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Elements of the ASU brand

ASU word list

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, use the contact information at the beginning of this section to share your insight.

 

/,()

Do not use these symbols with words, such as and/or, tests(s). See and/or, his/her. See ASU Branding in Content. See Language. See Punctuation and Symbols.

A New American University™

See Trademarks and licensing page.

“A” Mountain

This becomes 'A' Mountain in a headline.

abbreviations

See Abbreviations, Addresses, Titles.

academic concentrations, programs

See Abbreviations, Capitalization.

academic degrees

See Abbreviations, Capitalization.

academic titles

See Titles.

acronym

See Abbreviations, Addresses, Titles.

adidas

Always lowercase, even at the beginning of a sentence.

addresses

See Addresses.

admission, Admission

Singular in all references to academic admission. Not: admissions. The names of the ASU offices are Admission Services, Graduate Admission Services and International Admission Services.

  • John completed the steps for admission to ASU.
  • The admission office assists prospective students with the admission process.

advisor

Not adviser

AI

Artificial intelligence. "AI" may be used in second and subsequent references to artificial intelligence.

alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae

Alumnus — male who has attended a school; alumni — plural, gender neutral; alumna — female; alumnae — feminine plural. Use alumni for mixed-gender groups.

a.m., p.m.

Lowercase with periods and a space following the number: 10:15 a.m. Avoid redundancy. Not: 10 a.m. this morning. See Time.

amid

Not amidst.

among

Not amongst.

and/or

Not acceptable to indicate alternatives. Rewrite the statement using more precise phrasing. See ASU Branding in Content, Punctuation and Symbols.

antifragile

No hyphen

approximately

Use about, which is shorter and synonymous.

AR

Augmented reality. AR may be used in second and subsequent references to augmented reality.

Arizona State University® 

See Trademarks and licensing page.

ASU (in translation)

When translating university documents into languages other than English, Arizona State University and ASU remain in English.

associate degree

Do not use an apostrophe-s. Not: associate’s degree. This is a variance with bachelor’s degree, master’s degree. See Abbreviations.

ASU®

See Trademarks and licensing page.

ASU Universal Learning®

See Trademarks and licensing page.

ASURE

Referred to as ASURE in all references.

ASURITE

ASURITE (all caps). As a part of the ASU community, you are provided an ASURITE Account (or ASURITE ID or ASURITE User ID; calling it your "ASURITE" is vague). It is the primary login for many ASU services and access, including My ASU. ASURITE is an acronym: Arizona State University Rational Information Technology Environment.

a total of

Superfluous in most instances. See ASU branding in content.

  • Department expenditures reached $1 million last year.
  • Not: Department expenditures reached a total of $1 million last year.

backward

Not backwards.

Barrett, The Honors College

The full name for first reference is Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. Uppercase t in The. Use the full name on first reference, with subsequent mentions in the approved short form, Barrett.

  • Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University is a selective residential college that recruits academically outstanding undergraduates.
  • Barrett, The Honors College at ASU is acknowledged as one of the nation’s best honors colleges and best values.
  • Students who enter ASU through Barrett also enroll in a disciplinary college.

Do not use a comma after any version of the name unless the name appears at the end of a clause that requires a comma.

  • Whether or not you are a student in Barrett, The Honors College, you will receive an excellent education at ASU.
  • Not: Barrett, The Honors College at ASU, is one of the best honors colleges in the nation.

Black

Capitalize.

 

Black as an adjective in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense: Black people, Black culture, Black literature, Black studies, Black colleges. African American is acceptable for an American Black person of African descent.

boilerplate

See ASU standardized descriptions.

both

Superfluous in most instances.

  • This trait is common to cats and dogs.
  • Not: This trait is common to both cats and dogs.

building codes

See Abbreviations.

campus

Do not capitalize. See Abbreviations, Campus descriptions.

campus descriptions

See Campus descriptions, Abbreviations.

cents

Spell out, lowercase, using numerals for amounts less than a dollar: 5 cents. Use the dollar sign and the decimal system for larger amounts: $1.01, $2.50. See Dollars.

CEO

Use this all-uppercase, no periods abbreviation only after the first reference for chief executive officer. The full title is capitalized only when preceding the person’s name.

changemaker, changemaking

No hyphen.

Changemaker Central

 

check-in

(n. and adj.), check in (v)

checkout

(n. and adj.), check out (v)

check sheet

Two words.

city of Tempe, city of Phoenix

City is not capitalized.

climate change

Not global warming, which is just one aspect of climate change.

co-

Most words with this prefix are spelled without hyphens: coeducational, coaxial. Exceptions, per AP Stylebook, include “forming nouns, adjectives and verbs that indicate occupation or status”: co-author, co-defendant, co-pilot. Consult Webster’s New World Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition, unless the text references an ASU department’s website where traditional hyphenation is still used. If so, follow the department’s style. See punctuation and symbols.

colleges

See abbreviations and acronyms.

company names

See company names.

composition titles

See titles.

compound adjectives

Hyphenate all compound adjectives. See punctuation and symbols.

cost

Do not mention cost when referring to ASU programs, or position them as free. See language.

course names

See lists.

Course numbers use Arabic numerals: Philosophy 201.

course titles

Capitalize official course titles, but not generic references:

  • The department will offer applied computer science next semester.
  • Calculus 101.

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, not semester hours.

critical requirements

Do not capitalize.

curriculum vitae

(s.), curricula vitae (pl.)

cutting edge

(n.), cutting-edge (adj.) Considered trite. Avoid if possible

dates

See days, months, years, seasons, time.

days

See days, months, years, seasons, time.

decision-makers, decision-making

Hyphenate in all uses.

departments

See abbreviations and acronyms, capitalization.

Devils™

See trademarks and licensing.

Devil2Devil

ASU-only social network for incoming students. Lowercase, no spaces.

discounts

Do not mention discounts when referring to ASU programs, but it is acceptable to advertise scholarships. See language.

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.)

  • Academic progress reports are sent through eAdvisor™.
  • eAdvisor™ is a new tool to help ASU students succeed.

Note: Microsoft Word creates the superscript ™ automatically when those letters are entered without a space between.

eCheck, ePacket

Do not capitalize the first letter even at the beginning of a sentence: eChecks are ASU's preferred payment method.

e.g.,

It means for example. Periods and comma required.

Eight, Arizona PBS

No comma after PBS within a sentence.

email

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 (but not eAdvisor™)

emeritus, emeriti (pl.)

Gender neutral, it applies to male and female. Emerita is incorrect. Jane Doe is a professor emeritus of journalism.

English as a second language

(n.), English as a second language (adj.), English as a second language (noun phrase) Spell out. The adjectival form may be abbreviated as ESL on subsequent references.

  • She was an English as a second language instructor.
  • That is an English as a second language program.
  • The student was enrolled in an ESL program. (second reference)
  • He speaks English as a second language.

English for Speakers of Other Languages and ESOL

Spell out on first reference; use the initialism thereafter. Not English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

entitled, titled

People are entitled to their opinions. Books and nobility are titled.

faculty

(n., pl.) Collective noun. For singular reference, use faculty member, member of the faculty.

  • The professor recently joined the ASU faculty.
  • ASU has three Nobel laureate faculty members.
  • The school’s faculty are expected to hold office hours each week.

FAFSA

Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The abbreviation is acceptable on first reference. ASU’s Federal School Code (all initial uppercase) is 001081. In subsequent references, use the uncapitalized short form: school code.

fall, autumn

(season) Not capitalized unless it is part of a proper noun. See days, months, years, seasons, time.

Fear the fork®

See trademarks and licensing.

Federal Work-Study

Capitalize and hyphenate.

First-year student

Use first-year student or freshman but not freshperson or freshwoman. First-year student is preferred since it’s gender-neutral and more inclusive.

flyer, flier

A flyer is an aviator or a handbill. Use flier in the phrase take a flier, meaning to take a big risk.

formal titles

See Titles.

foreword

Introduction to a book. Not forword, forward.

Fork ’em™

See trademarks and licensing.

Fork ’em Devils™

See trademarks and licensing.

Forks up™

See trademarks and licensing.

forward (adj.)

Not forwards.

free

Avoid using this word when referring to ASU programs. See Language.

freshman (n., singular; adj.), freshmen (n., pl.)

  • ASU has more than 6,000 new freshmen. (n.)
  • ASU has more than 6,000 new freshman students. (adj.)
  • That group is in their freshman year. (adj.)
  • A freshman may choose from many programs. (n., singular)
  • Freshmen may choose from many programs. (n., plural)

front line(s)

(n.), front-line (adj.)

Fulbright

There are two types of Fulbright programs at ASU. Fulbright Scholars are faculty members, scholars and professionals. Fulbright student awards allow students to study abroad. It is not correct to refer to these students as Fulbright Scholars. A more accurate collective term is Fulbright Student Award winners.

full time

(adj.), full-time Hyphenate only when used as a compound modifier.

  • Doctoral students are required to commit full time to the program.
  • He has a full-time job.

Go Devils™

See trademarks and licensing.

GPA

Uppercase, without periods in all references including first reference. Include two decimal places: 2.00 GPA.

grades

Place the letter between quotation marks, with its grade point value in parentheses: “A” (4.00). This is an exception to not using quotation marks to call attention to words or letters. See Punctuation and symbols.

halftime

One word in sports copy. half-time (adj.), half time (n.)

health care

Two words.

headlines

See Formatting.

his/her, s/he, his or her

Do not use these practices to indicate alternatives. Rewrite the statement using more precise writing; using a plural usually resolves issues. See ASU Branding in Content, Language, 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

Not the homeless.

homepage

One word.

honors thesis

No apostrophe.

i.e.,

It means that is. It is followed by a comma.

Indigenous

Capitalize.

initialism

See Abbreviations.

institutes

See Abbreviations, Capitalization.

institutes

See Formatting.

interdisciplinary

Connotes cooperation between disciplines. Use transdisciplinary to connote transcending the boundaries of disciplines.

iPOS, POS

Interactive plan of study; plan of study. Spell out the phrase on first reference and use the initialism or the plan thereafter. Do not use parentheses. See Abbreviations.

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.

internet

Always lowercased.

It’s time™

See trademarks and licensing.

leading edge

(n.), leading-edge (adj.) Considered trite. Avoid if possible.

Learn to thrive®

See trademarks and licensing.

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.

living and learning community, living-learning

Not capitalized.

lock down

(v.), lockdown (n., adj.)

login, logon, logoff

(n.), one word. log in, log on, log off (v.), two words.

  • I forgot my login sequence.
  • Please log off when you are finished.
  • Your login ID and password are required.

lower division

(n.), lower-division (adj.) Hyphenate when used as a compound adjective.

major maps

Not capitalized.

majors

See Capitalization.

MAPP, Maricopa to ASU Pathways Program

(when referring to a student’s pathway to ASU) or Maricopa-ASU Pathways Program (when referring to the institutional partnership). Spell out the full name of this program on first reference. It may be abbreviated in subsequent references. Do not show the initialism in parentheses after the first reference.

Mayo Clinic

No the, e.g., The agreement with Mayo Clinic.

me3

A mobile app for eAdvisor. Do not capitalize, even to begin a sentence.

  • Students use me3 to explore college degree programs that align with their interests, which helps them plan the courses to take that will best prepare them for success at the university.
  • me3 is an online tool that can help middle and high school students prepare for college.

midnight

Avoid using the term as it may create ambiguity about what day something is taking place. Instead use 11:59 p.m. Thursday or 12:01 a.m. Friday.

more than

Use more than or greater than in numeric references. Use over in spatial relationships. (AP Stylebook variance)

  • There are more than 500 students attending the event.
  • The plane flew over the city.

My ASU

 

multidisciplinary

Connotes cooperation between disciplines. Use transdisciplinary to connote transcending the boundaries of disciplines.

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:

  • A New American University.
  • ASU is a New American University.

 

See ASU, Campus descriptions.

New American University Scholars

Uppercase S in Scholars.

Nobel laureate

A person who has been awarded a Nobel Prize. Also a Nobel Prize winner.

non-

Most words with this prefix are now written without a hyphen. Consult Webster’s New World Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition.

  • nonacademic, nondegree, nonprofit, nonstudio, nonthesis
  • non-English-speaking, non-American

noon

Midday, specifically 12 o’clock at midday. Use instead of 12 p.m. in all instances. Not: 12 noon.

o’clock

 

off-track

(adj.), off track

  • Students who do not meet critical requirements are notified they are off track.
  • Off-track status is displayed on My ASU student pages.

older adult(s), older person/people

Not senior citizens, seniors or elderly.

online

No hyphen.

Orientation, orientation

The title of the new-student event for first-year students is ASU New Student Orientation. Other orientation programs at the university are capitalized only in their full titles. Use lowercase for orientation in subsequent references.

over

Refers to spatial relationships. Use more than or greater than in numeric references. (AP Stylebook variance)

  • The plane flew over the city.
  • Their salaries went up more than $20 a week.

PDF

No periods, uppercase.

Pac-12

The athletic conference should be referred to as Pac-12 or Pac-12 Conference. Not: Pacific-12 Conference, PAC-12 Conference. Lowercase a and c unless the entire name is uppercase: PAC-12 CONFERENCE.

part time

(n.), part-time (adj.) Hyphenate only when used as a compound modifier.

  • Students working full time may prefer evening programs.
  • That is a part-time position.

percent, percentage, percentage points

An AP Stylebook change in 2019, use the % sign when paired with a numeral, with no space, in most cases:

  • The school’s enrollment increased 3.1% from a year ago.
  • Nearly 14% were first-generation students.

Constructions with the % sign take a singular verb when standing alone or when a singular word follows an of construction:

  • Nearly 40% of the class was offered a chance to participate.
  • The rancher reported 75% of the crop was harvested in September.

The % sign takes a plural verb when a plural word follows an of construction:

  • The rancher reported 75% of his trees were infested.
  • Nearly 80% of the professor’s students participated.

Use decimals, not fractions, in percentages:

  • The increase in subscriptions was 13.25%.
  • Not: The increase in subscriptions was 13¼%.

For a range: 12% to 15%, 12%–15% and between 12% and 15% are all acceptable.

 

 

 

Use percentage, rather than percent, when not paired with a number:

  • The percentage of people agreeing is small.
  • A large percentage of the student body participated.

Be careful not to confuse percent with percentage point: A change from 10% to 13% is a rise of 3 percentage points. This is not equal to a 3% change; rather, it’s a 30% increase.

  • Legislators passed a 0.25 percentage point tax cut.
  • Not: Legislators passed a 0.25 percentage points tax cut.
  • Not: Legislators passed a tax cut of 0.25 of a percentage point.

See Numerals.

p.m., a.m.

Lowercase with periods and a space following the number: 10:15 a.m. Avoid redundancy. Not: 10 p.m. tonight. See Time.

policymaker, policymaking

No hyphen.

POS, iPOS

Plan of study; interactive plan of study. Spell out the phrase on first reference and use the initialism or the plan thereafter; do not use parentheses. See Abbreviations.

post

Most words with this prefix are spelled without hyphens: postbaccalaureate, postdoctoral, postgame, postgraduate, postproduction. But: post-master’s certificate program, not: postmaster’s certificate.

Consult Webster’s New World Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition, unless the text references an ASU department’s website where traditional hyphenation is still used. If so, follow the department’s style. See Punctuation and symbols.

pre

A change to AP Style Guidelines in 2019 — in recognition of common usage and dictionary preferences — do not hyphenate, including double-e combinations with pre and re. Consult Webster’s New World Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition, unless the text references an ASU department’s website where traditional hyphenation is still used. If so, follow the department’s style. See Punctuation and symbols.

 

Examples include:

  • preempt
  • preestablish
  • preelection
  • preeminent
  • preexisting

Hyphenate prefixes when used as a modifier before numerals (which is really the only way you would use it), e.g., pre-2019.

 

Use a hyphen if the word that follows the prefix is capitalized, e.g., pre-Columbian, pre-Socratic.

 

Use a hyphen to join double prefixes, e.g., sub-subparagraph.

President’s Professor

Capitalize. Note placement of apostrophe.

price

Do not mention price or cost when referring to ASU programs, or position them as free. See Language

problem-solving

 

professor

Not capitalized unless part of a formal title.

  • It was a professor at the West campus who first taught the class.
  • It was John Doe, a Regents Professor at ASU, who first taught the class.

Professor (unabbreviated) should be used rather than Dr. as the title preceding names of ASU faculty, unless they possess medical degrees: Professor Jane Doe of the English department. Not: Dr. Jane Doe, Prof. Jane Doe.

P.S.

This initialism is a shortened form of postscript. Periods, no spaces, no colon before the text that follows.

re

A change to AP Style Guidelines in 2019 — in recognition of common usage and dictionary preferences — do not hyphenate, including double-e combinations with re and pre. Consult Webster’s New World Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition, unless the text references an ASU department’s website where traditional hyphenation is still used. If so, follow the department’s style. See Punctuation and symbols.

 

Examples include:

  • reelect
  • reemerge
  • reemphasize
  • reemploy
  • reengage

According to AP, “For many other words, the sense is the governing factor:

  • recover (regain)
  • re-cover (cover again)
  • reform (improve)
  • re-form (form again)
  • resign (quit)
  • re-sign (sign again)

“Otherwise, follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Use a hyphen for words not listed there unless the hyphen would distort the sense.”

Regents Professor

Capitalized.

renown, renowned

Renown means fame. Renowned means famous.

residential college, Residential College

Lowercase for general reference. Capitalize as part of an official university name. See Capitalization: residential colleges.

residential community

 

resume

For the career document, not résumé.

RN to BSN

Not RN-BSN.

RSVP

No periods, all uppercase. Not: RSVP, please, as SVP stands for S’il vous plait — “please” in French.

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. All recipients are called New American University Scholars (note capital S) with varying levels of awards. Refer to the ASU scholarship site for the current list of awards.

semester hours

Preferred term is credit hours.

Sky Harbor International Airport

Use the complete name in the first instance. Subsequent mentions: Phoenix Sky Harbor, Sky Harbor.

Skysong Innovations®

See Trademarks and licensing.

SkySong®, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center 

See Trademarks and licensing.

spring

(season) Not capitalized unless it precedes a proper noun. See Days, months, years, seasons, time.

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

statewide

 

summer

(season) Do not capitalize unless it is part of a proper noun. See Days, months, years, seasons, time.

Sun Devil®

See trademarks and licensing.

Sun Devils®

See trademarks and licensing.

Sun Devil Stadium™

See trademarks and licensing.

TAG

Transfer Admission Guarantee. Spell out on first reference; abbreviate in subsequent references. Do not show the initialism in parentheses after the first reference.

tag line

The name of the branding tool is two words. See ASU Branding in Content.

TGen

On first reference, use Translational Genomics Research Institute.

theater

Use this spelling unless part of a proper name containing the word "Theatre."

Thunderbird®

See trademarks and licensing.

3D

3D has no hyphen. Note that a numeral-and-letter combination, such as "3D," may start a sentence:

  • 3D metal printing seminars are scheduled in July.

temperature

Use figures for all except zero. Use a word, not a minus sign, to indicate temperatures below zero.

Right: The day's low was minus 10. The day's low was 10 below zero. Wrong: The day's low was -10. The day’s low was 10 below 0.

Also: 5-degree temperatures, temperatures fell 5 degrees, temperatures in the 30s (no apostrophe).

Temperatures get higher or lower, but they don't get warmer or cooler.

Right: Temperatures are expected to rise in the area Friday. Wrong: Temperatures are expected to warm up in the area Friday.

time

Use figures, except for noon. Do not use zeros for the top of the hour: 1 p.m. Not: 1:00 p.m. (An exception may be made for formal invitation format.)

Morning and afternoon abbreviations are lowercase with periods: a.m. and p.m. Not: AM, A.M., am, a. m.

Do not add descriptive language.

  • 4:15 a.m., 9 p.m., noon.
  • Not: 10 a.m. this morning, 12 midnight, 12:00 noon, 8:20AM, 6:10pm.

See Days, months, years, seasons, time.

titled, entitled

People are entitled to their opinions, but books and nobility are titled.

top 10 list

No hyphen. Capitalize this in a formal name; lowercase in casual reference. Follow the spelling rules for numerals. See Numerals.

  • The Top 100 Graduate Degree Producers.
  • Finished in the top 10.

top tier

(n.), top-tier (adj.)

toward

American English. Not: towards (British).

transdisciplinary

Connotes transcending the boundaries of traditional disciplines.

TTY

Telephone services for those with hearing loss. Acceptable on first reference. Do not use TDD.

24/7

 

unique

Means “the only one of its kind,” and is commonly used incorrectly. Cannot be modified with an adjective. Use with caution, or use the more broad — and usually more accurate — distinct.

Universal Learner®

See trademarks and licensing.

Universal Learning™

See trademarks and licensing.

university

See Abbreviations and Capitalization.

universitywide

 

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:

  • upper-division course work
  • course work in the upper division

U.S.

Used as a noun or adjective for United States and acceptable on first reference. Use periods except in headlines: US. See also USA.

U.S. News & World Report

Use periods, ampersand.

USA

No periods.

Valley of the Sun, the Valley

Refers to metropolitan Phoenix. See Abbreviations.

virus’s (pl.)

Not virus’.

Washington; Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital is not abbreviated. Use state of Washington or Washington state and Washington, D.C., or District of Columbia when context requires distinction between the state and the federal district. See Abbreviations.

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.

well-being

 

well-known

 

winter

(season) Use lowercase unless it is part of a proper noun. See Days, months, years, seasons, time.

workbook, workday, workforce, workhorse, workout, workplace, workstation, workweek

 

world-class

Hyphenated compound adjective. Considered trite and vague. Avoid if possible.

world-renowned

Means “known to the entire world.” Use carefully.

yearlong, yearslong, year-round