• adviser not advisor.
  • African American: no hyphen
  • alumni (plural); alumnus (singular/masculine) alumna (singular/feminine) alumnae (plural/feminine) All alumni agree. He is a distinguished alumnus. Famed UT Martin alumna Pat Summitt
  • awhile Spell as one word when not preceded by for … stay awhile, but stay for a while.
  • and Use the word not "&" unless the symbol is an element of a proper name.
  • benefit, benefited, benefiting not benefitted, benefitting.
  • Black / Blacks: capitalized term as an adjective in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense: Black people, Black culture, Black literature, Black studies, Black colleges.
  • capital city of the governmental seat, Nashville is the state capital; financial term, the new business will require a lot of capital
  • capitol a specific building, the state capitol is in Nashville.
  • chair holder Two words.
  • chair of excellence Lowercase shortened and incomplete forms chair of excellence in the humanities, humanities chair, SunTrust Bank chair. Capitalize when the complete name is used, the Burkett Miller Chair of Excellence in Management and Technology.
  • Chancellor's Roundtable, then, the roundtable. . .
  • Coach, head coach Capitalize coach when it precedes the name; lowercase when used with a qualifying term. . . .said Coach Jones … said head coach Jones 
  • curriculum (singular); curricula (plural)
  • ensure, insure Use ensure to mean guarantee; insure for references to insurance.
  • farther, further Use farther for distance; further for time or quantity.
  • 50 Plus, 50 Plus Club Use figure and word, not 50+ or Fifty Plus.
  • Freshman (singular); Freshmen (plural); The freshman class. How many freshmen are in the class?
  • Founders' Day, but Founders Hall
  • fund raising, fund-raising, fund-raiser Use fund raising and fund-raiser as nouns. Fund-raising is the adjective form.
  • health care two words
  • Homecoming Capitalize UTC Homecoming. Lowercase homecoming in general use.
  • ID Caps, no periods.
  • kickoff, noun, one word; kick off, verb, two words.
  • media (plural); medium (singular)
  • More and Over: Over and under indicate place. Greater/more than and fewer/less than indicate degree. Use more than or fewer than to reference a numeric value.
    • Fewer than 4 percent of new hires decline health care benefits.
    • More than 5,000 graduates became donors within five years of graduation.
    • Fewer than half of all freshmen live off campus.
  • Noncredit, one word, not non-credit.
  • president-elect Use hyphen.
  • principal, a school official or the most important in rank, Davy Crockett was the first Signal Mountain Elementary School principal; the principal reason for making the change…
  • finance term, How much of the principal has been paid back on the loan? Who is listed as a principal on the company’s charter?
  • principle a rule of action or conduct, a fundamental tenet, Self-rule is a basic principle of democracy.
  • regardless irregardless is not a word
  • state of Lowercase state of constructions, state of Tennessee.
  • tenants: renters
  • tenets: beliefs, principles
  • telethon, one word; hyphenate phone-a-thon, bike-a-thon, walk-a-thon
  • total, totaled, totaling not totalled, totalling.
  • UT Board of Trustees; UT Trustees; the UT Board
  • UT system Reference differentiation (above) between “UT System Administration” and “UT system”
  • UTC Campus Advisory Board; Campus Advisory Board; the Board


Following are on the editors' list of words not to be used in University publications. To avoid needlessly formal or jargon words, as a general rule, if you wouldn’t use a word in conversation, don’t use it in writing.

  • “A number of times…” If there is a number, use it. Don’t write “a number of…”
  • Additionally Memo jargon. Just write and or also, the way most people talk.
  • And/or Bureaucratic jargon, choose one word or the other.
  • Contact If a phone number is provided, write “call.” If an address is provided, use “write.” Don’t use contact when you mean call, write, email or visit. Use call, write, email or visit.
  • Strive to list all and only what is necessary, and don’t use “etc.” which reads like an unfinished thought.
  • Hopefully Not accepted by usage authorities when used to mean it is to be hoped or let us hope. Take responsibility: I hoped, we hope.
  • Loan Loan is a noun. The verb is lend, lent.
  • Offputting, ongoing Let's offput these words and ongo to others.
  • Publically Neither a word nor a correct spelling of “publicly
  • “Some 10,000 students” News media jargon/puffery. Is it some or, is it 10,000? Just say which it is.
  • Utilize Bureaucratic/jargon word for use, use use.

Higher Ed jargon, with common language alternatives:

Facilitate: to make possible, to help bring about

Instead: "She helped the two sides get together."

 "He made the program happen."             

Matriculate: to enroll at a college

Instead: "She wants to enroll at a college."    

Synergy/Synergies: integrated alignment

Instead: "The programs are integrated"