Samford University



See hyphens.

nonsexist language
Make your writing as inclusive and nonsexist as possible when representing Samford University or its programs or services. Here are three ways to make your language nonsexist:

            1. Use plural nouns and pronouns. If you choose this option, be sure to change verbs and other nouns and pronouns as needed.
            2. Use the second person (you and your).
            3. Use he or she, him or her, his or her, etc. (This is the least-favored option. Try either of the first two options if at all possible.)

Following are some examples of sexist and nonsexist language.
            Sexist: Each student must choose his major during the second semester.
            Nonsexist: Students must choose their majors during the second semester.
            Nonsexist: You must choose your major during the second semester.
            Nonsexist: Each student must choose his or her major during the second semester.

Avoid the redundant 12 noon. Use 12 p.m. in schedules that list precise times.

To indicate a range, consider using numerals and the en dash rather than from . . . to construction.

Millions, billions, trillions, etc., are expressed as follows:
            one million
            two million
            12 billion
            $40 trillion

When spelling out large numbers, consult the examples below for correct punctuation:

            one hundred thirty-seven
            two thousand one hundred thirty-seven
            thirty-seven hundred

For percentages, always use numerals unless the number begins a sentence. Use percent instead of %, except in places where space is limited.

            She took a 5 percent pay cut.
            Seven percent raises were offered that year.

For credit hours, use numerals: UCCA 101 is a 4-credit-hour course.

Use numerals for SAT, ACT and similar test scores. Use Arabic numerals in constructions such as SAT-1. Do not add commas to SAT or other scores that reach into the thousands:
            His SAT score was 1100.
            Her GRE composite score was 2070.

Express most common fractions in words, except in the case of quantities consisting of whole numbers and fractions: 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper.

Express ordinals—first, second, 11th—in numerals or words, as appropriate. To create the ordinal for a number ending in 1, use st. For a number ending in 2, use nd; 3, rd; 4, th; 5, th; 6, th; 7, th; 8, th; 9, th; and 0, th. No space is needed between the numeral and the ordinal letters, and no period is needed after the ordinal letters: 25th, 32nd, 74th, 81st, 100th.

Use numerals for grade point averages, and always include the decimal point and carry to at least the 10th place: 2.0. If several averages are cited in a table, carry all of them to the same place: 3.01, 2.18, 4.00, 1.80. The abbreviation GPA may follow the numbers if they are not described in the rest of the sentence: Sam earned a 3.98 GPA. Mary’s GPA was 3.89. His high school grade point average was 3.1.

Use numerals in tables and charts. In tables and charts that include a total at the bottom, align the decimal points in each column. In other tables and charts, decimal alignment is preferred, but it is acceptable to align all figures along the left or right margin, particularly if the numbers used are a mixture of percentages, straight figures and/or fractions.

See also credit hours.

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