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Quick Reference Guide | Building Names
said – Always use said when attributing quoted material. Do not use stated, says, remarked or other similar words. "The final exam was easier than I though it would be," said John.
SAT – Acceptable on second references to the Scholastic Aptitude Test, prepared by the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) of the Educational Testing Service. Do not use periods with this abbreviation.
scene numbers – Capitalize scene when used with a figure. Scene 3, Act I or Scene 4.
school – Capitalize only when used as part of a complete formal name; lowercase informal and incomplete references. She attends the School of Health Sciences. The health sciences school will begin classes next week. The school will be in session this fall.
School of Health Sciences – The official name is School of Health Sciences. On second reference, use the health sciences school, the school. Because the school encompasses more than just nursing, the nursing school should be avoided.
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences – The official name is School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Note that no ampersand is used. On second reference, use the arts and sciences school, the school.
screen saver – Two words
seasons – Lowercase the seasons of the year and the derivatives of the seasons; capitalize only when part of a formal name. He plans to enroll this fall. She love to go to the beach each summer. The university expects Summer Festival to be a big hit.
- Lowercase seasonal references to semesters. She hopes that spring semester 2004 will be her best yet. Convocation is held at the beginning of fall semester.
the Second, II – Do not set off with commas when used with a name. King Henry the Second ruled for a short time. George Arthur II was named for his uncle.
secretary – Capitalize only when part of a formal title used before the name; lowercase when standing alone or when following the name. Always lowercase when the reference is to an individual whose function is that of administrative assistant within an office organization. Secretary of State Colin Powell; Colin Powell, secretary of state; the secretary of state; the secretary; Jane Doe, secretary to the vice president; his secretary, Jane Doe.
section – Capitalize when used with a figure or letter in reference to a particular section. Section I, Section A.
semester – Lowercase semesters in text. Do not separate the semester from the year by a comma. Do not use the word of.
- CORRECT: She will graduate spring semester 2004.
- WRONG: He will take the course in fall semester of 2005. The speaker is coming spring semester, 2006.
semiannual – This term means every half year.
semicolon – The semicolon is frequently misused. Often it appears unnecessarily in the place of a comma. Just as often, such punctuation as dashes or ellipses are used when semicolons are more appropriate. Generally, the semicolon indicates a greater break in thought, construction or information than a comma indicates, but less than the separation indicated by a period. Dashes and ellipses have their own uses. Use semicolons to separate elements of a series when those elements contain commas. He cheated on his test; therefore, he was expelled. The writing was terrific; the artwork was terrible.
semimonthly, semiweekly – Semimonthly means twice a month (bimonthly means every other month). Semiweekly means twice a week (biweekly means every other week).
senate – Capitalize the formal name of the governmental body; lowercase plural uses: the Georgia Senate, the U.S. Senate, the state Senate, the Senate, the Georgia and Alabama senates.
senator – Capitalize and abbreviate before a name; lowercase after the name and when it stands alone. Sen. John Doe; John Doe, senator from Alaska; the senator.
sexist language – Avoid sexist language. Here are some guidelines:
- Men and women should receive equal treatment – He, him, himself and his are not generic terms referring to both sexes. In references to both sexes, use he or she, him or her, his or her, etc. Do not use he/she, him/her, his/her. Never use s/he. However, use he or she, etc., sparingly, but consistently when you must use it.
- To avoid the awkwardness that overuse of he or she, etc., can cause, the writer should restructure the sentence or the paragraph. Usually, the use of plurals can solve the problem of awkwardness. The plural third-person pronouns (they, their, them) have a common gender.
- CORRECT: The students are asked to take their places in their classes.
- AWKWARD: Each student is asked to take his or her place in his or her class.
- WRONG: Each student is asked to take his place in his class.
-size, -sized – Hyphenate compounds formed with these suffixes: bite-size, king-size, economy-size, pint-size.
slang – Avoid slang in text and headlines unless it is part of a quotation. Use caution with cliches and colloquialisms.
slogans – Do not set off in quotes or set in italics if only the principal words are capitalized. If only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized, then set off the slogan with quotations marks. Example: Georgia College Offers Degrees of Excellence. "Celebrating the past, building for the future!"
Social Security number – Spell out number (but do not capitalize it) in textual material. Number can be abbreviated as # on forms. Do not use SS number, SSN or Social in textual material.
senior – Do not set off with a comma from names of individuals. Example: John Doe Sr. is president of the firm.
State names and U.S. Postal Service codes – Spell out the names of the 50 U.S. states when they stand alone in textual material. The names of eight states are never abbreviated: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, Utah. Do not abbreviate Washington, D.C., or District of Columbia (when it is used alone). The remaining state names should be abbreviated in textual material when used with the name of a city or town, such as Atlanta, Ga.
The state abbreviations for text are:
sub- – Do not hyphenate words formed with this prefix: subcommittee, subtitle, subzero.
summa cum laude – Do not italicize this phrase denoting academic honor.
symposiums, symposia – Symposiums is the preferred spelling of the plural of symposia.