Preferred spellings and usage
- adviser not advisor.
- 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…
- apostrophes As a contraction: It's = Contraction for "It is."
- To show singular possession: What happened to the girl's shoes?
- What happened to the woman's shoes?
- To show plural possession: What happened to all of the girls' shoes?
- What happened to all of the women's shoes?
- awhile Spell as one word when not preceded by for … stay awhile -- or stay for a while.
- and Use the word not "&" unless the symbol is an element of a proper name.
- backward not backwards
- benefit, benefited, benefiting not benefitted, benefitting.
- 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 only when it precedes a name. Lowercase when used with a qualifying
- He remembered Coach A.C. "Scrappy" Moore.
- Moore retired as UTC football coach in 1967.
- 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, quantity or degree.
- They traveled farther than anyone in history.
- The initiative will be funded no further.
- 50 Plus, 50 Plus Club Use figure and word, not 50+ or Fifty Plus.
- Freshman (singular); Freshmen (plural)
- It was attended by the entire freshman class.
- How many freshmen are in the class?
- forward not forwards
- 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.
- Maclellan Lowercase the L that follows C: Maclellan Gymnasium
- media (plural); medium (singular)
- More and Over Over and under indicate place. Use greater/more than and fewer/less than to indicate amount or 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.
- That was the principal reason for the change…
- principal finance term. How much of the principal has been repaid 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.
- She is a woman of principle.
- publicly publically is not a word
- 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.
- toward not towards
- 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, 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 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: means to make possible, to help bring about
Use instead: "She helped the two sides get together." "He made the program happen."
Matriculate: to enroll in college Instead: "She wants to enroll at a college."
Synergy/Synergies: integrated alignment Instead: "The programs are integrated"