> See: nationality and race


Use the words to or between to represent the range between two factors:

The distance is from 12 to 15 miles.
Estimated attendance was between 15,000 and 17,000.

Use an en dash for abbreviated ranges appearing in listings and charts.

noon–3:00 p.m.


Use figures in formal writing, without a hyphen or colon:

There is a student/faculty ratio of 12 to 1.

reason . . . is that

Never say "the reason ... is because ... "

NOT The reason she applied to Emory is because the campus felt right.
BUT The reason she applied to Emory is that the campus felt right.

Better yet, cut the extra words:

She applied to Emory because the campus felt right.

> See also: because

refer, refer back

This word, derived from the Latin words meaning "carry back" or "carry again," already contains the idea of "back." The phrase refer back is redundant.


The singular form is correct in prepositional phrases such as in regard to and with regard to, both of which mean the same thing as the antiquated plural form phrase as regards (NOT as regards to).

You can avoid the whole question of singular vs. plural, and can also sound much more modern, by simply replacing all those wordy phrases with concerning or about.

Religious Titles

VariantOfficial Title
Protestant variantsThe Reverend Charles Wesley, senior pastor, Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church In conversational address: Dr. (or Mr.) Jones For letters/written reference: Rev. Charles Wesley Casual/generic reference: the minister, the pastor
Roman Catholic variantsThe Reverend Bryan Small In conversational address: Father Small For letters/written reference: Father Small Casual/generic reference: the pastor
Jewish variantsFor rabbi and cantor, capitalize these titles before a person's full name on first reference: Rabbi Zalman Lipskier. On second reference, use only the last name.
Muslim variantsThe Imam Plemon El-Amin In conversational address: Imam El-Amin Casual/generic reference: the imam

residence hall

Use this term rather than dormitory.


No accent marks.

> See also: foreign words

Round Table v. roundtable

Use  Round Table to describe King Arthur and his knights or when specifically used in a name. Use  roundtable to describe meetings, conferences, and deliberations held in such a manner.


All uppercase, no periods.