said, says

Use said with direct and partial quotes as well as paraphrases. Says is also appropriate to use with quotes. When choosing one or the other, pay careful attention to tense in the rest of your writing. 

“Emory’s partnership with The Conservation Fund will ensure that farmers have a reliable market for their crops,” says Ciannat Howett, director of sustainability initiatives at Emory.

"Emory has a beautiful campus," the visiting student said.

NOT The visiting student says Emory has a beautiful campus.

SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

Use no periods in the abbreviation and no commas in the scores of this exam administered by the College Entrance Administration Board.

> See also: ACT | PSAT

Scripture, scriptures, scriptural

Names of scriptures and other highly revered works are capitalized but not italicized.


> See: dates | capitalization

self- (prefix)

Hyphenate unless preceded by un- or followed by a suffix.


> See: compound words

serial comma

This is a major difference between CMS and AP styles.

We generally favor the use of the serial comma. Scientific text should always use serial commas to avoid confusion and clarify the elements of the series.

> See also: comma (Punctuation Particulars)


Sexist biases are encoded in our language. To help perpetuate a vocabulary that is fair to both women and men, use ungendered language whenever you can. Examples:

firefighter, not fireman
US representative, not Congressman
chair, not chairman
businessperson, not businessman

When possible, avoid he and his as inclusive references. Don't use slash-forms: she/he and his/her.

Saying his or her and he or she is fine, but those expressions can be awkward. It would be better to alter the sentence using plurals instead of singulars.

"All students plan their own programs," rather than the equally correct, "Each student plans his or her own program."


Avoid using in place of "because." Although it is an accepted usage according to Webster's, "since" is more clearly used to indicate a time reference:

It has been seven months since we first heard the news.

The show was canceled because no one showed up.
NOT The show was canceled since no one showed up.

> See: because

Social Security number

Note uppercase and lowercase initial letters, but SSN when abbreviated.

split infinitive

> See: verbs

sports terms

See the AP Stylebook. The CMS does not contain a comprehensive listing of sports terms.

> See: NCAA

St Andrews

Note: no period after St in this sister school to Emory.

start-up (noun), start up (verb)

state names

Use postal state abbreviations—omitting the comma between city and state—only with full addresses, including a zip code. For all other uses, use the following abbreviations for states.

Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kan., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Neb., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., N.D., Okla., Ore., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.

Note: the following states are not abbreviated: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah.

> See: addresses

state-of-the-art (adj.)

Avoid overuse of this term; it's becoming a cliche.

study abroad

Do not hyphenate study abroad.

Students can visit more than 50 countries in Emory's study abroad program.


subjunctive mood

Use the subjunctive mood of a verb for contrary-to-fact conditions and for expressions of doubts, wishes, or regrets:

If I were rich, I wouldn't have to work.
I wish it were possible to take back my words.

Sentences that express a contingency or hypothesis may use either the subjunctive or the indicative mood, depending on the context. In general, use the subjunctive if there is little likelihood that the contingency might come true:

If I were to inherit millions, I wouldn't have to worry about money.
BUT If this bill passes as expected, it will provide a tax cut.


Webster's lists syllabi first as the plural form.