Communications and Marketing

University Style Guide

Binghamton University Style Guide

University publications perform most effectively when they reflect consistency and clarity in their messages. Since many of our audiences overlap, it's important that nonacademic publications coming from the University treat the English language in the same manner, using a clear, consistent, contemporary style of writing.

This style guide can help. It's based in part on widely accepted reference works such as The Chicago Manual of Style, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and the Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law. Though these sources are invaluable, they don't address all editorial concerns specific to Binghamton University. Therefore, we've developed additional recommendations, below. We also offer related guidance on our preferred word list and formatting campus addresses webpages.

Comments or additions?

If you have comments about the guide or wish to suggest an addition, deletion or change, contact Natalie Blando-George in Creative Services at ngeorge@binghamton.edu.


Style Guide

A | B | C | D | E/F/G | H/I | J/K/L | M | N | O/P | Q/R | S | T | U/V/W | X/Y/Z

A

a.m. / p.m. / time

  • Note use of lowercase and periods.
  • Use noon instead of 12 p.m.; use midnight instead of 12 a.m.
  • The correct abbreviation for morning times is a.m.
  • The correct abbreviation for afternoon and evening times is p.m.
  • Use a colon to separate hours from minutes [3:45 p.m., 11:15 a.m.]
  • Don't use zeros for even hours [7 a.m. not 7:00 a.m.]

abbreviations and acronyms

  • Don't use abbreviations or acronyms the reader won't quickly recognize. Avoid overuse of abbreviations and acronyms.
  • Don't use periods in University abbreviations and acronyms. [DSON, CCPA, ITC]
  • Don't use periods with ID, TV, TA (teaching assistant), RA (resident assistant) and RD (resident director). [ID cards, there is a TV in the lounge, see your RA for details]
  • Unless the abbreviation is part of a proper name that doesn't use periods, use periods for two-letter acronyms. [U.N., B.C. Open
  • Don't use periods for large acronyms. [USPS, NASA, FEMA]
  • NOTE: Some entities are widely known by their initials and may not need to be spelled out on first reference (i.e., FBI, CIA, NSA); let context guide you.

Academic A Building (AA); Academic B Building (AB)

  • Academic Complex is the correct term to use when referring collectively to AA and AB.

academic and administrative titles

  • Capitalize the principal words in a title that appears before an individual's name, but don't capitalize a title elsewhere (including when the title follows the person's name). [Provost Donald G. Nieman, but Donald G. Nieman, provost]
  • Don't capitalize titles when used without a name. [the vice president is calling for nominations]

academic degrees

  • With the exception of the alumni section of campus publications, spell out names of degrees. [Alexis Greenman, who received her bachelor's degree in computer science]
  • Use an apostrophe in bachelor's degree and master's degree, but not associate degree.
  • Use abbreviations such as MA, MS, PhD only when spelling out the names of the degrees would be cumbersome. When used after a name, set off these abbreviations with commas and do not use periods within the degree abbreviation itself. [Emily Michaels, PhD, is coordinating the reunion; Philip Chen, MS ’12, is receiving an award; Andrew Dawson, MA ’13, chairs the committee]
  • For baccalaureate graduates, list only the graduation year, not the degree earned. Note the absence of a comma after the name. [Jose Rodriguez ’11 is our guest speaker or Keisha Taylor ’14 went on to graduate school]

academic departments

  • Capitalize official department names in running text. References using shortened or unofficial names should be lowercase. For example: 
    • The Department of Human Development publishes an annual newsletter.
    • Many students pursue master's of science degrees through our Department of Accounting at the School of Management. 
    • Peter Yun of bioengineering was promoted to professor.
    • Faculty members from the cinema and history departments are cooperating on this project.

academic honors

  • Use cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude. These should be italicized.

academic majors and minors

  • Lowercase all majors and minors, except those incorporating proper nouns. [She has a major in Hebrew studies and a minor in philosophy.]

acting/interim

  • When someone is filling in for an administrator who is temporarily on leave, the correct title is acting.
  • When someone is filling in while a permanent replacement is being sought, the correct title is interim.

admission/admissions

  • Use the plural form in the titles of our University offices (Undergraduate Admissions and Graduate Admissions), as well as when referring to our admissions process.
  • Use the singular form in constructs such as: he applied for admission to the University or she filed an application for admission.

Admissions Center (AM)

advisor (not adviser)

alumni/ae/us/a

  • Use alumnus (male) or alumna (female) when referring to a single person.
  • Use the plurals alumni (male or mixed group) and alumnae (female group) when referring to more than one person.
  • Avoid alumna/us and alumni/ae.
  • Use alum sparingly and only in informal communications.

ampersand/&

  • Don't use an ampersand (&) to replace and except in proper names of off-campus entities that include an ampersand. 

Anderson Center for the Performing Arts (Anderson Center)

  • Composed of the Osterhout Concert Theater, the Chamber Hall and Watters Theater

apostrophes

  • Use an apostrophe when referring to a class year; make sure the apostrophe is facing in the correct direction (it shouldn't look like a backward apostrophe).
    [Class of ’13]
  • Use curly apostrophes (“), not straight up-and-down ones (', called primes) whenever possible.
  • Don't use an apostrophe to make the plural of figures and letters unless confusion would result without the apostrophe. [three PhDs, five DVDs, there are two 5s in that number, but there are four s's in that word]

associate/assistant

  • Don't abbreviate assistant or associate when used in a title.

at/@

  • Use @ as a substitute for at in text only in athletics schedules to denote away games.

athletics

  • Use athletics when referring to this University division.

B

B-Alert

  • The University's emergency alert line; formerly called RAVE Alert.

Bearcats

  • Binghamton University's athletics teams (regardless of gender) are called the Bearcats (plural).
  • Baxter the Bearcat is Binghamton's mascot.

Binghamton University's name

Binghamton University

  • Use this in all written communications, particularly those intended for an off-campus audience and materials written for prospective students.

Binghamton

  • This is acceptable as a secondary reference, but it must be clear that Binghamton refers to the University, not the city.

BU

  • Avoid this abbreviation in all communications.

State University of New York at Binghamton

  • This remains the official and legal name of the University and is used on all legal documents, but not on the cover or in the text of most publications. Our state affiliation should be included when identifying University offices, academic units, people or places for external audiences.

SUNY

  • This abbreviation for State University of New York should be spelled out for external publications on first reference, but is acceptable on second reference. Don't use periods or spaces.

SUNY-B/SUNY-Binghamton

  • These abbreviations are no longer used.

University

  • This is acceptable as a secondary reference to Binghamton University. Note the capital U.

Binghamton University website address

  • The University's main website address, www.binghamton.edu, should appear on all publications; most often, it is presented as binghamton.edu (without the www).
  • Only use http:// (or https://) if the URL won't work without it.

Biotechnology Building (BI)

bulleted lists

  • Lists should present items in a consistent manner throughout a publication.
  • Maintain consistency for all items in a list. For example, don't mix sentence and nonsentence items, begin all items the same way (e.g., with a verb or gerund), use or don't use end punctuation, etc.

C

campus buildings

  • Campus/school building names and their abbreviations should match the listings on the Buildings page of the University Directory.
  • To specify locations, give the building abbreviation and room number with a hyphen in between. [DC-201, AD-148]
  • Below is a partial, current list of school/building names and residence halls/residential communities

School/Building Names

  • Academic A Building (use Academic Complex to refer to both A and B buildings)
  • Academic B Building B (use Academic Complex to refer to both A and B buildings)
  • Admissions Center (AM)
  • Anderson Center for the Performing Arts (Anderson Center) (composed of the Osterhout Concert Theater, the Chamber Hall and Watters Theater)
  • Binghamton University Art Museum (use complete name)
  • Biotechnology Building (BI)
  • College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA)
  • Couper Administration Building (AD)
  • Decker School of Nursing (Decker School or DSON)
  • Engineering Building (EB) [this building is on the main campus]
  • Engineering and Science Building (ES) [this building is part of the ITC] 
  • Events Center [center court is named Dr. Bai Lee Court]
  • Glenn G. Bartle Library (but Glenn G. Bartle Library tower or library tower when used alone)
  • Harpur College of Arts and Sciences (Harpur College)
  • Innovative Technologies Complex (ITC) (composed of the Biotechnology Building and the Engineering and Science Building)
  • Graduate School of Education (GSE)
  • Library Annex (located in Conklin, N.Y.)
  • School of Management (SOM)
  • School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SOPPS)
  • Science 1 (S1)
  • Science 2 (S2)
  • Science 3 (S3)
  • Science 4 (S4)
  • Science 5 (S5)
  • Science Library
  • Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science (Watson School)
  • University Downtown Center (DC)
  • University Downtown Center Library
  • University Union (UU) (the Nelson Mandela Room is located in the University Union as is the MarketPlace [note capital "P"] food court)
  • University Union West (UUW)

Residence Halls/Residential Communities

  • College-in-the-Woods (CIW)
    • Cayuga Hall
    • Onondaga Hall
    • Seneca Hall
    • Oneida Hall
    • Mohawk Hall
  • Dickinson Community (Dickinson)
    • Rafuse Hall
    • Digman Hall
    • Johnson Hall
    • O'Connor Hall
    • Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C4, shared with Newing College)
  • Hillside Community (Hillside)
    • Adirondack House
    • Belmont House
    • Catskill House
    • Darien House
    • Evangola House
    • Fillmore House
    • Glimmerglass House
    • Hempstead House
    • Jones House
    • Keuka House
    • Lakeside House
    • Minnewaska House
    • Nyack House
    • Palisades House
    • Rockland House
    • Saratoga House
  • Hinman College (Hinman)
    • Cleveland Hall
    • Hughes Hall
    • Lehman Hall
    • Roosevelt Hall
    • Smith Hall
    • Nelson A. Rockefeller Collegiate Center
  • Mountainview College (Mountainview)
    • Cascade Hall
    • Hunter Hall
    • Marcy Hall
    • Windham Hall
    • Appalachian Collegiate Center
  • Newing College (Newing)
    • Bingham Hall
    • Broome Hall
    • Delaware Hall
    • Endicott Hall
    • Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C4, shared with Dickinson Community)
  • Susquehanna Community (Susquehanna)
    • Brandywine
    • Choconut
    • Glenwood
    • Nanticoke

capitalization

  • Avoid unnecessary capital letters. Use a capital letter only if you can justify it.
  • See entries for academic and administrative titles, academic degrees, academic departments, academic majors and minors, class names/standing, compass directions, groups of people, historical periods, "office," "room," "state" and "the" for more information.

Career Development Center (don't use this)

  • see Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development

Casadesus Recital Hall

  • The Jean Casadesus Recital Hall has 225 seats and is located in the Fine Arts Building.

chapter

  • Capitalize only if it is part of an official name, otherwise it should be lowercase. [the Binghamton chapter of Sigma Theta Tau]

class names/standing

  • Don't capitalize freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate student or undergraduate student unless they appear at the beginning of a sentence or are part of a formal title. [she is a senior mechanical engineering student, but he is a member of the Graduate Student Council]

College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA)

College-in-the-Woods (CIW)

colleges and schools

  • Binghamton University consists of seven schools:
    • College of Community and Public Affairs
    • Decker School of Nursing,
    • Graduate School of Education
    • Harpur College of Arts and Sciences
    • School of Management
    • School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
    • Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science

collegiate professor, formerly faculty master

comma, see serial comma (also known as the Oxford comma)

Commencement

  • Always capitalize when referring to Binghamton's Commencement (graduation).

company/corporation/incorporated/limited

  • Abbreviate when used after the name of a corporate entity, but don't place a comma before the abbreviation. [FedEx Corp., Apple Inc., General Electric Co.]

compass directions

  • Capitalize north, south, east and west when they are part of specific geographic regions [the Midwest, the East Coast, the Middle East]
  • Don't capitalize general compass directions. [the west entrance to the campus, he drove north]

Couper Administration Building (AD)

course titles/course numbers

  • Each course has a course number and title. Course titles are capitalized (even if the course is referred to without the number); quotation marks or italics aren't necessary. No punctuation is used between the course number and course title. [ME 302 Engineering Analysis, SW 505 Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Peoples of the Pacific, Leadership in Educational Settings]
  • However, references to courses that don't use the specific and complete name aren't capitalized. [I'm taking philosophy and anthropology, she likes her electrical engineering courses]
  • Course numbers are written in all caps with no periods. [ARTH 496, ECON 162, WTSN 111]

courtesy titles

  • Refer to men and women by first and last name. [Ryan Perry, Sarah Schwarz]
  • Avoid using courtesy titles Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms. except in direct quotations, or where needed to distinguish among people of the same last name.
  • In cases where a person's gender isn't clear from the first name or from the story's context, indicate the gender by using he or she on a subsequent reference.
  • Abbreviate these titles when used before a full name outside direct quotations: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Mr., Mrs., Ms., Rep., the Rev., Sen. Otherwise, spell all out except Dr., Mr., Mrs., Ms.
  • If referring to a married couple where both individuals hold doctoral degrees, use Drs. before the names. [Drs. Jorge and Isabelle Gonzalez]
  • Don't use commas before or after Jr. or Sr. or the designations I, II, IV, etc. When used in conjunction with an earned degree, follow the designation with a comma. [Scott Yuen Jr., MBA ’14]
  • The first reference to a clergyperson normally includes a capitalized title before the individual's name. In many cases, the Rev. is the designation that applies before a name on first reference. Use the Rev. Dr. only if the individual has earned a doctoral degree (doctor of divinity degrees frequently are honorary) and reference to the degree is relevant.

credentials, presenting nursing 

  • Binghamton University follows the order recommended by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for presentation of nursing credentials. According to the ANCC, the preferred order of credentials is:
    • Highest earned degree
    • Licensure
    • State designations or requirements
    • National certifications
    • Awards and honors
    • Other recognitions

D

dashes

  • Offset en [–] and em [—] dashes with spaces, except when used with numbers. [Binghamton University — known for its high-quality students — is the crown jewel of the SUNY system, but 2016–2017.]

dates/months/years

  • Capitalize the names of months in all uses.
  • Don't use a comma in dates giving only the month and year. [August 2012]
  • Use two commas to set off the year in dates giving the month, day and year. [the  concert will be Oct. 2, 2015, in Watters Theater]
  • In dates giving the month, day and year, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. [the Nov. 14, 2013, issue of People magazine, the conference was held Feb. 24, 2014]
  • Spell months out when using alone [we were married in December] or with a year alone [we were married in December 1992].
  • Except in formal invitations, use cardinal numbers for the date. [the ceremony is scheduled for May 17, 2016]
  • Be sure to use numerals for days of the month, omitting rd, th, st, nd. [he arrived Feb. 21 (not 21st) and left April 8 (not 8th)]
  • In general, don't use on with a date or day. [Commencement will be Friday, May 15]
  • When writing inclusive dates within a decade, repeat the 0. [2012–14] When the century or millennium changes, all digits are repeated. [1999–2006] Note use of en dash.

decades

  • You may spell out the decade [the nineties], use the cardinal number [the ’90s], or use the full numeric [the 1990s].
  • Don't use an abbreviated format if there could be any confusion about the century.
  • Don't use ’s in numeric decades. [1990s not 1990’s]

Decker School of Nursing (Decker School)

department

  • Lowercase unless part of a complete and formal name. [she used to work in the maintenance department, he teaches in the Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering]

department names, see academic departments

Dickinson Community (Dickinson)

dollar/$

  • When referring to monetary figures, use a dollar sign ($), not the word dollars.
  • Don't use $ before the amount and the word dollars after it.
  • When a relation between two or more similar amounts is expressed, the dollar sign may or may not be repeated, but use an en dash to denote range. [$10–12]

distinguished professor

  • Use distinguished professor to indicate those individuals who have achieved this SUNY recognition. [Bahgat Sammakia, distinguished professor, mechanical engineering;  or Susan Strehle, distinguished service professor, English]

dormitory/dorm

  • Avoid these terms. Use residence hall or the name of the residence hall instead.

E/F/G

em dash/ —

  • Use spaces between em dashes and surrounding text. [the campaign — the first in the University's history — kicked off in April]

e-mail

  • Capitalize the e only when the word is used at the beginning of a sentence or on a form. Note use of hyphen.

e-mail addresses

  • If used at the end of a sentence, end e-mail addresses with whatever punctuation mark is appropriate for the sentence.

emeritus/a/i

  • Use emeritus for a man, emerita for a woman and emeriti when plural.

en dash/ –

  • The en dash (–) is slightly longer than the hyphen (-) but not as long as the em dash (—). It is used to represent a span or range of numbers, dates or time. [employee records 125–250July 9–August 17, pp. 37–59, May–September reports]
  • There should be no space between the en dash and the adjacent material. Depending on the context, the en dash is read as "to" or "through."

Engineering and Science Building (ESB)

faculty master, see collegiate professor

Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development

  • This was formerly known as the Career Development Center.
  • The Fleishman Center is acceptable on second reference.
  • The center is named in recognition of Steven Fleishman ’91 and Judith Garczynski Fleishman ’90.

full names

  • Provide a person's full name (or two initials with surname) the first time he or she appears in an article.
  • After referring to an individual by full name, the second reference should be to surname only. [Jaclyn for Jaclyn Whitney] However, if two or more people share the same surname, use the first and last names.
  • It's acceptable to refer to the subject by first name or nickname only if the tone of the piece is informal.

generational names (junior/senior)

  • Abbreviate as Jr. or Sr. only with a person's full name. 
  • Don't use commas before Jr. or Sr. and the designations I, II, III, IV (etc.). [Robert Russell IV or David Kahn Jr.]
  • When used in conjunction with an earned degree, follow the designation with a comma. [Scott Yuen Jr., MBA ’14]
  • When used in conjunction with just the year of graduation, no comma is needed. [Rosario Spinelli Jr. ’15]

Glenn G. Bartle Library

  • Bartle Library is acceptable on second reference.
  • When referring to the tower part of the building, preferred use is Glenn G. Bartle Library tower (note lowercase "t"), but library tower is acceptable for internal audiences and when brevity is necessary.

grade-point average

  • Spell out on first reference, but GPA is acceptable on subsequent references. Note use of hyphen when spelled out.

Graduate School of Education (GSE)

groups of people

  • Capitalize names of races (African American, Caucasian, Asian, Native American), but don't capitalize black or white when referring to race.
  • If the term is used as a noun, don't hyphenate; if used as an adjective, use hyphens. [he is Native American but Asian-American students may apply]*
  • When writing about one of these groups, use the term widely preferred by its members.
  • *The University's program in Asian and Asian American Studies is an exception to this.

H/I

Harpur College of Arts and Sciences (Harpur College)

Hillside Community (Hillside)

Hinman College (Hinman)

historical periods

  • Capitalize widely recognized epochs in anthropology, archaeology, geology and history. [the Bronze Age, the Dark Ages, the Renaissance]

Homecoming

  • Always capitalize when referring to Binghamton's Homecoming.

initials

  • Use periods and no spaces when individuals use initials instead of a first name. [T.R. Dey, G.Z.H. Ling]

Innovative Technologies Complex (ITC)

  • This complex is composed of the Biotechnology Building, the Engineering and Science Building, the Center of Excellence and the Smart Energy Research and Design Facility.

Innovative Technologies Complex Start-Up Suite

  • Note use of hyphen in start-up. This is an exception to our preferred spelling of this word; see the preferred word list.

interim/acting

  • When someone is filling in for an administrator who is temporarily on leave, the correct title is acting.
  • When someone is filling in while a permanent replacement is being sought, the correct title is interim.

internet

  • Effective April 2016, the University began following the new AP style to lower case the word internet.

J/K/L

lists/listed items

  • Lists should present the items in a consistent manner throughout a publication.
  • Maintain consistency for all items in a list. For example, don't mix sentence and nonsentence items, begin all items the same way (e.g., with a verb or gerund), use or don't use end punctuation, etc.

Library Annex

  • Located in Conklin, N.Y., the annex is open to the public by appointment.

M

MarketPlace (a food court located in the University Union)

  • Officially the Binghamton University MarketPlace, it can also be called the MarketPlace. Always capitalize the "P."

measurements

  • Use cardinal numbers and spell out inches, feet, yards, meters, etc.
  • If you're writing for an international audience, always include metric measurements.

money

  • Spell out the word cents (note lowercase) and use cardinal numbers for amounts less than a dollar. [5 cents, 12 cents]
  • Use the dollar sign ($) and cardinal numbers for amounts over $1. [$1.45, $3.15]

months/dates/years

  • Capitalize the names of months in all uses.
  • Don't use a comma in dates giving only the month and year. [August 2012]
  • Use two commas to set off the year in dates giving the month, day and year. [the  concert will be Oct. 2, 2015, in Watters Theater]
  • In dates giving the month, day and year, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. [the Nov. 14, 2013, issue of People magazine, the conference was held Feb. 24, 2014]
  • Spell months out when using alone [we were married in December] or with a year alone [we were married in December 1992].
  • Except in formal invitations, use cardinal numbers for the date. [the ceremony is scheduled for May 17, 2016]
  • Be sure to use numerals for days of the month, omitting rd, th, st, nd. [he arrived Feb. 21 (not 21st) and left April 8 (not 8th)]
  • In general, don't use on with a date or day. [Commencement will be Friday, May 15]
  • When writing inclusive dates within a decade, repeat the 0. [2012–14] When the century or millennium changes, all digits are repeated. [1999–2006] Note use of en dash.

Mountainview College (Mountainview)

N

Names and degrees

  • When using abbreviations of degrees paired with an individual's name, use a comma between the name and the degree earned. [Andra Rahman, PhD, won the award]
  • Also use commas when listing an individual's name with abbreviation of the degree and year earned. [Daniel Rothstein, MS ’13, won the award]
  • However, if you're not listing the degree earned, only the graduation year, don't use commas. [Anthony Chen '10 won the award]

New York City

  • To distinguish the city from the state, use New York City in text.

New York State University Police

  • After first reference, University Police is acceptable.

Newing College (Newing)

numbers

  • Write out numbers at the beginning of a sentence or rewrite the sentence so it doesn't begin with a number. The only exception to this rule is a numeral that identifies a calendar year.
  • Don't add a numeral in parentheses after it is written in words.
  • Use a hyphen to connect a word ending in y to another word when large numbers must be spelled out. [thirty-one, sixty-eight]
  • Use a comma for most cardinal numbers higher than 999, except with street addresses, ZIP codes, broadcast frequencies, SAT scores, room numbers, serial numbers, telephone numbers and years.
  • Always use cardinal numbers with the word percent or the percent symbol (%).
  • Use cardinal numbers for large sums that are cumbersome to spell out, but always spell out the word million.
  • If a sentence includes multiple numbers that apply to the same category of thing, and if one of the numbers must use a numeral, use numerals for all the quantities of that category.
  • When a sentence has two numbers adjacent to each other, using a combination of numerals and spelled out numbers can help avoid confusion. If one of the numbers is a unit of measurement, leave that number a numeral. In other cases, spell out the shorter of the two numbers.
    [she bought five 8-foot beams, he turns 21 two days before I do]

cardinal numbers

  • Spell out the numbers zero through nine (except when giving ages, dollar amounts, dimensions, percentages, degrees, ratios, measurements, and course or program credit).

dates

  • Don't use a comma in dates giving only the month and year. [November 2016]
  • Use two commas to set off the year in dates giving the month, day, and year [the next concert will be October 2, 2015, in Watters Theater]
  • Use an en-dash instead of a hyphen between the first and second number to denote inclusive dates. When writing inclusive dates within a decade, repeat the 0 after the en dash. [2010–13] When the century or millennium changes, all digits are repeated [1999–2010]
  • Except in formal invitations, use cardinal numbers for the date. [the ceremony is scheduled for May 16, 2014]
  • In general, don't use on with a date or day [Commencement will be Friday, May 15]

fractions

  • Simple fractions are spelled out and a hyphen is used. [one-half, three-fourths]

money

  • Use cardinal numbers for fractional amounts over $1.

tables

  • In tables, use one format — either with or without decimals — consistently.
  • Use a label [dollars] to avoid repeating the same symbol [$] over and over.

ordinal numbers

  • Spell out first through ninth when they indicate sequence in time or location. Starting with 10th, use ordinal numbers.
  • Don't use -st, -nd or -th suffixes with dates, except for centuries and names of events. [May 1, not May 1st; Ninth Annual Honors Day, 15th Annual Spiedie Fest)

percent

  • Use the word percent in formal running text.
  • Use the percent symbol (%) in tables, charts, scientific and statistical copy, and some informal and promotional copy.
  • Always use a numeral with percent (either the word or the symbol). [3 percent, 87%, 100 percent] 

nursing credentials, presentation of 

  • Binghamton University follows the order recommended by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for presentation of nursing credentials. According to the ANCC, the preferred order of credentials is:
    • Highest earned degree
    • Licensure
    • State designations or requirements
    • National certifications
    • Awards and honors
    • Other recognitions 

NYS

  • Avoid using NYS; use New York state instead.
  • Note that state shouldn't be capitalized unless it is part of a specific title. [New York State Department of Education, but a New York state-funded program]

O/P

occupations/titles

  • Occupational titles are always lowercase. [actor Matthew McConaughey, golfer Tiger Woods, director Peter Jackson]

office

  • When using the proper title of an office, capitalize both the name and the word office, but not the preceding the. [the Office of Communications and Marketing, the Office of the Dean of Students]

organized research centers

p.m./a.m./time

  • Note use of lowercase and periods.
  • Use noon instead of 12 p.m.; use midnight instead of 12 a.m.
  • The correct abbreviation for morning times is a.m.
  • The correct abbreviation for afternoon and evening times is p.m.
  • Use a colon to separate hours from minutes [3:45 p.m., 11:15 a.m.]
  • Don't use zeros for even hours [7 a.m. not 7:00 a.m.]
  • When referring to a span of time, use an en dash (preferred) or hyphen, rather than the word "to." This is acceptable even when using the word "from" before the timespan. [open 11 a.m –7 p.m. Sundayfrom 1–2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, in UU-133A]

Q/R

RA (resident assistant)

  • This abbreviation may be used at first reference in material directed to a campus or alumni audience.

ranges

  • When listing a range of figures with the same symbol or word, use an en dash between the numbers and include the designation only once, at the end of the range. [15–20 hours, 20–30 minutes, 100–125 feet]

RAVE Alert 

  • This term is no longer used, use B-Alert to refer to the University's emergency alert system.

RD (resident director)

  • This abbreviation may be used at first reference in material directed to a campus or alumni audience.

residential colleges and communities, see campus buildings

résumé

  • Use accents to easily distinguish the employment history document from the verb meaning "continue."

room

  • Capitalize when used before a room number or after a room name. [class will be held in Room LN-1234, the lecture will take place in the Nelson Mandela Room]
  • Hyphenate room numbers when using the abbreviated version. [Library North 1234 is LN-1234, Library South Ground 123 is LS-G123]

S

SAT scores

  • Always use numerals; don't use a comma.

seasons

  • Don't capitalize names of seasons unless they are part of a formal title. [construction will commence in fall 2015, but Spring Commencement will be May 15]

School of Management (SOM)

schools and colleges

Binghamton University consists of six schools:

  • College of Community and Public Affairs
  • Decker School of Nursing,
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Harpur College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Management
  • Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • A seventh school, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is under development and expected to admit its first class in August 2017

Science 1 (S1), Science 2 (S2), Science 3 (S3), Science 4 (S4) and Science 5 (S5)

Science Library

semicolon

  • In general, use the semicolon to indicate a greater separation of thought and information than a comma can convey but less than the separation that a period implies.
  • To clarify a series: Use semicolons to separate elements of a series when the items in the series are long or when individual segments contain material that also must be set off by commas:
    • He is survived by a son, John Smith, of Chicago; three daughters, Jane Smith, of Wichita, Kansas, Mary Smith, of Denver, and Susan, of Boston; and a sister, Martha, of Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Note that the semicolon is used before the final and in such a series.
  • In lists of academic degrees and licensures, Binghamton University uses commas. 

serial comma

  • Use commas to separate elements in a series, including those for academic degrees and licensures, but don't put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a simple series. [She took courses at the University of Arizona, Cornell University, Boston College and Binghamton University.]
  • Place a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction. [She took courses from the School of Management, Graduate School of Education, and Harpur College of Arts and Sciences at Binghamton University.]
  • You also need to use a comma before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases. [He was interested in nursing because he knew it would always provide him with employment, because he had always been interested in medicine, and because he couldn't imagine a better vocation than helping people.]

state

  • Capitalize state only when it appears in a title. [our reunion is held in New York state, but New York State Department of Education]

state names

  • Spell out the names of states when they stand alone in text. [she drove through Oregon on her way to California]
  • If the state is preceded by a city in that state, enclose the abbreviation for that state in commas (see middle column in list below, note exceptions). [his last job was in Sparks, Nev., where he lived in 2013 or her parents live in Sitka, Alaska, and she is a graduate of]
  • Use the two-letter postal abbreviations (see right column in list below) in mailing addresses.

State

Abbreviation

Postal Abbreviation

Alabama                                 

Ala.                      

AL

Alaska

Alaska

AK

Arizona 

Ariz.

AZ

Arkansas

Ark.

AR

California 

Calif.

CA

Colorado 

Colo. 

CO

Connecticut 

Conn. 

CT

Delaware 

Del. 

DE

Florida 

Fla.

FL

Georgia

Ga.

GA

Hawaii 

Hawaii

HI

Idaho 

Idaho

ID

Illinois 

Ill.

IL

Indiana 

Ind.

IN

Iowa 

Iowa

IA

Kansas 

Kans.

KS

Kentucky 

Ky.

KY

Louisiana 

La.

LA

Maine 

Maine

ME

Maryland 

Md.

MD

Massachusetts 

Mass.

MA

Michigan 

Mich.

MI

Minnesota 

Minn.

MN

Mississippi 

Miss.

MS

Missouri 

Mo.

MO

Montana 

Mont.

MT

Nebraska 

Nebr.

NE

Nevada 

Nev.

NV

New Hampshire 

N.H.

NH

New Jersey 

N.J.

NJ

New Mexico 

N.M.

NM

New York 

N.Y.

NY

North Carolina 

N.C.

NC

North Dakota 

N.D.

ND

Ohio

Ohio

OH

Oklahoma 

Okla.

OK

Oregon 

Ore.

OR

Pennsylvania

Pa.

PA

Rhode Island 

R.I.

RI

South Carolina 

S.C.

SC

South Dakota 

S.D.

SD

Tennessee 

Tenn.

TN

Texas 

Tex.

TX

Utah 

Utah

UT

Vermont 

Vt.

VT

Virginia 

Va.

VA

Washington 

Wash.

WA

West Virginia 

W.Va.

WV

Wisconsin 

Wis.

WI

Wyoming

Wyo.

WY

State University of New York at Binghamton

  • This remains the official and legal name of the University and is used on all legal documents, but not on the cover or in the text of most publications.
  • Our state affiliation should be included when identifying University offices, academic units, people or places for external audiences.

street names

  • Abbreviate avenue, boulevard and street in numbered addresses.

student classifications, see class names/standing

SUNY

  • The abbreviation SUNY for State University of New York should be spelled out for external publications on first reference.
  • SUNY is acceptable on second reference.
  • Don't use periods or spaces.

SUNY-B/SUNY-Binghamton

  • The abbreviations SUNY-Binghamton and SUNY-B are no longer used.

Susquehanna Community (Susquehanna)

Symposium Hall 

  • A 140-seat tiered room in the Center of Excellence.

T

telephone numbers

  • Even for campus audiences, provide the area code and seven-digit telephone number if possible. Separate elements with a hyphen or en dash, not parentheses. [607-777-1234 or 607-777-1234]

temperatures

  • Use cardinal numbers.
  • Use below, not a minus sign for temperatures below zero [it was 80 degrees in June and 10 below in November]

the

  • Lowercase the when it's used before a name. [the United States, the President's Office]
  • Capitalize the when used with the name of newspapers and periodicals if it's part of the proper title. [The New York Times, but the Chicago Tribune]

theater/theatre

  • Use theatre to refer to the University department or degree, and if it is part of the name of an outside entity. [Department of Theatre productions showcase student work or He earned a bachelor's degree in theatre from Binghamton University or the West End Theatre in London]
  • Use theater to refer to the building or facility where art is performed or the art form itself. [Watters Theater or Her play was staged at a local theater or He loved live performance and worked in theater his whole career.]

Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science (Watson School)

time/a.m./p.m.

  • Note use of lowercase and periods with a.m. and p.m.
  • Use noon instead of 12 p.m.; use midnight instead of 12 a.m.
  • The correct abbreviation for morning times is a.m.
  • The correct abbreviation for afternoon and evening times is p.m.
  • Use a colon to separate hours from minutes [3:45 p.m., 11:15 a.m.]
  • Don't use zeros for even hours [7 a.m. not 7:00 a.m.]
  • When referring to a span of time, use an en dash (preferred) or hyphen, rather than the word "to." This is acceptable even when using the word "from" before the timespan. [open 11 a.m –7 p.m. Sundayfrom 1–2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, in UU-133A]

titles of published works

  • When mentioned in text, titles and subtitles of printed publications, films, movies, plays, television and radio series, works of art, operas, oratorios, motets, ballets, tone poems and other long musical compositions are italicized.
  • Titles of articles, stories, poems, television and radio episodes (as opposed to series), songs, vocal pieces, short musical compositions and unpublished works (including theses and dissertations) are enclosed in quotation marks.
  • Musical compositions with no distinctive titles that are identified by their musical form (symphonies, concertos, sonatas, preludes, nocturnes, etc.) appear without italics or quotes. The term No. should be used for numbered compositions (not the # symbol) and Op. should be used for opus numbers. The key, if given, should be uppercase, and if flat or sharp, should be hyphenated (use the words sharp or flat [always lowercase], not the symbol). Descriptive titles may be given in quotes.
  • Punctuation given in titles should remain as is, even if it violates style rules.

titles/occupations

  • Occupational titles are always lowercase. [actor Matthew McConaughey, golfer Tiger Woods, director Peter Jackson]

U/V/W

University Downtown Center (DC)

University Downtown Center Library

University Union (UU)

  • Use this to refer to all areas of the University Union except for the University Union West addition.

University Union West (UUW)

  • Use this to refer only to the west side of the University Union under the clock tower. 

University

  • This is acceptable as a secondary reference to Binghamton University.
  • Note uppercase U.

upstate

  • While there is no clear, official boundary separating downstate from upstate, typically this term is used to refer to any part of New York that isn't New York City, Long Island or their immediate, surrounding areas.
  • Always lowercase (unless used at the beginning of a sentence).

U.S.

  • The abbreviation is acceptable as a noun or adjective for United States. Note use of periods.

versus/vs.

  • Spell out versus except when listing sporting events, then vs. is acceptable.

web

  • Effective April 2016, the University began following the new AP style to lower case the word web.

X/Y/Z

years/dates/months

  • Don't use a comma in dates giving only the month and year. [August 2012]
  • Use two commas to set off the year in dates giving the month, day and year. [the concert will be Oct. 2, 2015, in Watters Theater]
  • In dates giving the month, day and year, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. [the Nov. 14, 2013, issue of People magazine, the conference was held Feb. 24, 2014]
  • Spell out months when using alone [we were married in December] or with a year but no specific date [we were married in December 1992].
  • Except in formal invitations, use cardinal numbers for the date. [the ceremony is scheduled for May 17, 2016]
  • When writing inclusive dates within a decade, repeat the 0. [2012–14] When the century or millennium changes, all digits are repeated. [1999–2006] Note use of en dash.

Last Updated: 8/19/16