Style guidelines

The University of Colorado recognizes the importance of grammatical consistency and accuracy throughout its Web presence and in print publications. The university uses Associate Press Style in all publications, however there are rules not covered in AP that pertain specifically to the university.

To present a consistent and high-quality standard of writing that appropriately reflects the university’s standard of excellence, this guide addresses university-related style issues, common errors and common style.

The system style guide, published by University Relations in the Office of the President, is intended to serve as an editorial guideline for language use pertaining to the university and its constituents.

AP Style changes for 2014

Spell the name of the state out entirely in content, datelines not needing a state remain the same. 

  • Example: Colorado vs. Colo.
  • Example: Denver (no state afterward); Grand Junction, Colorado

A comma continues to follow the state when in the middle of a sentence:

  • Example: The Aurora, Colorado, native is attending UCCS.

"Over" is now allowable in content refering to a numeral or amount of time. Previously, it was relegated to spacial references, as in being physically above something.

  • Example: The Ludlow Massacre occurred over 100 years ago.

AP Style changes for 2013

“Underway” is now one word,

The AP has prohibited use of the phrase “illegal immigrant” or “illegal” to describe a person, citing use of the word illegal as limited to an action, not a person. Such people are now referred to as "undocumented workers" or "undocumented immigrants."

Refer to people as “diagnosed with schizophrenia” instead of “schizophrenics.”

New words: Swag, chichi, dumpster and froufrou (swag and dumpster are OK by us; we prefer you stay away from words suck as chichi and dumpster)

AP Style changes for 2012

"Hopefully" is now an allowable word, although we still prefer you use it sparingly. It's still considered a "watered down" word.

New words: Godspeed, fracking, underwater and year-round.

For questions or to make changes, please contact the Office of University Relations.