Marketing and Communications

794 University Ave., Suite 237
Fairbanks, AK 99709

P.O. Box 757505
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775

Phone: 907-474-6281
Fax: 907-474-6283

Editorial Style Guide: D-L


A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W| X |Y| Z



Data can be either a singular or plural noun and requires a singular or plural verb accordingly. See the AP Stylebook for further explanation.

The data is inaccurate.
The data have been carefully collected.


One word, not two


Abbreviate months with more than five letters:

The program will begin Jan. 1, 1991.
The program will begin March 1, 1991.
The program will take place on April 1, 1991.

Use an en dash with a space on either side when dates are inclusive :
(on Mac keyboards, type option+dash to create an en dash.)

The conference will take place June 1 – 10, 1991.

Do not use a comma to separate the month and year (June 2003).

Davis Concert Hall

Acceptable use of Charles W. Davis Concert Hall. Use initial caps in both versions.

day care

Two words, no hyphen, in all uses. (An exception to Webster's use as an adjective.)

The Bunnell House day care center gives hands-on training to early childhood education students.

days of the week

Never abbreviate in text:

The program will begin Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1991.


Capitalize as part of a title:

UAF School of Hard Knocks Dean John Smith…
At the meeting, Dean John Smith…

Lowercase in other instances:

John Smith, dean of UAF's School of Hard Knocks…

dean's list and deans' lists

When someone is named to a dean's list, the apostrophe should be placed before the s. Place the apostrophe after the s when referring to the many lists from the many deans.


degree students

Not "degree-seeking."

All degree students eventually must declare a major.

(See also non-degree students)


Lowercase in text when spelled out:

UAF offers bachelor of arts degrees in …

Capitalize when abbreviating. Do not use periods:

UAF offers BA degrees in …
Preferred: John Smith received a bachelor's degree in computer science.

UAF offers:

occupational endorsements
associate degrees
bachelor's degrees
master's degrees
educational specialist degrees
doctoral degrees – PhD (doctor of philosophy)



Although most departments' formal names are Department of X, they are also commonly referred to as X Department. Retain capitalization in either case.

The Department of History is sponsoring a contest.
The History Department is sponsoring a contest.

Lowercase when not using the full title in either form:

The department is sponsoring …

There are departments that are not preceded by Department of or whose official name at UAF is contrary to convention. Such names should be capitalized. These include but are not limited to: Admissions and the Registrar's Office, University Fire Department, University of Alaska Fairbanks Police Department, and Marketing and Communications.


Capitalize as part of a title:

When Employee Relations Director Bill Smythe arrived…

Lowercase in other instances:

When Bill Smythe, director of Employee Relations, arrived…


Use dollar sign, not the word dollars, no decimal:

The cost is $12 per person.

Do not hyphenate costs that modify a noun:

The $1.2 million budget increase was blamed on skyrocketing insurance costs.


Do not use Dr. as a title when someone has earned a Ph.D. or honorary degree, and don't use Ph.D. after the name. Reserve Dr. for those with medical degrees unless it's specifically necessary to use Dr. to indicate expertise in a subject as opposed to a lay understanding.

Willa Wims is the new director.

May be made for formal university documents or on mailings pulled from Raiser's Edge.


Earth, earth

Capitalize when referring to the planet:

The Earth is bigger than the moon.

Lowercase when using as a general reference:

It felt good to dig in the moist spring earth.


Abbreviation for UA's electronic directory. All uppercase, no space in between.

Wendy updated her contact information on EDIR when she changed departments.

Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence

Initial capitalization. Adding "in service" is not part of the title, neither is "award."


Do not capitalize, even when followed by a name.

Several elders were interviewed by the reporter.
UAF gave Native elder Katherine Peter an honorary degree in 1999.

eLearning, e-learning

eLearning and Distance Education is the name of the unit that oversees electronic learning and distance education activities at UAF. The proper noun uses a lowercase "e" followed by an uppercase "L," with no intervening space of hyphen. The "e" is lowercased even when starting a sentence. "eLearning" is the preferred short form.

       eLearning and Distance Education offers a variety of learning opportunities anywhere there is an Internet connection.
        CLA and eLearning students helped organize the conference.

e-learning (with hyphen) refers generally to learning through electronic methods. The "e" is capitalized when starting a sentence.

       E-learning can take place anywhere a student has an Internet connection. Many students take a mix of in-person and e-learning classes.


Indicates the omission of words from a quoted sentence. In the middle of a sentence: space, three periods, space.
(On Mac keyboard, type option+semicolon to create an ellipsis.)

I always try to do my best … however, nobody's perfect.

At the end of a sentence: space, one period, space, three periods. The first period indicates the end of the sentence:

Spring activities included mud volleyball and a bonfire. …The chancellor began the festivities with a reception.

See the AP Stylebook for further treatment.


All one word, no hyphen. However, retain the hyphen in words like "e-books" and "e-commerce."

emeriti, emerita, emeritae, emeritus

Emeritus (one man), emerita (one woman), emeritae (plural women), emeriti (plural men or both men and women)

Joe Smith, professor emeritus of geology, was appointed to the committee.
Janet Peters, who was given emerita status in 1991, established a scholarship.
Emeriti are recognized during commencement each year.

Capitalize emeritus et al when used as a title preceding a name.

Professor Emerita Susan Blalock taught English for many years.

Note that the formal wording used on emeriti resolutions may be different from the style discussed here.


faculty (applies also to "staff" and "staff member")

Use faculty as a singular noun. Preference is given to using "faculty" as a singular noun when referring to professors et al as a group, while "faculty members" refers to individuals within that group.

The faculty is meeting today. Some faculty members are on vacation and cannot attend.
He is a member of the faculty.

Fairbanks Experiment Farm

Not "Experimental." Name of the farm itself, managed by the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Farmers Loop

No apostrophe.


Short for facsimile machine, use lowercase:

The student wanted to fax her transcript to the graduate school.

fellow, fellowship

Do not capitalize when describing a person who is a member of an academic society or organization or who has a similar standing as a graduate student. Capitalize fellowship when used in the formal title of the award.

August Mensch was named a Brookings fellow for his work in economic theory.
The Profound Fellowship is offered in alternating years. Graduate students who win the fellowship are expected to publish a peer-reviewed article within three years.


One word, not two.


Fire Department

The full name is the University Fire Department (not UAF Fire Department; compare with Police Department.) Capitalize when referring to the university department, even when not preceded by University. Lowercase when referring to fire departments in general.

The University Fire Department serves the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, as well as a large off-campus fire district.
UAF fire science graduates find employment in fire departments nationwide.

See also Police Department.

first names

Use full name unless nickname is preferred by the owner:

Charles Ray was named professor emeritus.

Or if he prefers:

Chuck Ray was named professor emeritus.

See AP, names entry for treatment of children and youth.


Flier is the preferred term for an aviator or a handbill. Flyer is the proper name of some trains and buses: The Western Flyer.


See for approved university fonts.

fundraiser, fundraising

One word, no hyphens.



General Educational Development. Use initial caps. On first reference, use General Educational Development. For second reference, use GED.

For admission to associate/certificate programs, you must have a high school diploma or a General Educational Development diploma. If you do not have a high school diploma or GED, you may take courses as a non-degree-seeking student.


genus, species

In the first reference of scientific or biological names, capitalize the first, or generic, Latin name for the class of plant or animal and lowercase the species that follows: Homo sapiens, Tyrannosaurus rex. On second reference, abbreviate the first letter and spell out the second word: H. sapiens, T. rex. Divisions higher than genus — phylum, class, order and family — are capitalized but not italicized.

geographic information system

Lowercase. Abbreviate as GIS (no periods).


geologic ages

Capitalize the name and the eon, era, etc.

Several faculty members in the Anthropology Department specialize in Alaska archaeology from the Holocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period.

Georgeson Botanical Garden

Garden is singular, not plural.

governmental titles

Abbreviate in the following ways in text:

Gov. Sarah Palin …
Sen. Joe Smith …
Rep. Ann Jones …

grade point average

On first reference, use grade point average. For second reference, use GPA.

Great Hall

Officially Regents' Great Hall, but Great Hall can be used. Regents' is plural and possessive.


high school

Two words when used as a noun and a compound modifier (contrary to Webster's).

home schooling, home-schooled, home-schooler

honors list

Lowercase, no apostrophe:

John Smith was named to the honors list.

Honors Program

Initial caps on both words when used together. Do not capitalize "honors" on its own.

Because Jason was an honors student in the Honors Program, he was able to take honors classes.

honorary degrees

Do not use Dr. before the name of an individual whose only doctorate is honorary. Exceptions may be made for formal university documents or on mailings pulled from Raiser's Edge.


hyphens and dashes

hyphens: use when separating noninclusive numbers or in compound nouns. Do not use spaces around the hyphen.

My mother-in-law is coming to town. Her phone number is 555-1234.

en dash: use to separate ranges of items, such as dates or quantities. Place one space before and after the en dash.
(On Mac keyboards, type option+dash to create an en dash.)

There will be 30 – 50 people there.
The event runs Oct. 10 – 15.

em dash: use in place of commas to set off a section of the sentence that requires special emphasis. Place one space before and after the em dash.
(On Mac keyboards, type option+shift+dash to create an em dash.)

The em dash — a very important typographical element — should not be overused.

See also time of day.



Preferred house style is to delete even when part of a corporate name, but if it is retained, abbreviate and capitalize as Inc. Do not set off with commas. Apply the same treatment to other designations such as LLC.

Arco Alaska is an oil company. or
Arco Alaska Inc. is an oil company.

in-state (adj.)


Alaska residents pay in-state tuition.

Institute, institute

Capitalize when part of official title:

The Institute of Arctic Biology…

Lowercase in other instances:

The institute…


Capitalize when referring to the geographical region of Alaska. Refers generally to the Tanana, Yukon and Kuskokwim river valleys.

Fairbanks is in the Interior.
Fairbanks is in Interior Alaska.


Always capitalize. Acceptable to use the Net on second reference.


The language of Alaska Inuit Eskimos, spoken on the North Slope and in Northwest Alaska as far south as Unalakleet. Distinct from Yupik. A north Alaska Eskimo (person). Use Inupiaq to refer to the language (never Inupiat), to one person and as an adjective. Use Inupiak to refer to two people. Use Inupiat to refer to three or more people (never Inupiats), to the people collectively and to the culture.

The Eskimo languages include the four Yupik languages of Alaska and Siberia as well as Inuit, the Alaskan sector of which is called Inupiaq.



job titles

When preceding an individual's name, capitalize formal titles but not occupational descriptions. At UAF, capitalize only the following formal titles and their subsets (e.g., Chancellor Smith and Vice Chancellor Jones): president, chair (don't capitalize department), chancellor, dean, director, professor and its subsets (contrary to AP), and provost. Chair is contrary to AP's use of chairman and chairwoman.

The audience applauded after Chancellor Smith's speech.
The committee listened to the advice of attorney Janice Rogers.
Students met with department Chair Ezra White to discuss the changes.
The committee granted tenure to Assistant Professor Rodriguez.

Do not capitalize titles in regular text when not followed by a name.

           The dean of the College of Liberal Arts is retiring.

Job titles may be capitalized in memos, lists and other irregular documents and publications, if desired.

To: Kelly Smith, Chancellor   /   From: Flip Jones, Vice Chancellor


K – 12

Stands for kindergarten through 12th grade. Use en dash, offset by space on either side.


Refers to both the radio station transmitter and the PBS television station in Fairbanks. Can be used as KUAC FM and KUAC TV (no hyphen).

See also AlaskaOne.


Lady Nanooks

See Nanooks.

Land, Sea and Space Grant institution

Capitalize Land, Sea and Space Grant, but not institution. No hyphens.

Latin names

For scientific names, see genus, species.

Lee H. Salisbury Fine Arts Theatre

Salisbury Theatre is acceptable variant of formal name. Use initial caps.


Capitalize when referring to the Alaska Legislature, but do not capitalize when referring to legislatures in general.

The Legislature held a special session in Anchorage to discuss oil taxes.

Some legislatures meet only every other year.


Lena Point Fisheries Building

Life Sciences Facility

Note that "sciences" is plural.

-ly words

Do not use a hyphen with -ly adjectives and adverbs.

UAF offers many privately funded scholarships.