- Generally, no hyphen: atypical
- Pronunciation should determine the article to be used. Use ‘a’ before consonant sounds: a historic event; use ‘an’ before vowel sounds: an honorable man.
- An abbreviation is the shortened version of a word: Street, St. An acronym is an abbreviation that generally uses the first letter of each word: United Nations, UN; Eastern Standard Time, EST. See acronyms. Avoid abbreviations unless necessary, see addresses, dates.
- Avoid abbreviations that are not easily recognizable to readers: Lieutenant; Lt.
- Academic degrees should be spelled out and lowercased: He earned a doctorate in engineering.
- Capitalize when using the official name of the degree: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science.
- Lowercase the academic discipline: Bachelor of Science in construction engineering, Master of Arts in journalism and mass communication
- Use an apostrophe with bachelor’s in journalism, but no apostrophe in Bachelor of Science or Master of Business Administration.
- When a person has earned more than one degree, it is better to add the word degree for more clarity: He holds three master’s degrees in three different fields. She earned a master's and a doctorate from Harvard.
- Do not use periods and do not leave spaces when writing abbreviations: PhD, MA, BS, BA.
- The word degree should not follow the abbreviation.
- Incorrect: He has a BA degree in journalism.
- Correct: He has a BA in journalism.
- Capitalize when using the official name of the department: Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.
- Lowercase shortened, unofficial versions: journalism and mass communication department.
- Capitalize proper nouns even when using the unofficial name: English and comparative literature department, Middle East studies department.
- Click here for a list of academic departments at AUC.
academic integrity (council)
- Capitalize when using the official name: Council on Academic Integrity; otherwise lowercase: academic integrity council.
academic year / term
- See year, academic and semesters.
- Accept means to receive. Except means to exclude.
- On first reference, spell out the word and put the acronym in parentheses, with no periods. On second reference, write the acronym with no periods or parentheses.
- Place AD before the number and BC after the number. Do not write fourth century AD. The fourth century is sufficient. If AD is not specified with a year, the year is presumed to be AD.
- Spell out street and avenue with a numbered address: 20 El Tiseen Street, 420 Fifth Avenue.
- Spell out and capitalize when part of a formal street name: Sheikh Rihan Street.
- Lowercase and spell out when used alone or with more than one street name: Mohamed Mahmoud and Sheikh Rihan streets.
- Always use figures for an address number: 5 El Tiseen Street.
- Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when used as street names; use figures for 10th and above: 420 Fifth Avenue, Ninth Street.
- Rules for numerals apply with regard to floor numbers. Spell out one through nine; write 10 and above as figures: second floor, 10th floor. Capitalize only when part of a formal street address. Lowercase in tables or running text.
- Abbreviate and capitalize room (Rm) and apartment (Apt). Do not use periods or the number sign #:
- Use periods in the abbreviations P.O. for P.O. Box numbers.
- In U.S. addresses, abbreviate state names (without periods) when used in conjunction with the name of a city, town, village or military base: New York, NY.
- In running text, place a comma between the city and the state name. Spell out the state name: She traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, then to Nashville, Tennessee.
- The standard address for AUC is:
- AUC New Cairo
P.O. Box 74
New Cairo 11835
AUC Tahrir Square
113 Kasr El Aini St.
P.O. Box 2511
Cairo 11511, Egypt
- AUC New Cairo
- For the New York office, the address is as follows:
- 420 Fifth Avenue, Third floor
New York, NY 10018-2729
- 420 Fifth Avenue, Third floor
- Always lowercase administration: the president’s administration, Obama’s administration. Never abbreviate administrator and capitalize only when used as part of a formal title before a name: Administration Building.
adopt, approve, enact, pass
- Amendments, ordinances, resolutions and rules are adopted or approved. Bills are passed. Laws are enacted.
- Adverse means unfavorable: adverse conditions. Averse means reluctant, opposed or resistant: averse to change.
- Do not use advisor. However, use advisory.
- Affect (v.): to influence, (n.) emotion (term used in psychology).
- Effect (v.): to cause, (n.) result.
- The term for the people and culture of Afghanistan. Afghani is the Afghan unit of currency.
- No hyphen after this prefix when it is used to form a noun: afterthought, aftereffect. Use a hyphen only in the case of a compound modifier: after-lunch-snack
- Not afterwards. Also see backward, onward, toward.
- Always write in figures, unless the age marks the beginning of a sentence or headline.
- Where the age is used as an adjective before a noun or a substitute for a noun, use hyphens: She has a 1-year-old boy; The game is for 6-year-olds.
- Do not use the word years or years old unless required by the context: The woman, 40, has a son who is 20 years old. The constitution is 100 years old.
- Do not use an apostrophe for age ranges: The man is in his 50s.
- Aid means assistance. An aide is a person who serves as an assistant
- Never use alright.
all time, all-time
- all-time high, but the greatest runner of all time
- School, college or university from which one has graduated.
- No capitalization and no italics.
- Do not use the phrase. Instead use seldom or hardly ever.
- Not alot.
- In a series or list, alphabetize using the letter-by-letter method.
- In people’s names, initials should precede any name beginning with the same letter: Robinson, T. comes before Robinson, Theodore.
- Accented words should be alphabetized as though unaccented.
- Numbers should be alphabetized as though they were spelled out.
alumni, alumnae, alumna, alumnus
- alumni: plural for male and female graduates of a university.
- alumnae: plural for female graduates.
- alumna: singular for a female graduate.
- alumnus: singular for a male graduate.
- Do not capitalize and do not use periods: 11 am.
- Avoid redundancy: 9 am this morning.
- Use for both men and women. Capitalize as a formal title before a name: Ambassador Nabil Fahmy. See titles.
- Use United States or U.S. instead: He is from the United States; He is a U.S. citizen.
The American University in Cairo
- Use AUC on second reference. Capitalize “the” in running text.
- Between introduces two items and among introduces more than two. The funds were divided among Ahmed, Sarah and Mona.
- See Punctuation.
- Not anchor or co-anchor
- Avoid using and/or. Use ‘or’ instead.
- Incorrect: You may submit your papers on Wednesday and/or Thursday.
- Correct: You may submit your papers on Wednesday or Thursday.
- Lowercase anniversaries: centennial, bicentennial.
- Avoid first anniversary or time spans less than a year such as six-month anniversary.
- An event cannot be described as annual until it has been held in at least two successive years.
- Lowercase in all uses.
- Generally, do not use hyphens when forming a compound that does not have a special meaning and which can be understood if anti- is used before the word.
- Use a hyphen before proper nouns: anti-Islamic, anti-European.
- Consult The American Heritage Dictionary; if the word is not listed, hyphenate.
- Hyphenate all except the following words, which have specific meanings of their own:
- Anticipate means to expect and prepare for something; expect does not include the notion of preparation: They expect a record crowd. They have anticipated it by adding more seats to the auditorium.
anybody, any body, anyone, any one
- Use word for an indefinite reference: Anyone can attend the lecture. Use two words when singling out one aspect of a group: Any one of them may help out.
- See Punctuation.
- Use the individual’s preference as to how to spell his or her name in English.
- If the individual’s preference is not known, use an English spelling that is close to the way the name sounds in Arabic. If the name is that of a celebrity or political figure, check how it is commonly spelled in the media.
- Capitalize Al or El and do not hyphenate.
- In general, use an English spelling that approximates the way a name sounds in Arabic. In running text, italicize Arabic words, followed by their English definition in square brackets. However, do not italicize Arabic names of websites or students clubs: Alashanek Ya Balady club, Al Quds club, Maktoob website
Arab Spring or Arab Awakening
- Refers to the wave of revolutions and protests that occurred in the Arab world starting December 2010 and including countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria and Yemen.
- Do not italicize hajj, Ramadan and jihad. Italicize intifada.
- Consult The American Heritage Dictionary. If the word is listed, do not italicize. If it is not listed, italicize.
- Avoid archeology.
assure, ensure, insure
- Assure: to make someone feel certain about something; give confidence to.
- Ensure: to guarantee.
- Insure: reference to insurance.
- Use to indicate footnoted material.
- Asterisks follow punctuation marks and go inside parentheses.
award, fellowship, scholarship
- Capitalize award, fellowship and scholarship when part of the official name: Fulbright Scholarship, Excellence in Research and Creative Endeavors Award, Public School Scholarship, otherwise, lowercase: honorary scholarship. See awards.