Preferred spellings and usage

  • advisernot advisor.
  • alumni (plural); alumnus (singular/masculine) alumna (singular/feminine) All alumni agree. He is a distinguished alumnus. Famed UT Martin alumna Pat Summitt
  • awhileSpell as one word when not preceded by for . . .stay awhile, but stay for a while.
  • benefit, benefited, benefitingnot 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 holderTwo words.
  • chair of excellenceLowercase 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 coachCapitalize 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, insureUse ensure to mean guarantee; insure for references to insurance.
  • farther, furtherUse farther for distance; further for time or quantity.
  • 50 Plus, 50 Plus ClubUse figure and word, not 50+ or Fifty Plus.
  • Freshman (singular); Freshmen (plural); The freshman class. How many freshmen are in the class?
  • Founders' Day, butFounders Hall
  • fund raising, fund-raising, fund-raiserUse fund raising and fund-raiser as nouns. Fund-raising is the adjective form.
  • HomecomingCapitalize UTC Homecoming. Lowercase homecoming in general use.
  • IDCaps, 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. Usemore than or fewer than to reference a numeric value.
    • Fewer than 4 percent of new hires decline healthcare 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, notnon-credit.
  • president-electUse 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.
  • state ofLowercase state of constructions, state of Tennessee.
  • telethon, one word; hyphenate phone-a-thon, bike-a-thon, walk-a-thon
  • total, totaled, totalingnot totalled, totalling.
  • UT Board of Trustees; UT Trustees; the UT Board
  • UT systemReference differentiation (above) between “UT System Administration” and “UT system”

HIT WORDS

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/orBureaucratic jargon, choose one word or the other.
  • ContactIf 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.
  • HopefullyNot accepted by usage authorities when used to mean it is to be hoped or let us hope. Take responsibility: I hoped, we hope.
  • LoanLoan is a noun. The verb is lend, lent.
  • Offputting, ongoingLet'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.
  • UtilizeBureaucratic/jargon word for use, use use.