This section provides clarification of words and phrases used in ASU communications. It includes exceptions to AP Style. This list is a living document that will be of greater benefit with your contributions. If there is a word or phrase you see frequently misused, or that you frequently look up, please share your insights.
|24/7||Use 24/7 to describe 24 hours a day and seven days a week.|
|3D||3D has no hyphen.
|A New American University™||See Trademarks and licensing, ASU boilerplate text.|
|“A” Mountain||This becomes ‘A’ Mountain in a headline.|
|academic concentrations, programs||See Academic programs, degrees, courses and tests, Abbreviations and acronyms, Capitalization.|
|academic degrees||See Academic programs, degrees, courses and tests, Abbreviations and acronyms, Capitalization.|
|academic titles||See Titles.|
|adidas||Always lowercase, even at the beginning of a sentence.|
|admission, Admission||Singular in all references to academic admission.
|advisor||✅ Do: advisor.
🚫 Don't: adviser.
|AI||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|alumni, alum, alumna, alumnae, alumnus||
|a.m., p.m.||See Times, days, months, seasons, years.|
|amid||✅ Do: amid
🚫 Don't: amidst
|among||✅ Do: among
🚫 Don't: amongst
|antifragile||One word. No hyphen.|
|approximately||Use about, which is shorter and synonymous.|
|AR||Augmented reality. AR may be used in subsequent references to augmented reality. See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|Arizona State University®||See also, ASU. See Trademarks and licensing.|
Do not use an apostrophe-s. This is a variance with bachelor’s degree, master’s degree.
|ASU||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|ASU (in translation)||When translating university documents into languages other than English, Arizona State University and ASU remain in English.|
|ASU®||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|ASU Thrive magazine||Refer to full name.
|ASU Universal Learning®||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|ASURE||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|ASURITE||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|a total of||Superfluous in most instances.
|backward||✅ Do: backward
🚫 Don’t: backwards
|Barrett, The Honors College||See ASU locations, campuses, buildings and units.|
|bio-inspired||Use hyphen. See Punctuation and symbols.|
Capitalize, per AP Stylebook.
See Inclusion guidelines.
|boilerplate||See ASU boilerplate text.|
|bootcamp||Use one word. (AP style variance)|
|both||Superfluous in most instances.
|building codes||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|campus||Do not capitalize. See Abbreviations and acronyms, ASU boilerplate text.|
|campus descriptions||See Abbreviations and acronyms, ASU boilerplate text.|
|changemaker, changemaking||No hyphen. See Punctuation and symbols.|
|Changemaker Central||Title case. A community of students who are leading social change locally and globally.|
|check-in||(n. and adj.), check in (v.) See Punctuation and symbols.|
|checkout||(n. and adj.), check out (v.)|
|check sheet||Two words.|
|city of Tempe, city of Phoenix||City is not capitalized. See Capitalization.|
Not global warming, which is just one aspect of climate change.
|co-||See Punctuation and symbols.|
|colleges||See ASU locations, campuses, buildings and units.|
|commencement||Only capitalize when used as an event title:
|company names||See Company names.|
|composition titles||See Titles.|
|compound modifiers||See Punctuation and symbols.|
|convocation||College and cultural convocations are a time for smaller groups to gather and celebrate students’ graduation. At these events, a student’s name is called and they will cross the stage to receive congratulations. These events are separate from the main graduation ceremony, which is referred to as commencement.
See also, commencement.
|cost||Do not mention cost when referring to ASU programs, or position them as free. See Language and tone.|
|course titles||Capitalize official course titles, but not generic references:
|coursework||This is another way of saying "Her courses in college were challenging." Like "coursework," "classwork" is a single word.|
|COVID-19||Instead of COVID unless part of a quotation or proper name.|
|credit hours||This is the preferred term.
🚫 Don't: semester hours.
|critical requirements||Do not capitalize. See Capitalization.|
|curriculum vitae||(s.), curricula vitae (pl.)|
|cutting edge||(n.), cutting-edge (adj.) Considered trite. Avoid if possible. See also leading edge.|
|dates||See Times, days, months, seasons, years.|
|days||See Times, days, months, seasons, years.|
|decision-makers, decision-making||Hyphenate in all uses. See Punctuation and symbols.|
|departments||See Abbreviations and acronyms, Capitalization.|
|Devils™||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|Devil2Devil||ASU-only social network for incoming students.|
|discounts||Do not mention discounts when referring to ASU programs, but it is acceptable to advertise scholarships. See Language and tone.|
|eAdvisor™||Do not capitalize the first letter, even at the beginning of a sentence. Include the superscript trademark symbol on first reference. Subsequent references do not require it. (Exception: The trademark symbol is not allowed on the eAdvisor platform, so it is not used on any reference in copy for the ASU academic catalog.)
Do not capitalize the first letter even at the beginning of a sentence:
|e.g.,||It means for example. Periods and comma required.
See Punctuation and symbols.
|Eight, Arizona PBS||No comma after PBS within a sentence.|
|Not hyphenated. Capitalized only at the beginning of a sentence. Use a hyphen with other e-terms: e-book, e-business, e-commerce, e-newsletter, e-reader.|
|emeritus, emeriti (pl.)||See Titles.|
|English as a second language||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|English for Speakers of Other Languages and ESOL||Spell out on first reference; use the initialism thereafter.
|faculty||(n., pl.) Collective noun. For singular reference, use faculty member, member of the faculty.
|FAFSA||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|fall, autumn||Not capitalized unless it is part of a proper noun. See Times, days, months, seasons, years.|
|FAQ||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|Fear the fork®||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|Federal Work-Study||Capitalize and hyphenate. See Capitalization, Punctuation and symbols.|
|formal titles||See Titles.|
|foreword||Introduction to a book.
|Fork ’em™||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|Fork ’em Devils™||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|Forks up™||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|forward (adj.)||✅ Do: forward
🚫 Don't: forwards
|Foundation Professor||See Academic titles.|
|free||Avoid using this word when referring to ASU programs. See Language and tone.|
|freshman (n., singular; adj.), freshmen (n., pl.)||Use first-year student(s) instead of freshman or freshmen. See also, First-year student.|
|front line||(n.), front-line (adj.)
See Punctuation and symbols.
|Fulbright||There are two types of Fulbright programs at ASU.
|full time||(adj.), full-time Hyphenate only when used as a compound modifier.
|game watching||Use two words.|
|global warming||See also, climate change.|
|Go Devils™||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|grades||Place the letter between quotation marks, with its grade point value in parentheses: “A” (4.00).
|halftime||One word in sports copy. half-time (adj.), half time (n.)|
|health care||Two words.|
|headlines||See Language and tone.|
|his/her, s/he, his or her||Do not use these practices to indicate alternatives. Rewrite the statement using more precise writings.
See Inclusion guidelines, Punctuation and symbols.
|historic, historical||Precede with the article a, not an. (Note: A historic event is one that stands out in history; any occurrence in the past is a historical event.)|
|homeless people, people without housing, people without homes||✅ Do: homeless people, people without housing, people without homes
🚫 Don't: the homeless.
|honors thesis||No apostrophe.|
It means that is. It is followed by a comma.
|InfernoFest||One word. Capitalize "Inferno" and "Fest."|
|initialism||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|institutes||See Abbreviations and acronyms, Capitalization.|
|interdisciplinary||Connotes cooperation between disciplines. Use transdisciplinary to connote transcending the boundaries of disciplines.|
|iPOS, POS||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|international visas||Visa types should be hyphenated, such as J-1. Refer to relevant .gov websites for capitalization and punctuation of other immigration and international student-related terms.|
|It’s Time™||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|leading edge||(n.), leading-edge (adj.) Considered trite. Avoid if possible. See also, cutting edge.|
|Learn to thrive®||The endorsed and only tag line of the ASU brand. Presented in sentence case, no punctuation as a headline or when used as a graphic element. See Trademarks and licensing, Tag line.|
|living and learning community, living-learning||Not capitalized.
See Punctuation and symbols.
|lock down||(v.), lockdown (n., adj.)
|login, logon, logoff||(n.), one word. log in, log on, log off (v.), two words.
|lower division||(n.), lower-division (adj.) Hyphenate when used as a compound adjective.|
|major maps||Two words. Not capitalized.|
|Mayo Clinic||Do not use the before Mayo Clinic.|
|me3||A mobile app for eAdvisor. Do not capitalize, even to begin a sentence.
|midnight||See Times, days, months, seasons, years.|
|My ASU||Two words. See also, ASURITE. See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|multidisciplinary||Connotes cooperation between disciplines. Use transdisciplinary to connote transcending the boundaries of disciplines.|
|NASA||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|New American University™||This term may be preceded by a, the or this. The article is capitalized only to begin a sentence or when the phrase stands alone:
|New American University Scholars||See also, scholarships.|
|non-||See Punctuation and symbols.|
|o’clock||See Times, days, months, seasons, years.|
|Off track||Students who do not meet critical requirements are notified they are off track.
|older adult, older adults, older person, older people||✅ Do: older adult, older adults, older person, older people is preferred for general phrases that do not refer to specific individuals.
🚫 Don't: senior citizens, seniors or elderly.
|online||One word. No hyphen.|
|See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|Pac-12||The athletic conference should be referred to as:
|part time||(n.), part-time
(adj.) Hyphenate only when used as a compound modifier.
One word. Lowercase except when used to describe Sun Devil Rewards Pitchforks used to redeem merchandise and event tickets.
|p.m., a.m.||Lowercase with periods and a space following the number:
|policymaker, policymaking||One word. No hyphen.
See Punctuation and symbols.
|Polytechnic||Polytechnic campus is not synonymous with The Polytechnic School which is one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, though that school is located on the Polytechnic campus.
See ASU boilerplate text.
|POS, iPOS||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|post-||See Punctuation and symbols.|
|pre-||See Punctuation and symbols.|
|President’s Professor||See Titles.|
|price||Do not mention price or cost when referring to ASU programs, or position them as free.
See Language and tone. See also, free.
See Punctuation and symbols.
|professor of practice||See Titles.|
|P.S.||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|re-||See Punctuation and symbols.|
|Regents Professor||See Titles.|
|Registered trademark symbol ®||See Punctuation and symbols, Trademarks and licensing.|
|requester||✅ Do: requester, per AP style.
🚫 Don't: requestor.
|residential college, Residential College||A residential college is a division of a university that places academic activity in a community setting of students and faculty, usually at a residence and with shared meals, the college having a degree of autonomy and a federated relationship with the overall university.
Lowercase for general reference. Capitalize as part of an official university name.
|residential community||Use this phrase when referring to a group of people living in a residential hall.|
|resume||For the career document, not résumé.|
|RN to BSN||Not RN-BSN.|
|RSVP||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|says||(rather than said)
When quoting, put a speaker’s words in present tense (AP style variance for ASU branding) when there is not a precise time element in the sentence to express a sense of ongoing present.
If a quote or reference is date- or time-specific, use past tense.
|scholarships||Most ASU merit-based awards are part of the New American University Scholarship and Financial Assistance program.
See also, New American University Scholars.
Refer to the ASU scholarship site for the current list of awards.
|semester hours||Preferred term is credit hours.|
|Sky Harbor International Airport||
|Skysong Innovations®||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|SkySong®, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|spring||See Times, days, months, seasons, years.|
|smartphone||One word, lowercase.|
|smartwatch||One word, lowercase.|
|Social Security||Capitalized. When referring to the number, “number” is not capitalized: Social Security number.|
|startup||One word (n. and adj.) to describe a new business venture.
An exception to Webster's New World College Dictionary preference.
|state of Arizona||State is not capitalized.|
|summer||See Times, days, months, seasons, years.|
|Sun Devil®||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|Sun Devils®||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|Sun Devil Stadium™||See Trademarks and licensing.|
Transfer Admission Guarantee. Spell out on first reference; abbreviate in subsequent references. Do not show the acronym in parentheses after the first reference.
|tag line||The name of the branding tool is two words.|
|TGen||On first reference, use Translational Genomics Research Institute.|
|The Mayo Clinic||Do not use the before Mayo Clinic. See also, Mayo Clinic.|
|theater||Use this spelling unless part of a proper name containing the word “Theatre.”|
|Thunderbird®||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|time||See Times, days, months, seasons, years.|
|top 10 list||
|top tier||(n.), top-tier (adj.) See Punctuation and symbols.|
|toward||✅ Do: toward
🚫 Don't: towards
|transdisciplinary||Connotes transcending the boundaries of traditional disciplines.|
|Trademark symbol||See Punctuation and symbols, Trademarks and licensing.|
|TTY||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|Universal Learner®||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|Universal Learning™||See Trademarks and licensing.|
|university||See Abbreviations and acronyms and Capitalization.|
|upper-division (adj.), upper division||(n.) Hyphenate when used as a compound adjective before a noun; no hyphen elsewhere in the sentence, with the individual words in normal order:
See also, USA.
|U.S. News & World Report||Use periods, ampersand. See Company names, Rankings, Punctuation and symbols.|
|USA||No periods. See Abbreviations and acronyms, Punctuation and symbols.|
|Valley of the Sun, the Valley||Refers to metropolitan Phoenix. See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|versus||See Abbreviations and acronyms.|
|VR||Virtual reality. VR may be used in subsequent references to virtual reality. See Abbreviations and acronyms|
|virus’s (pl.)||The singular possessive form of virus.
|Washington; Washington, D.C.||
|web||(n.) Short form of World Wide Web. Do not capitalize.|
|webcam, webcast, webform, webinar, webisode, webmaster, webpage, website||(n.) Web-related nouns are single, lowercase words.
Exceptions: Web address, Web feed, Web host, Web style.
|Web feed, web hosting||(v.) Web-related verbs are capitalized and shown as two words.|
|“Whitewashing the ‘A’”||Use Echo from the Buttes. See Inclusion guidelines.|
Use lowercase unless it is part of a proper noun. See Times, days, months, seasons, years.
|workbook, workday, workforce, workhorse, workout, workplace, workstation, workweek||One word as a noun.|
|world-class||Hyphenated compound adjective. Considered trite and vague. Avoid if possible. See Punctuation and symbols.|
|world-renowned||Means “known to the entire world.” Use carefully. See Punctuation and symbols.|
|yearlong, yearslong||One word as an adjective.|
|year-round||(adj. and adv.) Use hyphen for both.|