Editorial Style Guide: T

telephone numbers. Do not use the numeral “1” before area codes. Proper form is: 530-752-1930 or 555-1212, ext. 11. Use a hyphen, not an en dash. See the AP Stylebook’s “telephone numbers” entry. TTD and TTY are not interchangeable acronyms for telecommunication devices for the deaf. TTD stands for teletype device (and is the most current technology), and TTY stands for telephone teletype (an older technology).

television programs. See the “television programs” heading under the composition titles entry.

tense. In general, use tense consistently throughout a story. However, tenses may be intermingled as appropriate to context—i.e., to distinguish terminated from continuing action: “I disagree,” she said. But she continues to encourage students to present new ideas. Rule of thumb: The verb form “say(s)” suggests past as well as continuing action: She says baseball is boring; verbs such as think, regard, deny and hope written in present tense can coexist comfortably with other verbs in other tenses: She said she thinks baseball is boring.

In general, UC Davis Magazine and Dateline UC Davis use past tense for attribution in shorter news stories and present tense in feature stories. For press releases, attribution is usually in past tense.

that, which. “That” is the preferred pronoun to introduce an essential clause. “Which” is the only acceptable pronoun to introduce a non-essential clause. AP defines an essential clause (restrictive clause) as one that cannot be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence—it is essential to the meaning of the sentence. An essential clause must not be set off from the rest of a sentence by commas. A non-essential clause, which can be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence, must be set off by commas. Here’s an example of a sentence containing an essential phrase: Campus events that require special lighting are held in the Main Theatre. In that sentence, the phrase “that require special lighting” is essential to the meaning and, if omitted, would change the meaning and understanding of the sentence.

Now here’s an example of a sentence containing a non-essential phrase: This year’s Picnic Day parade, which lasted two hours, included 10 marching bands. The material within the commas is not essential in identifying the parade being discussed, serving only to provide additional information about it. In that case, eliminating the phrase “which lasted two hours” would not alter the meaning of the sentence, and the phrase is therefore non-essential.

the. Lowercase when used with organizations. Capitalize when used with the name of newspapers and periodicals if they are part of the proper title:

  • The findings were reported in The Sacramento Bee. (In press releases, The Sacramento Bee would not be italicized.)
  • The measure was approved by the University of California Board of Regents (not The University of California Board of Regents).
  • She works for the Dow Chemical Co. (not The Dow Chemical Co.).

theatre. The spelling for all generic references to auditoriums and the theatrical arts. Use “er” ending (theater) only if part of proper name.

  • UC Davis theatre and dance department
  • Main Theatre
  • Sacramento Community Center Theater
  • Varsity Theatre
  • Wyatt Pavilion Theatre

time. Per AP, always use figures, except with noon and midnight; use lowercase type and periods, but no spaces, with “a.m.” and “p.m.”: 11 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 3:30 that afternoon, noon, midnight, 10–11 a.m. (use an en dash for ranges), 10 a.m.–3 p.m., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. See the AP Stylebook’s “times” and “time of day” entries.

titles. In general, capitalize formal or courtesy titles—president, chancellor, professor, senator—before names of individuals, and lowercase formal titles following names of individuals. Lowercase descriptive or occupational titles—teacher, attorney, history professor, department chair—in all cases. (Note that professor alone stands as a formal title and warrants capitalization—an exception to AP—but “history professor” is, like “math teacher,” an occupation, and should be lowercased.) When lowercased adjectives are added to titles before a name, lowerase them all.


  • Linda P.B. Katehi, chancellor;
  • Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi;
  • Vice Chancellor Judy Sakaki;
  • Judy Sakaki, vice chancellor for Student Affairs (not “vice chancellor—Student Affairs”);
  • history professor Tom Rosen;
  • Professor of History Tom Rosen;
  • Tom Rosen, professor of history;
  • Max Little, professor of English;
  • department chair Harry Johnson;
  • Professor Emeritus Tom Martin;
  • Tom Martin, professor emeritus of physics;
  • Dean Neal Van Alfen;
  • Deans Nicole Biggart and Bennie Osburn;
  • law school dean Rex Pershbacher
  • nutrition lecturer Liz Applegate (see lecturers, lectures, lectureships entry);
  • Professor Thomas Richardson fills the Peter J. Shields Chair in Dairy Food Science in the Department of Food Science and Technology;
  • Thomas Richardson is the Peter J. Shields Professor in Dairy Food Science (capitalized because it is the formal name of an endowed chair);
  • Thomas Richardson is the holder of the Peter J. Shields Chair in Dairy Food Science;
  • visiting professor Carlo Rossi (“visiting professor” is a salary title but not a salutation);
  • Carlo Rossi, visiting professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology.

See Chicago 8.31 and the AP Stylebook’s “academic titles” entry. For proper names of endowed chairs and professorships at UC Davis consult appropriate academic departments. On first reference in press releases, use the formal title Dr. (plural Drs.) only before the names of individuals who hold a degree in medicine, veterinary medicine or dentistry (M.D., D.V.M., M.P.V.M., D.D.S. or equivalent): Dr. Sarah J. Woerner or Sarah J. Woerner ’72, M.D. ’76; but not Dr. Sarah J. Woerner ’72, M.D. ’76. (“Dr.” and “M.D.” are redundant.) See doctor entry.

For “coach” titles, capitalize before a name when used without a qualifier: head coach Bob Biggs, Coach Sandy Simpson, offensive coach Dan Gazzaniga. Lowercase “coach” when it stands alone or is set off from the individual’s name by commas: The victorious team members surrounded their coach, Stephanie Hawbecker. Sandy Simpson, head coach of the women’s basketball team, is an inspirational leader.

COURSES. Use roman type, capitalized, within quotation marks, for course titles: “Introduction to Astrophysics.”

GENDER NEUTRALITY. Use chair, not “chairman” or “chairwoman” or “chairperson,” unless part of a formal title: He chaired the committee. Lois Weeth was chair of the UC Davis Foundation board of trustees. See the trustee entry.

WORKS. See composition titles entry.

town names. See the city, town names entry.

trademarks. When possible, use generic equivalents, but if a trademark is used for emphasis or effect, capitalize it. Observe the capitalization schemes of individual trademarks or service marks, but be aware that ordinarily capitalization of only the first letter of a brand name is necessary; do, however, capitalize all letters composing acronyms: BASS/Ticketmaster, for example, stands for Bay Area Seating Service.

Trademarks are proper names that identify the products of a business; service marks perform the same function for services. Trademark names should be accompanied by generic terms to fully describe the product: Kleenex tissues. A trademark should not be used as a verb. (Don’t say I Xeroxed this; instead say I photocopied this or I made photocopies of this.) Do not pluralize trademarks. (Instead of saying He used three Kleenexes to blow his nose, say He used three Kleenex tissues.) However, some trademarks are registered in the plural and should always be used that way even if the common noun following them is singular (a Baggies plastic bag).

Symbols signifying a trademark (™), copyright (©) or a registration with the U.S. Patent Office (®) are primarily for the use of the owner to indicate rights; use of the symbols is not required in journalistic publications. (One exception: © is used with reproductions of photos of the Eggheads.)

Former trademarks that became generic terms through abuse include trampoline, raisin bran, linoleum, lanolin, yo-yo, escalator and nylon. For additional information, see the International Trademark Association website.

trustee. Treat this as a formal title when appropriate and capitalize in such cases if used before a name: Trustee Les Harvey; but Les Harvey, trustee of the UC Davis Foundation.

TTD, TTY. TTD and TTY are not interchangeable acronyms for telecommunication devices for the deaf. TTD stands for teletype device (and is the most current technology), and TTY stands for telephone teletype (an older technology).