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Quick Reference Guide

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Quick Reference Guide | Building Names

Here are some of the style points that are commonly misused in written communications. They are arranged alphabetically. In some cases, more information is available under the same listing in the main portion of the Stylebook.

ampersand (&) – This symbol is acceptable only in the names of organizations, companies and firms in which it is an actual part of the formal name. Georgia College & State University uses an ampersand only in its legal written name (Georgia College & State University). The ampersand should not otherwise be used in place of and: School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of History and Geography.

capitalization – The title of a person is capitalized only when that title precedes a name; a title is lowercased when it follows a name or stands alone, such as President George Washington or John Doe, the vice president. This rule applies to words such as university and school: Georgia College & State University, the university, the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, the business college. Courses of study are only capitalized when they are a language (i.e. English, Spanish) or the proper name of a specialized program. 

commas - Do not use commas before "and" in a three-part series. Blue, green and white (correct). Blue, green, and white (incorrect).

courtesy titles – Refer to both men and women by first and last name on first reference. At Georgia College, the courtesy title Dr. is allowed on first reference only for individuals who have received doctorate degrees. Do not use the courtesy titles Mr., Miss, Ms., and Mrs. in official publications unless they are in direct quotations or in other special situations.

dates – Always use Arabic figures. Do not use st, nd, rd or th with dates. Months are never abbreviated when they stand alone or are with a year. The following months are abbreviated only when they appear with a date in body copy: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct. Nov., Dec. The semester ends in December. Halloween is Oct. 31.

entitled – Use it to mean a right to do or have something. Do not use it to mean titled. He was entitled to his share of the royalties from the co-written short story, which was titled "The Way South."

Georgia College  – This is the correct name to be used in all first references to the university. Georgia College & State University is to be used on legal and formal documents only, to reduce confusion with Georgia State University. The acronym GC may also be used on second reference. Note that there are no periods or spaces after these initials. 

Georgia's public liberal arts university – When used textually to describe Georgia College, only Georgia's is capitalized. When used as the tagline in the university's official logo, all words are capitalized.

noon and midnight – The preferred terms are noon and midnight. 12 noon and 12 midnight are redundant. Avoid 12 a.m. or 12 p.m. to avoid confusion.

numbers – In text, spell out numbers one through nine (and the ordinals first through ninth). Use figures for 10 (10th) and above. Use No., not #. Spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence (except for years). Spell out casual expressions. Always use figures for ages, chapter numbers, course numbers, dates, dimensions, distances, formulas, page numbers, room numbers, sizes, speeds, suite numbers, temperatures (except zero) and years. Do not use st, nd, rd or th with numbers.

Old Governor's Mansion – The proper formal name is Old Governor's Mansion (note the apostrophe). The mansion or Governor's Mansion is acceptable on second and subsequent reference. Never write it as Old Governors Mansion.

percent, percentages – Spell out percent. Do not use the symbol % unless it is in a chart, graph or table.

state abbreviations – Follow these guidelines in all text. U.S. Postal Service abbreviations are used only in mailing addresses. The names of eight states are never abbreviated: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah. The other state abbreviations are:

Calif. .

telephone numbers – Use figures with hyphens without parenthesis. 
478-445-5004 is correct; (478) 445-5004 or 478.445.5004 is not.

time – In text, do not use a colon and zeros at the top of the hour. Example: 3 p.m., not 3:00 p.m. The only correct abbreviations are a.m. and p.m.

university – Capitalize only when used as part of a complete formal name or title; lowercase otherwise.

universitywide – It is always one word. It is never hyphenated. Also campuswide.

vice president – Do not hyphenate. Capitalize before the name; lowercase when standing alone or when following the name.

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Quick Reference Guide | Building Names

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