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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Browse the editorial styleguide A–Z

Daily Cardinal, the
although The is in its official name, use lowercase roman type for “the”; see CMS 8.170
Dane County Farmers’ Market
Farmers' is plural possessive in this proper name
see em dashes and en dashes
plural when referring to a collection of individual units; singular when referred to as a unit: the data is sound
use a comma after a date that includes the year: Students must submit an application by March 3, 2019, to be eligible for the program; do not use a comma with a month and year if there is no date included: fall 2019, March 2020; see also CMS 6.38
Deaf should be used as an adjective, not as a noun; it describes a person with profound or complete hearing loss. Many people do not consider being deaf or having hearing loss as a disability. Instead, deafness is often considered a culture. Some people with mild or moderate hearing loss may affiliate themselves with the deaf community and prefer to be referred to as deaf instead of hard of hearing. Alternatively, some who are profoundly deaf may prefer the term hard of hearing. When quoting or paraphrasing a person who has signed their responses, it’s appropriate on first reference to indicate that the responses were signed. It’s acceptable to use the word said in subsequent references. (Source: Disability Language Style Guide, National Center on Disability and Journalism)
Dean Jane Doe; Jane Doe, dean; the dean; dean's list (also see academic titles)
Dean of Students Office
offers assistance and support for students across campus
dean’s list
include apostrophe in this list of high-achieving students
examples are the nineties, the 1980s and 1990s, the 1980s and ’90s; for the first decade of a century use, e.g., years 2000–2009, not 2000s or ’00s; for the second decade of a century use, e.g., second decade or 2010s; see also CMS 9.33
degree year and student status
when referring to a current student, either use an x or make a reference to his/her academic year status (but not both): John Borman x’21 or John Borman, a freshman
degree years
Use only on the first reference within an article; do not include letters before a bachelor’s degree; do not use periods with the degree abbreviation; do not use a space between the degree and two-digit class year; use a close single quote (apostrophe) to precede the year (it’s ’, not ‘); use a comma to separate each degree: Jim Hoyt ’65, MS’67, PhD’70. If someone did not — or has not yet — graduated from UW–Madison, use an x before the year that s/he would have graduated or will graduate: rock star Steve Miller x’67. There is no space between the x and the year; include the apostrophe with the year; with advanced degrees, the x goes between the degree and the year: MDx’61, DVMx’75, PhDx’54, MAx’90. Write out degree years occurring in the 19th century as, e.g., John Bluephie 1880, MS1883, PhD1885. Write out degree years occurring in the 20th century between (and including) 1900 and the current degree year as, e.g., Jane Brownstone 1900, MA1902, PhD1905; but Lowell Evan Noland PhD’24. When a new graduation year dawns, add 19 to the corresponding 20th-century year in a rolling, 100-year fashion. See also names and degrees for the treatment of couples’ names.
In running text, use bachelor’s degree, bachelor of arts degree, bachelor of science in physics, master’s degree, doctorate, and the like in place of degree abbreviations because they are more readable; use abbreviations only when necessary to distinguish the specific type of degree or when using full terms would prove cumbersome, such as when there are multiple degrees; do not use periods; form the plural by adding an s; the word degree should not follow a degree abbreviation. Do not list certificates (nursing, law, education, and the like) as degrees, but an exception is made to include the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) following an individual’s name because the program has a long and proud history at the UW. Here are many of the degree abbreviations in use at the university:
  • BA – bachelor of arts, bachelor’s degree
  • BBA – bachelor of business administration
  • BM – bachelor of music
  • BS – bachelor of science, bachelor’s degree
  • DJ or DJS – doctor of juridical science
  • DMA – doctor of musical arts
  • DPM – doctor of pharmacy
  • DVM – doctor of veterinary medicine
  • EdD – doctor of education
  • EMBA – executive MBA
  • JD – doctor of law
  • LLB – bachelor of laws
  • LLM – master of laws, but us ML instead
  • MA – master of arts, master’s degree
  • MAcc – master of accountancy; use instead of MAC, MA, or MS
  • MBA – master of business administration
  • MD – doctor of medicine
  • MFA – master of fine arts
  • MGCS – master of genetic counselor studies
  • ML – master of laws
  • MLI – master of legal institutions
  • MM – master of music
  • MPA – master of public affairs
  • MPAS – master of physician assistant studies
  • MPh – master of philosophy
  • MPH – master of public health
  • MS – master of science, master’s degree
  • MSW – master of social work; MSW (vs. MSSW) is the more common designation
  • PDE – professional development/engineering
  • PharmD – doctor of pharmacy
  • PhD – doctor of philosophy
see CMS 8.66
Department of Athletics
see athletics department
Capitalize when used as part of a complete, formal, and official name: Department of Art History. Lowercase when used as an informal name, generically, or casually as a descriptor: the art history department, the political science department, the department, department guidelines, department chair, a political science committee, the zoology and bacteriology departments. Use lowercase on second reference: the College of Letters & Science, the college; the Law School, the school; UW–Madison, the university, the UW; the Department of History, the history department, the department; the Center for Limnology, the limnology center, the center; the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty, the office. Words such as department can be omitted on second reference: history, philosophy. Do not capitalize department names when they are used to indicate the subject a professor teaches: Dave Brown of anthropology.
recommended: most recent edition of Merriam–Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
different from, different than
use from, not than
disabilities (coverage of)
The terms disabilities and disabled include a broad range of physical and mental conditions both visible and invisible. People’s perceptions of disabilities vary widely. Use care and precision when writing about disabilities and people with disabilities, considering the impact of specific words and the preferences of the people you are writing about. Avoid writing that implies ableism: the belief that typical abilities — those of people who aren’t disabled — are superior. Ableism is a concept similar to racism, sexism, and ageism in that it includes stereotypes, generalizations, and demeaning views and language. It is a form of discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities. Do not describe an individual as having a disability unless it is clearly pertinent to the story. For example: Merritt, who is blind and walks with the help of a guide dog, said she is pleased with the city’s walkway improvements. But not: Zhang, who has paraplegia, is a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies. Be specific about the type of disability, or symptoms. For example: The woman said the airline kicked her family off a plane after her three-year-old, who has autism, refused to wear a mask. She said her son became upset because he does not like to have his face touched. When possible, ask people how they want to be described. Some people view their disability as central to their identity, and use identity-first language such as an autistic woman or an autistic. Others prefer person-first language such as a woman with autism or a woman who has autism. In describing groups of people, or when individual preferences can’t be determined, use person-first language. In general, refer to a disability only if relevant to the story, and if a medical diagnosis has been made or the person uses the term. If relatives or others use the term, ask how they know, then consider carefully whether to include the information. Avoid the term handicap for a disability or handicapped for a person. (Source: AP Stylebook)
Discovery Building
see Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
Distinguished Alumni Awards (DAA)
given annually by the Wisconsin Alumni Association
Distinguished Teaching Awards (DTA)
given annually
Division of Continuing Studies (DCS)
on subsequent references, use Continuing Studies; use Continuing Studies in most applications
Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA)
On subsequent reference, use DDEEA
DoIT (Division of Information Technology)
provides central IT services and support to campus
dollar figures
see CMS 9.20 and 9.24
dormitory, dorm
use residence hall instead