University Style Guide

In communications, clarity and consistency are an important part of conveying strong and trustworthy messaging. Following this style guide allows for all University communications to have a consistent, cohesive voice. This style guide provides guidance and examples of words specific to the University as well as commonly used words and structures.

Each entry shows how a word or phrase is preferred to be used in University communications. Entries that stand on their own show whether the word is capitalized, hyphenated, one word or two, etc. Most entries include examples in bullets or italics.

The University style guide is based on the Chicago Manual of Style. If you’re looking for specific guidance and you don’t find it here, please consult the Chicago manual. Online access is free to anyone with a Notre Dame email through the Hesburgh Libraries.

In matters of spelling or usage, if a word is not included in this style guide or in Chicago, please consult the University’s preferred dictionary: Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. This is accessible online at

Please note that Notre Dame News continues to follow AP style.

Please contact Brittany Kaufman, senior editor in the Office of Public Affairs and Communications, with any questions at

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. Y
  25. Z



Use “a” before words beginning with a consonant or a consonant sound, including h: a quality product; a historical event; a eulogy

Use “an” before words beginning with a vowel or vowel sound: an ND graduate, an ROTC unit; an hour later


AAPI stands for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Though AAPI tends to be a well-known term inside that community, for most audiences it’s best to spell out what that means.

academic degrees
  • bachelor of arts; B.A. in theology; bachelor’s degree in sociology
  • master of business administration; master’s in business
  • MBA, MFA, BFA, but Ph.D. (no periods if three or more capitalized letters)
  • master of divinity; M.Div.

Note: Do not use Dr. unless you’re referring to a medical doctor.

Also see degrees.


Note that there is no e between g and m.


An acronym is a word formed from the first letter or letters of a series of words: NASA, ND-GAIN, AIDS, scuba. An initialism is a similar term that’s read as a series of letters: NCAA, IRS, MLB.

Most acronyms and all initialisms appear in all caps with no periods. In cases such as scuba or laser where the acronym is accepted as a word, it stays lowercase.

See Chapter 10 of the Chicago Manual of Style for additional resources.


Use no periods in AD or BC. As a Catholic university, AD and BC are preferred over the contemporary CE and BCE markers.

Note that AD goes before the year, as it stands for anno domini, or “the year of our Lord.” BC, or “before Christ,” goes after the year.

  • The paintings are dated back to circa AD 1200.
  • Britain was invaded successfully in 55 BC and AD 1066.
  • But: the fifth century AD

Advent is a season in the Christian calendar that leads up to Christmas. It is a time of preparation and reflection. In 2024, Advent starts on Sunday, December 1, and ends on Tuesday, December 24. Advent is always capitalized in reference to the Christian season, but is lowercase in general use.

adviser, advisor

The preferred spelling is adviser, though advisor is commonly used in job titles. Use the adviser spelling when not citing a specific job title.

Advisory Council; Advisory Council members; the council
affect, effect

In the most common uses, affect is a verb and effect is a noun.

  • The verb affect means to influence: Your test scores will affect your overall GPA.
  • Affect as a noun is much less common. It suggests emotion: Joe exhibited a peaceful affect.
  • The noun form of effect is by far the most common usage: The relocation’s effect was positive.
  • Effect as a verb means to cause: The new manager will effect positive change in the office culture.
affirmative action

Lowercase as a generic term.

African American, Asian American, etc.

Do not use a hyphen in terms such as African American and Asian American.


Not afterwards.

aid, aide

Aid is assistance.

  • The recently accepted student was relieved to see the college’s financial aid offer.
  • The clothing contribution will aid the organization in its efforts.

Aide is a person who offers assistance.

  • The politician’s aide was capable and disciplined.
a.k.a. (also known as)

All lowercase, with periods for easier readability.

All-Class Mass, All-Class Picnic

Hyphenate All-Class and capitalize each word when referencing the Reunion Weekend events.

all right

Two words in all uses.

All Saints’ Day
All Souls’ Day
alma mater (reference to school)

Lower case. Notre Dame is my alma mater.

alma mater (school song)

Lower case. The alma mater at the University is “Notre Dame, Our Mother.”

alumna, alumnae, alumnus, alumni
  • Alumna refers to one female graduate.
  • Alumnae refers to graduates of an all-women’s school (Saint Mary’s College, for instance) or to groups of female graduates only.
  • Alumnus refers to one male graduate.
  • Alumni refers to male graduates and to mixed groups of male and female graduates.

The word alumni is not capitalized, even when following Notre Dame.

Names of alumni in stories should include the class year on first reference. There is no comma between the name and the class year: Chuck Lennon ’61, ’62 M.A.

For Holy Cross priests who are also alumni, the class year is placed after the C.S.C. designation: Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., ’76, ’78 M.A. (note the comma following C.S.C.)

Alum or alums is best avoided in University communications.

American Indian, Indian, Native American

American Indian refers to the Indigenous people of North America. When possible, it’s best to use a specific tribal name. American Indian is preferred to Native American since many natives are often of other backgrounds. Avoid Indian unless referring to a citizen of the country India.


Avoid amidst.

and, &

And is preferable to an ampersand, which should be used only when the name of a company, group, or composition specifically calls for it, as in AT&T.

Do not include a comma before an ampersand: Notre Dame Program on Church, State & Society.


One word, no hyphen.

assure, ensure, insure

Assure means to promise something or remove doubt.

  • The driver assured me that the bus would arrive at the airport on schedule.

Ensure means to make sure something will happen.

  • Generous alumni donations ensure that there are enough scholarships available for incoming students.

Insure means to purchase insurance.

  • After a professional appraisal, the family heirloom was insured for its current market value.
as well as

Syntactically, as well as is not a synonym for and.

  • Wrong: The museum’s collection included statues, impressionist paintings, charcoal drawings, as well as priceless artifacts.
  • Better: The museum’s collection included statues, impressionist paintings and charcoal drawings as well as priceless artifacts.
  • Or: The museum’s collection included statues, impressionist paintings, charcoal drawings, and priceless artifacts.
Athletics Department

Or Notre Dame Athletics. Note that the official title is not Department of Athletics, unlike most campus departments.

awhile, a while
  • Awhile is an adverb: Brittany decided to stay awhile.
  • A while is a noun: After moving around the state during the summer, Nick settled into his hometown for a while.



In running text, baccalaureate is not capitalized.

  • B.A.; bachelor of arts; bachelor’s degree; B.A.’s

Band is capitalized only when preceded by Notre Dame or when referring to the Band of the Fighting Irish.

  • The Notre Dame Band played at the pep rally.
  • The Notre Dame Marching Band is the oldest collegiate band in the nation.
  • As a student at Notre Dame, I was a proud member of the band.

Capitalize when referring to the sacrament. Lowercase in other uses.

  • Family members and close friends traveled from Texas to attend the baby’s Baptism at the Basilica.
  • As a new hire, she learned the department’s inner workings through a baptism by fire.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart

Use Basilica of the Sacred Heart or the Basilica. Do not use Sacred Heart Basilica or Sacred Heart Church.

benefit, benefited, benefiting

Note that there is only one t.

Bessette, St. André Bessette

Pope Benedict XVI canonized Holy Cross’s first saint, Brother André Bessette, C.S.C., on October 17, 2010.

Bible; biblical; Scripture references

Bible is always capitalized in reference to Holy Scripture, but lowercase in other uses. In all uses, biblical remains lowercase.

  • During his morning coffee break, he reads a few chapters from the Bible.
  • The AP Stylebook is often referred to as the journalist's bible.

No spaces around the colon in a chapter/verse reference. Use an en dash when listing a section of scripture.

  • John 3:16
  • John 3:16–21

Names of books in the Bible are capitalized but not italicized.

  • He read from the book of Isaiah.
  • She said tomorrow's reading will be in Psalms.
bimonthly, semimonthly

No hyphen. Bimonthly means every other month. Semimonthly means twice a month. If there is the possibility of confusion for your reader, it’s best to be clear in your writing about which you mean.


This abbreviation for Black, Indigenous, and people of color is best used only in direct quotes, since many readers may not know what it means. When it is used, spell it out somewhere in the story.

Black, white

Capitalize this adjective when used to describe people, cultures, and communities: a Black history scholar; Black publications

Use the term only when it’s relevant to your content. Do not use it as a noun.

White remains lowercase in all uses, except at the beginning of a sentence.

Board of Trustees, Trustee

Capitalize Board of Trustees when in reference to Notre Dame’s administrative body. Subsequent use in a shortened form, however, remains uppercase, in contrast to the University’s usual style: the Board, the Trustees.

Lowercase board of trustees, board, trustees in reference to any other board.


Hyphenate brand-new in all uses.


Do not capitalize the names of semester breaks, including fall break, spring break, and summer break. An exception is Christmas break, since it includes a proper noun.

Brother, Br.

Use Brother before a name on first mention, and Brother or Br. on subsequent mentions. A story should be consistent on whether Brother or Br. is used.


Campus Crossroads project

This name is no longer being used in current copy. Refer to buildings individually:

  • Corbett Family Hall (east building)
  • Duncan Student Center (west building)
  • O’Neill Hall (south building)
cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation

The preferred spelling of this word is the American spelling, with one l. In British English this word is usually spelled with two l’s—cancelled, cancelling. Note that cancellation is always spelled with two l’s, however.


Overall, follow the Chicago Manual of Style for capitalization guidelines. For questions about specific names or titles at Notre Dame, see its entry in this style guide, if there is one.

As a general rule, lowercase is preferred in modern language usage.

Capitalize all educational, occupational, and business titles when used specifically in front of the name, unless a comma follows the title. Titles are not capitalized when they follow the name unless it’s an endowed title.

  • John McGreevy became the provost of the University in 2022.
  • They welcomed Provost John McGreevy.
  • They welcomed John McGreevy, provost.
  • They welcomed John McGreevy, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost.
  • They invited the University’s provost, John McGreevy, to their meeting.

Capitalize University in running text when referring to the University of Notre Dame.

Lowercase the names of academic subjects in running text, unless it is a proper noun such as English, French, etc. However, capitalize a subject when it is the title of a specific class.

  • She thoroughly enjoys the discussions in her THEO 425 seminar class.
  • She is a double major, studying biology and philosophy.

Lowercase the when it appears as part of an organization’s name unless it is a part of the official name. The is not capitalized before the University of Notre Dame. The is lowercased and set in roman when it precedes a newspaper title, even when it appears on the masthead.

  • She is a longtime subscriber to the New York Times.

Lowercase the four seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall.

  • She went home for spring break.
  • He plans to enroll in fall 2022.

Specific titles of colleges, schools, and departments are capitalized: College of Engineering, Mendoza College of Business

But if the sentence is using a general reference, use lowercase: She’s studying engineering. He’s taking a class in the business school.

If two or more names with similar elements are being used, retain capitalization: The program offers courses across the Colleges of Engineering and Science.


For consistency and quick identification in photo captions, list subjects from left to right, using each person’s full name and title, and include “left to right” or “from left” for clarity.


Use Cardinal in front of a name, not in the middle.

  • Cardinal Timothy Dolan
  • Not: Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Catholic social teaching, Catholic social tradition

Capitalize Catholic and keep social teaching or social tradition lowercase.

cell phone, smartphone
centered on

Not centered around.

Center for Social Concerns; the center

Chair is often preferred to chairman, chairwoman, and chairperson, although all of these terms are acceptable. Use the term that the chair holder’s organization, or the chair holder, prefers.

Chair is lowercase unless part of an endowed title.

  • He is the chair of the Department of Engineering.
  • She is the John Doe Chair of Mathematics.

Note that a department chair may be different from the holder of an endowed chair, such as the John Doe Chair of Philosophy.

check in (verb); check-in (noun)
  • We will check in at 3:00 p.m.
  • Check-in begins at 4:00 p.m. in the main ballroom.
Christmas break

Use Christmas break instead of winter break or holiday break.


Capitalize in all instances referring to the Catholic Church as a body. Lowercase in other uses unless as part of a proper name.

Civil Rights Movement

In a departure from the Chicago Manual of Style, capitalize Civil Rights Movement in all references to the US social movement, mainly during the 1950s and 1960s, that pushed for equal rights for Black people. Use the term in all lowercase when referring to the idea more generally or when referring to a different movement from the US one.

Clarke Memorial Fountain

“Stonehenge” (common nickname)


Capitalize the word Class in reference to a graduating class. Note the single closing quotation mark before the year: Reggie is a member of the Class of ’99.

Class groups such as freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate are not capitalized when in reference to the year in which a course is taken or to the student’s classification.

  • The senior class is organizing graduation activities.
  • Kelly is a graduate student.
  • Many of the sophomores are taking history classes.
Class of 2022; Class of ’22

Note the direction of the apostrophe in front of an abbreviated year.

  • Tara Hunt ’12
  • Charles F. Lennon Jr. ’61, ’62 M.A.

Capitalize coach when it appears before a name.

  • The players talked to Coach Freeman.

Lowercase coach when it stands on its own.

  • The midfielder ran to meet the coach on the sideline.
coeducation, coed

No hyphen. Coed is best used only in direct quotes.

College of Arts and Letters; the college
College of Science; the college
colleges, more than one

Retain capitalization if the colleges' full names are being used: the Colleges of Engineering and Science


Capitalize the first word following a colon only if that is the beginning of a complete sentence.

  • The driver had two possibilities: to swerve or to slam on his brakes.
  • The driver had a revelation: He had to swerve to miss the bus.

When using a colon, be sure that the words that come before it form an independent clause.

A colon should not be used after at or such as, between the verb and the rest of the sentence, or between a preposition and its object. This rule includes situations in which a list follows these elements.

A colon is unnecessary in front of a URL.

Items following a colon are not automatically separated by semicolons. The rules for dividing items in a series by commas should be followed.


Use a comma before the words and and or that come before the final item in a series, also known as a serial or Oxford comma.

  • The music festival will include performances by the University Choir, the Glee Club, and the orchestra.

Place a comma after a digit signifying thousands, except when the reference is to a year.

  • Enrollment is capped at 1,150 students.
  • He was born in 1995.
  • The antique lamp costs $5,400.

Certain words that introduce an explanation or a list of examples and don’t begin a sentence, such as to wit, namely, i.e., e.g., and viz., should be immediately preceded and followed by a comma.

  • They welcomed the featured guests, i.e., the winners of yesterday’s election.

When writing a date consisting of day, month, and year, place a comma after the day and the year.

  • July 4, 1776, is the date the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Commas are not used, however, when only the month and day, or only the month and year, are written.

  • The Declaration of Independence was signed in July 1776.
  • Americans greet July 4 with spectacular fireworks.

Commas surround abbreviations in titles of people.

  • Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., was the 15th president of the University.

However, commas are not used before Jr., Sr., II, III, and the like at the end of a person’s name: Sammy Davis Jr.; Thurston Howell III

Commas are used in designating cities and states in running text.

  • David is from Flint, Michigan, and is a pitcher for the Notre Dame baseball team.

Commas are not needed in compound elements that are not independent clauses.

  • The Spirit of Notre Dame campaign raised funds for undergraduate scholarships as well as the University’s endowment.

Use commas between two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction.

  • Army amassed more total yards during the game, but Notre Dame put more points on the scoreboard.

Place commas on both sides of nonrestrictive appositives (those that could be omitted without sacrificing the meaning of, or vital information from, the sentence).

  • Marcy Wade, chair, opened the meeting at 2:45 p.m.

Note: Omitting commas before and after nonrestrictive appositives can change the meaning of a sentence:

  • Marcy Wade and her husband Bill went shopping. (This suggests that Marcy has more than one husband.)
  • Marcy Wade and her husband, Bill, went shopping. (This properly limits the meaning to Marcy’s one and only husband.)
  • But: Marcy Wade and husband Bill went shopping. (Correct without a comma.)

Pay attention to the difference created in the meaning of phrases by either adding or omitting a comma. As with appositives, all nonrestrictive phrases should be set off by commas.

  • Students work with department faculty who are skilled artists and designers. (This means that only certain department faculty members hold these skills.)
  • Students work with department faculty, who are skilled artists and designers. (This means that all of the department’s faculty members are so skilled.)

Do not include a comma before an ampersand: Notre Dame Program on Church, State & Society.


Capitalize Commencement, Commencement Weekend and Commencement Ceremony when in reference to a specific Notre Dame ceremony or event. Lowercase in other uses.

  • commencement speaker
  • The University’s 177th Commencement Ceremony is on May 15, 2022.
  • He spoke at Notre Dame’s 2018 Commencement.
  • She returned to her high school to speak at the commencement ceremony.
complement, compliment

Complement refers to making something complete.

  • The state-of-the-art laboratories at Jordan Hall complement Notre Dame’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate science education.

A compliment is an admiring remark.

  • The office manager complimented a co-worker’s contribution to the updated website.
conference titles

Conference titles are capitalized and not in quotes.

  • Professor Jones presented a working paper at the Understanding International Conflict conference at the Kroc Center.
Congregation of Holy Cross; the Congregation

The Congregation of Holy Cross is the founding order of the University of Notre Dame. Note there is no “the” before Holy Cross. Members have C.S.C. added after their names on first reference.

Capitalize Brothers, Congregation, Constitutions when referring to the Holy Cross order and governing documents.

Constitution of the United States

Capitalize all references to the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions. Lowercase in other uses.

  • He was able to view the original U.S. Constitution.
  • The amendment was added to Indiana’s Constitution.
  • The organization’s constitution, written in 1993, is slated to be updated next year.
convince, persuade

A person is convinced of something, but persuaded to do something.

  • Carla is convinced that her classmate doesn’t like her.
  • Ray’s friends persuaded him to join the club.
coronavirus, COVID-19

In general use, the coronavirus or COVID-19 is preferred in reference to the virus and the disease it causes. Note that there are many different coronaviruses, so if your story requires a distinction, COVID-19 or similar language may be preferable. SARS-CoV-2 may be used in research stories and in other contexts where the distinction is relevant.

Note that variants—e.g., beta, delta, omicron—are lowercase.

course, subject

Capitalize a specific course or subject name, such as ACCT 10350, Federal Taxation.

Names of college studies, fields of study, options, curricula, or subjects are not capitalized, except names of languages, unless a specific course name is noted.

  • Jane is studying architecture and Spanish.
  • Students must take courses in theology and mathematics.
  • He is majoring in political science and biochemistry.

Abbreviate the departmental name of a course when it is followed by the course number. For proper abbreviations, check the Bulletin of Information on the website of the Office of the Registrar.

  • In addition, the student should take MA 30320.
course titles

Course titles are capitalized and do not take quotation marks.

  • Arts and Letters students are required to take Beginning Logic.
credit hours

Lowercase. Numbers appear as digits with credit hours.

  • She signed up for a 1-credit class.
  • The course is 3 credit hours.
cum laude

Set in roman, no italics.

curriculum (singular), curricula (plural)
curriculum vita, CV (no periods), curricula vitae (plural)



Notre Dame follows the Chicago Manual of Style for dashes.

Use an em dash (—) with no spaces around it in sentences to set off parenthetical matter that calls for emphasis; to show an interruption in speech; to occasionally set off appositives; and to prepare for restatements, lists, or a change in thought. An em dash is the length of two hyphens.

  • Baseball—which traces its origin to a British sport—is today considered the American pastime.
  • The new band combines traditional rock instruments—guitars, bass, and drums—with a flügelhorn and bagpipes.

Use an en dash (–), slightly longer than a hyphen, within sets of numerals (such as date ranges) or letters, and to separate multiple compound modifiers that are made up of multiple proper nouns or hyphenated words.

  • open Monday–Friday (but not: open from Monday–Friday)
  • April 1–13, 2021; 2010–13
  • the former West Germany–East Germany border
  • 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

For more detailed guidance, consult the Chicago Manual.


In most writing, data typically takes a plural verb. In more informal writing for general audiences, it can take a singular verb.


When writing a date consisting of day, month, and year, place a comma after the day and the year.

  • July 4, 1776, is the date the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Note that the year generally does not need to be included with a date if the date falls within one year of a story's publication. Years are also usually not necessary on posters or other event material.

In running text, names of months are not abbreviated.

  • The advisory board will meet on Tuesday, October 10.

Commas are not used, however, when only the month and day, or only the month and year, are written.

  • The Declaration of Independence was signed in July 1776.
  • Americans greet July 4 with spectacular fireworks.

Note that the University does not use -th, -st, or -rd after the digits in any date.

daylight saving time

Note that there is no -s in saving.

Daylight saving time runs from approximately mid-March to early November. When we observe DST, Notre Dame is in the Eastern Daylight Time zone, or EDT. When we are on standard time, Notre Dame is in the Eastern Standard Time zone, or EST.

It’s generally unnecessary to include time zones in most content, as it’s a given that campus events are on the University’s schedule. Exceptions include events at international gateways and online events for wide audiences.


Dean is capitalized only when it appears directly before a name, or as part of an endowed title.

  • Dean Martijn Cremers, but Martijn Cremers, dean of the business school
  • G. Marcus Cole, the Joseph A. Matson Dean of the Notre Dame Law School
  • She set up a meeting with the dean on Wednesday.
Dean’s List
DeBartolo Performing Arts Center; the center

Avoid DPAC.


Use an en dash when listing a span of years. If a span of years is in the same century, you may omit the repeating first two digits after the dash.

  • 2012–13 (not 2012-2013)
  • the ’90s
  • the 1990s

Academic degrees should be spelled out on first reference within text material, and abbreviated thereafter in all text and tabular material, except when part of a person’s name/title. When spelled out, degree names are lowercase.

  • bachelor of arts degree, master of divinity degree
  • bachelor’s/master’s degree
  • Sid Johnson ’76, ’79 M.A., ’82 Ph.D.

Capitalize letter abbreviations of academic degrees. In a departure from Chicago, we do use periods in B.A., M.A., etc.

  • B.A.
  • MSA
  • MBA
  • Ph.D.

Note that periods are omitted when there are three or more consecutive capital letters: MFA, BFA, MBA, etc.

Degree abbreviations also should be used in construction including a graduate’s name, graduating year, and multiple degrees (B.A. usually is not noted).

  • Sid Johnson ’76, ’79 M.A., ’82 Ph.D.
department/office names

Department and office names are capitalized when the full name of the department is used. If an abbreviated form is used, the name is lowercase.

  • the Department of Theology; the theology department
  • the Department of Africana Studies; the Africana studies department

Lowercase diocese unless it’s part of a full proper name.

  • The diocese supported the local high school’s food drive.
  • The Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend enjoys a strong relationship with the University.
diversity, equity, and inclusion

The preferred abbreviation is DEI. Spell out on first reference.

doctorate, Ph.D.

Generally, doctorate or doctoral is preferred to Ph.D.

  • Amanda is a doctoral candidate in the College of Science.
  • Austin earned his doctorate at Notre Dame.
doctor, Dr.

Dr. is used to refer to a doctor of medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. It is not used to refer to people who hold a doctorate but don’t practice in one of these fields, including professors.

  • Professor Jones teaches English.
  • Dr. Lee is a well-known obstetrician.
dorm, dormitory

Avoid these terms. Use residence hallresidential hall or hall instead.

due to, because of

Due to is an adjective phrase that usually follows a form of the verb to be. It is often used incorrectly as a preposition in place of because of.

  • The chairman retired because of an ongoing, prolonged illness.
  • The chairman’s retirement was due to an ongoing, prolonged illness.
  • BUT NOT: The chairman retired due to an ongoing, prolonged illness.

Thus, common phrases such as Due to circumstances beyond our control . . . and Due to inclement weather . . . are incorrect and should be phrased in these or similar ways:

  • Because of circumstances beyond our control . . .
  • Circumstances beyond our control have caused . . .



This is usually lowercased unless in reference to the proper name of the planet.

  • Sam would move heaven and earth to be at the party.
  • Does life exist on Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn—or are we alone here on Earth?
  • Her research is in the field of earth sciences.

Capitalize if referring to a specific geographic location or region, but not a compass direction. Do not spell out in street addresses: 200 E. Elm Street, for example.

  • She moved from South Chicago to the East Coast in 2001.
  • Eric ran 10 miles east of his house, all the way to Elkhart and back.
e-book, e-reader
Eck Visitors Center

Use Eck Visitors Center or Visitors Center. Note there is no apostrophe in Visitors.

Eddy Street Commons

Not Eddy St. Commons.

e.g. (for example)

This is always followed by a comma. See i.e.


Ellipsis points are used to show omission within a quotation. However, it is not necessary to place the points at the beginning or end of a quotation, even if an omission is being made at one of those places.

  • UNNECESSARY: It was Jefferson who stated, “That government which governs least, governs best . . .”
  • BETTER: It was Jefferson who stated, “That government which governs least, governs best.”
  • UNNECESSARY: Jefferson believed that the government “. . . which governs least, governs best.”
  • BETTER: Jefferson believed that the government “which governs least, governs best.”

Use ellipsis points in sets of three. Leave a space between each point, as well as between the words on either side of them.

  • I pledge allegiance to the flag . . . with liberty and justice for all.

If the end of a sentence is retained before the ellipsis points, include the period at the end of the sentence, leave a space, and then introduce the ellipsis points. If a new sentence begins after the ellipsis points, make sure to capitalize the first letter of that sentence.

Ellipses are best used sparingly.


The word email is not capitalized unless it is the first word of a sentence. Email is not hyphenated.

emeritus, emerita, emeriti

Emeritus is the term for males, emerita for females, and emeriti for more than one of either sex. There is no need to capitalize the term unless it’s part of an official title. When referring to a group of people with emeritus status, use professors emeriti or faculty emeriti.


The names of papal encyclicals are always italicized.

  • The encyclical Humanae Vitae was a foundational document for the institute.
  • Laudato si’ is a 2015 encyclical from Pope Francis.
endowed titles

Titles of endowed professors and chairs are always capitalized, whether they come before or after a name. Always include “the” before the title for easier reading.

  • Lee Anna Clark, the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Psychology
  • the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Psychology Lee Anna Clark
entitled, titled

Do not use entitled as a synonym for titled. Entitle is best used to mean to give a right to.

  • His writing of the book entitled him to 50 free copies.

Titled is the best term for naming the title of a book or other publication.

  • The article is titled “101 Ways to Study for Finals.”

Etc., short for et cetera, should be used sparingly, and not in conjunction with such as, which signals that the list of items following is only a partial list, or with and as in and etc.


Capitalize when referring to the Catholic sacrament.

everyday, every day

Everyday is an adjective that means common or ordinary. Every day is an adverb that means occurring daily.

  • Losing an hour in traffic has become an everyday occurrence in the lives of L.A. residents.
  • On average, L.A. drivers lose an hour of their lives every day in gridlock.
extracurricular (one word)


farther, further

Farther refers to a physical distance.

  • Stephanie ran farther into the woods by taking the steeper trail.

Further refers to time or degree.

  • The professor will look further into the mystery of the disease.
Father, Fr., Rev.

Use Rev. along with the priest’s full name on first reference. Father or Fr. with the last name is used in subsequent references, though Father is preferred. Note that it’s not necessary to include C.S.C. after the first reference.

  • Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
  • Father Jenkins; Fr. John
federal government

Federal is not capitalized except at the beginning of a sentence.


Fellow(s) is always capitalized when used in reference to Notre Dame’s Fellows of the University. It is lowercase in all other instances.

first annual

Something cannot be annual until it has been conducted for two successive years. In place of first annual, mention that the event is scheduled to become annual or write first or inaugural.

first-year, freshman

Where possible, use the term first-year over freshman or freshmen when referring to first-year students.

  • The first-year students decided to sit together in the dining hall.
  • His first year at Notre Dame was marked by joining two new clubs.
First Year of Studies

But: first-year student

flier, flyer
  • flier—pamphlet or poster, often used to promote an event
  • flyer—passenger in an airplane
follow up (verb); follow-up (noun)
foreign words

If foreign words are necessary and not translatable, italicize them only if they are not in Merriam-Webster. Be sure to include appropriate accent marks and other language symbols. See the Chicago Manual of Style’s Chapter 11.

from, until

Note that you should not use a hyphen or en dash in this phrasing.

  • He was an assistant professor from 1998 until 2004.
  • Not: He was an assistant professor from 1998-2004.

Hyphenated as both an adjective and an adverb, following Merriam-Webster.

fundraiser, fundraising



One word. Do not capitalize unless it’s part of an official event title.

  • My family is coming to campus for gameday.
  • Football gameday events kick off at 7:00 a.m.
gender, sex

Gender should be limited to discussion of social and psychological identity. In all other cases, sex can be used to differentiate between men and women when there is no chance of misinterpretation.

It is best to use gender-neutral language when possible, e.g.:

  • Police officer instead of policeman
  • Crewed instead of manned
  • Chair instead of chairman or chairwoman
Golden Dome; Dome; Domer

Capitalized in all instances.

Gospel, gospel

Lowercase when referring to the genre of music. Capitalize when referring to the Gospel of the Bible. See CMOS 8.106.

grade point average (GPA)

No hyphen.

Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes; the Grotto

Not Lourdes Grotto or the grotto.

Guglielmino Athletics Complex; the Gug


Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore

Use the full name of the on-campus location. The off-campus location is Hammes Bookstore & Café on Eddy Street.

hang tag
health care

In keeping with Merriam Webster, this is two words, no hyphen, in all instances.

He, His (in reference to God)

Pronouns referring to God are always capitalized in any context.

Hesburgh Library (main library building); Hesburgh Libraries (the University’s library system)

When Hesburgh Libraries (the system) is the subject, it takes a singular verb.

  • The Hesburgh Libraries is ...
  • Hesburgh Libraries contributes ...
high school students

No hyphen.

Hispanic, Latino/Latina

Hispanic refers to those whose ethnic origin is in a Spanish-speaking country. Latino/Latina refers to people of Latin American descent living in the United States. These terms also include those of Brazilian background, where Portuguese is spoken.

See Latino, Latina, Latinx.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Retain the capitalization in all uses. For most audiences, it’s best to spell it out on first reference.

Holy Week

Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter, beginning on Palm Sunday. It includes Holy Thursday (also known as Maundy Thursday) and Good Friday, and ends on the evening of Holy Saturday. In all references, both words of Holy Week are capitalized.


If both a hyphenated and non-hyphenated spelling of a word are acceptable, use the non-hyphenated spelling. If Chicago does not provide an answer, consult a dictionary. Guidelines for hyphenating compound words and words with prefixes and suffixes are given in Chicago 7.81.

Adverbs ending in -ly don’t take a hyphen to connect them to the word they describe.

  • His publicly traded shares
  • a highly anticipated news conference

The titles vice president and vice chair are not hyphenated.

Use a hyphen between prefixes and proper nouns, such as in un-American or non-Catholic.

Compound modifiers (a string of words that works together to modify another word) should all be hyphenated.

  • the 17-year-old girl
  • the 2,340-square-foot laboratory

If the modifiers come after the word they modify and/or act as nouns, however, they usually are not hyphenated.

  • The girl is 17 years old.
  • The laboratory is 2,340 square feet.

Dollar figures of $1 million or more are not hyphenated when used as a modifier.

  • the $3.7 million gift
  • the $10M gift


IDEA Center

IDEA stands for innovation, de-risking, entrepreneurship, and acceleration.

ID, ID card

But ndID. Also Irish1Card.


The abbreviation i.e. comes from the Latin id est, which means “that is.” It is used to introduce something that explains a preceding statement more fully or precisely. Always use a comma after i.e.

  • Please take the medication for the time prescribed (i.e., three to five days).

See e.g.


Capitalize this word when referring to the original inhabitants of a country or region.

  • The market sold several items made by Indigenous artisans.
  • Australia’s Indigenous peoples represent 3.2 percent of the population.

The word is lowercase in other uses.

  • The plant is indigenous to the islands.

Capitalize institute when it’s used as part of a proper name. Lowercase it when it’s used alone.

  • She joined the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study.
  • She is a member of the institute.

Italicize the names of publications (e.g., magazines, books, reports) and movie and CD titles. Titles of websites are not set in italics, but names of blogs are. Titles of blog entries are set in quotation marks.

For more information, see Chicago 8.156–8.201.

its, it’s

Its means belonging to it.

  • The department held its Christmas party at a nearby coffee shop.

It’s means it is.

  • “Notre Dame is the whole package. It’s an inspiring spiritual, intellectual, and social place for four remarkable years of your life,” said Michelle Fry, freshman.


Joyce Center; Edmund P. Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center: the Joyce; the JACC
Jr., Sr.

In names, there is no comma between the last name and Jr., Sr., III, etc.

Junior Parents Weekend; JPW

No apostrophe.


Keough School of Global Affairs; the school
kick off (v.), kickoff (n., adj.)



Capitalize when part of a proper name. The two lakes on campus are St. Mary’s Lake and St. Joseph’s Lake.

Land O’Lakes
Latino, Latina, Latinx

Latino is the preferred term. Use Latinos to refer to a group of male or mixed genders, Latinas to refer to a group of females. Latinx isn't widely known outside of academic groups and is best confined to a direct quote or name of a group.

Laudato si’

Note that the si is lowercase and has an apostrophe after it. The name is always italicized. If it falls at the end of a sentence, add the period after the apostrophe: Laudato si’. For most audiences, it’s best to explain in the copy a bit about what this is: a 2015 encyclical from Pope Francis about the environment, subtitled “On Care for Our Common Home.”

Lent, Lenten

Lent is the period of 40 days in the Catholic liturgical calendar between Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday. Lenten is the adjective form. Lent and Lenten are always capitalized.



letter grades

A, B, C, D, F

When referring to a letter grade, do not use quotation marks to set the grade apart. Note: Use an en dash for a minus: A–, etc.

  • Olivia was relieved to see that her final exam score raised her grade to an A in English class, meaning she had earned all As for the fall semester.
like, such as

Like should not be used as a synonym for such as, which directly points to examples from a topic being discussed. Like should be used instead to refer to a certain general type of person, place, thing, idea, or event. To put it another way, think of like as meaning “similar to” and such as as meaning “including these examples.”

  • People like Governor Raymond serve as good role models for the young.
  • Campaigning encompasses numerous duties, such as raising money, giving speeches, and kissing babies.
livestream, livestreaming, livestreamed
login, log in; log-on, log on
  • login (noun), log in (verb)
  • log-on (noun); log (verb)

Monthlong, daylong, weeklong, yearlong. No hyphen.

Lunar New Year

Use Lunar New Year instead of Chinese New Year.

L’Université de Notre Dame du Lac

The University of Our Lady of the Lake: the exact French name at founding in 1842.


mailing addresses (format)

Investment Office
Eddy Street Commons at Notre Dame
1251 Eddy Street, Suite 400
South Bend, IN 46617

Note: By holding down the shift key while hitting a return (soft return), you can keep the lines together.

mailing addresses (style)

In addresses, abbreviate common elements St., Rd., Blvd., and the like. See Chicago 10.33 for a complete list. For abbreviations for compass points in mailing addresses, see Chicago 10.34.

In mailing addresses, be sure to include the state abbreviation and the five-digit ZIP code.

Main Building

Not: main building, Main building, Administration Building.

M.A.; master of arts; master of arts degree; master’s; master’s degrees; M.A.s

But Master of Arts program (lowercase "p")


It is celebrated, not said. Always capitalize.

MBA; Master of Business Administration

Lowercase unless part of a proper noun.

Mendoza College of Business; Mendoza; the college

Not Mendoza College.


Shortened form of microphone. Not mike.

Middle Ages

For clarity, midnight is preferred to 12:00 a.m. Do not use 12 midnight. See noon.

Midwest, Midwestern

Months are not abbreviated when they stand on their own or as part of a date. They may be abbreviated when presented in tables or other graphics.

Basil Moreau; Blessed Moreau; Father Moreau

Note that as the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, his name does not include C.S.C.


Nanovic Institute; the institute
Nativity, crèche

Generally speaking, a Nativity and a crèche are the same thing—a depiction of the scene of the birth of Jesus. Note that Nativity is always capitalized when in reference to a Nativity scene or set. Crèche is only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence or as part of a proper name.

  • An NDID is the nine-digit number issued to Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff.
  • A netID allows students, faculty, and staff access to services such as email, campus networks, shared file systems, and the insideND portal.
NGO, nongovernmental organization

NGO is OK on first reference if the intended audience can be reasonably expected to know the term. Spell out nongovernmental organization when the term may not be well-known to the audience.


A slash is preferred in this shortened reference to September 11, 2001.


Use 911 with no hyphens or other punctuation for the emergency number.


Used to indicate rank or position, especially in sportswriting.

  • The Notre Dame women’s basketball team is ranked No. 2 nationally and No. 1 in ACC rankings.

For clarity, noon is preferred to 12:00 p.m. Do not use 12 noon. See midnight.

not only, but also

The terms not only and but also are almost always used in tandem with each other.

  • The colonies not only won the war, but also gained their independence.

Make sure that these elements go in front of the words they modify. It is a common mistake to place only and not only in front of a verb even if these words do not modify that verb.

  • Wrong: We will not only learn about the past, but also about the future.
  • Right: We will learn not only about the past, but also about the future.
Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame, never Notre Dame University.

After a first mention of the full name (University of Notre Dame), Notre Dame may be used in a publication. The initials ND may also be used, when appropriate.

Notre Dame family

Note that family is lowercase.

Notre Dame Law School; the Law School

But lowercase law school as a generic term.

Notre Dame Magazine

Italicize as the name of the publication. Not Notre Dame magazine or ND magazine.

Notre Dame Marching Band; the Marching Band
Notre Dame Stadium; the stadium
numbers, numerals

Use figures for numbers 10 and larger, including ordinal numbers (22nd, 34th, and so on).

Exceptions: Use numerals, even when the number is less than 10, to indicate age, quantities containing both whole numbers and decimals or fractions, statistics, voting results, sports scores, percentages, amounts of money, times of day, days of the month (when used after the name of the month, as in February 5), latitude and longitude, degrees of temperature, dimensions, measurements, proportions, distances, and numbers that are part of titles.

  • There are 26 teams in the old league but only eight in the new one.
  • 4:35 p.m., 5:00 a.m. (Note the periods in a.m. and p.m.)
  • $3.00, $5.95, 75 cents
  • Longitude 67° 03’ 06” W
  • The temperature fell to 12 degrees below zero.
  • We live 7 miles from Mishawaka.
  • The tree stood 5 feet high.
  • The proposal was defeated, 25 votes to 3.
  • Notre Dame won the game, 9–7.

With room numbers, capitalize the word room in reference to a room followed by a number.

  • We are meeting in Room 502.

In month-day combinations, ordinals are not used.

  • September 17 instead of September 17th

However, in other contexts, such as in using a number to denote the repeating occurrences of a regularly occurring event, ordinals are used.

  • 23rd anniversary

For spans of years: Note that for 1999–2000, or for any span of years in which three or more numbers will change, the entire number for both years should be written out.

  • 1861–65, but 1999–2000 (not 1999–00)

Using the figure ’99–’00 (or 99–00) in tabular matter is acceptable if the meaning is clear and consistency within the tabular matter is maintained.

  • . . . 97–98, 98–99, 99–00, 00–01, 01–02 . . .

In text material, the entire year at both ends of the span can be written out completely (1994–1995, 2002–2003), but it is not necessary. We prefer the shortened version: 2010–11, etc.

In all these date ranges, the dates are separated by an en dash.

Spell out figures to begin a sentence or begin the sentence with another word. Numbers that are less than 100 or that, as a subunit of a number greater than 100, could stand by themselves as less than 100 should be hyphenated.

  • Forty-two students showed up for the new course.
  • One hundred sixty-seven
  • The year 2005 will be known as the World Year of Physics.

Don’t use figures without balancing the accompanying words from and to in denoting a time span from one year to the next, or from one time on the clock to the next. The words are not always necessary, depending on the structure of the phrase, but if one is used, both should be used. It is a common mistake to use the from and let a dash (or a hyphen) substitute for the to.

  • from 1935 to 1972
  • Not: from 1935–1972
  • The orientation takes place from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Not: The orientation takes place from 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

If two numbers less than 10 fall in proximity to each other and both work to explain a single thing or occurrence, one of the numerals can be written as a figure to avoid confusion.

  • Students must write five 3-page papers.

For numbers in the millions and beyond, use a digit and spell out the word million, billion, etc., unless it is necessary to give an exact figure.

  • The University raised $33.8 million in the 1984–85 academic year.
  • The researchers were awarded a $5 million grant.


off-campus (adj.), off campus (adv.)
  • She lives in off-campus housing this year, and pays rent with her job at a University department off campus.
office names

Like department names, office names are capitalized when the full title of the office is used. Use lowercase when an abbreviated form is used.

  • the Office of the Registrar; the registrar’s office
  • the Office of the President; the president’s office

OK is preferred over okay.

Our Lady’s University

Retains capital letters in all uses.

oversee, oversight

Avoid using these words in all instances, as it has strong ties to the history of slavery. Other options include supervision, management, etc.


papal, papacy

But the Pope.


Express parallel ideas in a parallel manner.

  • Wrong: He was an expert in eating, drinking, sleeping, and how to win an argument.
  • Right: He was an expert in eating, drinking, sleeping, and knowing how to win an argument.
  • Wrong: Students will study physics, learn certain mechanical functions, and various internet applications.
  • Right: Students will study physics, learn certain mechanical functions, and master various internet applications.
  • Wrong: The bed is designed to support your back while improving your sleep.
  • Right: The bed is designed to support your back and improve your sleep.
  • Right: The bed supports your back while it improves your sleep.

If a preposition has more than one object following it, do not repeat the preposition before every object unless it is necessary for clarity. Never repeat the preposition using one before the first and last object if you do not use it before the ones in between.

  • Wrong: The distribution of food, water, and of economic relief . . .
  • Right: The distribution of food, water, and economic relief . . .
  • Optional: The distribution of food for the hungry, of water for the thirsty, and of economic relief for all who are disadvantaged . . .

Observe parallelism throughout the items in a list:

  • Right: The class has three objectives: to help people lose weight, to encourage fitness, and to promote better health.
  • Wrong: The class has three objectives: to help people lose weight, to encourage fitness, and promoting better health.
peacebuilder, peacebuilding
percent, %

Spell out percent except in headlines, tables, or other special material.


In web and print, use only one space after any punctuation.

In reference to the time of day, use the abbreviations a.m. and p.m., with periods between the letters. In text material, they should be written in lowercase letters or small caps.

Place periods between the letters of academic degrees (M.A., Ph.D.) and abbreviations of religious orders (C.S.C., S.J.). Note that for academic degrees, periods are omitted when there are three or more consecutive capital letters (MBA, MNA).

There are no periods when abbreviating Notre Dame to ND or when referring to an ID in reference to a piece of identification.

There are no periods in acronyms unless the entity that the acronym represents specifically uses periods. Use this same principle in making subsequent references to famous people or groups that are popularly known by their initials. JFK, MLK, NATO, NFL


People is the preferred word. Use persons only in direct quotes.

phone numbers

When including University phone numbers for an internal audience, it is acceptable to list phone numbers without the area code and Notre Dame prefix 631. For example: 1-5000. For wider audiences, include area code and prefix: 574-631-5000.

Note that hyphens are used in phone numbers and not parentheses or other punctuation. Dialing the area code is no longer optional in St. Joseph County and phone numbers should not be presented without the area code included.

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi

The University has a close relationship with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, part of the greater Potawatomi Nation. Use the full name Pokagon Band of Potawatomi on first reference, and Pokagon Band on subsequent references. Be mindful of the fact that there are several tribes in the Potawatomi Nation and be sure your text won’t cause confusion for readers.

Members of the Pokagon Band are called citizens.

See Indigenous and American Indian, Indian, Native American.


Pope retains the capital P in all instances.


Follow the Chicago Manual of Style. In general:

The possessive of most singular nouns is formed by adding an apostrophe and an –s: the horse’s mouth, the University’s initiative

The possessive of plural nouns is formed by adding an apostrophe only: puppies’ paws, lawyers’ fees

The possessive of proper nouns, including names ending in s, x, or z, is formed by adding an apostrophe and an –s: Jesus’s disciples, Chicago’s lakefront

postdoctoral, postdoc

Use postdoctoral as all one word, no hyphen. Postdoc is OK to use when the intended audience will be familiar with what it means, but use the full word on first reference.

  • She is a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Chung's lab.
  • The class is offered for postdocs every Thursday evening.

Not preventative.


Not all faculty have the official title of professor. In most instances, using a faculty member’s full title is preferred on first reference. In running text, Prof. Smith is preferred to Professor Smith—although in most cases, professor does not need to be used on subsequent references. The last name alone is preferred.

Titles of endowed professors/chairs are always capitalized, before or after a name.


When writing about a person who uses they/them/their pronouns, use these pronouns in the story if it’s called for. To avoid any confusion on the reader’s part, it’s best to introduce the pronouns on first reference:

  • Sam, who uses the pronoun they, said they were thrilled with the promotion.

It’s not necessary to add information about a person’s pronouns if it’s irrelevant to the story or otherwise doesn’t come up—e.g., when a person is only quoted once in a story and their name and title will do. In stories that more frequently feature a person who uses the pronoun they, it’s often easier for readers if the person’s first or last name is used in repetition rather than they.

Don’t use the terms preferred or chosen pronouns. Instead, use the pronouns they use, whose pronouns are, who uses the pronouns, etc.

Avoid neopronouns such as xe or zim; these are too unfamiliar to most audiences.

They/them/their take plural verbs even when used as a singular pronoun.

In general usage, singular they is acceptable in most writing (it has been in use in the English language since the 14th century). However, not all audiences will accept it as correct, and it is best to use your own judgment. If singular they will be confusing to the reader, it’s best to recast the sentence.

Either of these options is correct, depending on your audience: The student came back to get their backpack. OR The student came back to get her backpack.

Although the generic he is perfectly grammatical, it’s best avoided in writing for a general audience. Avoid using clumsy he or she, his or her, he/she constructions.

  • OK: The customer might not be aware he can request this service.
  • Better: Customers might not be aware they can request this service.

See gender, sex.

pull quotes

Pull quotes in stories should be put in quotation marks if they’re taken directly from a quote within the story. If the pull quote is a paraphrase or taken from something the author wrote, do not use quotation marks. Pull quotes do not get dialogue tags such as “said,” but direct quotes should be credited with the full name of the person being quoted.


  • DeBartolo Quad, East Quad, God Quad, Mod Quad, South Quad, North Quad, West Quad
  • The general use is lowercase:
    • The quads were quiet during spring break.
    • Class today will meet on the quad.
quotation marks

Set quotation marks outside periods and commas and inside colons and semicolons. They also should be placed inside exclamation points and question marks that are not part of the quotation. Note that partial quotes are not set off by a comma.

  • “Ask what you can do for your country.”
  • Barry exclaimed that “it was a long trip”; was it really over?
  • “What’s the matter?” she asked.
  • Do you understand the statement “I think; therefore, I am”?
  • Now I know the meaning of “Life is just a bowl of cherries”!

Use single quotation marks for quotations printed within other quotations, and in quotes in headlines. Do not use single quotation marks for any other reason.

  • Brett said, “I remember when my mother told me, ‘Wash behind your ears.’”

If several paragraphs are to be quoted successively, use quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph and at the end of the last paragraph only. Intermediate paragraphs are not closed with quotation marks.

In printing interviews verbatim, with a speaker’s comments preceded by that speaker’s name, quotation marks are not necessary.

  • Jones: When will the committee meet?
  • Smith: On the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

Use “curly” printer’s quotes, known as smart quotes: “ ” ‘ ’ Avoid straight quotes.


reign, rein

A reign is the period of a person in power’s rule.

  • King Charles III’s reign began in 2022.

Rein is the strap used to control a horse and is often used in figurative terms.

  • She gave her students free rein in their choice of essay topic.
  • Laura saw her opportunity to seize the reins.
residence hall mascots

Capitalize: Carroll Vermin, Howard Ducks

residence halls

Avoid using dorms.


On first reference, refer to reunion by its proper name: Reunion 2023.

Also, reunion is capitalized when referring to the present reunion and when referring to a specific milestone reunion:

  • Reunion 2010 was one to remember.
  • Please register for Reunion online.
  • I invite you back to Reunion on June 3–6.
  • Hope to see you at Reunion!

Also capitalize when referring to a group specific to reunion:

  • The Reunion Choir will sing. (preferable to Alumni Choir)
  • The Reunion Committee met on Tuesday.
  • Reunion Mass

However, lowercase when referring to reunion in general:

  • She began to think about attending her Notre Dame reunion.
  • When it’s time, I will go back for my fifth reunion.
  • The Class of 1985 will celebrate its 30-year reunion.
  • There will be many reunion activities to enjoy.
Rosary (prayers); rosary (string of beads for praying)

Do not use periods in RSVP. It is short for the French répondez sil vous plaît, which means “please reply.” For some audiences, the phrase please RSVP is redundant because RSVP already includes the “please.” However, other communications may be better off keeping the please to emphasize being courteous. Writers may choose whichever option best fits their intended audience.



Capitalize the names of sacraments. There are seven in the Catholic Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.

Saint Mary’s College

Not St. Mary’s College or SMC.

Saint, St.

Abbreviate for names of cities and in reference to saints, except when spelled out by the entity using the title.

  • Saint Mary’s College (the college spells out its name)
  • St. Mary’s Lake (named for the Blessed Virgin and not the college)
School of Architecture; the school

Capitalize when referring to books of the Bible.

  • The literature class will also have assigned readings from Scripture.

Lowercase the name of seasons, including in breaks.

  • fall, winter, spring, summer
  • fall break, summer break, spring break
  • fall semester, spring semester

Note that Christmas break is preferred to winter break.


Use semicolons to separate all items in a series if there is internal punctuation within one or more of the items in the series. The length of an item alone does not warrant its use.

  • Board members include George Andrews, Boston, president; Jamie Hamilton, Chicago, vice president; and Carol Green, Detroit, treasurer.

Use a semicolon to take the place of a coordinating conjunction in joining two related but independent clauses.

  • The board’s first item of business was to approve its annual budget; doing so would not be a simple task.

Use a semicolon before a conjunctive adverb (such as however, furthermore, and therefore) that connects two independent clauses. The adverb is followed by a comma.

  • The company ran over budget last year; therefore, it would have to find ways to cut costs for the year.

Note: Conjunctive adverbs don’t always divide independent clauses. In these alternative cases, they typically are set off by commas.

  • It seemed, however, that the sides could reach an agreement.

Semicolons are not required in lists set off by a colon. When semicolons are used, the last punctuation in the series (i.e., where a serial comma would go) should be a semicolon.

shut down (v.), shutdown (n., adj.)
sign up (v.), sign-up (n., adj.)
Sister, Sr.

The first reference to a sister should give her full title: Sister Mary Thomas, O.P. Thereafter, she may be referred to as Sister Mary or Sister Thomas.

Use of the term nuns is discouraged, as nuns are defined as a cloistered community. Sisters is the preferred term.

  • Sisters of the Congregation of the Holy Cross (preferred name of order, note “the” Holy Cross)

Following Chicago, use single spaces between sentences, in all contexts. Use a single space after a colon. Dashes do not have spaces around them.


Type only one space between sentences, after a colon, or between a state name and zip code. Use only a single space, always and everywhere, in text material.

  • The professor gave a quiz today. Next week, a paper is due on the same subject. After that, he will give a final exam.
  • The course covers three areas of study: philosophy, politics, and economics.
  • Notre Dame, IN 46556

There are no spaces between multiple initials in a person’s name.

  • W.E.B. DuBois, G.K. Chesterton, B.J. Hunnicutt

There are no spaces around either side of a dash or a slash in text material.

  • Republican/Democrat dialogue
  • The debate—contentious from the beginning—turned into a riot.
start-up (n., adj.); start up (v.)

Abbreviate the names of states following the names of cities and towns in text and tabular matter. Use two-letter post office abbreviations when states are included in a mailing address. Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah are not abbreviated.

  • Notre Dame, Ind. (for tables and text)
  • Notre Dame, IN (for addresses)

state of Indiana (lowercase state); city of South Bend (lowercase city)

See Chicago 10.27.

St. Joseph’s Lake; St. Mary’s Lake; the lakes
street names

In general, street names are not abbreviated, except when used in headlines, mailing addresses, and tabular or other special materials.

  • Charles lives at 312 N. Hilltop Ave.
  • Charles lives on Hilltop Avenue.

Retain the hyphen in all uses.


The use of superscripts with ordinal numbers is not preferred, but if you do use them, be consistent in usage throughout your content.

  • Notre Dame celebrated its 167th Commencement in 2012.


  • Notre Dame celebrated its 167th Commencement in 2012.


telephone numbers

See phone numbers.


Use digits. For negative temperatures, spell it out: minus 10 degrees or 10 below zero (not10). In most writing and for most audiences, it is unnecessary to specify that a given temperature is in Fahrenheit. If it is necessary to specify Fahrenheit, Kelvin, Celsius, etc., spell it out in running text on first reference.

Ten Commandments

Not 10 Commandments.

that, which

Which can be used to introduce a clause containing either nonessential or essential information, but that can be used only for essential information. Some writers use which to cover the functions of both relative pronouns, but this sometimes creates difficulty in understanding whether the information being given is essential to the meaning of the sentence.

A good set of rules to follow: If that can be substituted for which without changing the meaning of the sentence, use that. If the information following which is necessary in understanding the sentence, use that. If the information can be omitted from the sentence without affecting its meaning and in most cases can be set off by commas, use which.

  • The retreat, which is located on 20 acres, was surrounded by towering trees and bordered by a shimmering lake.
  • The retreat that I attended took place last July.

Exception: To avoid immediately repeating that in certain constructions, it is acceptable to use which in place of one occurrence of that.

  • That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
theater, theatre

Theater is the standard American English spelling. Use theater in all cases except in titles or proper names where Theatre is used.

  • He is studying theater and set design.
  • The theater will stage the show starting next month.
  • The performance is next Friday in the Philbin Studio Theatre.

Times of the day should be expressed in numerical terms of hours and minutes, with a colon separating the hours from the minutes and a designation of whether the time is in the morning or the evening, using a.m. and p.m., in lowercased letters or small caps. Leave a space between the time and the a.m. or p.m., and make sure to use periods in the a.m. and p.m.

  • 8:00 a.m., not 8 a.m. or 8 am or 8am or 8 AM
  • 3:52 p.m., not 3:52 pm or 3:52pm or 3:52 PM

Exception: Neither of the 12 o’clock times during the day can accurately be expressed as being “a.m.” or “p.m.” The terms refer to either before midday (ante meridiem) or after midday (post meridiem). At midday, 12 o’clock should be written as noon, not 12:00 p.m. At night, it should be written as midnight, not 12:00 a.m.

When referring to a time span between two points on the clock, it is not necessary to repeat a.m. or p.m. for both times, if they both occur together in the a.m. or p.m. hours. If the time span crosses from a.m. into p.m. or vice versa, however, designate each time with the appropriate mark.

  • 9:30–11:00 a.m., not 9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
  • 10:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m., not 10:30–3:00 p.m.

References to historical eras should not be mixed. CE (“common era”) and BCE (“before the common era”) should be used in tandem, as should the more traditional BC (“before Christ”) and AD (anno domini or “the year of our Lord”). Note that as a Catholic university, BC/AD is preferred in University copy. If using the BC/AD designations, remember that BC comes after the year it designates and AD comes before it.

  • 565 BC
  • AD 565
  • But: the fifth century AD
time and date

When giving a time and date for events and other topics, list the time followed by the date.

  • The lecture starts at 10:00 a.m. Monday, September 18.
  • The open house is from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 7.

Note that the year generally does not need to be included with a date if the date falls within one year of a story's publication. Years are also usually not necessary on posters or other event material.

time zones

Daylight saving time runs from approximately mid-March to early November. When we observe DST, Notre Dame is in the Eastern Daylight Time zone, or EDT. When we are on standard time, Notre Dame is in the Eastern Standard Time zone, or EST.

In general, the time zone does not need to be included for campus events. When an event is online and intended for a wide audience, it’s best to include the time zone for clarity.

titles (academic/job)

As a general rule, academic and job titles are capitalized before a name, but not after or when used alone.

  • Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.; Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame (preferred)
  • Executive Vice President Shannon Cullinan; the executive vice president
  • Provost John McGreevy; the provost
  • Professor Christian Smith; Christian Smith, professor of sociology
titles (publications/compositions/events)

Enclose titles of short songs, short poems, articles, chapters, single-occurrence radio and television programs, and divisions of a publication, as well as names of websites (the information found on the page or in the title bar, not the web address itself), in quotation marks. Thesis and dissertation titles are set in quotation marks.

  • “Talk of the Town,” in last week’s National Review
  • Miles Davis’s “So What,” from Kind of Blue
  • Chapter 7, “How to Campaign for Office”
  • “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
  • The WLS-AM special “Chicago on a Budget”
  • Jack’s blog, My Thoughts on Presidential Elections; Jack’s entry from May 18, “Musings on Mitt”

Titles of books, pamphlets, collections, periodicals, newspapers, long poems that have been published separately, plays, works of art, ongoing radio and television series, and long musical compositions, including operas, oratorios, and motets, should be italicized.

  • Animal Farm
  • The Thinker
  • Carmina Burana
  • M*A*S*H
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Leaves of Grass

Capitalize all words except for articles (a, an, the) and conjunctions and prepositions of fewer than five letters, in the titles of books, plays, lectures, musical compositions, and the like. Exception: Capitalize any article, conjunction, or preposition that appears at the beginning of a title or sentence or as the final word of that title or sentence.

  • Colleges and Universities as Citizens is now on sale in the bookstore.
  • “What I Live For” was the speaker’s best-known lecture.

In hyphenated elements within titles, the subsequent elements are capitalized as well, following the exceptions listed above.

  • He advertised in the Guide to Foreign-Language Translators.
  • I have published a book titled Follow-Ups and Foul-Ups.

For more detailed information on this topic, refer to sections 8.156–8.201 of Chicago.

“Touchdown Jesus”

A common nickname for the Word of Life mural on the Hesburgh Library.


In British English, towards is acceptable. American English leaves off the s.


Capitalize Trustee in reference to any member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees, past or present. Lowercase in reference to members of any other board.



United Kingdom (UK)
United Nations (UN)

Also: UN General Assembly.

United States (US)

Capitalize University when in direct reference to the University of Notre Dame, even when the words of Notre Dame are not included in the text. Lowercase in other uses.

University of Notre Dame; the University; Notre Dame; ND

Not: Notre Dame University; U of ND; the university. Use ND only in less formal writing.


When determining if http://www. is needed in listing a website, check it to see if the site is accessible without this designation. Avoid including it if possible as it is cumbersome.

Web addresses do not need to be italicized but can be bolded or placed in color to attract attention or to clarify.

When including a URL in running copy, aim to avoid placing it at a line break; rewrite the sentence if necessary. If a web address is at the end of a sentence include a period or other ending punctuation as necessary. There’s no need to precede a URL in running text with a colon.



In running text, versus or vs. is acceptable, but be consistent. Use vs. in graphics, tabular material, and other areas to save space. In titles of legal cases, use v.

  • We didn’t know who would win in this David vs. Goliath battle.
  • The professor filed an amicus brief in the case Bank Markazi v. Peterson.
Veterans Day

No apostrophe.

vice president, vice chair

Open, no hyphen.


Washington, DC

Following Chicago, there are no periods in DC. Use the full name on first reference, instead of just DC or Washington

Always add commas on both sides of DC: We’re driving to Washington, DC, tomorrow. The office is in Washington, DC.


World Wide Web, web, web master, web page, website


See URLs.

who’s, whose
  • Whose is possessive: Whose keys are these?
  • Who’s is a contraction of who is, who was, or who has: Who’s been sleeping in my bed?
winter break, holiday break

The name Christmas break is preferred instead.

Word of Life mural

The mural on the south side of the Hesburgh Library, commonly referred to as “Touchdown Jesus.”


  • 2021–22; the ’90s, the 1990s
  • Not: 2021–2022; the 90’s; the 1990’s

Note that in a span of years, the first two digits are omitted from the second year listed if the digits are the same. 2002–14; 1998–2004

The year generally does not need to be included with a date if the date falls within one year of a story’s publication. Years are also usually not necessary on posters or other event material.

Also see AD, BC.



Capitalize in all references to the online meeting platform. Do not use Zoom as a verb.