Word List

9/11, consensus for styling the events of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in NYC on September 11, 2001

’n’: nonstandard for and; use sparingly and in display copy only


A.D., [small caps] “anno Domini”; precedes year if used. See C.E

    A.D. 1066

abbreviations for metric units: no points following (NYPL) Exception: A point is sometimes used with the abbreviation for liter (l) to avoid confusing it with a capital i or the numeral 1.

aboveground [adj, adv]

advisor [n], preferred to adviser

African-American [n, adj]

after hours [adv], after-hours [adj]

aftereffect [n]

airtime, not “air time” [n]

aka, for “also known as”

alfresco [adj, adv], one word

all-clear [n]

all-time [adj]

alma mater [n], no italics

alumni [n], plural form; alumnus, singular male; alumna, singular female; alumnae, plural female

ante up [v]

anthropology [n] lower case in copy

antineutrino [n]

antivirus [all uses]

aquaculture [n]

archaeology [n], archaeological [adj]

army, but cap in U.S. Army [n]

Asian-American [n, adj], per African-American

avant-garde [n, adj]

awhile [adv]; a while [n] always follows the word “for”


B.C. [small caps], “before Christ,”  see B.C.E.

B.C.E. [small caps], “before the Common Era”; preferred to B.C.

baby boom [n]

baby boomer [n], baby-boom [adj]

back road (Americanism) [n], back-road [adj prec n]

backcross [v], backcrossing

backlog [n, v]

backward, not backwards (Brit. style)

backyard [n]

ballplayer [n]

Bible, the [n]

bicolor [adj]

bike-a-thon [n]

bipartisan [adj]

bird-watcher [n]

bird-watching [n]

black [adj] use African-American when referring to race

blog [n, v]

bloodstain [n]

boat people [n]

boogeyman [n]

bookplate [n]

brain drain [n] in dictionary, defined as “a depletion of intellectual or professional resources”; no quotes needed around term used in this way

branch water [n]

breast-feed [v]; breast-fed [adj], breast-feeding [n]

brick-and-mortar [adj]

broad fall [n] no compound listed; broad-fall [adj]

broad-brush [adj prec n]

broken-down [adj prec noun]

Bronze Age divisions: cap Early, Middle, Late

BTU [n] British thermal unit

bull’s-eye, [n]

burnout [n, adj]

busload [n], plural

byproduct(s) [n]

band mate [n]

bandleader [n]

bar code [n]

barbecue [n, v]

barnyard [n]

base line [n], base-line [adj]

bathhouse [n]

beaux-arts [n, adj]

bed-and-breakfast(s) [n, adj]

benefit, benefited, benefiting


C.E. [small caps], “Common Era” (use instead of A.D.)

calendar year, abbreviation for: CY15, CY16

caller ID [n]

campground [n]

can-do [adj, per ]

capstone [n, adj], per : “the uppermost stone of a structure . . . the highest point” Seems to generally imply uniqueness, so we usually refer to “the capstone experience,” not “a capstone experience.”

carefree [adj]

caregiver [n]

caregiving [n]

carry over [v] idiomatic verb

carry-over [n] , per

carte blanche [n] Anglicized; no ital.

caseload [n]

cash flow [n]

cash-flow [adj prec n]

cast off [v]

castoff [n, adj]

cat-and-mouse [n, adj]

catchphrase [n]

cellphone [n]

center of excellence [n]: lowercase unless full title is used

Cesarean section [n]

chair of excellence [n] lowercase unless full title is used

changeover [n]

charette [n] term special to architecture, meaning a final intensive effort to complete a project before a deadline

chat room [n]

check in [v] Americanism to mean to register, as in a hotel; no noun form listed in our prescriptive dictionary.

check-in [n prec adj]

childcare [n; adj]

chimera [n]

chlamydia (disease) [n]

Chlamydia trachomatis (organism) [n]

Christmastime [n, adj]

Cinco de Mayo [n] not yet listed; ital as foreign term

city [n], same rules apply as to the word state

clear-cut [adj prec n]

clearinghouse [n]

close-captioned [adj]

co-op [n] abbreviation of cooperative

coauthor [n]


college, the, lower case on second reference

community-based [adj prec n]

comprise vs. compose: see “Style and Usage” section

Congress, to mean the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives [proper noun]

congressman [lower case, prefer representative or senator, accordingly]

cookie cutter [n], cookie-cutter [adj]

cornstarch [n]

cost-effective [adj]; cost-effectiveness

counterclockwise [adv]

countertop [n]

course load [n] no compound listed

course work [n] no compound listed

courseware [n]

criterion [n singular], criteria [n plural]

cross hairs [n]

cross section [n]

cross talk [n]

cross-breed [v]

cross-check [v]

cross-country [n, adj]

cross-cultural [adj]

cross-infect [v]

cross-section [v]

cross-sectional [adj]

cross-stitch [n, v, adj]

crosscurrent [n]

cum laude [italicize]

curate [v]

curbside [n]

curricula [plural noun] preferred plural; 2nd      choice, curriculums

cutoff [n, adj]

cutting edge [n], cutting-edge [adj prec n] now considered dated, hackneyed


data mining [n]

databank [n]

database [n, adj]

daycare [n, adj]

day trip [n]

day-tripper [n] chiefly British

dean, the, in general reference; but Dean as a title immediately preceding a name

decision-maker(s) [n]; decision-making [n, adj]

demystify [v]

department, the, lower case in copy

dialogue (“dialog” is still listed as the variant) [n, adj]

direct-seed [v], Ag-specific

directions and regions (compass points): lowercase when used as directions.

Drive east to the river.

Capitalize when used as regions.

The storm system that developed in the Midwest headed east.

Regions: West Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, East Tennessee,

     Mid-South, except when styled differently as a part of a proper name.

MidSouth Dental Congress

dish towel [n, per ]; but dishcloth, dishpan, dishrag, dishwater, dishwasher

do’s and don’ts (idiom, )

door-to-door [adj, adv]

dot-com [adj]

Down syndrome [n]

down time [n] per American Heritage

down-and-dirty [adj]

downriver [adj, adv]

downside [n]

downsize [v]; downsized [adj]

Dr.  use academic credentials, without Dr., after the name on first reference. Use Dr. with last name only on second reference and thereafter

drawing card [n], an Americanism

drive-through [n, adj] 


e-business; but e-Business in cap-lowercase titles or displayed copy

e-commerce; but e-Commerce in cap-lowercase titles or displayed copy

email [n, adj]

Early, Middle, Late: Cap when used with the names of capped eras; Late Bronze Age, Late Middle Ages

economics: even though plural in form, it takes singular verb

end zone [n] an Americanism

end-user [n, adj]

ensure, insure: ensure means to guarantee; insure means to indemnify against loss.

entree (no accent) [n]

entryway (Americanism) [n]

escargot(s) [n] no italics

étouffée [adj]

ever-changing [temp comp adj prec n]

extant [adj] means “still standing,” so still extant is redundant

extracurricular [adj]


fact checker [n]

factsheet [n]

faculty: In American usage, this is a collective noun (and therefore takes singular verb) meaning “all the members of a school, college, or university or of one of its departments or divisions”; use “faculty members” when speaking of only part of the whole body. Do not say “the faculty are” unless you are British.

fail-safe [adj]

fairy tale [n]; fairy-tale [adj prec n]



farsighted (capable of seeing far) [adj]

farther, further: farther refers to distance; further refers to time or quantity

fast track [n] to mean “fast lane”

fast-track [v] Per other noun-to-verb transitions

fax [n, v, adj], lowercase to mean “facsimile”

fiber optics [n]; fiber-optic [adj]

fiberglass [n]

fieldwork [n]

filmmaker [n], one word

fine-tune [v] fine-tuned, fine-tuning

finger painting(s) [n]; finger-paint [v]

firefighter [n]

first aid [n], first-aid [adj]

firsthand [adj, adv]

fiscal year, abbreviated FY

fish [plural] vs. fishes: fish is singular and the preferred plural

fistfight [n]

fit [n], per : “the manner or degree of fitting or being fitted [a good fit, a tight fit]”; therefore, no quotes needed to indicate idiosyncratic usage for this meaning

flat-out [adj]

flier [n], to mean “a small circular or handbill widely distributed”

floodwater(s) [n]

floor plan [n]

florescent vs. fluorescent [adj.]: Fluorescent refers to light produced by fluorescence; florescent refers to a period of blooming or flowering (Some spell-checkers miss this one.)

focuses: preferred plural of focus except for technical usage [“the foci of an ellipse”] Ex. – There were three focuses of the speech.

follow-up [n, adj]

food web [n]

foot soldier [n]

footstep [n]

forbear vs. forebear: forebear [n] means “ancestor”; forbear [v] means “to refrain from, avoid, or cease”

forbid [v] use preposition to with the verb, not from. Ex. – I forbid you to go.

foreword [n] introductory statement to a book

forgo vs. forego: forgo [v]: “to overlook, to do without”; forego [v]: “to precede in place, time, or degree”

forums, preferred plural of forum; fora is second choice

forward, not forwards (Brit.)

Frankfurt, Germany; Frankfort, Kentucky

free-associate [v]

free-range [adj]

free-roaming [adj, preceding or following noun]

freebase [n, v]

freelance [n, adj]

freestyle [n, adj]

French fries [n], French fry [v]

front line [n], frontline [adj]

front-runner [n]

full time [adv]; full-time [adj prec n]

fun [adj] informal use as an adj now acceptable

fundraiser [n]

fundraising [n, adj]


gallbladder [n]

Gen-X’er(s), but Generation X

gene pool [n]

germ plasm [n]

German measles [rubella]

GI(s) [n, adj], to refer to “government issue”

globe-trotter [n]

gofer, meaning “an employee who performs minor or menial tasks” [n]

gold standard [n] Americanism in standard use

golden rule, the; [n] lowercase

good faith [n]: meaning “sincere, without deception”

good Samaritan, the/a [n]

good-faith [adj prec n]

goose bumps [n]

GPA, grade point average [n]

grade point average [n]

grader: [ordinal number]-grader(s) is form to refer to pupil(s) in a particular grade in school; e.g., 6th-graders

grass roots [n], grass-roots [adj prec n]

grave site [n] no compound listed)

great-aunt [n]

green bean [n]

green card [n]

greenbox [n]; Ag-specific

greenway [n]

ground zero, Americanism [n]

Ground Zero, to refer to the site of the World Trade Center in NYC

groundbreaking [adj], groundbreaker [n]

groundwater [n]

groupthink [n]

guest worker [n]

guesthouse [n]

Gulf War (1991) [n]

gun-shy [n]


hailstorm [n]

hand in hand [adv]

hand tool [n]

handmade [adj]

handpicked [adj]

handrail [n]

hands-off [adj, adv]

hands-on [adj, adv]

hard core [n], hard-core [adj]

hard of hearing, idiom to mean “partially deaf,” prefer partially deaf

hard-wired [adj]

hardball [n]

hardwood [n, adj]

haves and have-nots, pair of plural nouns; no need to put inside quotation marks

HAZMAT [n]; hazmat [adj. prec. [n]

head start [n]

headline/subhead style: conventional capitalization [don’t cap articles, conjunctions, or prepositions of five letters or fewer unless they begin a line of display copy]

health care [n, adj]

heartfelt [adj]

heroes [n, pl.]

herpes simplex [n]

herpesvirus [n] any member of the herpes family of viruses

high school [n], high-school [adj], high-schooler [n]

high-five [n, v]

hit and miss [adj]

hit or miss [ads]

Holocaust [n], cap to refer to Nazi genocide of WWII

home page [n]

home port [n]

home schooling [n]; home-schooling [adj]

home-brew [n]

home-care [adj]

home-school [v], home-schooled [adj]

home-schooler [n]

homecoming: Capitalize Golden Graduate, UTC, UTK or UTM Homecoming or other official event title; lowercase homecoming in general use.

homegrown [adj]

homemade [adj.]

homeowner(s) [n]

homeroom [n]

homesite [n, adj]

hometown [n, adj]

hooch (preferred spelling) [n]

hors d’oeuvres: Anglicized, no ital.

hot button [n], hot-button [adj]

hot dog [n] to mean “sausage on a bun,” hotdog [n, v], hotdogger [n], to mean “showoff” or “to show off”

hot spot [n, per ] Americanism

house-train [v]

housebreak/housebroken [v]


ID [n], no points

in situ [adj, adv] still italicized as a foreign word/phrase

in vitro [adj] Latin phrase, but no ital. Do not hyphenate as an adj prec n

institute, lower case on second reference and in the absence of the full name

internet, the


je ne sais quoi [n] ital. as foreign words

job titles: lowercase except when immediately preceding name of current officeholder

jump-start [n, v]


kick off [v]; kickoff [n, adj]

Kim Jong Il [proper noun]

King James Version [n, adj]

know-how [n], prefer skill

Koran, the [n] Also styled Quran and Qur’an; if the text has other transliterated Arabic words, be consistent with how the k sound is styled


LA for Los Angeles [n]

labor force [n]

labor-saving [adj]

Labrador retriever: breed name

lamb’s-quarters [n]

land grant [n], land-grant [adj prec. n]

landline [n]

landowner(s) [n]

laptop [n, adj]

largesse [n]

Last Judgment, the; cap

lawn mower [n]

lay over [v]; layover [n]

lay public, the [n]; lay-public [adj prec n]

layman, laywoman, layperson, laypeople

Lazy Susan [n] Americanism

Legionnaires’ disease

library, lower case unless full name is given

life span [n] (two words)

life way [n]

life-form [n]

lifelong [adj]

log in, log on, log off [v] E-What?

login, logon, logoff [n, adj] E-What?

logjam [n]

long-standing [adj]

longtime [adj]

low-key [adj]

lunchbox [n]


made-up [adj prec n]

magna cum laude [italicize]

mail order [n], mail-order [adj, v]

mainframe [n, adj]

make up [n, v]

makeshift [adj]

man-eater [n]

man-made [adj]

mantel [n] facing around a fireplace

mantle [n] a cloak or cape; layer of the earth’s interior between crust and core

marketbasket [n], well-known term, no need for quotation marks

marketplace [n]

matter of fact [n]; matter-of-fact [adj]; matter-of-factly [adv]; matter-of-factness [n]

memorandums, preferred plural to memorandum

mic [n] short for microphone

midday [n, adj]

middleman, -men [n]

Mid-South, [n, adj] except if styled differently as a part of a proper name

millennium, lowercase in general reference to what happened at the turn of this century

mindset [n]

mini, combining form; compounds usually set solid

mishmash [n]

Moor(s) [n], capped when referring to the 8th-century Iberian Muslims; lowercase otherwise

motor home [n]

mottoes preferred to mottos

mousepad [n]

mph, for “miles per hour”

muff [n], “any bungling action”; [vt] “to miss or bungle”

multi-species [adj]

multidisciplinary [adj]


name tag [n] no compound listed

National Academy of Sciences, the academy

née [adj]

nerd [n], nerdy [adj], an Americanism

new hire [n]

newfound [adj]

next-door [adj]

next-to-last [compounded adj preceding noun]

no-brainer [n]

no-show [n]

noncredit [adj]

nonprofit [adj, n]

nonstop [adj, adv]

nonthesis [adj]

nontraditional [adj]

Northeast Asia, per Southeast Asia [proper noun]

Northerner [see Southerner]

note-takers [n], temporary compound noun

numbers, ordinal—no superscript on suffixes: 25th

nurse anesthetist [n]

nurse practitioner [n]

nurse-midwife [n]

nutshell [n]


off guard [adv.] no compound listed

off-line [adj]

off-season [n, adj]

off-site [adj, adv.]

offload [v]

OK, OK’s, OK’d, OK’ing

Oktoberfest [n]

old master(s) [n]

old-timer [n]

old-timey [adj prec n]

Olympic games, the

on a par with, rather than on par with, to mean “equal”

on screen [adv], on-screen [adj]

on-site [adj, adv]

one-liner [n], Americanism

one-on-one [n, adj, adv]

one-to-one [n, adj, adv]

ongoing [adj]

online [adj, adv]

onstage [adj, adv]

orthopedic [adj]

out-produce [v]


part time [adv, or adj following n], part-time [adj preceding n], “a part-time student”

partner [v]

partway [n]

pas de deux [n] no italics

paste-up [n, adj]

path-find [v], pathfinder [n]

patient-focused [adj]

percent [n] used % in tables

peacetime [n, adj]

persona non grata [singular], personae non grata [plural], no italics

persona, plural of: personae preferred when referring to characters in a novel or a drama; personas preferred to the outer personality or façade presented to others by an individual

personal names: Use last name only [no titles] on second reference

At UTHSC, if the person has an MD, DDS, PharmD, PhD or other advanced degree, we use Dr. prior to the surname on the second and subsequent references.

photocopier [n]

phone-a-thon [n]

pièce de resistance [n], no italics

pigeonhole [n, v]

piggy bank [n]

PIN, acronym for “personal identification number”; PIN number is redundant

ping-pong [n, adj prec n]

pipe fitter [n]

pit bull [n], for “pit bull terrier”

placekick [v]; placekicker [n]

Plains Indians, an Americanism that refers to Native Americans who once inhabited the Great Plains

plate glass [n]

playlist [n]

playtime [n]

pluses [n plural]

pocketknife [n]

point person [n] , per style for point man

policymaker [n]

policymaking [n]

Pope, the: cap to refer to the bishop of Rome

postpartum [adj, adv]

postgraduate [adj,n}]

powerhouse [n, adj]

pre-Columbian [adj]

pre-kindergarten [n, adj]

pre–veterinary medicine [adj]

premier, first meaning: first in importance or rank; chief; foremost [adj]

première, first meaning: first performance or showing of a play, film,     etc. [n]

preschool [n, adj]

president-elect [n]

president, the: lowercased referring to university presidents, etc.; the President generally reserved for the chief exec of a republic with no prime minister

preventive [n, adj], preferred to preventative

prima donna [n]

prime time [n, Americanism], prime-time [adj prec noun]

principal [adj, n] to mean “first in rank, authority, importance, degree, etc.” or a principal person or thing

principle [n only] to mean “a fundamental truth, doctrine, law, motivating force; a rule of conduct or adherence to such rules”

prizewinner [n]

pro bono [adj] no italics; but pro bono publico

pro rata, Latin phrase meaning “in proportion, proportionate, proportionately”; do not hyphenate as adj preceding n

proactive [adj]

problem-solving [n, adj]

Procter & Gamble

professor, lower case in copy, except when it immediately precedes a proper name or in constructions that use named professorships, like “Dr. Wiley Coyote, the Acme Professor of Mechanical Engineering”

program director, the: lowercase, except immediately preceding the name of the officeholder

prorate [vt, vi] an Americanism, “to divide, distribute, or assess proportionately”; proratable, proration

protégé [n, masc]; protégée [n, fem]

psychosocial [adj]

Ptolemy [always a proper noun]; Ptolemaic [adj]

punch card [n]

push mower [n]

Q, R

quarter horse [n]

R & D [n, adj] spaces around ampersand, to mean “research and development”

R & R [n] Military abbreviation for “rest and recuperation leave.” Can also be used to mean “rest and recreation”

racecar (patterned on “racecourse,” “racehorse”?) [n]

radiocarbon [n] Americanism, referring to carbon-14

rail yard [n];

ranch hand [n]

rank and file [n], rank-and-file [adj prec n]

real time [n], real-time [adj]

real-life [adj]

realpolitik (no italics) [n, adj]

rear end [n], rear-end [adj, v]

record keeping [n]; record-keeping [adj prec n]

red tide [n]

restaurateur [n]

resume [n] use either two accents or none at all, but be consistent.

rhythm and blues [n]

ring bearer [n] no compound listed

riverbank [n]

rock-and-roll, rock-and-roller [nouns]

role model(s) [n]

role-play [v]; role-playing [n, adj]

roller coaster [n]; roller-coaster [adj prec n]

room and board: “sleeping accommodation and meals”; construed as singular: Room and board is covered by the fee.

round robin [n]

round table, a [n]; the Round Table refers to King Arthur’s round-table [adj]

round trip [n]

round-robin [adj]

round-the-clock [adj, adv]

round-trip [adj]

rule of thumb [n]

run-down [adj], rundown [n]


saltshaker [n]

saltwater [adj]

savoir-faire [n],

sawyer [n] “a person whose work is sawing wood”

school year [n]

schoolchild, schoolchildren [n]

schoolteacher [n]


Scotch-Irish [n and adj]

scriptwriter [n], scriptwriting

Scud missile [n]

seasons, names of: lower case in copy; exception is poetic personification, e.g., “O Spring, thou promise of . . . ”

seed [vt], to mean “to provide with means to grow or develop”; standard meaning, no need for quotes

self-esteem [n, adj]

semester, fall/spring: lower case in copy

semiannual [adj]

setpoint [n] value set on a controller of some kind, e.g., on a thermostat

shadow [v], to mean “to stay close to or follow, especially to observe the movements of”; no quotation marks necessary for this meaning

shorebird [n]

shortfall [n]

showstopper [n]

side by side [adj, adv]

side effect [n] Random House

sideshow [n]

sightseeing, sightseer [n]

sine qua non [n], no italics necessary

single-handed [adj], single-handedly [adv], single-handedness [n]

skid mark [n] no compound listed

slash-and-burn [adj]

slide show [n]

smack-dab [adj]

small-town [adj] (Americanism)

smallpox [n]

smokehouse [n, adj]

soft sell (Americanism) [n]

soilless [potting mix], Ag-specific

solid-waste [adj prec n], solid waste [n]

sounding board(s) [n]

sous-chef [n], no italics

Southerner, U.S. to mean “native of the U.S. South”; southerner in any other country

spadework [n]

speechwriter [n]

spell check [v], spell-checker [n]

spinoff [n]

spreadsheet [n]

square-foot [area], e.g., “8000–square-foot facility”

stained-glass [adj]; stained glass [n]

standout [n]

Star-Spangled Banner, to mean the U.S. flag

start up [v], start-up [adj], startup [n]

state of: Lowercase state of constructions: the state of Tennessee; also, UT is exempt from paying state sales tax; uppercase if state is incorporated into a proper name: the Multi-State Lottery Association

state-of-the-art [adj prec n]; state of the art [noun phrase] Avoid use, dated.

states, names of: spell out in copy and set off with commas following the name of a city or town

stationary [adj] to mean “not moving or moveable; fixed or still”

stationery [n] to mean “writing materials, especially paper and envelopes used for letters”

status quo [n, adj]

stepchild [n]

steppingstone [n]

stopwatch [n]

storytelling [n, adj]

streamline [n, v], streamlined, -ing [adj]

street lamp [n] Random House says “streetlamp”; no compound listed in or American Heritage

streetwalker [n]

subject areas: lowercase, e.g., zoology, radiology, history, except in full names like “Department of Paleontology”

summa cum laude, italicize

supercontinent [n]

superheavies: elements equal or greater to atomic # 107

superheavy [adj prec n]

switchgrass [n]

symposiums, preferred plural of symposium


T cell [n]

T-shirt [n]

tableaux (preferred plural) [n]

tae kwon do [n]

tai chi [n]

takeoff [n]

tap dance [n], tap-dance [v and adj w℗hen preceding noun]

task force [n]

teammate [n]

telephone numbers: (xxx) xxx-xxxx

telethon, but phone-a-thon, bike-a-thon, walk-a-thon


Tennessee Valley, the

terra cotta [n], terra-cotta [adj prec n]

test tube [n]

theater [n, adj] Use American spelling in all instances except proper names that use the British style, e.g., the Clarence Brown Theatre

think tank [n]

thumbs up, thumbs down [n]

tick-tack-toe [n]

tiebreaker [n]

time frame [n]

time of day: lowercase with points; i.e., 10 p.m.

time sheet [n]

time-keeping [n, adj], consolidate verb forms as back-formations from the noun timekeeper

timeline [n]

tine test (for TB) [n]

tip off [v]; tip-off [n] the act of tipping off, a confidential disclosure; tipoff [n] the jump ball that begins a basketball game

tone-deaf [adj]

tool kit [n]

toothbrush [n]

top seller [n]

top-notch [adj]

top-selling [temp cmpd adj prec n]

tornadoes [pl n] preferred plural

total, totaled, totaling

toward, not towards (Brit.)

travelogue [n]

trendsetter(s) [n]

troublemaker [n]

tuned-in [adj]

turfgrass [n]

turning point [n]

Twin Towers, to refer to the World Trade Center towers in NYC


ultra-, compounds mostly closed, e.g. ultralight

underfund [v] American Heritage

underserved [n, adj]

underway [adj, adv]

unheard-of [adj]

University of Tennessee, the [lowercase the in copy]; the university on second reference

university, the, use on second reference to UT


upfront [adj, adv]

upriver [adj, adv]

upside [n]

upwards of, idiomatic for “more than”; OK even though the preferred adverb or adjective is upward when used alone

user-friendly [adj]

UT system: lowercase system in copy; uppercase if used as part of an office name, e.g., System Office of Personnel



Vergil, Vergilian: Classics-specific; otherwise, Virgil, Virgilian

very well qualified: no hyphens; temporary adverb+participle compound, well qualified modified by adverb very]

Veterans Affairs, U.S. Office of [n]


vice-president: hyphenate in general reference; but Vice President (no hyphen) as a title preceding a name or in Vice President of the U.S.

video- Words compounded with the prefix video- are usually closed compounds, e.g., videoconference, videogame, videotape. Check dictionary for exceptions.

vis-à-vis [adj, adv, prep]

VolCard [particular to UT system]

VolShop [particular to UT system]

VolXpress [particular to UT system]


Washington, D.C.

walk-a-thon [n]

watchdog [n]

water wheel [n]

way station [n] an Americanism to mean “a small stop or station between more important ones”

webmaster [n] lowercase, modeled after postmaster and considered a gender-neutral term

well-being [n]

well-known [compounded adj preceding n]; well known [compounded modifier following noun]

well-qualified [comp adj prec noun]

West Nile virus [n]

Western World, modeled on Western Hemisphere

wheelchair(s) [n, adj]

white water [n], white-water [adj]

who’s who: use without quotes or caps except in reference to the copyrighted publications, now a well-known phrase

wild card [n]

wild-goose chase [n]

winegrower [n]

wood block [n], woodblock [adj]

woodcarver [n]

woodpile [n]


workforce [n]

workplace [n]

workstation [n]

workweek [n]

world music [n]

world-class [adj]


worldwide [adj, adv]

write-up [n]

X-ray [n, v]


yardstick [n] an Americanism

year-round [adj, adv]

yearlong [adj]