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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Browse the editorial styleguide A–Z

names and degrees
To clarify how to use birth/former names, married names, and degrees with couples, here are some examples. Badger Insider’s sustainers section, however, does not follow this convention: John Wilson ’56 Mabel Smith Wilson ’57 John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith Wilson ’57 John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith-Wilson ’57 John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith ’57 John Smith-Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith-Wilson ’57 John Wilson and Mabel Smith Wilson ’57 John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith Wilson (or just Mabel Wilson, because she doesn’t have a grad year, and thus, we’d probably leave out the birth/former name) John Wilson ’56, JD’58, PhD’60 and Mabel Smith Wilson ’57, MA’59, DVM’62 The sustainers list in Badger Insider uses a more condensed format that doesn’t include birth/former names; for the obituary listings in Badger Insider, do include birth/former names. John ’56 and Mabel ’57 Wilson John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith-Wilson ’57 John ’56 and Mabel ’57 Smith-Wilson John and Mabel ’57 Wilson John ’56 and Mabel Wilson John ’56, JD’58, PhD’60 and Mabel ’57, MA’59, DVM’62 Wilson John Wilson ’56 and Mabel Smith ’57 If a last name is hyphenated, use the first name of the hyphenated pair for alphabetical-order purposes. If there are three names (one first and two that appear to be last names), but the second two are not hyphenated, use the third name (i.e., the second last name) for alphabetical-order purposes.
names in appositive form
Use commas when there is only one such person because it’s redundant information; do not use commas when there is more than one such person; see also CMS 5.21. An example: Mary’s husband, John, and her son Greg went with her. In this example, Mary has only one husband, so his name is set off by commas: John is a “restatement” of husband. Mary has more than one son, so the commas with Greg are eliminated to show which son is being referred to specifically, from among the other possibilities. If she had only one son, his name would also be set off with commas.
National Geographic Magazine
Italicize the whole title, even though the organization has dropped the word Magazine from the title.
National Institutes of Health
despite the plural Institutes, it takes a singular verb
Native, Native American
no hyphen in all usages; see also American Indian
see CMS 8.111
Nine Eleven
9/11 is acceptable in references to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; see also CMS 9.36
The rules of prefixes apply, but in general, do not use a hyphen with non: noncredit, nondegree, nondiscrimination, nonsexist, nonprofit, nontraditional. But, non-music major, non-need-based assistance, non-work-study jobs.
nonsexist language
Avoid gender-specific words; use synthetic, manufactured, artificial, not manmade; use people or humans, not men or mankind; use chair, not chairman; use his or her, not his/her; can rewrite a sentence using plural pronouns if possible to eliminate gender
the name of the WAA alumni chapter in the Minocqua/Rhinelander/Eagle River area and for references to the northern region of Wisconsin; use north woods for generic references
representing some departures from Chicago style (which covers numbers in Chapter 9):
  • spell out zero through nine
  • use numerals for 10 and higher
  • use numerals with thousands, ten thousands, and hundred thousands (4,000; 50,019; 100,000; 807,996)
  • with round numbers greater than one million (million, billion, trillion), write out the words for one million (or billion, etc.) through nine million; use the numeral and word for numbers that begin with 10 and higher (10 million, 64 billion, 835 trillion)
  • for large, round fractions using decimal points, use a numeral and spell out million, etc. (2.3 million, 4.5 billion, 8.7 trillion)
  • the same rules apply to ordinals (second, 21st, 127th) that apply to cardinals (two, 21, 127); do not superscript ordinals
  • page numbers are always numerals, including 1 through 9, no matter where they appear
  • in course catalogs, use numerals for credits (1 credit, 24 credits, a 2-credit course)
  • spell out a number at the beginning of a sentence (Twenty-five students are enrolled. Three credits of history must be completed by the senior year.)
  • do not hyphenate number as part of a compound adjective (number one city, number two ranked team) or as a predicate adjective (We are number one in the league.)
Numen Lumen
use initial caps and roman