See Hyphenation.

A plural noun, it normally takes plural verbs and pronouns.


  • days
    Do not abbreviate except when necessary for tabular format. Abbreviations are always three letters without periods (Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat).
  • range of years
    See academic years.
  • Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone. When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day, and year, set off the year with commas.
    Examples: January 1972 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. His birthday is May 8. Feb. 14, 1987, was the target date. Ordinal numbers (i.e., ending in th, nd, rd, st) are used only without the month.
    Note: Do not use superscript for ordinal numbers; use lowercase text instead. To change this preference in Microsoft Word, go to the Tools drop-down menu; Auto Correct; Autoformat as you type, then uncheck “ordinals with superscript”.
    Correct: We’ll see you on the 12th. We’ll see you on December 12. Incorrect: We’ll see you on December 12th.



dean’s list
Lowercase in all uses. He is on the dean’s list. She is a dean’s list student.

departments and offices

See academic degrees and capitalization, academic degrees.

Use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc., to indicate depth, height, length, and width. Hyphenate adjectival forms before nouns: He is 5 feet 6 inches tall, the 5-foot-6-inch man, the 5-foot man. The rug is 9 feet by 12 feet, the 9-by-12 rug.

directions and regions
See capitalization, directions and regions.

The rules in prefixes apply but in general, no hyphen: dissemble, disserve, dissuade.

disabled, handicapped, impaired
In general, do not describe an individual as disabled or handicapped unless it is clearly pertinent to a story. If a description must be used, try to be specific: An ad featuring actor Michael J. Fox swaying noticeably from the effects of Parkinson's disease drew nationwide attention. Avoid descriptions that connote pity, such as "afflicted with" or "suffers from." Some terms include:

  • cripple: Often considered offensive when used to describe a person who is lame or disabled. Do not use "physically challenged."
  • disabled: A general term used for a physical or mental disability. Do not use "mentally retarded."
  • handicap: It should be avoided in describing a disability.
  • blind: Describes a person with complete loss of sight. For others use terms such as "visually impaired" or "person with low vision."
  • deaf: Describes a person with total hearing loss. For others use "partial hearing loss" or "partially deaf." Avoid using "deaf-mute." Do not use "deaf and dumb."
  • mute: Describes a person who physically cannot speak. Others with speaking difficulties are "speech impaired."
  • wheelchair user: People use wheelchairs for independent mobility. Do not use "confined to a wheelchair," or "wheelchair-bound." If a wheelchair is needed, say why.

doctor, Dr.
See titles, courtesy titles.

domain names
The address used to locate a particular website or reach an email system. In email addresses it is the portion to the right of the @ sign. It includes a suffix defining the type of entity, such as ".com" (for commerce, the most common suffix): PugetSound.edu, Amazon.com

dual heritage
See hyphenation, dual heritage.

Acronym for digital video disc (or digital versatile disc).