abbreviations and acronyms
Acronyms are acceptable after full first reference. For acronyms of more than two letters, do not use periods. “The Economic Research Building (ERB) is located along University Drive next to the engineering complex.”
academic and administrative titles
- Lowercase titles when used after a name: Mark Heil is vice president for finance and administration.
- Uppercase official titles when used before a name: College of Health Sciences Dean Tim Dunnagan will attend the conference.
- Do not capitalize occupational titles and job descriptions, ie: professor John Smith, assistant coach Mary Jones. Exception: named and endowed chairs and professorships always are capitalized. Steven Feldstein, the Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs, will speak at the conference.
- Drop titles and first names on subsequent reference.
- Lowercase degrees if spelled out: bachelor of arts, master of science, doctorate, doctor of education. Do not follow this form with the word “degree.” Use an apostrophe in the short form: bachelor’s degree, master’s degree.
- Try to avoid the abbreviations B.S., B.A., M.A., Ph.D. etc., in text, but if you must use the abbreviation, use a period for two-letter abbreviations and no period for three-letter abbreviations.
- When listing degrees in a profile, story or program, use: John E. Appleseed (BA, horticulture, ’99) – note the absence of periods in the degree.
- Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address. Spell these words out and capitalize when part of a formal name or without an address. Lowercase and spell out when used alone or with more than one street name. The Idaho Capitol is located at 700 W. Jefferson St., between Sixth and Seventh streets.
- Other street names (alley, drive, road, terrace, etc.) are spelled out, even with a numeric address. The university’s mailing address is 1910 University Drive.
- Spell out streets using First through Ninth; use numeric figures for 10th and above.
Accept means to receive. Except means to exclude.
Use “admission” when referring to the application process or standards through the Office of “Admissions.”
Not ad nauseum.
Lowercase. Jack Smith is an adjunct instructor in the Department of Physics.
Affect as a verb means to influence; avoid its use as a noun. Effect as a verb means to cause. Effect as a noun means result.
Do not hyphenate as a noun or adjective, except in the name of a specific organization. Use “black” only when used in quotes or titles.
Always use numeric figures. If expressed as an adjective before a noun, use hyphens. The student is 16 years old. She was a 19-year-old freshman. See also numbers.
Not all be it.
- Alumni (plural), alumnae (plural female), alumna (female) and alumnus (male) are preferred. Alums is acceptable, but avoid alum.
- Commas set graduation years apart from names. Philosophy major Buster Bronco, ’16, was grand marshal for the Homecoming parade.
Lowercase, with periods. See also time.
- Use among with more than two people or items. He was the most distinguished among the six candidates.
- Use between with two people or items. I have difficulty deciding between a peach and a nectarine.
Avoid ampersands. Use the word “and.”
Place article titles in quotes; avoid quotes, italics or underlining in journal titles. Her article, titled “The life cycle of a horse fly,” was published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.
Boise State’s student government organization is the Associated Students of Boise State University. ASBSU is acceptable on second reference or when the reference is clear.
- Use Department of Athletics, student athletics or Bronco athletics.
- Lowercase names of athletic programs and teams, such as women’s basketball, club sports or intermural sports.
- A team is singular, not plural. Noun-verb agreement should reflect that. “The team celebrated its second BCS Bowl victory with a public rally.”
- Awhile means for a short period of time. He waited awhile for her to notice him, and then he cleared his throat.
- A while refers to a non-specific time period. He planned to live in Alaska for a while after graduating with his master’s degree.