Following these simple rules will help ensure the best results when you draft messages to customers on new developments. You may want to bookmark this page for easy reference.
Some of these guidelines are taken from published works, including The Associated Press Stylebook, The Chicago Manual of Style, and Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition.
- Always use "unit," and not "department," unless you are talking about "department codes."
- A unit, department, college, or division is a SINGULAR entity. Be sure your follow-up pronouns match. For example say, "DFA Communications has a turnaround time for its editing jobs of three days," rather than "DFA Communications has a turnaround time for their editing jobs of three days."
- Always use the complete name of the team, such as "The Financial Systems Group," or "DFA Communications." Tailor your "reference" to the recipients of the message. If they are primarily outside of the division, put "DFA" or "Division of Financial Affairs" before the name of the group.
- Wherever possible, as points of contact, use e-mail mailboxes, and not personal e-mail addresses.
Note: For maximum professionalism, send your message from an e-mail mailbox. If you need help establishing one, contact DFA Communications.
- "University" is never capitalized unless it is part of a title, used at the beginning of a sentence, or as a proper noun (i.e., as part of a name, for example, "Cornell University").
- "Internet" is always capitalized, because there is only one Internet.
- "E-mail" is always hyphenated, and not capitalized unless in a title or used at the beginning of a sentence.
- "Web" is always capitalized when it stands alone, because there is only one Web.
- "Web site" is always two words, with "Web" capitalized, but no hyphenation.
- "Webpage" is one word, with "web" not capitalized, because there is more than one.
- "Online" is always one word, and not hyphenated or capitalized unless in a title or used at the beginning of a sentence.