Word Usage

The correct and proper usage of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center logos and other brand elements ensures the consistency of our corporate identity.

Organization Name Reference

Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center

The identity does not have an abbreviation. The name is the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, always using the ampersand symbol, in all references.

Correct: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
Incorrect: Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Buffett Cancer Center, F&PBCC

The identity should appear in all oral and written communications used to promote the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, including but not limited to forms, correspondence, publications, signage, interviews, Internet, website and all other media materials which refer to the identity. When presenting to an audience outside the city of Omaha, reference Omaha, Neb.


Refrain from using commas before “and” in a list

Correct: Red, white and blue
Incorrect: Red, white, and blue


Refrain from using commas before a suffix

Correct: Martin Luther King Jr.
Incorrect: Martin Luther King, Jr.


Use one space after periods.


Refrain from using (’s) when the word ends with (s), even if it is a proper name

Correct: Francis’
Incorrect: Francis’s


Use of nouns and pronouns

Team/Nebraska should have “its” as a pronoun, Huskers should have “their” as a pronoun.


The name of the organization should not appear in bold or italics

Correct: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
Incorrect: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center or Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center

Use of Quotations

Titles of books, movies, CDs and video games are placed in quotations. Do not underline or italicize titles. Newspapers and magazines are not placed in quotations.


Refrain from capitalizing titles following a name

Correct: Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States
Incorrect: Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States


Do capitalize titles when they precede a name

Correct: President Abraham Lincoln
Incorrect: president Abraham Lincoln


Refrain from capitalizing the word “earth” when not referring to the planet

Correct: That guy is down to earth
Incorrect: That guy is down to Earth


Capitalize the award but not the category

Correct: She won the Academy Award for best actress
Incorrect: She won the academy award for Best Actress


Always capitalize Democrat and Republican


Always capitalize CD, DVD, TV and OK

Dates & Times

Always list time with a.m. or p.m. with a space after the number and without zeros

Correct: 5 p.m.
Incorrect: 5 or 5:00 p.m.


Always abbreviate the longer months in dates (EXCEPTIONS: March, April and May)

Correct: Sept. 4
Incorrect: September 4


Refrain from abbreviating the month when referring to the month as a whole

Correct: The month of September is especially trying
Incorrect: The month of Sept. is especially trying


Refrain from using the year when the date is in the current year, unless it is needed to clarify within the context of the communication.

Correct: Sept. 4
Incorrect: Sept. 4, 2013


Use B.C. and A.D. rather than B.C.E. or C.E.


Spell out numbers under 10 and use the numeral for 10 and above

Correct: Four, 11
Incorrect: 4, eleven


Use numeral for medication dosages


Numeric Placing
Spell out first through ninth for order in time or location

Correct: First floor
Incorrect: 1st floor


Starting with 10th use figures

Correct: 10th place
Incorrect: Tenth place


Write out numbers that begin a sentence


Spell out the word “percentage” instead of using the symbol


Use figures and hyphenate dimensions in adjectival forms before nouns

Correct: The 6-foot man was 6 feet tall
Incorrect: The six foot man was six-feet tall


Always use numerals when describing an age, never spell the number out except when an age begins a sentence, as in: Nine-year-old John Doe…

Examples: 1-month-old child; Ben, 7, was…; Sally, 1 month…


More than is preferred with numerals

Correct: They raised more than $1,000
Incorrect: They raised over $1,000


Mention a person’s first and last name and title on the first reference; on each subsequent reference, use the last name only


Patient references

Correct: Inpatient and outpatient
Incorrect: In-patient or out-patient



When referring to the branch of surgery concerned with conditions of the musculoskeletal system use orthopaedic


Physician credentials

Use MD credentials (no periods) for first reference and Dr. after that.

Example: Dan Jones, MD, performed the surgery. Dr. Jones says the patient is doing well.

Other examples:

  • PharmD
  • PhD

When referencing health care providers in a text body, only use credentialing initials when referring to an MD, DO, PhD and PharmD. The initials should not be separated by a period (.).


Always abbreviate state names when possible:

Alabama - Ala.
Alaska - NONE
Arizona - Ariz.
Arkansas - Ark.
California - Calif.
Colorado - Colo.
Connecticut - Conn.
Delaware - Del.
Florida - Fla.
Georgia - Ga.
Hawaii - NONE
Idaho - NONE
Illinois - Ill.
Indiana - Ind.
Iowa - NONE
Kansas - Kan.
Kentucky - Ky.

The Grammar and Style Guide for Copy Editors;
The Villanovan; September 2007

Louisiana - La.
Maine - NONE
Maryland - Md.
Massachusetts - Mass.
Michigan - Mich.
Minnesota - Minn.
Mississippi - Miss.
Missouri - Mo.
Montana - Mont.
Nebraska - Neb.
Nevada - Nev.
New Hampshire - N.H.
New Jersey - N.J.
New Mexico - N.M.
New York - N.Y.
North Carolina - N.C.
North Dakota - N.D.

Ohio - NONE
Oklahoma - Okla.
Oregon - Ore.
Pennsylvania - Pa.
Rhode Island - R.I.
South Carolina - S.C.
South Dakota - S.D.
Tennessee - Tenn.
Texas - NONE
Utah - NONE
Vermont - Vt.
Virginia - Va.
Washington - Wash.
West Virginia - W. Va.
Wisconsin - Wis.
Wyoming - Wyo.

Online Technology Terms

The website address should always be displayed as BuffettCancerCenter.com as a stand-alone, graphic element. If used in inline text it should appear as BuffettCancerCenter.com.

Frequently used technology terms:

  • e-Learning, e-newsletter
  • email
  • go live as a noun, go-live as a verb
  • home page
  • Internet (capitalized)
  • intranet
  • login and logon as noun, log in and log on as verb
  • online and offline
  • on-site and off-site
  • website
  • web page

Other Frequently Used Terms:

  • FAQ
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • OB-GYN
  • Q & A
  • T-shirt
  • X-ray

Health Care

Health care is used as two words.

Example: She selected the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center for her health care.
Exception: healthcare reform

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