March 1, 2007


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1. COMMITTEE NAMES: Capitalize the names of standing committees when using their full names. (This applies to legislative bodies, including the Student Assembly, and all other committees.) Second and later references, which do not require the full name, need not be capitalized: Committee on Campus Life, campus life committee, the committee.

2. COLLEGE NAMES: Capitalize full names of colleges, schools, centers and divisions within the University and use full name in first reference: College of Engineering, engineering college. For departments, capitalize the official name: Department of Psychology, but psychology department (remember to always capitalize proper nouns such as “English” and “Africana”). See Section VIII on page 17 for names of colleges and divisions.

3. Do not capitalize “administration” when referring to a governing group.

4. Capitalize “board,” “authority” and “department” (in full names, but not when standing alone): Board of Trustees, the board.

5. TITLES: Capitalize titles ONLY WHEN they appear BEFORE the name of the title holder, and NOT when they stand alone: Provost Biddy (Carolyn A.) Martin, the provost. EXCEPTION: If a professor has a special title, capitalize it: Prof. Theodore J. Lowi, the J.L. Senior Professor of American Studies. Titles that are three words or less should be placed before the name. All other titles go after the name (in lowercase), with a comma between the name and the title. IMPORTANT NOTE: Many titles placed before the name of the title holder should NOT be capitalized, usually in cases where the title is generic or within an organization besides The Sun, the University, or the federal government; use judgment here. Examples: … said building services manager Jake Bradford, … according to Doctors Without Borders president Jane Campbell, former New York Times managing editor Howell Raines, etc. Former titles in general are in lowercase unless dealing with a prominent government position: former Sun news editor Marc Zawel ’04, former President Ronald Reagan. (NOTE: This is a change from previous incarnations of Sunstyle.)

6. HEADLINES: In headlines, capitalize all words except articles (“a,” “an,” “the”), conjunctions (“and,” “but,” “or,” “nor,” “yet”) and prepositions of fewer than four letters. All words of four or more letters are capitalized. Always capitalize the first word of each deck of a headline, even when the first word should not be capitalized according to the other rules in this section.

CAPITALIZE: Am, Be, Been, Can, Go, Get, How, Had, Is, It, May, Now, No, Not, Off, Out, So, Too, Was, Were, Why. All verbs are capitalized.

DON’T CAPITALIZE: a, and, as, at, an, but, by, for, if, in, nor, of, off, on, or, the, to, up, yet.

EXCEPTIONS: When uncapitalized prepositions (such as “to,” “off,” “on” and “up”) are integral components of two-word verbs, then they are capitalized. The rule of thumb is that the second word in these compound verbs must change the verb’s meaning. For instance, “to turn” has a different meaning than “to turn on”; “to piss” has a different meaning than “to piss off” and “to give” has a different meaning than “to give up.” The “to” in infinitives is not capitalized, however. Example: Lehman to Turn on Lewis vs. Lehman to Turn On Lewis.

7. TITLES OF PERIODICALS: Never italicize magazines or newspapers. Capitalize “The” if it is part of the publication’s nameplate, which is almost always. Use full names in first reference, shortened names (The Times, the AP) in second reference, although The Sun can be used as a first reference. In all references in the opinion pages, always use The Sun.

8. SPORTS TEAMS: You don’t have to capitalize the names of the sports. “The Men’s Basketball team has a tall Canadian on the roster” is incorrect. It should be “The men’s basketball team has a tall Canadian on the roster.” More capitalization rules: “championship,” “regionals,” etc. are not capitalized. General titles, such as “captain” and “head coach,” are not capitalized. Class years (senior, freshman, etc.) are not capitalized. “Varsity” is not capitalized when you refer to varsity sports. When you refer to a specific place (Lynah Rink, Schoellkopf Field), it is capitalized. For example, instead of “The Red’s Senior Captain led the Varsity team to a National Championship at Schoellkopf field,” write “The Red’s senior captain led the varsity team to a national championship at Schoellkopf Field.”

9. UNIVERSITIES: Capitalize “University” when it applies to Cornell, but not when it applies to any other university. Don’t capitalize the word when it is used generically: The University announced today …, Cornell is a large university.

In addition, capitalize “City,” when referring to Ithaca, but not when it is used generally.

10. COURSE TITLES: Capitalize course titles, but not fields of study: Economics 101, economics. When titles are listed, use: Africana 280: Race, Power, and Privilege in the United States; if the department name is long, use: ECE 314: Computer Organization.

11. CLASS OF: Do not capitalize “the sophomore class” but do capitalize “the Class of 2005.”

12. A.M./P.M.: Use lowercase and periods in a.m. and p.m., uppercase in EST and EDT.

13. Do not capitalize designations such as room 173, page 495.

14. Capitalize amendments to the United States Constitution: the Fifth Amendment. Capitalize “Constitution” when referring to the American document, but do not capitalize “constitutional.”

15. Do not capitalize “the 21st century,” “21st-century politics,” “the new millennium.” (NOTE: This is a change from previous incarnations of Sunstyle.)

16. Capitalize what are ordinarily common nouns (“party” or “river”) when they appear as part of a proper noun: Democratic Party, Mississippi River, New York State. Such words are lowercase when standing alone or when used in plural construction: the party, Mississippi and Ohio rivers, the state.

17. EQUESTRIAN: Levels are capitalized (Open, Intermediate, Novice); events are not capitalized (fences, walk-trot-canter).

18. “RED LETTER DAZE” and “DAZE” always appear in small caps. Don’t ask why. Use the shortened version within DAZE and the full name in copy from other sections. Subsequent references use the shortened version.