• The rules for prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: ultramodern, ultrasonic, ultranationalism, ultraviolet.


  • Generally, do not hyphenate words with un- as a prefix unless it is a proper noun: un-Egyptian.


  • One word. See titles.



  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Use UNESCO on second reference.


  • United Nations Children’s Fund. Use UNICEF on second reference.


  • Disinterested means impartial, neutral, not taking sides: disinterested party in the dispute; disinterested referee. Uninterested means that someone lacks interest: He was uninterested in the subject.

United Arab Emirates

  • Use UAE on second reference.

United Kingdom

  • Spell out.
    • Incorrect: He comes from the UK.
    • Correct: He comes from the United Kingdom.

United Nations (n.), UN (adj.)

  • When used as a noun, spell out: He works in the United Nations. She has been working with the United Nations (not UN) for 30 years.
  • UN is only used as an adjective, not as a noun. When using as an adjective, do not put periods: He is on the UN commission.

United States, USA, U.S.

  • Spell out United States and use as a noun: The film was shot in the United States. USA could be used on second reference without periods, preceded by the word the.
  • Use U.S. as an adjective: He is a member of the U.S. Navy.
  • Use periods in the abbreviation (U.S.) in running text. In headlines, no periods.


  • Capitalize when referring to the official name of a university: She works at The American University in Cairo. He studied commerce at Ain Shams University.
  • Capitalize University in reference to AUC; otherwise, lowercase. AUC offers a variety of courses for its students; the University is committed to excellence. Those eligible to apply to the program should come from an English-speaking university.
  • Lowercase when referring to multiple universities: She applied to the American, German and Canadian universities.

University Residences

  • Use in reference to the New Cairo campus residence halls. For the Zamalek hostel, use Zamalek Dormitory.

University Senate

  • Use University Senate, not faculty senate, because the senate is made up of faculty, student and staff representatives.
  • Capitalize when using the full, official title: University Senate. Use the senate lowercase on second reference.

until, till, ‘til

  • Use until. Do not use ‘til or till.


  • The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Some examples: upstate, upgrade, uptown.

up-to-date, up to date

  • Hyphenate as a compound modifier before a noun. Otherwise, no hyphen.


  • Follow The American Heritage Dictionary. Hyphenate if not listed there. Some examples: makeup, cleanup, setup, mock-up, mix-up.


  • Use upcoming, not coming, in reference to future events: Next month’s calendar contains all upcoming events held at the University.


  • Stands for United Press International. Use UPI on second reference.



  • Always lowercase: upstate New York.


  • Uniform Resource Locator, an Internet address. URL is acceptable in all references. When the URL does not fit entirely on one line, break it into two or more lines without adding a hyphen or other punctuation mark.


  • No periods in the abbreviated form for United States of America.


  • United States Agency for International Development. USAID (no periods) is acceptable on second reference.

U.S. Army

U.S. Navy

U.S. Air Force

U.S. Supreme Court


  • Use for both men and women.

U-turn (n. and adj.)