CCM External Communications Style Guide

This guide is designed to provide consistent writing style to anyone communicating about the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) with the general public. This guide is a resource for external communications and public relations efforts, and is not applicable to any academic efforts within CCM. It is updated regularly by the CCM Marketing + Communications Office.

The CCM Style Guide is intended as an adjunct to the Associated Press Style Guide and Libel Manual primarily and to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary secondarily.

All information is listed in alphabetical order. Click the below to go directly to the listings under a specific letter.



Academic Degrees

  • When referring to generic bachelor's or master's degrees, make them lowercase and possessive.
  • When referring to a specific degree by its full name, write Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music Production, Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design and Technology, and so forth.
  • Consider your audience when deciding whether to abbreviate or spell out on first reference. If abbreviating, don't use periods (which is contrary to AP). Examples: BA, MM, MFA, DMA, AD.

The discipline in which the degree was earned also remains uppercase. Examples: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre or BFA in Musical Theatre.

If listing a degree is necessitated by the audience and the degree is listed after a name, it must be set off with commas. Example: John Joseph, DMA in Composition, will lead the lecture.

Academic Divisions and Departments

Capitalize words in academic departments only when using the official department name or if proper nouns are being used. Examples: She is pursuing her BFA in Lighting Design in the Theatre Design and Production Department at CCM. He is studying musical theatre at CCM. View a full list of CCM Divisions and Departments.

Academic Year

When referring to the academic year (August through May), use the format 2021-22. Do not capitalize fall semester or similar terms.


Always use figures. Examples: The student is 19 years old. The student, 24, has a daughter 6 months old. The policy is 4 years old.

Ages used as a noun or an adjective before a noun require hyphens. Examples: The 19-year-old student ran for office. The racetrack features 3-year-olds today.

An age range requires no apostrophe. Example: The instructor was in her 30s.


  • Alumnus refers to one male who attended a college or to a former student of unspecified gender.
  • Alumna refers to one female.
  • Alumni refers to two or more former students.
  • Alumnae refers to two or more females.
  • People who attended UC, but did not graduate, may be called alumni.

Specify the degree type(s), program(s) and graduation year(s) when referring to alumni. Examples: Stephen Flaherty (BM Composition, '82). Diana Maria Riva (BFA Drama, ’91; MFA Theatre Performance, ’95).

If the alumnus did not graduate, specify the degree type(s), program(s) and years of attendance. Examples: Xian Zhang (DMA Orchestral Conducting, att. ’98-01). Brian Newman (Jazz Studies, att. '99-'03).

a.m., p.m.

Lowercase with periods. Avoid redundancies such as 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. Don't list times as 10:00 a.m., use 10 a.m.


Avoid, unless it is part of a company or institution's legal name. Examples: Procter & Gamble (P&G), College of Arts and Sciences. Note the acceptable second reference for the college is A&S.


Never say first annual. It's redundant. Second annual is acceptable.


Buildings, Facilities

Be mindful of your audience when naming campus buildings and facilities. In many cases, an abbreviated name commonly used on campus would be misunderstood by external audiences.

The following are official names for CCM buildings and venues:

  • Baur Room
  • CCM Garage
  • Cohen Family Studio Theater
  • Corbett Auditorium
  • Corbett Center for the Performing Arts
  • Dieterle Vocal Arts Center
  • Mary Emery Hall
  • Memorial Hall
  • Patricia Corbett Theater
  • Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
  • Watson Recital Hall

See CCM Facilties for more information on the college's buildings and venues. See UC Directory for information on campus buildings.



Capitalize proper names. Avoid capitalizing generic terms (such as university, college, professor, faculty, administration, student life). Always be sure to include CCM or the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in the name if the context does not make it obvious. Specific examples follow:

  • awards — Always lowercase the word award when not used as part of an official name: the awards committee, the writing award, the A.B. Dolly Cohen Award
  • academic calendar — Do not capitalize academic terms: fall semester.
  • academic departments/subjects — Do not capitalize academic subjects unless a word is a proper noun: His favorite courses are musical theatre and English. Capitalize words in academic departments only if they are proper nouns or they compose the official department name: He is taking a tap dance class in the Musical Theatre department. See CCM Academic Units.
  • administrative offices — Do not capitalize units unless using the full proper name of the department: She is an advisor in the CCM College Office. The CCM Office of the Dean will be closed on Labor Day. The library staff held a party.
  • athletic teams — University of Cincinnati Bearcats, the Bearcats, the Cats, are all acceptable in context. Also do not capitalize the sport: Bearcat football, Bearcat football team. Both men's and women's teams are known simply as the Bearcats (not the Lady Bearcats).
  • class titles — Use lowercase: sophomore, senior.
  • colleges — Capitalize only full proper names of colleges: UC College-Conservatory of Music, the college.
  • committee names — Capitalize full proper names of officially established committees. Lowercase otherwise: the Academic Coordinating Committee, the editorial committee.
  • degrees — Lowercase: bachelor's, master's degree, doctorate. Capitalize specific degree: Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance.
  • divisions — Capitalize full proper names: the Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration. See CCM Academic Units.
  • offices — Do not capitalize units unless using the full proper name of the department: She works in the Disabilities Services Office. The Office of the President will be closed on Labor Day. The library staff held a party. She works in radiology. 
  • titles — Capitalize and spell out most titles relating to people: Professor Jim Lange, Coach Paul Brown, Department head Joan Russell, Astronaut Neil Armstrong. 
  • university — Uppercase only the full proper name: University of Cincinnati, the university, the universities of Cincinnati and Indiana.


Acceptable second reference to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Use the full name on the first reference in order to clearly identify the college. UC College-Conservatory of Music is also acceptable. 


Always use numerals. Write out the word when there is no dollar figure. Do not use zeros after the dollars to indicate no cents. Examples: 5 cents, $10.59, $25.


Lowercase. Use the 20th century, not the 1900s. Needs a hyphen when used as a compound modifier. Example: 20th-century writers.


Capitalize official names, including separate political entities such as East St. Louis, Illinois, or West Palm Beach, Florida. The preferred form for a section of a city is lowercase: the west end, northern Los Angeles. But capitalize widely recognized names for the sections of a city: South Side (Chicago), Lower East Side (New York).

Capitalize city if part of a proper name, an integral part of an official name or a regularly used nickname: Kansas City, New York City, Windy City, City of Light, Fun City. Lowercase elsewhere: a Texas city, the city government, the city Board of Education, the city of Boston.

Capitalize when part of a formal title before a name: City Manager Francis McGrath. 

The following cities are so well known that they do not need to be followed by a state name: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco. Other cities need to be followed by a state name, fully spelled.

For cities outside of the United States, follow the name of a city with the country in which it resides. The following cities, however, are so well known that including the name of its country is unnecessary: Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bangkok, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Djibouti, Dublin, Geneva, Gibraltar, Guatemala City, Havana, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Kuwait City, London, Luxembourg, Macau, Madrid, Milan, Monaco, Montreal, Moscow, Munich, New Delhi, Panama City, Paris, Prague, Quebec City, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, San Marino, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vatican City, Vienna, Zurich.


This is the list of official names of colleges and the one other degree-granting unit, with the acceptable second reference where applicable:

  • UC Carl H. Lindner College of Business — Lindner College of Business upon second reference
  • UC College of Allied Health Sciences — includes the School of Social Work
  • UC College-Conservatory of Music — CCM (note hyphen in entire name)
  • UC College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning — DAAP (Comma after Art is an exception to the punctuation rule)
  • UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services — CECH, not Teachers College, which is the name of a building 
  • UC College of Engineering and Applied Science — CEAS
  • UC College of Law (not the Law School)
  • UC College of Medicine — The college, the UC Medical Center and medical campus are not synonymous.
  • UC College of Nursing
  • UC James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy — Winkle College of Pharmacy upon second reference
  • UC Graduate College
  • UC College of Arts and Sciences — A&S
  • UC Blue Ash College — UC Blue Ash is acceptable on second reference. UCBA should be used for internal reference only (formerly Raymond Walters College or RWC, but this language should be avoided)
  • UC Clermont College — UC Clermont


  • in numbers — Use commas in numbers of four digits or more. Examples: 1,248 or 47,193.
  • in a series — Do not use a comma before the word "and" in a series, unless the sentence structure is so complex that a comma keeps its meaning clear. Examples: Red, white and blue Popsicles are my favorites. The list of evidence includes a knife with fingerprints on it, cigarette butts and ashes, and a matchbook. Exceptions: College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning; College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services
  • with semicolons — When writing a series of items in which at least one of the items contains an internal comma, then you need to place semicolons between each item, and you must include a semicolon before the conjunction. Example: They will honor Mary Smith, communication professor; Bob Brown, engineer; and Barb Jones, nursing alumna.
  • with Jr. or Sr. — Do not use in names. Example: Ron Culhane Jr.
  • with dates and times — Offset the date with commas, but not the time. Example: The president will address the faculty at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, in Great Hall. 
  • with "which" — Phrases beginning with the word "which" are non-essential clauses. Place commas before and after the phrase. Example: My car, which is a Ford, needs new tires. 
  • in phrases giving times, distances, measurements — Do not use commas. Examples: He was 6 feet 4 inches tall. She ran the relay in 2 minutes 3 seconds.
  • to indicate missing words -- Use a comma to indicate that words are missing from a phrase. Example: Among UC’s graduate programs, DAAP is nationally known for interior design; CCM, for opera/voice.
  • in compound sentences —  If two independent clauses are joined with a conjunction, a comma must come before the conjunction. Examples: The dean is serving an outdoor lunch, and it is free. You can come along, but we have a long drive ahead of us.

Composition titles

  • Capitalize all principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. 
  • Capitalize articles (the, a, an) and all shorter words if they are the first or last words in a title. Do not omit the first articles.
  • Italics are used in book, article, show and movie titles
  • Italics are used in music and show titles when a specific name is given to a work, but not used when a work is given a generic title. If a symphony has both a generic title and a nickname, then the nickname is italicized, put in quotations and listed within parentheses after the title, but the title is not altered. Example: Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain, Schumann: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97 (“Rhenish”)
  • When listing repertoire, Minor and Major should be capitalized and share should be lowercase. Example: Brahms: String Quarter in B-flat Major, Op. 67, No. 3
  • When listing Opus numbers, always abbreviate Op. with a capital "O" and put a single space after the period before listing the number. In addition, a comma should always precede the Opus number. Example: Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Major, Op. 125
  • Musical titles are listed in italics, specific songs are listed with quotations. Examples: He sang "What's the Buzz" in Jesus Christ Superstar.
  • Overture titles to larger pieces are not italicized, but the larger work is italicized. Example: Mendelssohn: Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61
  • Suites are italicized when given an adjective, because the title is a form of a specific name. Suites are not italicized when listed solely, because they are then a generic title. Example: Debussy: Suite bergamasque, Saint-Saëns: Suite for Cello, Op. 16
  • In general, translate a foreign title into English unless the work is generally known by its foreign name. Examples: Wagner's operas Die Walküre and Gotterdammerung. Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro (not Le Nozze di Figaro). Consider carefully the extent to which foreign titles will be generally known for your particular audience. 

Composer names and credits

  • In repertoire listings, composer names are listed by last name only, unless the first name is needed to clarify the composer, or unless the composer is relatively unknown. Example: Schumann (implies Robert), Clara Schumann. William Schuman (modern-day composer). In copy, use the composer's full name on first reference.
  • Certain composers have multiple spellings for their name. When this issue arises, look through earlier publications to check the CCM precedent.
    Example: Rachmaninov vs. Rachmaninoff
  • When listing in a program “music, lyrics and dialogue by” the first word should be capitalized and the rest in the series, besides the name, should be lower case. Example: “Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman” instead of “Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman”

Course names

Capitalize only, use no quotation marks or italics. When numbers are used in the course name, use Arabic numerals and capitalize the subject: History 6, Philosophy 209. Otherwise, lowercase: calculus, world history.



Dashes are longer than hyphens. Hyphens should not be used in the place of dashes. In a normal sentence, dashes are always preceded and followed by a space. If dashes are used as bullets in a list, a space is not needed proceeding the dash. Spaces are not used in in sports agate summaries, either.

Dashes can be used in the following instances:

  • to denote an abrupt change in thought or add emphasis to a pause (Example: The actor spent nine hours improvising — and wrinkling — in a hot tub.)
  • to set off a list items in place of commas because the extra punctuation would be confusing (Example: Most movies shot on location have poor sound quality because of the environment — planes, traffic and people making noise.)
  • to set off attribution of a quote (Example: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” — Confucius) Note: The period goes at the end of the sentence, not at the end of the attribution in this instance.


When dates include a month and date, abbreviate all months. Exceptions are March, April, May, June and July. Examples: Jan. 15 was Martin Luther King's birthday. Their anniversary is sometime in January. Spring break starts on March 14.

When a a date and month is followed by a year, surround it with a pair of commas. Examples: My son graduated on June 9, 2001, from the University of Cincinnati. My son graduated in June 2001 from the University of Cincinnati.

Use only Arabic numbers after the month. Correct: Jan. 1. Incorrect: Jan. 1st, January first.

For readability and clarity, express dates of events in this sequence: time, day of the week, date, place. Example: The concert will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, at CCM's Corbett Auditorium.


Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree. Instead, only use a title such as "Dr." in first reference as a formal title before the name of an individual who holds a doctor of dental surgery, doctor of medicine, doctor of optometry, doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of podiatric medicine or doctor of veterinary medicine.

Instead use an academic abbreviation such as PhD or DMA after listing an individual's full name, with the academic abbreviation set off by commas. Example: The university welcomed Visiting Professor of English John Snow, PhD.


Use numerals like $5, rather than 5 dollars except in casual references or amounts without a figure. Example: My aunt gave me a dollar. For amounts of more than $1 million, use the $ and up to two decimal places. Example: He proposed a $4.5 billion budget.

Double spaces

Do not use double spaces in writing. Use a single space between words.



The three dots represent omitted words or a pause in speaking. They are preceded and followed by spaces: She talked about the morning traffic, her previous vacation, her son's wedding plans … and enough topics to bore everyone.

  • With quotations — When extracting quotes for an article, do not use ellipses at the beginning and end of direct quotes, as long as the quotes constitute complete thoughts, even if they were condensed.
  • With other punctuation — When using an ellipsis right before other punctuation, one should still insert a space after the three dots to make both punctuation marks distinct: "We gather here to dedicate this new exciting program … ," the chairman announced.
  • Formatting — Most word processing programs will allow you to insert an ellipsis as a special character, which keeps the three dots united as a single unit rather than three separate ones. The advantage of this is that the dots will never become separated from each other in a line break.

Email addresses

Although UC email addresses are not case sensitive, writing letters lowercase is preferred for consistency of style. 


Not the same as retired. The titles emeritus or emerita are bestowed on many, but not all, retiring faculty. Place the word emeritus after the formal title. Examples: professor emeritus of biology, president emeritus, dean emerita of arts and sciences.

Emeriti and emeritae are plural nouns. Emeritus and emerita can be singular nouns or adjectives for singular and plural nouns. Examples: among the ranks of emeriti (plural noun), among the ranks of emeritus professors (singular adjective).

You can, however, change emeritus to emeriti when it follows a plural word. Example: among the ranks of professors emeriti. 


CCM event listings in calendars, press releases, UC news stories and other online listings follow the following format:

Time and date
• Series Name •
Ensemble Group(s)
Music Directors, conductors, directors, etc.
Featured guest artists, faculty artists or student soloists

Repertoire OR short description (not both)
Admission/Ticket information


7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20
• Orchestra Series •
CCM Philharmonia
Mark Gibson, music director and conductor
Featuring faculty artist Giora Schmidt, violin

DVOŘÁK: Slavonic Dance in C Major, Op. 46, No. 1
DVOŘÁK: Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 53
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: Prices start at $25; student and group discounts available. Buy tickets online.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 (preview)
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3
7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4
2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5
2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6
• Play Series •

By Oscar Wilde
Susan Felder, director

Infidelity, blackmail, a birthday ball and a fan are at the center of this 19th-century satire set in London. Lady Windermere suspects that her husband is having an affair with a mysterious woman. Will she exact her revenge and find comfort in another man? What is the true identity of the mysterious Mrs. Erlynne — and why is Lord Windermere secretly giving her money? A witty evaluation of marriage, sex and gender politics, this classic by Oscar Wilde gave the world the iconic line: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Tickets: Prices start at $32.50; student and group discounts available. Preview performance tickets start at $15.50. Buy tickets online.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31
7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1
2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2
2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7
7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8
2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10
• Musicals Series •
Book, Music and Lyrics by Richard O’Brien
Vincent DeGeorge, director and choreographer
Stephen Goers, musical director

In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet, stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker and a creepy butler. Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named Rocky. Celebrate Halloween with this deliberately kitschy rock ‘n’ roll sci-fi gothic musical, which features popular hits such as “Science Fiction – Double Feature,” “Time Warp” and “Hot Patootie (Bless My Soul).” For mature audiences.
Location: Cohen Family Studio Theater
Tickets: Prices start at $29.50; student and group discounts available. Buy tickets online.



Be mindful of your audience when naming campus buildings and facilities. In many cases, an abbreviated name commonly used on campus would be misunderstood by external audiences.

The following are official names for CCM buildings and venues:

  • Baur Room
  • CCM Garage
  • Cohen Family Studio Theater
  • Corbett Auditorim
  • Corbett Center for the Performing Arts
  • Dieterle Vocal Arts Center
  • Mary Emery Hall
  • Memorial Hall
  • Patricia Corbett Theater
  • Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
  • Watson Recital Hall

See CCM Facilties for more information on the college's buildings and venues. See UC Directory for information on campus buildings.

Fundraising, fundraiser

One word in all uses.



When possible, avoid words that assume maleness. Use humanity, instead of mankind. Gendered pronouns (he, his, she, hers) are acceptable when referring to a specific person. Gender neutral pronouns (they/theirs) are acceptable when gender isn't specified and for non-binary and gender neutral people.

Grade Point Average

Use GPA in all references.


Holidays, holy days

Capitalize formal names. Examples: Christmas Eve, Kwanzaa, Rosh Hashana. Although Hanukkah has several spellings, this version is preferred by Associated Press. The 10 federal holidays follow: New Year’s, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.


In type, hyphens are different than dashes. 

Hyphens are sometimes used to avoid ambiguity. Examples: He recovered from financial collapse. He re-covered his sofa in gray leather.

Hyphens are used for connecting words, as in compound words (father-in-law), prefixes (pre-election), suffixes (emulsion-like), fractions (two-fifths), ratios (2-to-1 ratio) and scores (12-6 victory). They are also used to create compound modifiers (full-time employee). To determine if a prefix or suffix requires a hyphen, refer to Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Hyphens are also used to denote timeframes, such as 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. No spaces are required before or after the hyphen.



Acceptable on first reference for lesbian, gay, bi-sesxual, transgender, queer and questioning individuals.



Uppercase S, no space. A corridor that begins at the University Pavilion, includes TUC, the Student Life Center and the Student Recreation Center, then concludes at the Jefferson Residence Complex. It also includes the open spaces of Bearcat Plaza, the Mews and Sigma Sigma Commons. 


Make-up is always hyphenated. Example: She is is pursuing her MFA in CCM's Make-up & Wig program.

Master class

Lowercase. Two words.

Military titles

When listing military rank as a title before a person's name, capitalize and abbreviate it in most instances. In secondary references, use only an individual's last name; omit the military rank. When naming the rank without a name attached, it is lowercase. Do not confuse rank with job descriptions such as machinist or radarman. Examples: Gen. George Patton is a general who served in North Africa. Patton received 12 medals during his career. 

The following list shows how to write the more commonly used ranks as a title before a name. Any title not listed here is likely to be spelled out and not abbreviated. A complete list of military titles is available in the AP Stylebook, but is too long to list here.

  • admiral — Adm.
  • brigadier general — Brig. Gen.
  • captain — Capt.
  • colonel — Col.
  • commander — Cmdr.
  • corporal — Cpl.
  • general — Gen.
  • first lieutenant — 1st Lt.
  • first sergeant — 1st Sgt.
  • lieutenant — Lt.
  • lieutenant colonel — Lt. Col.
  • lieutenant commander — Lt. Cmdr.
  • lieutenant general — Lt. Gen.
  • major — Maj.
  • major general — Maj. Gen.
  • master sergeant — Master Sgt.
  • private — Pvt.
  • private first class — Pfc.
  • rear admiral — Rear Adm.
  • second lieutenant — 2nd Lt.
  • sergeant — Sgt.
  • sergeant first class — Sgt. 1st Class
  • sergeant major — Sgt. Maj.
  • specialist — Spc.
  • staff sergeant — Staff Sgt.
  • vice admiral — Vice Adm.


Abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. when used with a specific date. Example: My birthday is Jan. 15. 

Spell out when used alone or only with a year. Example: January 1989 was the coldest on record. 

When using a month, date and year, set off the year with commas. Example: June 6, 1944, was D-Day.



Use Arabic numerals for numbers 10 and higher. Spell out numbers under 10. This holds true for all casual uses and distances. Examples: hundreds of items, 2 miles, Fifth Street, 12th Avenue, eighth century, 20th century,

The exceptions, which use numerals exclusively, follow:

  • academic course numbers (Philosophy 209)
  • ages (the 4-year-old child)
  • acres
  • cents (5 cents)
  • dimensions (The rug is 6 feet wide. The 9-by-12 rug. One exception: two-by-fours.)
  • distances (They hiked 8 miles. He missed a 3-foot putt.)
  • dollar amounts ($1 million)
  • formulas
  • heights (6 feet 2 inches, 6-foot man, 7-footer on the team)
  • highway designations (Interstate 5, U.S. Highway 1, State Route 1A)
  • military and political designations (2nd District Court, 7th Fleet)
  • percentages (7 percent)
  • planes, ships and spacecraft designations (B-2 bomber, Queen Elizabeth 2, Apollo 9). Sometimes Roman numerals are used (Titan I, Titan II). Air Force One is the only exemption.
  • ratios (a 2-1 ratio)
  • sizes (a size 9 shoe)
  • speeds (50 mph)
  • temperatures (except zero)
  • volume (2 ounces)
  • weights (the baby weighed 8 pounds, two ounces)

Other uses:

  • Numerals in proper names are written as the organization writes them. Examples: 20th Century Fox, Twentieth Century Fund. 
  • When the word number is used with a figure to express a concept, use "No." Examples: No. 1 team, No. 3 choice.
  • For plural numerals, add an s with no apostrophe. Example: 1990s.



Use as one word, preceded by numerals. Example: 5 percent.


Only one space should follow the period at the end of a sentence.


No periods. See entry for academic degrees.

Phone Numbers

Depending upon how many elements are necessary for the audience, use this format: 513-556-5225, ext. 4.

Premier, Premiere

The word with e on the end relates to entertainment (a first performance). This version is the only one with a verb form. Premier means leader of a country, as well as first or most important.

Principal, Principle

Principal (n., adj.) refers to someone or something first in authority or importance. Examples: school principal, principal player, principal problem. Principle (n.) refers to a fundamental truth. Example: principle of self-determination.

Professor Titles

CCM faculty and staff should be introduced by their full, official CCM titles on first references. After that, they should only be referred to by their last names. Example: Assistant Professor of Piano Sara Daneshpour. . . Daneshpour will perform a recital of works by Chopin.

Refer to the CCM Directory for a list of faculty and staff and their titles.



One space should be placed after all punctuation, including periods and question marks, at the end of sentences.


The names of the 50 U.S. states should be spelled out when used in the body of a story, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city, town, village or military base.

  • State names must be included along with city names except in the following cases: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and other well-known cities as listed in the cities entry.
  • In general editorial uses, lowercase the word state. Examples: state of Ohio
  • When using a state name with a city name, surround the state name with commas. Example: Her office in Evansville, Indiana, has shown great profits.


Telephone numbers

Depending upon how many elements are necessary for the audience, use this format: 513-556-5225, ext. 4.


  • In general, list the time, day and date in that order: 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 1.
  • duration —Consistently use either the format from 3 to 5 p.m., or 3-5 p.m. In most cases, use only the starting time. Example: Jeremy Johnson will be at CCM from 8-9 a.m. and in the Great Hall from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Jenny Jones will be in the library from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
  • time of day —Write a.m. and p.m. lowercase, using periods and with a space after the numeral. Correct: 8 a.m. Incorrect: 8am, 8:00 a.m.
  • Use noon or midnight, rather than 12 a.m. or 12 p.m., which are confusing. Avoid redundancy as in 10 a.m. this morning.

Theatre, Theater

Theatre is the discipline. Example: She studies musical theatre. He is a student in the Theatre Design and Production Department.

Theater is the physical space or venue. Example: The concert is in Patricia Corbett Theater.


Uppercase when referring to the specific geographical Tristate area involving Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky area of Greater Cincinnati.



To signify the University of Cincinnati, use UC, without periods.

U.S., USA, United States

To signify the United States, use U.S., with periods.  The abbreviation is acceptable as a nouns and an adjective. Periods are omitted from US in headlines. When writing USA, no periods are used.


Washington, D.C.

When the name appears in copy not at the end of a sentence, set off D.C. with a pair of commas. Example: I am attending a Washington, D.C., conference.

Web addresses, URLs

To save space, do not include https:// if the URL contains www. If the URL does not include www, the https:// may be necessary to avoid confusion. Use your own best judgment, but be sure the URL can be perceived as a URL and not as plain text.

Always include a period at the end of a sentence even if a web address or email address appears at the end. Example: My email address is When possible, enclose URLs and email addresses in parentheses or brackets. Example: Please send me the file via email (bearcat@uc.ed).

If a web address cannot be kept together on one line of copy, never add a hyphen or other punctuation to a URL. Only allow a line-break to occur before a period, slash, dash or underscore so it remains obvious that the two lines belong together.



  • Set the year off with two commas when it appears with a full date. Example: Jan. 15, 1993, was the target date.
  • For decades, use an s without an apostrophe. Examples: 1960s and '60s, not the 1960's and 60's. On first reference, use 1960s, not '60s.
  • For centuries, the preferred format is the 20th century, not the 1900s.
  • Do not routinely name the current year unless it is necessary for avoid confusion. Correct: the April 1 meeting. Incorrect: the April 1, 2020, meeting.
  • For periods covering multiple years (academic and fiscal years, in particular), use 2020-21, not 2020-2021.


Hyphenate as an adjective and an adverb.

Questions? Reach out to CCM Marketing + Communications.