> See: oral


SPLITS. In general, avoid awkward constructions that split either the infinitive form of a verb (to leave, to help, etc.) or the compound forms (had left, have arrived, etc.).

She planned to leave immediately.
NOT She planned to immediately leave.
We had left home hurriedly.
NOT We had hurriedly left home.

Sometimes, however, such splits are necessary to avoid misreading:

She wanted to really help her friend.
Those who do well are usually rewarded.
The budget was tentatively approved.


Legal cases use v. In running copy, spell out.


An intensifier that actually drains meaning from your sentences if used too often. (When too many points are emphasized, none stands out.) Often you can find a more precise way of expressing your thoughts:

I was thrilled he asked me out.
NOT I was very happy he asked me out.
When my novel was rejected, I despaired.
NOT When my novel was rejected, I was very sad.

vice president

No hyphen. The same rule holds true for other "vice" compounds.

videoconferencing, videodisc, videogame, videotape

One word.

BUT laser disc, compact disc


Trademark name of credit card and company. All caps.