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Common Words and Expressions

All-America, All-American — the first is the name of the award, the second refers to the recipient. Capitalize both forms. Examples: He received the All-America Award in 1995. She became an All-American last year.

alumni — this word refers to a group of persons who have attended WVU, including both men and women. Use alumnus when referring to one man, alumna when referring to one woman. Alumnae is not used.

associate degree — includes Associate in Science (AS), Associate in Arts (AA), and other "two-year" degrees. (see bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctoral degree)

bachelor’s degree, baccalaureate — includes Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), and other "four-year" degrees. The word “degree” is not used after "baccalaureate." (see associate degree, master’s degree, doctoral degree)

campus — refers to all of WVU’s physical facilities in a particular city. Do not capitalize. Examples: Short-term parking is available on campus. She is planning a campus visit.

curriculum — a single plan of study. The plural form is curricula.

doctor, Dr. — used when referring to someone who holds a degree in medicine, dentistry or another of the healing arts and sciences. It may also be used in reference to doctoral degree-holding WVU faculty members, administrators and researchers. Take care not to use this term interchangeably with “professor,” a broader term that includes faculty members who hold other credentials. (see professor)

doctoral degree, doctorate — includes Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Doctor of Education (EdD) and other academic credentials. The word "degree" is not used after "doctorate." (see associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree)

email — electronic mail. Not capitalized when used in a sentence.

emeritus — indicates one who has retired but retains an honorary title or status. Use after the person’s title, as in Professor Emeritus William Jackson, or William Jackson, professor emeritus of biology. The form emerita is used for women (professor emerita), and emeriti for groups (professors emeriti).

Extension — always capitalized when referring to the WVU Extension Service, but not capitalized when referring to non-WVU programs or to the general concept of extension services. Example: WVU Extension agents provide extension services through Extension offices in every West Virginia county.

faculty — used alone, this word connotes a group, such as the WVU faculty. Refer to an individual as a faculty member. Not capitalized unless used as part of a proper name, such as Faculty Senate. Not always a teaching or research professor; for example, WVU librarians are also faculty members. (see professor)

Fall Family Weekend — annual event that brings parents and families to campus.

FallFest — the University’s back-to-school concert held before the fall semester (one word).

David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas — speaker series that brings world-renowned experts to campus to share their knowledge.

freshman — the plural is freshmen, but freshman students may be substituted. To avoid unintended gender bias, use first-year student(s) as an alternative. (see upperclassman)

gold and blue — please use in this order when referring to WVU’s official colors.

Hatfields — Dining Services restaurant in the Mountainlair. No apostrophe.

it’s — contraction for “it is” or “it has.”

its — adjective showing possession. Example: The dog came out of its kennel.

land-grant — a hyphen is required when this term is used as an adjective.

master’s degree — includes Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and other academic credentials. (see associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, doctoral degree)

Monongalia — the county in which Morgantown is located. It is a variation of the spelling of Monongahela.

Monongahela — the river that runs through Morgantown and Monongalia County.

Mountaineer — always capitalized when referring to a WVU person or program.

Milan Puskar Stadium—the official name of the WVU football stadium. Also referred to as Mountaineer Field.

Mountaineer Parents Club — the program connecting parents and families of WVU students.

Mountainlair — the name of WVU’s student union facility in downtown Morgantown. One word, always capitalized. May be shortened to Lair (no apostrophe).

Mountain Line — local bus service (two words).

Mountie Bounty — a debit plan that allows money to be placed on a student’s Mountaineer Card ID for later use.

online — one word.

professor, Prof. — used in reference to a member of the WVU faculty. Includes faculty members with doctoral degrees, or other credentials, who hold permanent or temporary faculty appointments. (see doctor, faculty)

PROMISE Scholarship Program — merit-based scholarship for West Virginia residents. All capital letters.

PRT — abbreviation for Personal Rapid Transit. Refers to WVU’s unique campus transportation system.

resident faculty leader (RFL) — faculty members selected to live next to the residence halls to serve as student mentors.

sophomore — second-year students.

staff — generally, this term includes all WVU employees who are not faculty members. Specifically, it refers to the WVU classified staff (not capitalized), which includes most non faculty employees who are not administrators.

U92 — WVU’s radio station.

United States — abbreviate with periods (U.S.).

upperclassman — a member of the junior or senior class. The plural form is upperclassmen. Do not use upper-class student(s). To avoid unintended gender bias, use junior(s) and senior(s) as an alternative. (see freshman)

URL — when a sentence ends with a Web address, finish with a period.

website — one word.

World Wide Web, Web — all of these forms are correct when referring to the Internet.

WVUp All Night — weekend program of student activities.