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You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience. Thanks! Skip Navigation Just This Site SBU Website Search Brand Home Our Brand Content Applying Our Brand Voice and Tone Creating Content Social Media Stony Brook Boilerplate Editorial Style Guide Further, Faster Campaign Design & Identity Logos Typography Colors Graphic Elements Merchandising & Licensing Photography Design Assets Email Signature Desktop Wallpaper Contact Contact Request Assistance Advertising Request Share Your Story Editorial Style Guide The following style guide contains recommendations for style, spelling and usage as they relate to issues specific to Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine. Its intent is to establish a standard for clear and consistent writing across all of Stony Brook’s vehicles of communication. It is by no means comprehensive; rather it attempts to answer some of the frequently asked style questions about Stony Brook and to address some of the more common editorial errors. The guide generally follows the Associated Press Stylebook (AP) and for spelling relies on Webster’s New World College Dictionary; in some cases, however, Stony Brook’s recommended style or spelling differs from both. AA/EOE (now EOE)Note change (effective June 2023). This corresponds with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to end college affirmative action. Statement should read: Stony Brook University/SUNY is an equal opportunity educator and employer (also see “ADA Compliance”). ALTERNATIVE VS. ALTERNATEUse "alternative format," not "alternate format." ACADEMIC DEGREES Formal use: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Science, Master of Engineering, etc. General use: bachelor’s degree, bachelor’s in English, master’s degree, master’s in engineering, associate degree (Note: not associate's degree) Abbreviated Use: BA, BS, MBA, MD, MS, PhD, etc. (Note: no periods) A PhD (see entry under "Doctor" for specific rules on usage) may also be called a doctorate or a doctoral degree. postdoctoral, postdoc  ACADEMIC HEALTH CENTER Since December 2021, “academic health center” is the preferred characterization for Stony Brook Medicine. We no longer use “academic medical center.” ADA COMPLIANCE Include the following EOE statement in all external publications: Stony Brook University/SUNY is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Include a phone number for a disability-related accommodation in material publicizing an event (should be a phone number designated by the department running the event). Include the following statement in programs, brochures, bulletins, magazines, etc.: This material is available in alternative format upon request. Do not use on SCALA slides and evites. ADDRESSESShould appear as room number (use a hyphen if it starts with letter), followed by building name, followed by city and appropriate ZIP-four. Examples:E-1313 Frank Melville Jr. Memorial LibraryStony Brook, NY 11794-3354 221 Administration BuildingStony Brook, NY 11794-1601 AGESUse numerals when referring to the ages of people and animals, but not of inanimate objects. Examples:The girl is 9 years old.The school is nine years old.The graduate student, who is 25, has a six-year-old car.The woman is in her 20s. (Note: no apostrophe) ALPHABETIZATION/LISTSPlace any series of nouns (names, departments, etc.) in alphabetical order unless there is a reason to list them otherwise (examples: in order of appearance, by financials, by hierarchy). When working with the names of people, always alphabetize by last name. If a last name is hyphenated, alphabetize using the first part of the hyphenated last name. Examples:Susan Smith Jones is placed under J, but Susan Smith-Jones is placed under S. ALUMNA, ALUMNUS, ALUMNIFemale: alumnaMale: alumnus Use alumni when referring to a group no matter the gender.The abbreviated versions (alum/alums) may be substituted for singular/plural. We often provide the graduation year for Stony Brook alumni in news and feature stories. The correct way to present this is as follows: Jane Smith '15. See “Degrees and Years” for specifics on how to style single and multiple bachelor’s degrees and graduate, medical, professional and honorary degrees. AMPERSANDDo not use; spell out and in all cases. (Exception: ampersands that appear as part of official company names and when used as second ref to the Research and Development Park — R&D Park) Examples:Department of Physics and Astronomy (not Department of Physics & Astronomy)Tiffany & Co. (not Tiffany and Co.) ATHLETICSUse athletics in all cases; never physical education ATHLETICS, STONY BROOKStonyBrookAthletics.com BENCH-TO-BEDSIDE BLACKCapitalize the “b” in the term Black when referring to people in a racial, ethnic or cultural context. BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY Located in Upton, New York, Brookhaven National Laboratory is a multipurpose research institution funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. BNL may be used on second reference. Correct way to characterize Stony Brook's relationship with BNL:Stony Brook University has the responsibility of co-managing nearby Brookhaven National Laboratory, joining such prestigious schools as Princeton University, Stanford University and the University of Chicago on the list of major institutions that have a role in running federal research laboratories. In addition: Stony Brook is one of eight universities with a role in running a national laboratory. Stony Brook and BNL share more than 100 joint appointments, and numerous Stony Brook faculty, postdocs and students conduct research at BNL's world-leading centers and user facilities. CAMPUS BUILDINGS AND ROOMSCap building names when part of the name, e.g., Administration Building, Room E-7382CAMPUS LOCATIONSCap all named locations, such as Zebra Path, Roth Pond CATALOGNot catalogue CHAIRUse the titlechair rather than chairman, chairwoman or chairperson. (Exception: title of someone from outside the university.)  CHANCELLORState University of New York Chancellor John King Jr. was named SUNY's 15th chancellor on December 5,  2022. Note: Capitalize the word Chancellor only when the title precedes his name: For example, Chancellor King. The word chancellor is never capitalized when used generically. CLASSESClass of 2012, Class of  ’12John Smith ’12Lowercase categories of classes, e.g., calculus, chemistry, physics. For proper names, capitalize. For example, The Rise and Fall of Roman Politics. "CO" WORDSAs a general rule, no hyphen unless the word indicates occupation or status. Consult Webster’s for exceptions. Examples:coeducation, coexist, coordinateco-author, co-host, co-worker COMPOSITION TITLESItalicize all publications, whether they are online or in print. COMMAS (ABBREVIATED DEGREES)Use a comma between the name and the abbreviated degree, as in Joe Smith, MD. This usage also applies to professional titles.For example:Mary Richards, director of development If written in a sentence, include a second comma after the degree or title.For example:Joe Smith, MD, will speak at the conference. COMMAS (DIRECT ADDRESS)A comma is required when using direct address. For example:"Welcome, students!""Congratulations, graduates!" Two exceptions:Go Seawolves!Certain marketing materials, such as roadway banners, in which space is at apremium, or specific marketing ads in which a less formal structure is preferred. COMMAS (SERIAL)University style dictates that we do not use a serial comma unless it is needed toclarify a complex sentence. Exception: Correspondences from President McInnis,who prefers series commas. COURSE WORK DATE RANGESOur preferred style is to use the word “to” and to write out and repeat the month (for example, April 22, 2023, to April 28, 2023). In rare instances, depending on space considerations, an enn dash may be used to denote a date range. In this case, the month is not repeated (for example, April 22–28, 2023).  DATESUse cardinal numbers for days of the month (December 25, July 4), not ordinal (December 25th, July 4th). DECADES1990s, ’90s DEGREES AND YEARSIf an alumnus/a has earned only one bachelor's degree at SBU, use the following convention (no reference to BA or BS and no comma after last name): Richard Kim ’04 recently received a scholarship to study in Mongolia.If alumni have earned  more than one bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook, the degree years are presented as follows:Richard Kim ’04, ’05 recently received a scholarship to study in Mongolia. If alumni  have earned both bachelor's and graduate degrees at SBU, use the following convention (comma between first degree reference and second): Christine Ominski '92, MS '02 has opened a physical therapy practice.  Note: We do not specify whether the alum’s baccalaureate degree is a BA or BS. We specify only at the graduate level.   For alumni who have earned a medical, doctoral or other advanced degree at another institution, place the degree designation after the alum’s SBU class year:Julie Mulder '80, PhD is a specialist in biochemistry.Aditya Patel, MA ’99, PhD is an education researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.Frank P. Smith '56, MD is planning to attend Homecoming. Note: Do not use “doctor” preceding a name. See “Doctor” entry for correct usage on specifics of this formal title.  For alumni who have professional designations or certifications, use the following:Annamaria Chavez '96, CPA is head of an accounting firm.Jason Williams ’87, MS ’95, Esq. is an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company. In the case of honorary degrees from SBU, place “Hon.” before the degree year:Congressman Jameel Kim ’61, Hon. ’94 is planning a campus visit.  DEPARTMENTS/OFFICES/ACADEMIC AREASThe Department of English (not the English Department); the Office of the President (not the President’s Office). Use lowercase letters, however, when referring to academic subject areas (excluding languages). Examples: biology, music, but English (because English is a proper noun and is always capitalized) DIMENSIONS AND MEASUREMENTSUse numerals, but spell out inches, feet, yards, etc. Hyphenate when used as an adjective. Examples (from AP):He is 5 feet 6 inches tall. (Note: no comma)the 5-foot-6-inch manThe rug is 9 feet by 12 feet.the 9-by-12-foot rug DIRECTIONS AND REGIONS(From AP): In general lowercase north, south, northeast, northern, etc., when they indicate compass direction; capitalize when they designate regions. Examples:He drove west.The cold front is moving east.The new faculty member grew up in the Midwest.East CoastWestern Hemisphere DISK (NOT DISC)Division I (not 1) DOCTORMedical degrees:As a general rule, MD, DDS or other medical/dental degrees should follow the full names of doctors of medicine/dentistry on first reference. On subsequent refs, the title Dr. can appear before last names. Exception:  In long features or magazine stories, for example, where nearly everyone has a medical degree, we may leave out all the "Dr." titles altogether and use only last names. PhD degrees:Because the public frequently identifies "Dr." only with physicians, we generally don't use the title to describe someone with a doctorate, nor do we include EdD, DSW, DPT, etc., after names for a number of reasons, including the following: There are so many PhDs, etc., at Stony Brook, we assume readers know most faculty have one. We have a medical center, and "Dr." is used in their titles to differentiate them from PhDs. Guest speakers sometimes don't include their PhDs after their names, and if we use them for our faculty/staff  but knowingly omit them for guests who have them, we are implying they don't have PhDs, which is rarely the case. Exceptions: Sometimes guest speakers, honorees, etc., insist on using their PhDs, and we allow it as a courtesy. Other times it makes sense for us to list our faculty with them; for example, when a faculty member's name is listed with non-University faculty who have their degrees listed, or when a faculty member is a speaker at an event and including their PhD will reinforce their expertise in a specific area.  If pertinent to the materials, we may list PhD after a name on first reference. On subsequent references, use last names only. In quoted matter, "Dr." can be used if the source said it. EMAIL AND EMAIL ADDRESSESThe word email is one word, lowercase with no hyphen. Avoid breaking an address at the end of a line. Campus email addresses should be written out as [email protected] using all lowercase. FACULTYAs a general rule, treat faculty as plural. Example:Stony Brook faculty have discovered the cause of Lyme disease. FARMERS MARKET (no apostrophe) FELLOW/FELLOWSHIP (lowercase)FISCAL YEARSpell out fiscal year (e.g., Fiscal Year 2010) on first reference; after that, it may be abbreviated using two capitals followed by a space before the full year (e.g., FY 2010). FY10 may be used to save space in charts and graphs. FOREIGN WORDS AND PHRASESItalicize unless they have been naturalized and appear in Webster’s without italics. FRESHMAN/FRESHMENSingular: freshmanPlural: freshmen When used as an adjective, it is always singular: the freshman class. GO SEAWOLVESNo comma GROUPINGS (CAMPUS MEMBERS IN PREFERRED ORDER)Students, faculty and staff (see "Students, faculty and staff" listing) HEADLINESCapitalize principal words including conjunctions and prepositions of four letters or more, and at beginning or end of line (if four letters). HEALTHCAREOne word as both a noun and an adjective. Examples:The plan seeks to improve access to healthcare in medically underserved communities.The report listed the region’s healthcare needs. HEALTH SCIENCESThis is the proper name and preferred characterization of the health sciences part of East Campus. “Health Sciences Center” and “Health Sciences Tower” are no longer used. It is acceptable to use “Health Sciences” without modifying a specific building, e.g., “Health Sciences Level 2” or”"Level 2 of the Health Sciences.” INDIGENOUSCapitalize Indigenous in reference to original inhabitants of a place. ISLAND FEDERALNever refer to it as Island Federal Credit Union (former name) or IFCU. ISLAND FEDERAL ARENA JUNIOR, SENIORAbbreviate as Jr. and Sr. and do not precede by a comma. Example:Harry Connick Jr. LATINXAP recommends confining usage of the gender-neutral LatinX to quotations,names of organizations or descriptions of individuals who request it. Criticsconsider it an arbitrary designation that is awkward and difficult to pronounce, asfew words in Spanish end with two consonants. LIBRARYFrank E. Melville Jr. LibraryLONG ISLAND RAIL ROADRail Road in this name is two words. MARTMedical and Research Translation building (note the lower case "bee" in building) MAURIE McINNISMaurie McInnis became the sixth president of Stony Brook University on July 1, 2020. She prefers not to use PhD after her name on promotional materials. MILLIONS AND BILLIONSUse numerals with millions, billions and higher in all but casual uses. Examples (from AP):The nation has 1 million citizens.I need $7 billion.I’d like to make a billion dollars. Note: Do not use a hyphen to join numerals and the words million or billion even if it is used as an adjective. Example (from AP):The production had a $10 million budget. MISSION STATEMENTTo build momentum and reputation for Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine — a premier institution that supports our community and impacts the world — with passion, pride and a commitment  to excellence. Every day (see also Vision Statement). MONEYUse numerals.Examples:50 cents, $20, $2,000, $3 trillion MONTHSSpell out all months when they stand alone or when they appear with a day or year. Examples:JanuaryFebruary 20, 2010November 1963 (Note: No comma between month and year)When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas. Example:She received her bachelor’s degree on May 22, 2005, and her master’s on May 16, 2009. NATIONALITIES (COMPOUND)As both nouns and adjectives, compound nationalities are not hyphenated. Examples:African American, African American history; Italian American, Italian American history; but Indo-European (first word is a prefix and cannot stand alone) NICOLLS ROAD (NOT NICHOLS) "NON" WORDSAs a general rule, no hyphen unless the word following the prefix begins with an “n” or if the construction is awkward. Consult Webster’s for exceptions. Examples:nonprofit, non-nuclear NONECan be construed as either singular or plural, depending on the noun that follows it. Examples:None of the food was prepared at home.None of the students were present that day. NONPROFITNo hyphen. Also called a not-for-profit. NUMBERS AND NUMERALSNumbers one through nine are spelled out; 10 and above are numerals unless the numeral begins a sentence — then spell out. Use commas to separate thousands and hundreds: 2,000 (not 2000); $3,500 (not $3500). Exception:SAT scores do not have commas. ONLINEOne word, no hyphen PERCENTAs a general rule, spell out percent; do not use %. Exceptions:In charts, graphs, tabular data PHONE NUMBERSOur style is (XXX) XXX-XXXX Examples:(631) 632-2222(904) 434-2323 PHOTO CREDITSFreelance photographers should be listed alphabetically first.Next, all photos taken by employees of Stony Brook University are credited as just “Stony Brook University” in photo credits.Credits for photos that are given “courtesy of” should come last in alphabetical list. Example:Photos: Sam Levitan, Juliana Thomas, Stony Brook University and courtesy of  Turkana Basin Institute POSSESSIVES(From AP): Plural nouns not ending in s — add ’s: children’s television; women’s rights Plural nouns ending in s — add only an apostrophe: the girls’ toys; states’ rights; the VIPs’ entrance Nouns plural in form, singular in meaning—add only an apostrophe: mathematics’ rules; measles’ effects; United States’ wealth Singular nouns not ending in s — add ’s: the church’s needs; the ship’s route; the VIP’s sea; the fox’s den; Marx’s theories Singular nouns ending in s — add ’s unless the next word begins with an s: the hostess’s invitation, the witness’s answer; the witness’ story Singular proper names ending in s — use only an apostrophe: Achilles’ heel; Dickens’ novels; Williams’ plays "PRE" WORDSAs a general rule, no hyphen unless the root word begins with an e. Consult Webster’s for exceptions Examples:Prearrange, pre-establish, pre-exist Exceptions:Pre-date, pre-registration PRESIDENTThe word president is lowercase when used in all instances except when the title precedes the name. Examples when referring to President McInnis:Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis is a graduate of the University of Virginia.Maurie McInnis, president of Stony Brook University, is a graduate of the University of Virginia.The president earned her doctorate from Yale University. Example of generic usage:The president of the company will step down at the end of the year. PRESIDENTS OF STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY2020-present: Maurie McInnis2009-2019: Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD1994-2009: Shirley Strum Kenny1980–1994: John H. Marburger III1965–1978: John S. Toll1961: John Lee PUBLICATIONSItalicize names of all print and/or online publications and all website names. Examples:Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazineKiplinger (online version)Happenings (Stony Brook’s online-only faculty/staff/friends newsletter)U.S.News & World Report (Note: no space between U.S. and News)PayScale.comSalon.com RSVPDo not use periods.Do not write “Please RSVP.” (It’s redundant: RSVP stands for répondez s’il vous plaît, which means “please reply.”) SEASONS/SEMESTERSLowercase seasons when they stand alone (winter, spring, summer, fall), but capitalize when they refer to semesters (Spring 2011, Fall 2011, etc.) STONY BROOK CHILDREN’S HOSPITALStony Brook Children’s Hospital is the full name. It may be referred to as Stony Brook Children’s on second reference. STONY BROOK MEDICINEThe name Stony Brook Medicine represents Stony Brook’s entire medical enterprise, which encompasses the five schools of the health sciences — Dental Medicine, Health Professions, Renaissance School of Medicine, Nursing and Social Welfare — Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, the Long Island State Veterans Home, and our major centers and institutes, programs, clinics and community-based healthcare settings. STONY BROOK UNIVERSITYUse Stony Brook University on first reference. (Exceptions: In State University of New York-related material, we are officially the State University of New York at Stony Brook; and in AA/EOE lines, we are Stony Brook University/SUNY). On subsequent references, we may be called Stony Brook or the university. SB or SBU may also be used. STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY HOSPITALSBUH is the region’s only tertiary/quaternary care center and Level 1 trauma center. STATESIn text, spell out states when they stand alone or if they appear after a city. Postal ZIP code abbreviations (AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, MA, NY,  etc.) should be used only in addresses. Example:He was born in Westport, Connecticut., but grew up in Buffalo, New York. STUDENT ACTIVITIES CENTERSAC on second reference.The SAC auditorium is named the Sidney Gelber Auditorium. STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFFThe preferred order for how we collectively refer to everybody on campus. Exception: When a correspondence targets a specific group but also mentions other groups in passing; e.g., an email aimed at faculty may list the order as faculty, students and staff. T-SHIRTThe correct spelling is T-shirt. THEATER/THEATRESpell as theater unless the word appears as Theatre in a proper name, e.g., Department of Theatre Arts and Charles B. Wang Center Theatre. Example:Stony Brook’s Department of Theatre Arts offers a program that immerses students in theater history. 3DWhen referring to three-dimensional (not 3-D). TIMESUse am/pm (no periods). Use colon to separate hours from minutes, but not when two zeros follow the colon. Note: When a range of time is given, use the word to — not an en dash. Examples:12:30 pm6 am (not 6:00 a.m.)2 pm1 pm to 2:30 pm TITLES (ACADEMIC/PROFESSIONAL/LEGISLATIVE)CapitalizationTitles are capitalized when they precede a name but are lowercase when they follow a name or appear in text without a name attached. This rule applies even to the Stony Brook's president or SUNY chancellor. Examples:Professor John Smith; John Smith, professor of biologyAssemblyman Steven Englebright; The Honorable Steven Englebright, New York State Assembly Judith Brown Clarke, vice president of equity and inclusion and chief diversity office (note the comma) or Vice President of Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Judith Brown Clarke  (note the absence of a comma) or According to Stony Brook's vice president of equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, the university will... Note: No hyphen in vice president, vice provost, vice chancellor, etc. Multiple TitlesMany of our faculty and administrative staff have two or more titles; in some cases, as many as four. If possible, try to keep the number of titles to no more than two. If you are not sure which titles to use, ask the source for guidance. TITLES (COMPOSITION) Capitalize the principal words (including conjunctions and prepositions of four letters or more). Italicize titles of longer works: –magazines and newspapers –books –movies –plays –operas Enclose titles of shorter works in quotation marks: –articles –television and radio shows –poems –songs –works of art –speeches, lectures TOWARDNot towards UNIVERSITY EVENTS/TRADITIONSCapitalize the names of events and traditions. Examples:Campus Life Time, Chillfest,  Commencement, Convocation, Diversity Day, Earthstock, President’s Lecture Series, Provost’s Lecture Series, Roth Pond Regatta, Stars of Stony Brook Gala, Strawberry Festival, Wolfstock (Homecoming) UNIVERSITY NAMES/REFERENCES/BUILDINGSUse Stony Brook University on first reference in all cases. Exception: State University of New York-related material, in which we are officially the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In subsequent references, we may be called Stony Brook, SB, SBU or the university (note university is not capped when it refers to Stony Brook). Also:Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (Advanced Energy Center on second ref)Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL on second ref)Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT on second ref)Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL or Cold Spring Harbor Lab on second ref)Charles B. Wang Center (often appears with the phrase Celebrating Asian and American Cultures) (Wang Center on second ref)Dubin Family Athletic Performance CenterFrank Melville Jr. Memorial Library (Melville Library on second ref) (Note: No commas around Jr.)The Health Sciences (Health Sciences Tower and Basic Sciences Tower were buildings formerly known as the Health Sciences Center) Island Federal ArenaJacob K. Javits Lecture Center (Javits Center on second ref)Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium (LaValle Stadium on second ref)Long Island High Technology Incubator (LIHTI on second ref)Long Island State Veterans Home (LISVH)Pritchard GymnasiumSimons Center for Geometry and Physics (Simons Center on second ref)Sports Complex (houses Island Federal Arena and Pritchard GymnasiumStaller Center for the Arts (Staller Center or Staller on second ref)Student Activities Center (SAC on second ref)Stony Brook Children’s Hospital (Stony Brook Children’s on second ref)Stony Brook UnionStony Brook University Hospital (University Hospital or SBUH on second ref)Stony Brook MedicineStuart Goldstein Student-Athlete Development Center (Goldstein Center on second ref)University Hospital when referring to the building as a locationWalter J. Hawrys Campus Recreation Center U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORTNews magazine. Note: Previously there was no space between U.S. and News, but now we use a space. VEHICLE AND VESSEL NAMESItalicize. Examples:The space shuttle ColumbiaThe research vessel Seawolf VISION STATEMENTEmbrace change, break through barriers and expectations in our pursuit of excellence to share the Stony Brook story with the world (also see Mission Statement). WEB AND WEBSITEThe word Web is capitalized (from proper name World Wide Web) when it stands alone, and in the terms Web page and Web feed (both two words). However, the following are lowercase and one word:website, webcam, webcast and webmaster Note: Do not use www at the beginning of URLs (stonybrook.edu). Leave out the introductory http:// in URLs unless the address does not work without it. When https://(note the s) introduces the URL, leave it in. Note: As a general rule, URLs and email addresses are set off in italics; avoid breaking a URL at the end of a line. When a URL appears at the end of a sentence, leave out the period if no sentence follows. WEIGHTSUse numerals. Examples (from AP):The baby weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces.She had a 9-pound, 7-ounce boy. X-RAYSpell it as x-ray (lowercase). ZIP CODESZIP (not Zip). It is an acronym for Zoning Improvement Plan, and should always be all caps.Campus ZIP codes must have the ZIP+4 extension. Examples:11794-160111794-3354   PUNCTUATION COLONSCapitalize the first word after a colon only if it is the beginning of a complete sentence. Examples:He promised this: The school would reopen in the fall.The concert was free for everyone: students, faculty and staff.  COMMASDo not use serial comma (no comma before the concluding conjunction in a simple series). However, if a comma will help to clarify a complex series of phrases, then by all means add it. Examples (from AP): In a simple series:Monday, Tuesday and WednesdayFaculty, staff and students In a complex series (from AP):The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude. DASHES Put a space around both sides of em and en dashes. Example:The Research and Development Park — occupying 246 acres — is adjacent to the Stony Brook campus. HYPHENS (From AP) When two or more words that express a single concept — compound modifiers — precede a noun, use hyphens to link all the words in the compound except the adverb very and all adverbs ending in –ly. Examples:A first-quarter touchdownA full-time jobA well-known professorA very happy familyA rarely used room   SOME COMMONLY MISUSED WORDS Affect/EffectAffect is usually a verb meaning to influence. Effect is usually a noun meaning result. Example:The drug did not affect the disease, and it had several adverse side effects.Effect can also be a verb meaning to bring about. Example:Only the president can effect such a dramatic change. Assure/Ensure/InsureAssure means to remove doubt, make certain, give confidence, reassure, promise.Ensure means to make certain, guarantee.Insure should be used only for references to insurance. Capital/CapitolCapital refers to a city.Capitol refers to a building where lawmakers meet. Capital also refers to wealth or resources. Examples:The residents of the state capital protested the development plans.The capitol has undergone extensive renovations.Complement/ComplimentComplement refers to completing a set/making up a whole. It is also used to describe a number of people making up a group. Examples:This ship has a complement of 50.The wine complements the meal.Compliment has two meanings: a noun or verb that denotes praise or something that is free of charge or done as a courtesy. Examples:The chef was flattered by the compliments on his dinner.They received complimentary tickets to the show. Compose/Comprise/ConstituteCompose means to create or put together. It may be active or passive. Examples:She composed a song.The United States is composed of 50 states.Comprise means to contain or to embrace. It is used in the active voice. As such, the construction “is comprised of” is never correct. Examples:The United States comprises 50 states.The zoo comprises many animals. Constitute, in the sense of make up, may be the best word to use if neither compose nor comprise fits. Example:Fifty states constitute the United States. Continually/ContinuouslyContinual means repeated again and again.Continuous means uninterrupted. Examples:I was continually interrupted by the telephone.It rained continuously for 48 hours. Disinterested/UninterestedDisinterested means impartial.Uninterested means not interested. Differ from/Differ withOne thing differs from another,  although you may differ with a colleague.Never use different than. Emigrate from/Immigrate toEmigrate means to leave one country or region to settle in another.Immigrate means to enter another country and reside there. Examples:In 1905, my grandfather emigrated from Italy.Many Europeans immigrated to America to start new lives. Farther/FurtherFarther refers to physical distance that can be measured.Further means to a greater degree or more. Examples:Boston is farther north than New York.According to my timetable, this project should be further along. Fewer/LessFewer is used for things that can be counted as individual units (i.e., books, courses, credits)Less is used for things that cannot be counted as individual units (i.e., water, coffee, sugar) Exceptions:Traditionally, time, money and distance take the adjective less. It’s/ItsIt’s is a contraction for it is or it has.Its is the possessive form of it. Examples:It’s starting to rain. It’s been a long day.The school launched its business program last fall.It’s clear the dog misses its owner. Lie/LayLie is an intransitive verb meaning to recline or rest on a surface. Its principal parts are lie, lay, lain.Lay is a transitive verb meaning to put or place. Its principal parts are lay, laid. Example:Chickens lay eggs.I lie down when I am tired. Most Important/ImportantlyThe phrase most important is an elliptical form of what is most important. The word importantly is an adverb and means in an important way. Examples:Most important, her record as a fundraiser is unmatched.He contributed importantly to his field. Over/More ThanUse over, under, above, below, higher and lower to describe physical relationships in space.Use more than or less than when dealing with numerals. Examples (from AP):The plane flew over the city.Their salaries went up more than $20 a week. Principal/PrinciplePrincipal is a noun or adjective meaning someone or something first in rank, authority, importance or degree.Principle is a noun that means rule, law or general truth. Examples:She was the principal partner in the firm.The principles of physics dictate that you cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Premier/PremierePremier is principally an adjective meaning prime or leading. It also can be used as a noun when referring to an individual who is the first minister in a national government that has a council of ministers. Premiere is a first performance or show. Examples:Stony Brook is a premier research university.The premier was in Brussels this week discussing European economic policy.Many celebrities attended the film’s premiere. Stationary/StationeryStationary is an adjective that means not moving. Stationery is a noun that refers to writing paper and envelopes. 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