Apostrophes — Use to indicate possession (the doctor’s, the nurse’s), or omitted letters or figures (don’t, ’50s). Do not use to indicate plurals in numerals or acronyms: 1990s, HMOs, RNs.
Capitalization of headlines and titles — Always follow sentence case. Capitalize the first word of the title/heading and of any subtitle/subheading; and capitalize any proper nouns. Use lowercase for everything else.
*Exception: The only publication that uses title case headlines is U Magazine.
Title case rules: Capitalize the first word of the title/heading and any subtitle/subheading and all “major” words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and pronouns).
Always use numerals, even for numbers one through nine.
New center brings experts together under 1 roof
UCLA Health opens new clinic in Century City
In a series — Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not place a comma before the conjunction in a simple series of three or more: We invited all patients, visitors and staff.
Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series, however, if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.
Use a comma before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases: The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.
Parenthetic expressions — Sentences with brief descriptive phrases must use the apposition comma. The Employee Survey, coordinated by a multidisciplinary task force, will be fielded in September 2010.
With dates — Use a comma between the day and year and after the year: July 18, 2018, is the last day to submit research proposals. Do not use a comma between the month and year: July 1902.
With quotes — Commas and periods always go within quotations: “Don’t leave the gurney in the hall,” the orderly said.
With states — Use commas before and after state names when used with city names: Sacramento, CA, and Los Angeles, CA, are in the metropolitan area.
Em Dash(—) and En Dash(–) — An em dash is roughly the length of a lowercase letter m and is generally used to replace colons, commas, hyphens, semi-colons and parentheses. Our style includes a space on either side of em dashes.
Example: Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center— an academic medical center in Los Angeles — is respected around the world for research and patient education.
An en dash is roughly the length of a lowercase letter n and is typically used to denote a span of time or in the place of a colon to create compounds (see example below). Follow these guidelines:
Use em dashes:
Use en dashes:
Ellipses (. . .) (sing. ellipsis) — In general, treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, constructed with three periods and two spaces. Use an ellipsis to indicate the deletion of one or more words in condensing quotes, texts and documents. Be careful to avoid deletions that distort the original meaning.
Hyphen (-) — Hyphens are joiners. Use them to avoid ambiguity or to form a single idea from two or more words.
As compound modifier — When a compound modifier — two or more words expressing a single concept — precedes a noun, use hyphens to link all the words in the compound except the adverb very and all adverbs that end in –ly: a first-quarter touchdown, a bluish-green dress, a full-time job, an easily remembered rule.
However, house style omits the hyphen when the phrasal adjectives are commonly used and understood without the hyphen and the meaning is quite clear without one: a high school student, an affirmative action program, a primary care physician, the intensive care unit.
Use with a two-thought compound — socio-economic.
Use to designate dual heritage — Italian-American, African-American.
Quotations — Periods and commas go within quotation marks; dashes, semicolons, question marks, and exclamation points go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.
For quotes within quotes, alternate between double quotation marks (“or”) and single marks (‘or’):
Example: She said, “I quote from his letter, ‘I agree with Kipling that “the female of the species is more deadly than the male” but the phenomenon is not an unchangeable law of nature,’ a remark he did not explain.”
Use three marks together if two quoted elements end at the same time:
Example: She said, “He told me, ‘I love you.’”
Semicolons — Use in a sentence to separate two complete and related thoughts, or to separate items in a series when at least one of the items includes a comma. Think of a semicolon as a half pause that connects two sentences that
could grammatically stand on their own.
Dr. Smith went to Florida; it was her first vacation there.
The surgical team was made up of Dr. Kennan, who has served as department chair for three years; Dr. Jones, who has been with the hospital two years; and Dr. Johnson, who just transferred from an Atlanta hospital last month.