if it is a proper noun.

Her achievement remains etched in memory: It has not been surpassed in 50 years.

The young boy only wanted to see one person: his mother.

comma — Do not use a comma to separate the last element in a series that is preceded by and.

He took exams in algebra, trigonometry and calculus.

Use a comma to separate independent clauses that are joined by and, but or for.

You should congratulate her, for she has performed splendidly.

If the clause contains commas, use a semicolon instead.

The dean, Nancy Olson, gave a persuasive presentation; but the faculty, weary of the issue, remained unpersuaded.

Use a comma after an introductory word group.

After completing his most difficult examination, he went to a movie.

Use a comma to set off a word group that isn’t essential to the sentence.

Biochemistry, which has always fascinated me, differs greatly from physics.

Use a comma to set off transitional words like however and moreover.

Ceiling fans are, moreover, less expensive than air conditioners.

Don’t use commas if the word group is essential to the meaning of the sentence.

The classes that I enjoy the most are in the English department.

Use a comma to introduce a complete quotation.

Henry said, “I know the new director’s name!”

Do not use a comma at the start of an indirect or partial quotation.

He said his victory put him “firmly on the road to first-ballot nomination.”

Use a comma in direct address.

Nancy, please hand me The University of Houston Magazine.

Use a comma between proper names and titles.

Jane Barker, president of Flower Shops Inc., chaired the meeting.

Use a comma to separate elements of an address.

UH alumnus Joe Barker comes from Jacksonville, Fla., and now lives in Hartford, Conn.

Use commas inside quotation marks, both single and double.

“Don't compromise yourself,” said Janis Joplin. “You are all you've got.”

Use commas to set off the year in a date.

Their term paper is due July 22, 2009, to the professor.

see addresses, quotation marks

company, companies — Abbreviate as Co. or Cos. when it appears at the end of the name. Spell out when it appears elsewhere in the name.

Ford Motor Co., Aluminum Company of America

When the words company or companies appear alone in a second reference, spell out and lowercase.

compose, compriseCompose means to create or put together. Comprise means to contain, to include all or embrace.

Yes: The UH System is composed of four universities.
Yes: The UH System comprises four universities.

No: The UH System is comprised of four universities.

composition titles — Put quotation marks around book titles, computer games titles, movie titles, opera titles, play titles, poem titles, album and song titles, radio and television programs titles and the titles of lectures, speeches and works of arts. Exception: the Bible and books that are primarily catalogs of reference materials.

corporation, corporations  — Abbreviate as Corp. or Corps. when it appears at the end of the name. Spell out corporation(s) when it appears elsewhere in the name.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

When the words corporation or corporations appear alone in a second reference, spell out and lowercase.

Usually, Limited (Ltd.) and Incorporated (Inc.) are dropped.

Course names — Capitalize the official name.

I am taking History of the World this semester.

My favorite course is Fundamentals of Speech.

He is always late to his speech class.

currency — Spell out and lowercase the word cents, using figures for all amounts less than a dollar; drop the decimal and zeros if there are no cents. Do not use the cents symbol in running text, although it is acceptable to use it in tables or charts.  

Yes: 5 cents, 15 cents, 99 cents, $1, $100.25

No: 5¢, $.25, $4.00

Always lowercase dollars. Unlike the cents rule, use figures and the dollar symbol except in casual references or amounts without a figure.

The book cost $4.

Dad, give me a dollar.

Use the dollar sign and numbers up to two decimal places for amounts more than $1 million.

The lottery is up to $24 million.

The building cost $4.34 million.

currently, presentlyCurrently means something is occurring now; presently means something will occur soon.

see presently, currently

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