Editorial Style Guide


a, an—“With the indefinite article, the choice of a or an depends on the sound of the word it precedes.” Sound, not spelling, dictates: a homage, a hotel, a historical event, a euphonious word, a union, an honor, an NFL team, an M.F.A., a one-man band. (1)

abbreviations and acronyms

academic degrees—Use capital letters with periods: A.A.S., B.A., B.S., Ed.D., J.D., M.A., M.B.A., M.F.A., M.L.S., M.S., Ph.D., etc.; lowercase when spelled out: associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, bachelor of arts degree, bachelor of science degree, master’s degree, master of fine arts degree.

academic majors, minors, programs of study—generally lowercase in running text with the exception of proper nouns: Africana studies, applied mathematics, data science and analytics, English education (7–12), film studies.

ache—Compounds with ache are closed: headache, toothache, stomachache.

acknowledgment (not acknowledgement)

addresses, campus—The preferred style is building name and room number: Cleveland Hall 307, Caudell Hall 112, Butler Library 210.

addresses, street—Do not abbreviate in running text: 1300 Elmwood Avenue, 341 Delaware Avenue, 1313 Mockingbird Lane. It is acceptable to use abbreviations in a return address, a list, the back of a brochure, etc.: 1300 Elmwood Ave.

Advanced Placement (AP)—Lowercase the words test, credit, etc.

adviser (not advisor)

advocateAdvocate is a transitive verb; it takes a direct object. One advocates a cause, not for a cause. If an intransitive verb is needed, try substituting an alternative, such as work for or argue for.

African American, Chinese American, French Canadian, Mexican American, etc.—no hyphen, noun or adjective form.

afterward (not afterwards)

ages—Use figures for ages of people and animals; hyphenate adjectival and noun forms: The woman, 37, had a 3-month-old baby. The 6-year-old dog. Acting like a 2-year-old. Avoid aged in designating ages: children ages 6 and up, not children aged 6 and up. (See numbers, figures or words?)

aging (not ageing)

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

all—Adverbial phrases beginning with all are always open: going all out, painted all over. Adjectival phrases beginning with all are always hyphenated, either before or after a noun: all-out effort, all-American player, the book is all-encompassing.

Allegany County

Allegany—town in New York

Allegany State Park

Alleghany in Virginia

Allegheny in Pennsylvania

Allegheny Mountains

Allegheny River

all right (not alright)

alumnus (masculine singular), alumna (feminine singular), alumni (masculine plural), alumnae (feminine plural). Use the masculine plural (alumni) for groups composed of men and women.

a.m./p.m.—Lowercase and set with periods; use a single space between the numerals and the a.m. or p.m. 10:00 a.m., 7:15 p.m. (See time.)

ampersand (&)—Generally not used, except when it is part of a company's formal name: Proctor & Gamble, Barnes & Noble at Buffalo State Bookstore. Do not use in place of and.

ante- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: antediluvian, anteroom. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

anti- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: antidepressant, antihypertensive; but use the hyphen between repeated vowels, before a proper noun, or to avoid confusion or ambiguity: anti-inflammatory, anti-intellectual, anti-racist, anti-American. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

archaeology (not archeology)

Arctic—Capitalize references to the region around the North Pole: Arctic Circle, the Arctic; lowercase as an adjective meaning frigid: arctic climate, arctic air.

artist-in-residence (n., adj.)



awards—Names of awards and prizes are capitalized, but the categories usually are not: Nobel Prize in physics, Pulitzer Prize for fiction; also Nobel Prize laureate, Emmy Award–winning director.

(1) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 5.74

backward (not backwards)

benefit, benefited, benefiting

best seller (n.), best-selling (adj.)

better, best—Compounds formed with better and best are hyphenated before a noun and open after a noun: better-prepared student; best-loved films; she is better educated; he is best known for his short stories.

bi- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: bilingual, bimonthly, bipartisan. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

Black (adj.)—Uppercase for African American.

board of directors—Generally lowercase unless part of a proper name: the Buffalo State College Foundation Board of Directors, the board of directors.

Board of Education (Buffalo Board of Education, the board)

Board of Regents (Regents, Regents biology)

board of trustees (SUNY Board of Trustees, Burchfield Penney Art Center Board of Trustees, board of trustees, the board)

book—Compounds with book can be open or closed. Consult Webster’s. If not in the dictionary, open: checkbook, notebook, pocketbook, textbook, coupon book, reference book, trade book.

books, parts of—Use arabic numerals with parts of books. Lowercase and spell out in running text: chapter 3, volume 11. Abbreviations may be used in parenthetical references: (chap. 3), (vol. 14, pp. 77–82).

Use the following abbreviations for parenthetical references: Plurals for all except page (pp.) and note (nn.) are formed by adding s.

(vol.) volume
(pt.) part
(no.) number
(bk.) book
(chap.) chapter
(p.) page
(n.) note
(app.) appendix
(pl.) plate
(fig.) figure

books, titles of—See titles, composition.

borne—“Closed if listed as such in Webster’s. If not in Webster’s, hyphenate”: airborne, foodborne, waterborne, mosquito-borne. (2) (See prefixes and suffixes.)

Buffalo History Museum (formerly the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society)

the Buffalo News —See newspapers, names of.

Buffalo Niagara (n., adj.)

by (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: bylaws, byline, byproduct. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

(2) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 7.89


cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation

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.

check out (v.), checkout (n.): I am going to check out that book from the library. George got in the checkout line.

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, cohost. 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-pay, co-sponsor, 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)

councilor (not councillor)

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 honorifics.

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. If not in Merriam-Webster's, leave noun forms open; hyphenate adjective, adverb, and verb forms. (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 amounts expressed numerically should include zeros and a 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) (See practicum and symposium.)

curriculum vitae (singular), curricula vitae (plural)

(3) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 7.52
(4) The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2000), p. 331
(5) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 9.20

day care (n.), day-care (adj.): She has a child in day care. He's looking into day-care options.

dean's list

decades—Decades may be spelled out (the seventies and eighties) or expressed in numerals with apostrophes (’70s and ’80s). Be sure to use an apostrophe (’) and not a single open quotation mark (‘): ’70s and ’80s (not ‘70s and ‘80s). Also, no apostrophe between the numeral and the s. (See plural figures and letters.)

decimal fractions—Use numerals. For amounts less than one, set with an initial zero: The average number of children born in 1991 dropped from 1.3 to 0.95.

degrees, academic—See academic degrees.

departments—Always spell out; do not abbreviate. Capitalize formal names of departments. Use XYZ Department rather than Department of XYZ: English Department, not Department of English.

dialogue (not dialog)

dietitian (not dietician)

directions and regions—“In general, lowercase north, south, northeast, northern, etc., when they indicate compass direction; capitalize these words when they designate regions: The cold front is moving east. A storm system that developed in the Midwest is spreading eastward; it will bring showers to the East Coast by morning and to the entire Northeast by late in the day.” (6) Capitalize these words when referring to widely known areas: Southern California, Western New York, Lower East Side of New York (but upstate New York).

dissertation titles—Set in quotation marks with title caps. (See titles, composition and headline-style capitalization.)

doctoral (adj.), doctorate (n.): He earned his doctoral degree in 1965. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology. But, juris doctor degree.


drop off (v.), drop-off (n., adj.): I will drop off the money. The drop-off in ticket sales was noticeable. Drop-off time is 7:00 a.m.

drop out (v.), dropout (n., adj.): I'm afraid she will drop out of school. Though he was a high school dropout, he became a multimillionaire. The high school dropout rate is rising.

(6) The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2011), p. 85


earth—Generally lowercase, except in context with other properly named planets: A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. They are studying the earth’s atmosphere. The class is studying Mercury, Venus, and Earth.

East Side—Buffalo's East Side; New York's Lower East Side. (See directions and regions.)

editions—See titles, composition.

elect—Compounds with elect, meaning newly elected, are hyphenated unless the office title contains two or more words: president-elect, senator-elect, town assessor elect, vice president elect.

ellipsis (...)—Three dots used to indicate an omission in quoted material. Do not set off with a space on each side: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation…dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

email (but e-book, e-commerce, etc.)

em dash—The em dash (—) is used to set off parenthetical material or to signify an abrupt change in thought. The em dash can also replace the colon. It is the width of the capital M in the typeface used. Do not set off with a space on each side: She considered the dwarves—all but Grumpy—fine company. He said he needed three things—lawyers, guns, and money.

emeritus (masculine singular), emerita (feminine singular), emeriti (plural)

en dash—The en dash (–) is longer than the hyphen (-) and shorter than the em dash (—). It is generally used to connect continuing or inclusive numbers (ranges)—dates, times, or reference numbers. Do not set off with a space on each side: The report covered 1992–1998. Do not use the words from or between with the en dash: Wrong: from 1962–1972, between 1968–1970. Right: 1968–1972, from 1968 to 1972. The en dash is also used “in place of a hyphen in a compound adjective when one of its elements consists of an open compound”: post–Civil War, New York–London flight. (7)


ex- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: exclude, expose, extract. Compounds with ex meaning former are not recommended in formal writing; former, without a hyphen, is preferable: former president Gerald Ford, former senator. If used, hyphenate: ex-president, ex-husband. Use an en dash if the second part is an open compound: ex–vice president. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

extra- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: extraterrestrial, extrafine. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

(7) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 6.80



faculty—Faculty ranks are, progressively, lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, professor, SUNY Distinguished Service or Distinguished Teaching Professor, SUNY Distinguished Professor.

farmers market, farmers markets (exception to Merriam-Webster’s).



firsthand (adj., adv.)

flier (not flyer) for a printed advertisement, announcement, or handbill.

foreign words and phrases—Words and phrases in a foreign language are set in italics: The sign on his door says Qui docet discit (He who teaches learns).

forward (not forwards)

fractions—Spell out common usages and use hyphens: More than two-thirds of those polled said they would vote for him. Do not hyphenate the casual use a half: It rained for three and a half days. Mixed fractions (whole numbers combined with fractions) should be expressed in numerals: The note was written on 8½-by-11-inch paper.

-free—Compounds formed with -free are hyphenated both before and after the nouns they modify: tobacco-free campus, campus is tobacco-free.

freelance (v., adj.), freelancer (n.): He wants to freelance this summer. The company hired a freelance artist. She works as a freelancer.

Friends of Night People (no the)

full—Compound adjectives with full are hyphenated before the noun and open after the noun: full-length mirror, full-blown investigation, full-scale attack. The mirror was full length. The drawing was full scale. Almost all compound nouns with full are open: full house, full moon, full dress (but fullback). Consult the dictionary.

fundraiser (n.), fundraising (n., adj.): Our committee will hold a fundraiser. Fundraising is hard work. Our committee will hold a fundraising event (exception to Merriam-Webster’s).


grade point average (GPA)

grade, grader—Hyphenate both adjectival and noun forms: fourth-grade pupil, 12th-grade student, first-grader, 10th-graders.

grades,letter—Capitalize; do not italicize or use quotation marks. Form the plural with 's: He was sure he'd get straight A's and was shocked when he saw three B's and a C. Students must maintain a B average. (See plural figures and letters.)


half—Most compound adjectives with half are hyphenated: half-baked plan, half-time employee; some are closed: halfhearted attempt, halfway mark. Compound nouns with half can be open, hyphenated, or closed: half hour, half note, half sister, half-dollar, half-life, half-moon, halfback, halftone. Consult the dictionary.

hard copy

headline-style and capitalization (also called title case)
"1. Capitalize the first and last words in titles and subtitles (but see rule 7), and capitalize all other major words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and some conjunctions—but see rule 4).
2. Lowercase the articles the, a, and an.
3. Lowercase prepositions, regardless of length, except when they are used adverbially or adjectivally (up in Look Up, down in Turn Down, on in the On Button, to in Come To, etc.) or when they compose part of a Latin expression used adjectivally or adverbially (De Facto, In Vitro, etc.)
4. Lowercase the common coordinating conjunctions and, but, for, or, and nor.
5. Lowercase to not only as a preposition (rule 3) but also as part of an infinitive (to Run, to Hide, etc.), and lowercase as in any grammatical function.
6. Lowercase the part of a proper name that would be lowercased in text, such as de or von.
7. Lowercase the second part of a species name, such as fulvescens in Acipenser fulvescens, even if it is the last word in a title or subtitle." (8)

Capitalize hyphenated compounds in titles as follows:
"1. Always capitalize the first element.
2. Capitalize any subsequent elements unless they are articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor), or such modifiers as flat or sharp following musical key symbols
3. If the first element is merely a prefix or combining form that could not stand by itself as a word (anti-, pre-, etc.), do not capitalize the second element unless it is a proper noun or proper adjective.
4. Capitalize the second element in a hyphenated spelled-out number (Twenty-One or Twenty-First, etc.) or hyphenated simple fraction (Two-Thirds in Two-Thirds Majority)." (9) (See titles, composition.)

health care (n.), health-care (adj.): Health care is a major issue with the candidates. Health-care reform is on the agenda.

HIV-negative, HIV-positive

honorable—See reverend and honorable.

honors—Capitalize when referring to the formal program: Muriel A. Howard Honors Program, Muriel A. Howard Honors Colloquium; lowercase elsewhere else: honors students.

honorifics (Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.)—In general, honorifics are not used before names on first or subsequent references in Buffalo State publications. (See names.) Honorifics are sometimes used in special cases, for example, a list of donors or a special invitation. When a degree is indicated, it follows the name on first reference: Judith A. Smith, Ph.D.; John Q. Jones, M.A. Do not use both an honorific and a degree:

Preferable: Judith A. Jones, Ph.D.
Acceptable: Dr. Judith A. Jones
Incorrect: Dr. Judith A. Jones, Ph.D.

honors, academic—Academic degrees and honors following a personal name should be capitalized, whether abbreviated or spelled out: Steven Kiley, M.D.; Clyde M. Matthews, Doctor of Law.

Named professorships and fellowships are capitalized: Sherry Turkle, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology; Katherine Stuart May, Mellon Fellow in Objects Conservation.

SUNY Distinguished Professor titles are capitalized: Steven D. Georgiou, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor.

(8) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 8.159
(9) Ibid., 8.161


ID card, ID

ill—Compounds formed with ill are hyphenated before a noun, open after a noun: ill-fitting garment, the garment was ill fitting, ill-advised decision, the decision was ill advised.

impact—A noun, not a verb.

impactful—Jargon. Avoid.

Inc., Co., etc.—Usually eliminated in running text; when included, do not set off a with a comma: Curtis Screw Co., Moog Inc.

include—Use include when what follows is only part of the total: The price includes breakfast. The zoo includes hippopotamuses and rhinoceroses.

initials—When two or more initials are used before a name, use periods and insert a space between each: H. W. Fowler, W. E. B. Du Bois. No periods or spaces are used for people commonly referred to by their initials only: FDR, JFK, LBJ, MLK.



inter- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: interrelated, intercontinental, intergenerational. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

intra- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: intranet, intracranial. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

italicized words—When italicized words that are singular in form are used in the plural, set the s or es in roman type: She bought two Chicago Tribunes and three Milwaukee Journals. (See titles, composition and punctuation)

italics or quotation marks? See titles, composition, this section.


Jr., Sr., II, IV, etc.—Do not set off with commas: Martin Luther King Jr., Loudon Wainwright III, Benjamin O. Davis Sr.

judgment (not judgement)

The Juilliard School (not Julliard)


kick off (v.), kickoff (n., adj.): The event will kick off the week. The event is a kickoff to the week’s activities. The kickoff event went smoothly.

Kleinhans Music Hall


led—not lead, for the past tense of lead

legal cases—Italicize the names of legal cases. Abbreviate v. for versus in case names: Miranda v. Arizona, Times v. Sullivan. Retain the italics when the case name is shortened: the Miranda case. (See versus.)

letter grades—See grades, letter.

letters as letters Italicize individual letters and combinations of letters of the alphabet: the letter q, a lowercase n. Is the plural formed with s or es? Roman type, however, is always used in two common expressions:

Mind your p’s and q’s.
dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s (10)

Notice that single letters take an apostrophe in the plural form. (See plural figures and letters and grades, letter.)

life—Compounds with life can be open, hyphenated, or closed. Consult Webster’s. If not in the dictionary, open: life preserver, life raft, life span, life-form, lifeblood, lifeboat, lifesaver, lifestyle, lifetime.

-like (suffix)—Compounds formed with the suffix -like are generally closed, but consult Webster’s. If not in the dictionary, hyphenated: childlike, catlike, mouselike, shell-like, sponge-like, Roosevelt-like. “Compounds retain the hyphen both before and after a noun.” (11) (See prefixes and suffixes.)

little, lesser, least—Compounds formed with little, lesser, and least are hyphenated before a noun, open after: little-known tale, the tale was little known, the lesser-prepared student, the student who is least prepared.


macro- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: macroeconomics, macromolecular. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

mapmaker (n.)

mapmaking (n.)

measure, units of—Always use numerals: 5 feet, 6 inches, 12 miles. Abbreviations are generally avoided in running text, but may be necessary when space is limited, such as in tables, charts, or graphs. They are identical in the singular and plural. Abbreviate as follows:

in.  inch
ft.  foot
yd.  yard
mi.  mile
m.p.g.  miles per gallon
m.p.h.  miles per hour
sq.  square
cu.  cubic
pt.  pint
qt.  quart
gal.  gallon
mg  milligram
g  gram
kg  kilogram
oz.  ounce
lb.  pound
mm  millimeter
cm  centimeter
m  meter
km  kilometer
km/h  kilometers per hour
dB  decibel
mL  milliliter
L  liter
J  joule
kW  kilowatt
kWh  kilowatt hour
V  volts
W  watt
Hz  hertz
MHz  megahertz
°F  degrees Fahrenheit
°C  degrees Celsius (replaces centigrade)

medals and awards, military—“Specific names of medals and awards are capitalized.” (12) Bronze Star, Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Silver Star

media (plural), medium (singular)

micro- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: micromanage, microwave. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

mid-(prefix)—Generally closed. Hyphenate if the second element is a proper noun: midweek, midterm, midlife, mid-Atlantic, mid-Victorian; but mid-nineteenth century, mid-nineteenth-century painter. (See century and prefixes and suffixes.)

midnight—Use midnight, not 12:00 midnight or 12:00 a.m. (See noon.)

military terms—Full “titles of armies, navies, air forces, fleets, regiments, battalions, companies, corps, and so forth are capitalized.” The words army, navy, etc., “are lowercased when standing alone, when used collectively in the plural, or when not part of an official title.” (13) United States Army, the army, the American army, United States Navy, the navy, the armed forces.

Miller Analogies Test

millions, billions—Use figures with million or billion in all but casual uses (thanks a million). Retain the word million with the first figure in a range: The deal will be worth from $2 million to $4 million (not $2 to $4 million). Do not use a hyphen to join the figures and the word, even as an adjectival modifier: The president submitted a $300 million budget. Do not go beyond two decimal places: 7.55 million people (7,546,500 people). (14)

mini- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: minibike, minibus, minigrant, miniskirt. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

moneys (not monies)—plural form of money.

months—Do not abbreviate in running text; capitalize and spell out in all uses: October 1964; January 1, 2000; Mother’s Day is in May. Months may be abbreviated as follows when space is limited: Jan., Feb., March, April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.

more, most—Compounds formed with more and most are usually open unless a hyphen is needed to distinguish meaning: most favored child, more plausible excuses (more excuses that are plausible), more-plausible excuses (excuses that are more plausible).

multi- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: multidisciplinary, multifaceted, multipurpose. See (prefixes and suffixes.)

(10) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 7.64
(11) Ibid., 7.89
(12) Ibid., 8.115
(13) Ibid., 8.112
(14) The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2011), p. 180

names—On first reference, use the given and surname; on subsequent reference, use the surname only: Michael Jones, professor of mathematics, and Maria Wallace, associate professor of computer science, won awards for their research. Jones and Wallace have worked together on several projects during the past five years. (See honorifics.)

Native American (n., adj.) (no hyphen)

newspapers, names of—Set the names of newspapers in italics. The article the is set in roman type and, unless it begins a sentence, is lowercased: I read it in the New York Times. I'm running an ad in the Buffalo News. (See titles, composition.)

New York City, city of New York; New York State, state of New York—In general, words denoting political divisions, such as city and state, are capitalized when they follow a name and lowercased when they precede a name.

New York State Education Department (but U.S. Department of Education)

nicknames—Set in quotation marks after middle name or initial and before last name: John Q. "Joe" Public.

non- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: noncredit, nonprofit, nontraditional, nonviolent, nonnuclear, nonnative. Hyphenate with a proper noun or a compound term: non-English-speaking immigrants, non-degree-seeking students. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

noon Use noon, not 12:00 noon or 12:00 p.m. (See midnight.)

North Buffalo—(See directions and regions.)

numbers—In general, spell out numbers zero through nine in running text; use figures for numbers 10 and up. Ordinals follow the same rule: first, ninth, 27th, 110th. Use commas with four or more figures in a sequence: 1,467; 12,567. Exceptions: page numbers, addresses, standardized test scores (e.g., SAT, GRE), and years with four or fewer digits. (See years.)

numbers: figures or words?

Use words for:

  • Cardinal numbers zero through nine. (Use figures for 10 and above.)
  • Ordinals first through ninth. (Use figures for 10th and above.)
  • Centuries: the twentieth century, the fifth century. (See centuries.)
  • Fractions—use hyphens: one-fifth. (See fractions.)
  • A number that begins a sentence; the only exception is a year:

Right: Fifteen people died when a tour bus collided with a tractor trailer.
Wrong: 15 people died when a tour bus collided with a tractor trailer.
Acceptable: 1978 was a great year for film.

When spelling large numbers, use a hyphen to connect a word ending in y to another word: eighty-seven, ninety-nine, one hundred seventy-two.

Use figures for:

  • Ages of people and animals—Hyphenate adjectival and noun forms: 3-year-old boy, 10-month-old baby, 13-year-olds, 75 years old.
  • Addresses: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, 3 Rolling Hills Court.
  • Cardinal numbers 10 and above. (Spell out numbers zero through nine.)
  • Ordinals 10th and above. (Spell out ordinals first through ninth.)
  • Units of measure: 3 miles, 55 mph, 50 lb., 35 mm., 6 inches (See measure, units of.)
  • Credits and credit hours: 3 credit hours, 6 credits, 3-credit course.
  • Currency—See currency.
  • Decimal fractions—See decimal fractions.
  • Dimensions—Use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc. to indicate height, length, depth, and width. Hyphenate adjectival forms before nouns: He is 5 feet 6 inches tall, the 5-foot-6-inch man, the 9-by-12 rug, the storm left 5 inches of snow.
  • Numbers in a series—Use a figure with the abbreviation no. (not the # symbol): no. 6, no. 15. Capitalize as the abbreviation for number when used adjectivally with a figure to indicate position or rank: No. 1 problem, No. 3 choice. Do not use No. in the names of public schools: School 32, School 17. (See schools, public.)
  • Parts of a book, periodical, or manuscript: volume 3, chapter 6, page 12, plate 7, figures 23–29. (See books, parts of.)
  • Parts of poems or plays: canto 2, stanza 4, act 3, scene 5.
  • Percentages—Use the word percent  (not the % symbol), unless in tables or charts. Use decimals, not fractions: 4.5 percent. For amounts less than 1 percent, precede the decimal with a zero: 0.8 percent.
  • Ratios: the ratio was 2-to-1, a ratio of 2-to-1, a 2-1 ratio. (See ratios.)
  • Sizes: a size 9 dress, size 40 long.
  • Time: 2:00 a.m., 11:17 p.m.
  • Years: 1945, 1880, 1977. (Note: Years with five or more digits use commas: 15000–14,000 B.P.) [15] (See years.)

Also use figures with symbols: 3", 36°, 9'.

(15) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 9.64


offices—Always spell out; do not abbreviate. Capitalize formal names of offices. Use XYZ Office rather than Office of XYZ: Marketing and Communications Office, not Office of Marketing and Communications.


over, under—Compounds beginning with over or under are generally closed: overboard, overeager, overzealously, underreported, underhandedly, underway.


part time (adv.), part-time (adj.): He works part time. She has a part-time job.

percentages—Use numerals. Use decimals, not fractions. Spell out the word percent (do not use the % symbol unless space is limited, as in tables or charts): 10 percent, 47 percent, 3.5 percent. For amounts less than 1 percent, precede the decimal with a zero: 0.8 percent.

periodicals, titles—Italicize. See titles, composition and titles, articles and features.

pickup (n., adj.), pick up (v.): Call us to schedule a pickup. He drives a pickup truck. She must pick up her daughter at 3:30.

plural figures and letters—Add s to capital letters and to numbers used as nouns. Add ’s to single lowercase letters and to abbreviations with two or more internal periods:

  • She received two As and three Bs. The dorm had three RAs. The VIPs arrived early.
  • The school became coeducational in the 1960s. Among the scores were two 240s and three 238s. Nothing was left but size 2s and 16s.
  • Mind your p’s and q’s.
  • M.A.’s and Ph.D.’s (See grades, letter and letters.)

p.m.—See a.m./p.m.

possessives—The general rule for forming the possessives of singular common nouns—add 's—covers most proper nouns as well, including names ending in s, x, or z: Burns's poems, Jones's reputation, Marx's theories, Dickens's novels, Margaux's bouquet, Descartes's work, Xerxes’s armies.

Exceptions to the general rule that form their possessives with an apostrophe only:

  • Nouns (common or proper) that are plural in form but singular in meaning or whose singular and plural forms are the same: economics', politics', species', the United States'.
  • For...sake expressions with singular common nouns that end in s: for goodness' sake, for righteousness' sake.

post- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: postbaccalaureate, postdoctoral, postimpressionism, postmodern, posttraumatic, but post-Vietnam. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

practicum (singular), practicums (plural) (See curriculum and symposium.)

pre- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: predoctoral, preeminent, preempt, premajor, premedical, preprofessional, preschool, preservice. Hyphenate with a compound modifier: pre-latency-period episodes. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

prefixes and suffixes—Most words with prefixes such as co-, pre-, un-, post-, and mini- and suffixes such as -borne,-like, and -wide are formed as closed compounds. Consult Webster’s. Some exceptions:

  • With proper nouns or numerals: mid-July, pre-Renaissance, post-1920.
  • As homographs: re-cover, re-create, un-ionized.
  • In compounds in which the second element consists of more than one word: pre-latency-period, non-English-speaking, non-degree-seeking. When a prefix is added to an open compound, the hyphen becomes an en dash: pre–Civil War.
  • With suspensive hyphenation: over- and underused, macro- and microeconomics.
  • With some repeated vowels: anti-inflammatory, semi-independent.
  • With misleading or awkward forms: co-chair, co-worker, non-essential, pro-life, unit-wide.

Presidents Day (no apostrophe)

preventive (n., adj.)

prime meridian

printmaking (n.)

prior to—avoid when possible; use before or until instead.

pro- (prefix)—Most compounds formed with pro that denote support for something are hyphenated. A few are closed. Consult the dictionary: pronuclear, pro-family, pro-democracy, pro-choice, pro-life, pro-American. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

proved, proven–Use proved as the past participle, proven as an adjective only: She has proved her case. It is a proven remedy.

punctuation—Generally, punctuation marks take the same style or font of type as the word, letter, character, or symbol immediately preceding them. Exceptions: A question mark or exclamation point that immediately follows an italicized title but is not part of the title should be set in roman type: When did she write Out of Africa? Plurals of italicized terms also set the s or es in roman type: She bought two Christian Science Monitors. Parentheses preceding or following italics are set in roman type: Hal Ashby films (Harold and Maude, Shampoo, Coming Home, and Being There). (See italicized words.)

push button (n.), push-button (adj.)


quasi—Compound adjectives with quasi are always hyphenated: quasi-public corporation; compound nouns with quasi are always open: quasi contract, quasi union.

quotation marks, punctuation with—Commas and periods always go inside quotation marks. Other punctuation marks go outside the quotation marks, unless they are part of the quoted material: He asked, "Did you actually see him do it?" Have you read the article "Ten Simple Steps to Better Writing"?


ratios—"Use figures and hyphens: The ratio was 2-to-1, a ratio of 2-to-1, a 2-1 ratio. As illustrated, the word to should be omitted when the numbers precede the word ratio." (16)

re- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: recover, reelect, reenact, reentry, reunite; but, include the hyphen if necessary to distinguish the word from its homograph: re-cover (to cover again), re-creation (another creation). (See prefixes and suffixes.)

recur, recurred, recurring (not reoccur)

references, first and subsequent—See capitalization and names.

Regents (Board of Regents, New York State Board of Regents, Regents biology, Regents English)

request for proposals (RFP)



reverend and honorable—“The abbreviations Rev. and Hon. are traditionally used before a full name when the does not precede the title. With the, such titles should be spelled out.” (17) The title is dropped on second reference: the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., King; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Pelosi.

role-play (v.)

RSVP—“The abbreviation for the French repondez s’il vous plait, it means please reply.” (18)  The phrase Please RSVP is redundant.

(16) The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2011), p. 238
(17) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 10.18
(18) The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2011), p. 247

St. Catharines, Ontario

school—Compounds with school are generally closed, with a few exceptions. Check the dictionary: school board, school bus, school-age, schoolchildren, schoolroom, schoolteacher, schoolwork.

schools,public—Use figures and capitalize school. Do not include the word number, the symbol #, or the abbreviation no.: School 96, School 76.

seasons—The four seasons are lowercased: fall 1994, the spring semester. Her favorite season was winter. Seasons are capitalized, however, when used in place of the month or issue number of a periodical: Journal of Human Resources (Fall 2009).

SEFA/United Way Campaign

self—Both noun and adjective forms [are] hyphenated, except where self- is followed by a suffix or preceded by un”: (19) self-conscious, self-reliant, self-restraint, self-righteous, selfish, selfless, unselfconscious. (See suffixes.)

semester—Lowercase: fall semester, spring semester.

semi- (prefix)—Generally closed: semiannual, semifinal, semiliterate, semicircle, but use the hyphen between repeated vowels: semi-independent, semi-indirect. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

series and editions—Titles of book series and editions are capitalized and set in roman type without quotation marks. The words series and edition are lowercase when they are not part of the title: Chicago History of American Civilization series, Modern Library edition, second edition.

setup (n.), set up (v.)—This looks like a setup. He set up the backdrop.

ships, trains, aircraft, spacecraft, automobiles—“Names of specific ships and other vessels are both capitalized and italicized. Note that when such abbreviations as USS (United States ship) or HMS (Her [or His] Majesty’s ship) precede a name, the word ship or other vessel type should not be used. The abbreviations themselves are not italicized.” (20): USS SC-530, HMS Frolic, Voyager 2, Sputnik II, CSS Shenandoah. “Names of makes and classes of aircraft, models of automobiles and other vehicles, names of trains or train runs, and names of space programs are capitalized but not italicized.” (21): Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Concorde, Honda Civic, Acela Express, Project Apollo.

shut—Compound nouns with shut are generally hyphenated or closed: shut-in, shutdown, shutoff, shutout. Consult Webster’s. As verbs, they remain open: He shut down his computer. She shut off the light.

sign up (v.), sign-up (n., adj.): Please sign up before the event. Sign-up is Tuesday. The sign-up sheet will be posted on the door.

so-called (adj.)

Social Security, Social Security number

socio- (prefix)—Generally closed, no hyphen: socioeconomic, sociopolitical. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

South Buffalo (See directions and regions.)

speech-language (adj.)

speech-language-hearing (adj.)

State University Construction Fund

study abroad (adv.), study-abroad (adj.): She will study abroad. I joined a study-abroad program.

sub- (prefix)—Most constructions with sub are closed: subbasement, subordinate, substandard. Hyphenate when used with a proper noun: sub-Saharan, sub-Arctic. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

subtitles—Use a colon, not a semicolon or a dash, between titles and subtitles: Working with Words: A Concise Handbook for Media Writers and Editors.

suffixes—Most compounds formed with suffixes are closed: nationhood, selfish, senseless. Consult the dictionary.

SUNY Board of Trustees (Board of Trustees, trustees)


SUNY Distinguished Professor—Awarded by the SUNY Board of Trustees, a rank higher than (full) professor. Always capitalized.

SUNY Distinguished Service Professor—Awarded by the SUNY Board of Trustees, a rank higher than (full) professor. Always capitalized.

SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor—Awarded by the SUNY Board of Trustees, a rank higher than (full) professor. Always capitalized.

SUNY, University Centers—Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, and Stony Brook. Each institution has its own preferred name. Add "State University of New York" when this affiliation is unclear to the reader.

  • University at Albany
  • Binghamton University
  • University at Buffalo
  • Stony Brook University

SUNY, University Colleges—Each institution has its own preferred name. Spell out SUNY if the abbreviation may be unclear to the reader (for example, a national or international audience).

  • The College at Brockport, State University of New York
  • Buffalo State College
  • SUNY Cortland
  • SUNY Empire State College
  • Fredonia
  • SUNY Geneseo
  • SUNY New Paltz
  • SUNY Old Westbury
  • SUNY Oneonta
  • SUNY Oswego
  • SUNY Plattsburgh
  • SUNY Potsdam
  • Purchase College, State University of New York 

symposium (singular), symposiums (plural) (See curriculum and practicum.)

(19) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 7.89
(20) Ibid., 8.116
(21) Ibid., 8.117

teachers college(no apostrophe)

telephone numbers—Enclose area code in parentheses for both toll and toll-free calls. Do not include the 1. Use a hyphen to punctuate, not a period or a space: (716) 878-4000, (800) 555-1212.

theater—Not theatre, unless part of the official name of an organization: Studio Arena Theatre.

Theater District—in downtown Buffalo.

time—Use numerals, with zeros for even hours: The workshop will begin at 2:00 p.m. Abbreviations for divisions of the day (a.m., p.m.) are set in lowercase with periods. Separate time and division of day with a single space. Use noon (not 12:00 noon or 12:00 p.m.) and midnight (not 12:00 midnight or 12:00 a.m.). See a.m./p.m., noon, and midnight.

time zones—Lowercase, except for proper nouns: eastern standard time, central daylight time, Greenwich mean time. Capitalize abbreviations: EST, CDT, GMT.

titles, academic—In general, capitalize academic titles “when they immediately precede a personal name and are thus used as part of the name (traditionally replacing the title holder’s first name). In formal prose and other generic text, titles are normally lowercased when following a name or used in place of a name.” (22): Interim SUNY Chancellor Deborah Stanley, Chancellor Stanley; Buffalo State College President Katherine Conway-Turner, President Conway-Turner; Professor Roy Hinkley, Professor Hinkley. Lowercase a title when it stands alone, follows a name, or precedes a name but is used appositively, that is, as an identifier or occupational descriptor rather than as a title (especially when preceded by the or used with a modifier): Deborah Stanley, SUNY chancellor; the president of Buffalo State, Katherine Conway-Turner; Judith A. Smith, professor of fine arts; Harold Chasen, associate professor in the Psychology Department; assistant professor of music Michael Timmins. (See titles, military or civil; honorifics; and honors, academic.)

titles, articles and features—Titles of articles and features in periodicals and newspapers, chapter titles, short-story titles, essays, and individual selections in books are set in roman type and enclosed in quotation marks: “Talk of the Town” in last week’s New Yorker. The author cited “Maternal Behavior and Attitudes,” chapter 14 in Human Development. (23)

titles, composition—Use title capitalization, also called headline style or title case. (See headline-style capitalization.)

Titles of books, magazines*, newspapers*, scholarly journals*, movies, television or radio series, plays, long poetic works, exhibitions, photographs, paintings, sculptures, other works of art, operas and other long musical compositions, and musical scores: the Christian Science Monitor, the New England Journal of Medicine, Picasso’s Guernica, Le Nozze di Figaro.

Set in quotation marks:
Titles of dissertations, theses, journal articles, chapters of books, short stories, poems, articles and features in periodicals and newspapers, song titles, specific radio programs and television shows within a series (single program or episode): PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre; episode 122 of Homicide: Life on the Street, “Forgive Us Our Trespasses”; National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation, “Welfare Reform and Child Care.”

*Note: The article the in newspaper and periodical titles is set in roman type and, unless it begins a sentence, is lowercased: I read it in the New York Times. We’re running an ad in the Buffalo News. With book titles, lowercase and set in roman type a book’s edition: The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition.

titles, courtesy—See honorifics.

titles, military or civil—In general, capitalize a military or civil title when it immediately precedes a personal name and is thus used as part of the name (24): New York Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Senator Gillibrand; Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Mayor Brown; Prince Charles. Spell out and capitalize a military or civil title that precedes a surname alone: Chief Justice Roberts, Senator Schumer, Lieutenant Scheisskopf. Lowercase a title when used alone or in apposition to a name (especially when preceded by the or used with a modifier): John Roberts, chief justice of the United States; the mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown. A civil or military title preceding a full name may be abbreviated, especially when space is limited: Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, Gov. Kathy Hochul. (See titles, courtesy; titles, academic; and honors, academic.)

toward (not towards)

trademark names—“In general, use a generic equivalent unless the trademark name is essential to the story. When a trademark name is used, capitalize it:” (25) Frisbee, Jacuzzi, Jet Ski, Ping Pong, Popsicle, Q-Tip, Rollerblade, Scotch Tape, Touch-Tone, Velcro. Eliminate TM and ® in running text. Dictionaries indicate registered trademark names.

transfer, transferred, transferring, transferable

travel, traveled, traveling

tropic of Cancer, tropic of Capricorn, but the Tropics (plural)

(22) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 8.19
(23) Ibid., 8.177
(24) Ibid., 8.24
(25) The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2011), p. 280


un- (prefix)—Generally closed. Hyphenate with proper nouns: unfunded, unnatural, un-American. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

under- (prefix)—Most compounds with under are closed: undersea, underused, underreported, undersecretary, underway. (See prefixes and suffixes.)

underway (adj., adv.)—Underway refueling. Preparations are underway.

United States—Spell out when used as a noun. Acceptable to abbreviate (U.S.) as an adjective: He lives in the United States. He is a U.S. citizen. U.S. courts, U.S. dollars.

United Way Day of Caring

United Way of Buffalo and Erie County

university names—Do not capitalize the article the as part of a university’s name: He attended the State University of New York at Buffalo. If a university has multiple campuses, follow the university's preferred style, using the word at, a dash, a comma, etc., to specify: the University of Wisconsin–Madison; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Upward Bound Program

U.S.—See United States.

U.S. Department of Education (but New York State Education Department)


versus—Spell out in running text. In short expressions, the abbreviation vs. (with period) is permitted: guns vs. butter. Abbreviate as v. (with period) in legal cases: New York Times v. Sullivan. (See legal cases.)

Veterans Day (no apostrophe)

vice—Two words (no hyphen) in all uses: vice president, vice chair, vice provost, vice principal.

videotape (n., v.)—Do you have a blank videotape? They will videotape the ceremony.


wars, battles—Full titles of wars, battles, and conflicts are generally capitalized. The words war and battle are lowercased when used alone. (26) The American Civil War, World War I, Second World War, the two world wars, Battle of the Bulge, Shay’s Rebellion. (See World War I, World War II.)

web—Lowercase in most references to the Internet: web, web page, website. Capitalize World Wide Web. (See Computer-Related Terms.)

well—Compounds formed with well are hyphenated before a noun, open after: well-known story, the news was well received.

Western (adj.)—Western customs, Western dress, Western New York, Western Europe. (See directions and regions.)

Western New York

West Side—Buffalo's West Side, New York's Lower West Side (See directions and regions.)

White (adj.)—Uppercase for Caucasian. But lowercase white supremacist, white supremacy.

-wide (suffix)—Generally closed except with proper nouns and words of three or more syllables: campuswide, worldwide, Buffalo-wide, university-wide. “Compounds retain the hyphen both before and after a noun.” (27) (See prefixes and suffixes.)

work—Most compound nouns with work are closed: workforce, workgroup, workhorse, workload, workplace, workroom, work camp, work site. Consult the dictionary.

work-study (n., adj.)

World War I, World War II, the First World War, the Great War, the Second World War, World Wars I and II, the two world wars. (28)


x-ray (n., v., adj.): I think she should go for x-rays. The doctor will x-ray her arm. I saw the x-ray films.


years—Use figures, without commas, for years with four or fewer digits: 1948, 1776. Use figures, with commas, for years with five or more digits: "Radiocarbon dating indicates that the campsite was in use by about 13,500 BP." When designating eras with BC or AD, the abbreviation AD precedes the year and BC follows it: "Britain was invaded successfully in 55 BC and AD 1066." (29)

Use s (no apostrophe) to indicate spans of decades or centuries: the 1890s, the 1900s. (See plural figures and letters.)
Set off a year with commas when it follows a month and date: The Senate approved the recommendation at its April 13, 2007, meeting.
Do not use a comma to separate a month and a year: June 1988.
Years are the sole exception to the rule of spelling out numbers that begin sentences. (See numbers, figures or words? )


zero, zeros

(26) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 8.113–8.114
(27) Ibid., 7.89
(28) Ibid., 8.113
(29) Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 9.34

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Most abbreviations or acronyms should be spelled out on first use. Buffalo State’s style is to introduce the full term, followed by the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses, and use the abbreviation or acronym alone on subsequent reference: American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). If there is no subsequent reference, however, the abbreviation or acronym is usually not needed.


AAAHC—Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care

AAM—American Alliance of Museums

ABD—all but dissertation

ABET—Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

ABT—all but thesis

ACCES-VR—Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (formerly VESID)

ACE—American Council on Education

ACEJMC—Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications

ACEND—Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

ACPHA—Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration

ADA—Americans with Disabilities Act

AFSCME—American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees

ALA—American Library Association

APA—American Psychological Association

APTS—Aid for Part-Time Study (New York State)

ASHA—American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

ATMAE—Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering


B.A.—bachelor of arts

B.F.A.—bachelor of fine arts

B.Mus.—bachelor of music

BOCES—Board of Cooperative Educational Services

B.S.—bachelor of science

B.S.Ed.—bachelor of science in education


CAA—Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

CAEP—Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

C.A.S.—certificate of advanced study

CASE—Council for Advancement and Support of Education

CDC—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CIDA—Council for Interior Design Accreditation

C.P.A.—certified public accountant

CSEA—Civil Service Employees Association

CSTEP—Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program

C.S.W.—certified social worker

CSWE—Council on Social Work Education


D.D.S.—doctor of dental surgery


Ed.D.—doctor of education

EOC—Educational Opportunity Center

EOP—Educational Opportunity Program

EPIC—Every Person Influences Children

ETAC—Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission


FAFSA—Free Application for Federal Student Aid

FEPAC—Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission

FERPA—Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

FOI—Freedom of Information

FSEOG or SEOG—Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

FWS—Federal Work-Study Program


GAAP—generally accepted accounting principles

GPA—grade point average

GRE—Graduate Record Examination


HIPAA—Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act


IACBE—International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education

IACS—International Association of Counseling Services


J.D.—juris doctor (doctor of law)


L.P.N.—licensed practical nurse

LSAT—Law School Admission Test


M.A.—master of arts

M.B.A.—master of business administration

MCAT—Medical College Admission Test

M.D.—doctor of medicine

M.F.A.—master of fine arts

MLA—Modern Language Association

M.L.S.—master of library science

M.P.S.—master of professional studies

M.S.—master of science

M.S.Ed.—master of science in education

M.S.W.—master of social work


NAACP—National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

NASAD—National Association of Schools of Art and Design

NASM—National Association of Schools of Music

NAST—National Association of Schools of Theatre

NCATE—National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

NEA—National Endowment for the Arts

NEH—National Endowment for the Humanities

NFTA—Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority

NIH—National Institutes of Health

N.P.—nurse practitioner

NSF—National Science Foundation

NYFA—New York Foundation for the Arts

NYSCB—New York State Commission for the Blind

NYSCOPBA—New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association

NYSDEC—New York State Department of Environmental Conservation


O.T.—occupational therapist


P.A.—physician's assistant

PEF—Public Employees Federation

Ph.D.—doctor of philosophy

PLUS—Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students

P.T.—physical therapist


R.N.—registered nurse

ROTC—Reserve Officers' Training Corps


SAT—“Use only the initials in referring to the previously designated Scholastic Aptitude Test or Scholastic Assessment Test.” (30)

SEFA—State Employees Federated Appeal

STAP—Supplemental Tuition Assistance Program

SUNY—State University of New York


TANF—Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

TAP—Tuition Assistance Program

TDD—telecommunications device for the deaf

TESOL—Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

TOEFL—Test of English as a Foreign Language



USCIS—United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the INS—Immigration and Naturalization Services)

UUP—United University Professions


WHO—World Health Organization

WWW—World Wide Web

(30) The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2011), p. 250

Buffalo State Specific Editorial Style

In general, buildings and facilities that are named for individuals are referred to by surname only—for example, Ketchum Hall, not Jesse Ketchum Hall, or Bulger Communication Center, not Paul Bulger Communication Center—unless otherwise noted.

Bacon Hall
Bengal Hall
Bishop Hall
Buckham Hall
Bulger Communication Center
Butler Library
Campbell Student Union
Campus House
Cassety Hall
Caudell Annex
Caudell Hall
Central Receiving
Chase Hall
Classroom Building
Cleveland Hall
Clinton Center
Houston Gym
Ketchum Hall
LoRusso Alumni and Visitor Center
Moore Complex
Moot Hall
Neumann Hall
North Wing
Perry Hall
Power Plant
Rockwell Hall
Savage Theater and Communication Building
Science and Mathematics Complex
South Wing
Sports Complex (Sports Arena, Ice Arena, Houston Gymnasium, Kissinger Pool)
Student Apartment Complex
Technology Building
Tower 1
Tower 2
Tower 3
Tower 4
Twin Rise
Upton Hall
Weigel Wellness Center

    • Bacon Gallery (in Upton Hall; full name: Dr. Margaret Eschner Bacon Student Gallery)
    • Bonitatibus Office (in the LoRusso Alumni and Visitor Center; full name: Michael and Madonna Bonitatibus Office)
    • Brason Conservation Studio (in Rockwell Hall; full name: Todd W. and Kimberley
    • S. Brason Painting Conservation Studio)
    • Butler Room (in Butler Library)
    • Cornish Office (in the LoRusso Alumni and Visitor Center; full name: Gerald and Michelle Cornish Office)
    • Costello Hall (in the LoRusso Alumni and Visitor Center; full name: Helen Wernejowski Costello and Salvatore J. Costello Hall)
    • Czurles-Nelson Gallery (in Upton Hall)
    • Ciminelli Recital Hall (in Rockwell Hall; full name: Louis P. Ciminelli Recital Hall)
    • Fleischmann Writing and Publication Suite (Ketchum Hall 302; full name: Ilene R. Fleischmann Writing and Publication Suite)
    • Fronczak Room (Butler Library 207)
    • Garman Art Conservation Department (full name: Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department)
    • Grande Conference Room (Cleveland Hall 418; full name: Carmine A. Grande Conference Room)
    • Johnstone Conference Room (in Rockwell Hall; full name: Bruce and Gail Johnstone Conference Room)
    • Kissinger Pool (in the Sports Arena; full name: Robert Kissinger Memorial Pool)
    • Klein Lobby (in Rockwell Hall; full name: Edward P. and Lois Rowland Klein Lobby)
    • Kontos Darkroom (in Rockwell Hall; full name: Ulysses John Kontos Analog Photography Darkroom)
    • Lamendola Lobby (in the LoRusso Alumni and Visitor Center; full name: Robert and Teresa Lamendola Lobby)
    • Lamparelli Office (in the LoRusso Alumni and Visitor Center; full name: Paul and Martha Lamparelli Office)
    • Lee Patio (Campus House; full name: Richard Lee Patio)
    • Lehr Center (in Houston Gym; full name: Carolyn A. Lehr Student-Athlete Academic Center)
    • LoRusso Control Room and Recording Studio (in Rockwell Hall; full name: Jacqueline V. LoRusso Control Room and Recording Studio)
    • Maud Gordon Holmes Arboretum
    • Metcalf Room (Rockwell Hall 218)
    • Monroe Fordham Regional History Center (in Butler Library Archives)
    • Newman Lecture Hall (Bulger Communication Center 215; full name: Ethel Lockman Newman Lecture Hall)
    • Penfold Patio (part of the LoRusso Alumni and Visitor Center; full name: Karen and Richard Penfold Patio)
    • Rosen Gallery (in the Burchfield Penney Art Center; full name: Sylvia L. Rosen, ’71, Gallery for Fine Art in Craft Media)
    • Rosen Library (in the Burchfield Penney Art Center; full name: Sylvia L. Rosen, ’71, Resource Library and Collections Lab)
    • Rosen Studio (in the Burchfield Penney Art Center; full name: Sylvia L. Rosen, ’71, Senior Ceramics Studio and Library)
    • Rowland Studio (in Rockwell Hall; full name: Edna Rosner Rowland Teaching Studio)
    • Salvatore Demonstration Kitchen (in Caudell Hall; full name: Russell J. Salvatore Demonstration Kitchen)
    • Smith Pavilion (on the Great Lakes Center waterfront campus; full name: Dick Smith Teaching Pavilion)
    • Statler Room (in Caudell Hall; full name: Statler Foundation Room)
    • Steinmiller Stage (in Rockwell Hall; full name: George and Joan Steinmiller Richmond Performance Stage)
    • Tahk Lab (in Rockwell Hall; full name: F. Christopher Tahk Conservation Science Teaching Lab)
    • Tower Auditorium (in the Burchfield Penney Art Center; full name: Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium)
    • Vallet-Sandre Studio (in Rockwell Hall; full name: Marianne Vallet-Sandre Art Preparation Studio)
    • Warren Enters Theatre (in Upton Hall; not the Warren Enters Theatre; not Enters Theatre)
    • Whittemore Room (fourth floor of the Classroom Building; full name: Katheryne T. Whittemore Room)
    • Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium (in Science and Mathematics Complex)
    • Wilson Studio (in Upton Hall; full name: Robert C. and Marilyn L. Wilson Advanced Painting Studio)
    • Zemsky Family Presentation Room (in the LoRusso Alumni and Visitor Center)

    Centers, Departments, Offices, Organizations, Programs, and Schools


    Academic Advisement Center

    Academic Affairs Office

    Academic Commons

    Accounts Payable and Travel Services Office

    Admissions Office

    Adult Education Department

    African and African American Studies Interdisciplinary Unit

    Alumni Engagement Office

    Alumni Association

    Anthropology Department

    Archives and Special Collections—in Butler Library

    Art and Design Department

    Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program

    Artist in Residence Program


    Banner system

    Barnes & Noble at Buffalo State Bookstore

    Bengal Club—Buffalo State's athletics booster club

    Bengal Community of Scholars Program (or Community of Scholars)—formerly the Learning Communities program

    Bengal Kitchen

    Bengal News Online

    Bengal Quad—quadrangle formed by Bengal Hall, Bishop Hall, and Neumann Hall. (See quadrangles.)

    the Bengals—Buffalo State athletic teams (men's and women's)

    Biology Department

    BSC—Do not use. Use Buffalo State College, Buffalo State, or SUNY Buffalo State College. (See Referring to Buffalo State.)

    Buffalo State Alumni Association

    Buffalo State Athletics Hall of Fame

    Buffalo State College, Buffalo State, SUNY Buffalo State College—Do not use BSC. (See Referring to Buffalo State.)

    Buffalo State Child College Care Center (the Child Care Center, the center)

    Buffalo State College Council (College Council, the council)

    Buffalo State College Foundation

    Buffalo State College Housing Corporation

    Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College

    Business Department

    Butler Library


    Campbell Student Union Retail Food Court

    Campus Dining Services

    Career and Technical Education Department

    Career Development Center (CDC)

    Cecilia Bard Multicultural Library for Peace

    Center for China Studies

    Center for Economic and Policy Studies

    Center for Excellence in Urban and Rural Education (CEURE)

    Center for Health and Social Research

    Center for Southeast Asia Environment and Sustainable Development

    Central Receiving

    Chemistry Department

    Civic and Community Engagement Office

    College Senate Office (College Senate, the Senate)

    College Work-Study Program (CWSP)

    College Writing Program

    Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)

    Communication Department

    Community Academic Center

    Computer Information Systems Department

    Conflict Analysis and Resolution Interdisciplinary Unit

    Continuing Professional Studies

    Corporate and Foundation Relations Office

    Creativity and Change Leadership Department—internal designation. (See International Center for Studies in Creativity.)

    Creative Studies Library—in Butler Library

    Criminal Justice Department

    Critical Incident Support (CIS) Team

    Curriculum Materials Lab—in Butler Library

    Custodial Services



    Data Analytics Interdisciplinary Unit

    Design and Print Center (formerly the Copy Center)


    Earth Sciences and Science Education Department

    Economics and Finance Department

    Elementary Education, Literacy, and Educational Leadership Department

    Elms—Buffalo State's student yearbook

    Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

    Engineering Technology Department

    English Department

    Environmental Health and Safety Office

    Environmental Studies Interdisciplinary Unit

    Equity and Campus Diversity Office

    Events Management Office

    Exceptional Education Department


    Facilities Construction and Maintenance

    Facilities Grounds and Custodial Operations

    Facilities Operations and Business Services

    Faculty and Staff Appeal

    Fashion and Textile Technology Department

    Finance and Management Office

    Financial Aid Office

    Financial Management Department

    Flexible Theatre


    Garman Art Conservation Department

    general education, general education 2000 (GE2K), general education core (GEC), general education requirements

    Geography and Planning Department

    Global Engagement Office

    the Graduate School

    Great Lakes Center


    Health, Nutrition, and Dietetics Department

    Higher Education Administration Department

    History and Social Studies Education Department

    Homecoming and Family Weekend

    Hospitality and Tourism Department

    Human Resource Management Office


    Ice Arena (Buffalo State College Ice Arena)

    ice rink (Buffalo State College ice rink, the ice rink)

    Inclusion and Equity Office

    Information Commons—in Butler Library

    Information Technology

    Institute for Community Health Promotion

    Institutional Advancement Office

    Institutional Effectiveness and Planning Office

    Institutional Research Office

    Intellectual Foundations

    Intercollegiate Athletics

    International Center for Studies in Creativity—the Creativity and Change Leadership Department as it functions externally as a nationally and internationally recognized teaching and research center. (See Creativity and Change Leadership Department.)

    International Education Office

    International Graduate Programs for Educators

    International Student and Scholar Services

    International Students Reading Area (in Butler Library, third floor SE quadrant)

    IT Help Desk


    January Term, J-Term


    Mail Room

    Mann Quad—quadrangle formed by Rockwell Hall, Ketchum Hall, the Savage Theater and Communication Building, and Bacon Hall. (See quadrangles.)

    Marketing and Communications Office

    Mathematics Department

    Modern and Classical Languages Department

    Muriel A. Howard Honors Program

    Music Department


    National Student Exchange Program

    Newman Center Catholic Campus Ministry

    Non-Traditional Students Organization




    Parking Services Office

    Payroll Office

    Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall

    Perry Quad—quadrangle formed by Perry Hall, Cassety Hall, Campbell Student Union, and Chase Hall. (See quadrangles.

    Philosophy Department

    Physics Department

    Political Science and Public Administration Department

    Precollegiate Academic Success Center: Liberty Partnerships, STEP, Upward Bound

    President’s Cabinet

    President’s Office

    Procurement Card, P-Card

    Procurement Services

    Professional Development Center

    Professional Development Schools Consortium

    Professional Staff Caucus (PSC)

    Project Flight

    Psychology Department


    quadrangles—See Bengal Quad, Mann Quad, Perry Quad, Student Union Plaza, Upton Quad.


    The Record—student newspaper

    Reference Services—in Butler Library

    Registrar’s Office

    Research and Economic Development Office—Part of the Provost's Office, one of two units that compose the campus site of the Research Foundation for the State University of New York. (See Sponsored Program Operations Office.)

    Research Foundation for the State University of New York. For editorial purposes, on first reference in running text, use Research Foundation for the State University of New York (with a lower case t). In subsequent references, use Research Foundation or RF. Do not use the following terms to refer to the Research Foundation:

    •     Research Foundation of the State University of New York
    •     SUNY Research Foundation
    •     SUNY Foundation
    •     Foundation

    For display type (when the RF name stands alone) use Research Foundation for The State University of New York (with a capital T). This format, which matches the logo, should be used for such items as publication covers, program listings, posters, banners, and advertisements.

    Residence Life Office

    Rosen Endowment for Fine Art in Craft Media


    School of Arts and Sciences

    School of Education

    School of the Professions

    Science Teaching Center

    Siena Program

    Small Business Development Center

    Social and Psychological Foundations of Education Department

    Social Work Department

    Sociology Department

    Special Programs Office

    Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic

    Speech-Language Pathology Department

    Sponsored Program Operations Office—Part of the Vice President for Finance and Management's Office, one of two units that compose the campus site of the Research Foundation for the State University of New York. (See Research and Economic Development Office.)

    Sports Arena

    STAR program—Success Track for Academic Readiness

    Student Accessibility Services

    Student Accounts Office

    Student Affairs Office

    Student Apartment Complex

    Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

    Student Conduct and Community Standards Office

    Student Leadership and Engagement Office

    Student Success Office

    Student Union Plaza, the plaza—main quadrangle, formed by Campbell Student Union, Bulger Communication Center, Butler Library, and Cleveland Hall. (See quadrangles.)


    Success Track for Academic Readiness (STAR) program


    Teacher Certification Office

    Teaching and Learning Center

    Theater Department

    Travel Card, T-Card


    Undergraduate Research Office

    United Students Government (USG)

    University Police Department

    Upton Quad—quadrangle formed by Upton Hall, Cassety Hall, Perry Hall, and Science Building. (See quadrangles.)


    Veteran and Military Services Office

    Visiting Scholar Services


    WBNY-FM 91.3—campus radio station

    Whispering Pines Camp—in Ellicottville, N.Y.

    Woods-Beals Endowed Chair in Urban Education

    Women and Gender Studies Interdisciplinary Unit

    Historical and Cultural Terms

    Most period designations are lowercased except for proper nouns and adjectives. “Some names of periods are capitalized, either by tradition or to avoid ambiguity.” (32)

    the baroque period
    the classical period
    the colonial period (U.S.)
    the Common Era
    the Dark Ages
    the Enlightenment
    the Gilded Age
    a golden age
    the Hellenistic period
    the Jazz Age
    the medieval era
    the Middle Ages, the High Middle Ages, the early Middle Ages, the late Middle Ages
    the Progressive Era
    the Reformation, Counter-Reformation
    the Renaissance, the High Renaissance
    the Restoration
    the Roaring Twenties
    the Romantic period, Romanticism
    the Victorian era

    (32) The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017), 8.72–8.73

    “Names of prehistoric cultural periods are capitalized”: (33)

    the Bronze Age
    the Ice Age
    the Iron Age
    the Stone Age

    “Similar terms for modern periods are often lowercased”: (33)

    the age of reason
    the age of steam
    the information age
    the nuclear age

    (33) Ibid., 8.74

    “Names of many major historical events and programs are conventionally capitalized. Others, more recent or known by their generic descriptions, are often lowercased but may be capitalized to prevent ambiguity. If in doubt, opt for lowercase.” (34)

    the baby boom
    the Boston Tea Party
    the civil rights movement
    the Cold War (but a cold war, used generically)
    the gold rush
    the Great Depression, the Depression
    the Industrial Revolution
    the New Deal
    the Reign of Terror
    the War on Poverty
    the war on terror

    (34) Ibid., 8.75

    “Nouns and adjectives designating cultural styles, movements, and schools—artistic, architectural, musical, and so forth—and their adherents are capitalized if derived from proper nouns…. Others may be lowercased, though a few (e.g., Beat, Cynic, Scholastic, New Criticism) are capitalized to distinguish them from the generic words used in everyday speech.” (35)

    abstract expressionism
    classicism, classical
    Epicurean (but epicurean, used metaphorically)
    Gothic (but gothic fiction)
    Gregorian chant
    neoclassicism, neoclassical
    op art
    pop art
    Romanticism, Romantic
    Sophist (but sophist, used metaphorically)
    Stoicism (but stoic, used metaphorically)
    theater of the absurd

    (35) Ibid., 8.79