See Nationalities and races and Black.

Acronym for random access memory, the “working memory” of a computer into which programs can be introduced and then executed. Also, see Computer terminology.


Use figures and hyphens: the ratio was 2-to-1, a ratio of 2-to-1, a 2-1 ratio. The word to should be omitted when the numbers precede the word ratio.

The rules in prefixes apply. A hyphen is used if a prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel. For many other words, the intended meaning is the governing factor: recover (regain) but re-cover (cover again); reform (improve), but re-form (form again); resign (quit), but re-sign (sign again).

See Capitalization, directions and regions.

religious titles
The first reference to a clergyman or clergywoman normally should include a capitalized title before the individual’s name. In many cases, the Rev. is the designation that applies before a name on first reference. Use the Rev. Dr. only if the individual has an earned doctoral degree (doctor of divinity degrees frequently are honorary) and reference to the degree is relevant.

Roman numerals
In Roman numerals, the capital letter I equals 1, V equals 5, X equals 10, L equals 50, C equals 100, D equals 500, and M equals 1,000. Other numbers are formed from these by adding or subtracting as follows:

  • The value of a letter following another of the same or greater value is added: III equals 3.
  • The value of a letter preceding one of greater value is subtracted: IV equals 4.

Also, see junior, senior.

room numbers
See Numbers, room numbers.

The abbreviation for the French repondez s’il vous plait, it means please reply.
Note: Adding “please” R.S.V.P. is redundant.

Avoid the term to indicate new-member recruitment by the Greek community. The preferred phrase is sorority and fraternity recruitment.