- Sabbatical is a leave from normal employment responsibilities. Sabbatical leave is redundant.
- Abbreviate with place names: St. Andrews Church.
- For personal names, follow the individual’s preference: Louise Saint-Laurent.
- Standardized test for University admission.
- But lowercase devil or satanic.
- Use Saudi as the adjective when referring to the people or culture of Saudi Arabia.
- Supreme Council of Armed Forces. Use SCAF on second reference.
- Capitalize scene when used with a figure: Scene 2; Act 2, Scene 4.
schedule of classes
- Capitalize when referring to a specific one: the Fall 2012 Schedule of Classes.
- Lowercase in generic use: The course was deleted from the class schedule. He needs the schedule of classes.
- See award, fellowship, scholarship.
- Capitalize when part of a proper name: School of Sciences and Engineering.
- See names, schools.
- Specific names of plants and animals are set in italics. The genus name is capitalized, but the species name is lowercased: Sequoiadendron gigantem.
- Common names of plants and animals are written lowercase, and only proper nouns and adjectives are capitalized: Rocky Mountain sheep, English ivy.
- Do not capitalize the names of laws, theorems or principles except for proper nouns that are part of the name: theory of relativity, Kepler’s laws, Newton’s laws of motion.
- Do not capitalize the spelled-out names of chemical elements and compounds: iron, sulfuric acid. However, symbols are capitalized: H2O.
- Capitalize the names of asteroids, planets, satellites, stars and constellations: Big Dipper, Mars, North Star.
- Capitalize the names of special astronomical objects, but do not capitalize generic words or descriptive terms: the Milky Way, the rings of Saturn, Andromeda galaxy, Biela’s comet.
- Do not capitalize sun or moon.
- The word earth is generally lowercase. Capitalize when used as the proper name of the planet: He is down to earth. Mercury is the planet closest to the sun, followed by Venus and then Earth.
- Capitalize the names of eras and periods, but do not capitalize the words era and period: Nasserist era.
- Do not capitalize the names of glacial and interglacial stages: fourth glacial stage.
- Capitalize the term Ice Age, but do not capitalize age as a generic term.
- Takes plural verbs and pronouns: The scissors are on the desk.
- Lowercase when referring to a season: He entered in the fall semester. It gets cold in the winter.
- Capitalize when part of a formal, specific name: "AUCToday" Spring 2012, Summer Olympics.
second hand (n.), secondhand (adj. and adv.)
- With a hyphen. Capitalize as a formal title before a name: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. See titles.
secretary of state
- Capitalize as a formal title before a name. See titles.
- With a hyphen. Capitalize as a formal title before a name. See titles.
- Capitalize when used with a figure to identify part of a law or bill: Section 3r of the Wakf Act.
- Use as United Nations Security Council or UN Security Council.
- Always hyphenate: self-assured, self-government, self-defense, self-confidence.
sell out (v.), sellout (n.)
- Do not capitalize names of academic semesters or terms: fall semester, except when followed by a year: Fall 2012 semester (no comma preceding the year).
- Generally, no hyphen: semifinal, semiofficial.
- Twice a year; a synonym for biannual. Do not confuse with biennial, which means every two years.
- Capitalize when part of an official name: University Senate, U.S. Senate. Lowercase senate in other references.
- For the senate at AUC, use University Senate, not Faculty Senate. See University Senate.
- See classification, student.
senior thesis, senior project
- Lowercase; no hyphen.
September 11, 9/11
- Write either as September 11 (spell out month) or 9/11. Both are acceptable on first and subsequent references: The September 11 attacks were a shock to the United States.
- A sequence is two or more courses that must be taken in sequence. Do not use sequence to mean an academic discipline or core courses.
- See Punctuation.
- Both words can be used as verbs, but serve applies better to people and service to machines: The University’s aim is to serve its students better. He served as director of the center for five years. The technician will service the photocopier.
service learning (n.), service-learning (adj.)
- The committee’s emphasis is on service learning (n.).The University is increasing its emphasis on service-learning courses (adj.).
- See community-based learning.
set up (v.), setup (n. and adj.)
- Use shall to show determination: We shall fight this.
- Either shall or will may be used in first-person sentences that do not express determination: We shall hold a meeting. We will hold a meeting.
- For second- and third-person sentences, use will unless determination is stressed: He will not be happy.
- See should, would.
- Use this spelling unless using an official title of a book or article.
- Not sheik.
- Use this spelling. Plural is Shiites.
- Italicize the names of spacecraft, planes, ships and trains: Challenger space shuttle.
- Use should to express an obligation: We should help the needy. Use would to express a routine action: In the spring, we would spend hours at the park.
show off (v.), showoff (n.)
shut down (v.), shutdown (n.)
shut off (v.), shut-off (n.)
shut out (v.), shutout (n.)
side by side, side-by-side
- They drove side by side. The posters received side-by-side display.
sign-up (n. and adj.), sign up (v.)
- Not the Sinai. But: the Sinai Desert, the Sinai Peninsula.
- Avoid using as a synonym for because. Use since for time purposes: Students have learned 10 new mathematical models since the semester started.
- Always consult a dictionary. Examples include:
- Criterion, criteria
- Phenomenon, phenomena
- Medium, media
- Memorandum, memorandums
- Forum, fora
- Symposium, symposia
sit down (v.), sit-down (n. and adj.)
sit in (v.), sit-in (n. and adj.)
- Sit in Congress (v.); a peaceful sit-in (n.).
sit up (v.), situp (n.)
- Use figures: a size 8 dress, size 40 shoes.
- Not sized: a small-size class.
- Use the slash to indicate alternatives, not combined ideas: drop/add, pass/fail. Acceptable in phrases such as 24/7 or 9/11.
- See Punctuation.
- Academic departments and offices at AUC cannot adopt specific slogans.
- An abbreviation for Short Message Service. Use text messaging instead, unless part of a quotation.
social distancing, socially distancing
- No quote marks, no hyphen.
- The shortened versions distancing or distanced are acceptable on second reference.
- Do not use social distance as a verb. Rephrase the sentence to avoid such construction.
- Online tools that people use to connect with one another. See Social Media Guidelines.
Social Security number
- Capitalize Social Security only. Do not capitalize number, tax or office: American students have a Social Security number. I contacted the Social Security office to solve my problem.
- Avoid SS# and the redundant SSN#.
- Capitalize but do not use quotation marks: PowerPoint, WordPerfect or Windows, but use quotation marks for computer games.
- The meal fasting Muslims eat before sunrise. Italicize.
- See classification, student.
south, southern, southeast, southwest
- See directions and regions.
- Lowercase space shuttle, but capitalize a proper name.
- Leave one space after periods, commas, semicolons or any other punctuation.
- Capitalize before a name only for the speaker of a legislative body.
- Capitalize and use quotation marks. See composition titles.
- Use figures. The car slowed to 7 mph.
speed up (v.), speedup (n. and adj.)
- Consult The American Heritage Dictionary for spelling and word breaks. Use American English spelling.
- When a company forms a separate company out of a division or subsidiary. One word.
- Use spokesperson instead.
- See Nondiscriminatory Language.
- Do not capitalize the names of sports such as soccer or volleyball, even when the sport is preceded by the name of the school: AUC volleyball team.
- For sports in which both men and women compete, the gender of the team must always be specified on first reference: women’s basketball, men’s tennis.
- When referring to varsity teams, do not identify gender when the university has only one gender represented in that varsity sport.
- Do not use girls or ladies to refer to women’s teams; use women. Do not use boys to refer to men’s teams; use men.
staff, staff members
- Staff (singular) refers to a group. Staff members (plural) refers to individuals.
- Staff members is preferred to staff.
stand in (v.), stand-in (n. and adj.)
stand out (v.), standout (n. and adj.)
startup (n. and adj.)
- A new business venture. One word.
- Always spell out state names in running text, both when they stand alone or when used in conjunction with a city or town: He visited California in the summer. She was raised in Miami, Florida.
- 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.
- In U.S. addresses, abbreviate state names when used in conjunction with the name of a city, town, village or military base: New York, NY. Consult the AP Stylebook for proper state abbreviations.
- Do not capitalize the word state:
- Incorrect: State of Oregon.
- Correct: state of Oregon.
- To stand still is to be stationary. Writing paper is stationery.
stay at home (v.), stay-at-home (adj.)
strong-arm (v. and adj.)
- See clubs.
- Not work study.
- Always express as student-faculty ratio, not faculty-student ratio (larger number stated first, then smaller number).
- See classification, student.
student teacher (n.), student-teacher (adj.)
- Use student teacher (two words, no hyphen) as a noun; hyphenate when used as an adjective. The student teacher taught for months before qualifying for a degree in education. A positive student-teacher relationship is key for success.
- Capitalize Student Union.
- Use SU on second reference.
study abroad (n.), study-abroad (adj.)
- Use study abroad, not overseas program. Study abroad (n.) is a useful experience. She is a study-abroad (adj.) student.
- No hyphen in sub-constructions: subdiscipline, subspecialty unless the word following sub- is a proper noun: sub-Saharan. Exception: sub-unit.
- Lowercase: the Food and Services subcommittee.
- Lowercase: history, biology, computer science. Capitalize when proper nouns: Middle East studies, English literature or when stating the full, formal name of the department: Department of History.
- Consult The American Heritage Dictionary. If a word combination is not listed, use two words for the verb form. Hyphenate any noun or adjective forms.
- Generally, no hyphen: superhighway, superpower. As with all prefixes, however, use a hyphen if the word that follows is capitalized: super-Republican.
- Generally, no hyphen: supragovernmental, supranational.
- Symposium is singular; symposia is plural.