nanotechnology, nanobiotechnology


  • buildings
    • Capitalize campus buildings that have a formal, given name: School of Continuing Education or that are named for somebody: Abdul Latif Hall, Hill House. Capitalize all words in the name, including the word building, center or hall.
    • Capitalize building, center, hall or campus only when they are part of the official name: Greek Campus, Ewart Memorial Hall, Hill House, School of Continuing Education, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Hall.
    • Click here for a list of campus buildings.
    • Capitalize places on campus that carry a formal, given name: Fountain Area.
  • businesses
    • Do not abbreviate co. or cos. in running text. Spell out instead: Daimler Chrysler Company.
    • Delete Inc., Ltd. in running text.
    • Follow the company’s style for initial and internal caps: PageMaker, DirecTV. Exceptions to this rule are names that, according to company style, do not have initial caps: Adidas, not adidas, and a name that, according to company style, should appear in all caps: Visa, not VISA and Lexis-Nexis, not LEXIS-NEXIS.
    • Follow the company’s style in writing its official name, even if it does not conform to the style guide’s rules: Big Ten, 3M, 7-Eleven.
  • departments
    • 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.
  • libraries
    • Capitalize when referring to the official names of any of AUC’s libraries:
    • AUC Library (use the library on second reference).
    • Rare Books and Special Collections Library (use rare books library or RBSCL on second reference).
    • Lowercase in generic use: I will study at the library.
  • offices
    • Capitalize office only when part of the official name: Office of Student Affairs.
    • Lowercase when using shortened or unofficial forms: student affairs office.
    • Do not use office abbreviations in running text; use only in tabular format where space is limited.
    • Click here for a list of offices and their abbreviations.
  • programs, academic
    • Do not capitalize the names of academic programs: master’s program in engineering, computer science program, political science program. Capitalize only when it is the official name and the program is not affiliated with a department: the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies program, Middle East Studies program.
    • Capitalize proper nouns in the names of academic programs: Arabic studies program, English program.
  • proper nouns
  • Proper nouns refer to the names of people or specific places and things. Capitalize in all cases: Salah El Haggar, Nile River, National Democratic Party, North Coast.
  • schools, academic
    • School of Business
    • School of Continuing Education (SCE)
    • School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP)
    • School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HUSS)
    • School of Sciences and Engineering (SSE)
    • Avoid shortened, unofficial versions. Use abbreviations on second reference.


  • Capitalize the proper names of nationalities: Egyptian, American, Arab.
  • Do not hyphenate dual nationalities: Egyptian American.
  • Do not use black or white to refer to a certain race except in direct quotes.



  • An acceptable abbreviation for internet. 

newspapers, magazines

  • See composition titles.

New Year

  • Capitalize in reference to the official holiday.


  • Acceptable in all references to the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

Nobel laureate

  • Since laureate means winner or recipient, do not capitalize. Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail is also an AUC trustee.

Nobel Prize

  • Nobel Prize should be capitalized, but the subject in which the prize was won should not: Ahmed Zewail received the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
  • Could also use Nobel Prize winner or Nobel laureate, but Nobel Prize-winning scientist.


  • See titles, nobility.


  • Generally, no hyphen except when the base word is a proper noun: non-Western, non-Egyptian, begins with an n: non-native, non-nuclear or when the resulting word would be confusing: non-English speaking people, non-nuclear submarine.
  • Consult The American Heritage Dictionary. If the word is not listed, hyphenate.


  • One word, no hyphen.


  • One word, no hyphen.


  • Used as an adjective. One word, no hyphen: She is a nondegree student.

nondiscriminatory statements


  • Used as an adjective. One word, no hyphen: She is working on her nondissertation research this semester.


  • If the object of the proposition after none is singular, use a singular verb: None of the day was used efficiently.
  • If the object of the proposition after none is plural, use a plural verb: None of the students found it funny. None of the fees have been paid.


  • One word, no hyphen.

nongovernmental organization

  • Do not hyphenate.


  • One word, no hyphen.

nonprofit, not-for-profit

  • Both are acceptable, depending on the organization’s preference.
  • For AUC, use nonprofit (one word).


  • One word, no hyphen.

nonthesis (adj.)

  • Her nonthesis research took up a lot of time.


  • Write as noon, not 12 pm or 12 noon.

North-South divide

  • Capitalize.

number sign (#)

  • Avoid.


  • Always spell out numbers when they mark the beginning of sentences. Exceptions to this rule are with calendar years. 1999 was a distinguished year.
  • Spell out numbers less than 10; use figures for 10 and above.
  • ages
    • 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 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 brackets: The man is in his 50s.
    • Do not set off by commas: Henry III.
  • chapters of a book
    • For chapters of a book, acts or scenes in a play, page numbers, tables, appendices, figures and illustrations, always use a figure and lowercase: chapter 3, page 1, table 4, act 2, scene 3.
  • credit hours
    • Do not use credit hours as an adjective preceding a modified noun to avoid excessive hyphenation. Write a program consisting of 12 credit hours instead of a 12-credit-hour program.
    • Credit hours are earned in a subject, not of it: 27 credit hours in chemistry.
  • decimals
    • Use figures with decimals: 5.57, 8.5.
  • fractions
    • Do not use fractions (number slash number).
    • Spell out fractions with a single-digit denominator: three-fourths, one-half.
    • Use figures for fractions with a double-digit denominator: 1/20. When fractions are paired with a whole number, use decimals:
      • Incorrect: 4 1/2.
      • Correct: 4.5.
  • grade point average
    • Spell out. Use GPA on second reference.
    • Always express in figures and write up to at least one decimal place: 4.0, 3.45.
    • If several GPAs are cited in a table, carry all of them to the same decimal place: 3.01, 2.75, 3.89.
    • The abbreviation GPA must follow the figures if they are not described in the rest of the sentence: Sami earned a 3.9 GPA. She graduated with a GPA of 4.0.
  • headlines
    • Use figures in headlines, even for 1 - 9.
  • measurements
    • With physical quantities, follow the rules for numbers: Spell out numbers that are less than 10; write 10 and above as figures: two kilometers; 200 kilograms, 100 acres.
    • Quantities that consist of whole numbers and fractions should be expressed in figures using the decimal system: 10.5 meters.
  • money
    • Give currency amounts in figures, leaving no space between the sign and the figure in the case of dollars: $2 and leaving a space in the case of Egyptian pounds: EGP 10. Do not write as two dollars or 10 Egyptian pounds.
    • Do not put periods in EGP.
    • Write numbers of four or more digits as figures and put commas: $10,000, EGP 4,790.
    • For numbers in the million, resort to decimals, writing up to two decimal places: $1.45 million or even better: more than $1.4 million.
    • In tables, it is preferable to include .00, especially if the figures include cents or piasters: $2.00, EGP 10.50.
  • ordinals
    • Refers to first, second, 10th, 100th. Spell out when the numeral is less than 10: fifth, seventh. Otherwise, write in figures: 21st century.
    • Do not put a space between the figure and the ordinal letters, and no period is needed at the end of the ordinal letters except at the end of a sentence.
  • pages of a book
    • Use figures for references to pages of a book, tables, illustrations and figures: page 3.
    • See page numbers.
  • percentages
    • Express percentages in numbers followed by the % sign, with no space: a 5% increase.
    • The noun following the percentage determines whether the verb is singular or plural: More than 2 percent of the class was present. Ten percent of faculty members felt it was wrong to postpone the exam period.
  • round numbers
    • Spell out approximations used instead of exact numbers: We get hundreds of requests. There were thousands of people at the stadium.
    • Round numbers over 999,999 are expressed in figures, followed by million, billion: 50 million.
    • See million, billion.
  • test scores
    • Scores for SAT, GRE and similar tests are expressed in figures, without putting commas in scores that reach into the thousands. Her SAT score was 1100. His GRE score was 2050.
    • Use figures in constructions such as SAT-1.