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Editorial Style Guide

Word List and Usage A–Z

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take out (v.), takeout (n. and adj.)

take over (v.), takeover (n. and adj.)

take up (v.), takeup (n. and adj.)

task force (n.) Two words. Capitalize only when part of a formal name: the Higher Education Opportunity Act Reauthorization Task Force.

team A collective noun; use a singular verb and the pronoun it when referring to the members as a unit: The team finished its report. However, a team name takes a plural verb: The Purchase Panthers are close to setting a record.

teen, teenager, teenage Do not use teenaged.

tenure track (n.), tenure-track (adj.), non-tenure-track (adj.)

text, texting, texted Acceptable in all verb forms for “to send a text message.”

that, which That is used to introduce an essential (restrictive) clause—one that cannot be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence—and is not preceded by a comma: She took the course that fit her schedule. (In that example, that refers to the inanimate noun course. If the noun is a person or persons or an animal with a name, use who instead of that: The students who attended the meeting learned a lot. My friend has a cat named Penelope who makes me laugh.)

Which is used to introduce a nonessential (nonrestrictive) clause—one that could be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence —and is almost always preceded by a comma, a parenthesis, or a dash: He took the introductory physics course, which met every Tuesday evening, to fulfill a requirement. It should be used restrictively only when it is preceded by a preposition: the situation in which we find ourselves.

theatre Use this spelling, except when a proper name includes Theater (the alternate spelling): We went to the theatre last night. He is a new faculty member in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts. Her credits include productions at the Public Theater in New York City, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Seattle Repertory Theatre.

This spelling is preferred for consistency with the name of the college’s conservatory (Conservatory of Theatre Arts) and related academic programs (theatre design/technology; theatre and performance). It is an exception to AP style.

3-D Acceptable in references for three-dimensional if the meaning is clear in the context.

till The word until is preferred. Do not use ’til.

total, totaled, totaling The phrase a total of is often redundant. It may be used, however, to avoid a figure at the start of a sentence: A total of 650 people are expected at the open house.

toward, towards The preferred form is toward. The same is true for other directional words, such as upward, downward, forward, and backward, as well as afterward. The use of afterwards and backwards as adverbs is neither rare nor incorrect. But for the sake of consistency, it is better to stay with the simpler form.

trans- In general, no hyphen when used as a prefix, unless it is followed by a proper name: transcontinental, transgender, transmigration, transsexual; trans-Siberian. See Words Formed with Prefixes under General Style Preferences.

transgender Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly. Also see transsexual.

transsexual A person who changes gender by undergoing surgical procedures. Also see trans­gender.

travel, traveled, traveling, traveler

try out (v.), tryout (n.)

tuition (singular and plural n.) Do not use tuitions. {added 11/06/12}

TV Acceptable in all uses for television.

24/7 Acceptable if the meaning is clear in the context.

2-D Acceptable in references for two-dimensional if the meaning is clear in the context.

Updated March 23, 2014

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