Skip to main content
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Browse the editorial styleguide A–Z

Game Day
noun or adjective when referring to UW football (home and away) Game Days only; initial caps
gay, lesbian
Used to describe people attracted to the same sex, though lesbian is the more common term for women. Include sexual orientation only when it is pertinent to a story, and avoid references to sexual preference or to a gay or alternative lifestyle. Gays is acceptable as a plural noun when necessary, but do not use the singular gay as a noun. Lesbian is acceptable as a noun in singular or plural form. Avoid identifying gay people as homosexuals, an outdated term considered derogatory and offensive to many lesbian and gay people. (Source: AP Stylebook, GLAAD Media Reference Guide)
Gender is not synonymous with sexGender refers to a person’s social identity, while sex refers to biological characteristics. Not all people fall under one of two categories for sex or gender, according to leading medical organizations, so avoid references to botheither, or opposite sexes or genders as a way to encompass all people. (Source: AP Stylebook)
gender identity
A person’s internal, deeply held sense of their gender. For transgender people, their own internal gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. Most people have a gender identity of man or woman (or boy or girl). For some people, their gender identity does not fit neatly into one of those two choices (e.g., nonbinary and genderqueer). (Source: GLAAD Media Reference Guide)
gender-neutral language (use of)
In general, use terms that can apply to any gender. Such language aims to treat people equally and is inclusive of people whose gender identity is not strictly male or female. Balance these aims with common sense, respect for the language, and an understanding that gender-neutral or gender-inclusive language is evolving and in some cases is challenging to achieve. Consider any word or term that has the effect of emphasizing one gender over another. Is there another word that could be substituted? For example: search instead of manhunt. Police officer instead of policeman. Door attendant instead of doorman. A true gender-neutral noun often presents itself easily: chair or chairperson, firefighter, workforce. In other cases, a noun may technically not be gender-neutral but instead be a masculine noun that assumes the generic case under English language convention: actor, host. In general, use terms such as chair or chairperson, councilperson or council member, and spokesperson unless the -man or -woman terms are specified by an organization. While some -person constructions, such as chairperson and spokesperson, are commonly used, avoid tortured or unfamiliar constructions such as snowperson, baseperson, or freshperson. (Note for UW­–Madison communicators: Additional techniques for achieving gender neutrality in your writing can be found in Section 5.255 of the Chicago Manual of Style.) (Source: AP Stylebook)
gender-nonconforming, nonbinary, genderqueer, bigender, agender
Gender non-conforming is acceptable in broad references as a term for people who do not conform to gender expectations. (Acceptable use: The group is providing scholarships for gender-nonconforming students.) Nonbinary and genderqueer are terms used by some people who experience their gender identity as falling outside the categories of man and woman. They are not synonyms for transgender and should only be used if someone self-identifies as nonbinary or genderqueer. Explain the terms in a story if the context doesn’t make it clear. Similar guidance goes for other terms like bigender (people who identify as a combination of two genders) and agender (people who identify as having no gender). (Source: AP Stylebook, GLAAD Media Reference Guide)
General Education Requirements
use GER on second reference
GI Bill
provides educational assistance to service members and veterans
see boys, men, girls, women
Gordon Dining and Event Center
not Events
government terms
see CMS 8.62–8.65 regarding legislative, administrative, and governmental bodies’ terms
governmental/civil titles
see CMS 8.22 and titles of people
GPA, grade point average
spell out grade point average on first reference; use GPA on second reference; UW–Madison GPAs are based on a 4.0 scale
write out grade, and use letters: a grade of B, a grade of F, an incomplete, a grade of Incomplete
graduation classes
capitalize Class when referring to a specific, entire graduating class: Class of 1984; using the abbreviated form of the year is acceptable: ’59, ’98; see also degree years
Grandparents University® (GPU)
the program name was registered in 2007 without the plural possessive apostrophe on Grandparents; add the ® mark on at least the first reference; using the ® mark on every reference is also acceptable
green space
two words