• Do not use it to describe someone’s actions while alive. Incorrect: The late president introduced this initiative. (The president was not dead at that time).

layoff (n.), lay off (v.)

lecturer in

  • Lowercase and follow with subject area: He is a lecturer in economics.


  • Capitalize the titles of lectures and put them in quotation marks. Do not italicize: Oliver Miles, distinguished visiting professor in Arabic studies, is giving a lecture, “What Ambassadors Actually Do.”
  • Do not capitalize adjectives that precede lectures: She delivered the third lecture in the annual Tahrir Dialogue series.

left wing (n.), left-wing (adj.)

  • Generally, try to avoid when describing political leanings.

less, fewer

  • Use fewer in reference to items that could be counted. Use less in reference to value, degree or amount: Fewer students were admitted this year. This winter was less rainy than last year.
  • See fewer, less.


  • Hyphenate when level is part of a compound modifier: undergraduate-level courses, a 400-level course, but courses at the 400 level.



  • See names, libraries.


life span




  • See bulleted series.

livestream, livestreaming


  • No periods. See Academic Degrees.

loan (n.), lend (v.)

lock down (v.), lockdown (n., adj.)

login, logon, logoff (n.)

  • But use as two words in verb form: He logs in to his computer.

long term, long-term

  • Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: This will be of benefit in the long term. He has long-term goals. 

long time, longtime

  • They have worked together for a long time. They are longtime friends.