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1.1 Universities-ours and others

Spell out "University of Saskatchewan" in first reference.

Use "USask" or "the university" (lower case) in subsequent references.

USask and U of S are often used interchangeably in different contexts and settings. We are only using USask (typically uppercase U and S) as our abbreviation for the University of Saskatchewan. This practice is intended to create consistency in our messaging, strengthen brand awareness and reputation, as well as own USask as a unique identifier to this university, instead of U of S, which is used elsewhere by other institutions.

Heads up Refer to other institutions using full names.

  • University of Western Ontario
  • Simon Fraser University

To list a number of institutions, use the Universities of British Columbia, Alberta and Toronto but McGill University, Simon Fraser University and Dalhousie University.

Some Canadian universities are incorporated with "The" as part of their official title; one example is The University of British Columbia. Please refer to the website of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) for the authoritative list of official university names.

1.2 USask entities

Rule of thumb Use full names in first reference with acronyms or initializations in brackets, then only the acronym or initialization with no periods in subsequent references.

  • Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), then WCVM
  • Centre for Continuing and Distance Education (CCDE), then CCDE
  • Systematic Program Review (SPR), then SPR
  • Exception: Do not abbreviate Edwards School of Business  to ESD; use Edwards or Edwards School instead.

1.3 Other acronyms and initializations

Use upper case with no periods for acronyms and initializations.


1.4 Titles

In title abbreviations that appear in upper case only, use no periods.

  • VP, CEO

Use periods in title abbreviations that appear in mixed upper and lower case.

  • Dr., Prof., Mr., Mrs., Ms.

When abbreviating personal names, use periods and a space between initials.

  • P. D. James, J. R. Ewing

Use Dr. for doctoral degree holders awarded by USask and other institutions.

  • Dr. Jane Doe (Ph.D.), Dr. John Smith (M.D.)

Check This See more about job and position titles at USask in Sections 3.3 and 3.5.7

1.5 Federal, provincial and territorial

Use Government of Canada or the federal government, and Government of Saskatchewan or the provincial government.

The Canadian Press standard for abbreviating Canadian provinces and territories is mixed upper and lower case with periods after the name of the community.

  • Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., N.L., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.
  • Neither Yukon nor Nunavut is abbreviated.

Use Canada Post abbreviations in mailing addresses.

  • AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Check This See also Addresses, Section 2.3

1.6 Academic degrees

Universities across Canada vary greatly in their approaches to abbreviating academic degrees. Some follow The Canadian Press style of using periods only for degrees that end in a lower case letter (B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Agr.) but not for those that end in an upper case letter (PhD, MA, BSN). Other institutions have done away with periods entirely (BMus, MVetSc, BA).

For official academic purposes (transcripts, parchments), the University of Saskatchewan uses the abbreviation standard set out in the bylaws of University Council, which is to use periods in all degree abbreviations (Ph.D., B.A., LL.B.).

Check This A complete list of degree abbreviations can be found on the University Council website or in Appendix A of this guide.

The general trend, particularly with information that is posted on the Internet, is to avoid unnecessary punctuation. Therefore, in circumstances other than official academic documents (transcripts, degree parchments), avoid using periods where possible. The key, however is to choose an abbreviation style, then be consistent.

Check This See capitalization of degrees, Section 3.5.5

1.7 Dates and times

1.7.1 Centuries

Spell out the first nine as words, then use digits for 10 and above.

  • the sixth century, the 18th century (do not use superscript)

1.7.2 Decades

Decades can be spelled out as long as the century is clear, or written in numerals.

  • the eighties, the '80s

When writing decade names in numerals, do not use an apostrophe before the "s." An apostrophe precedes the shortened numerical form of the decade.

  • the 1930s, the '30s, the mid-1930s

1.7.3 Months

Abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec.

Heads up Spell out all months standing alone or with a year alone

  • August, August 2005, but Aug. 17, 2005

1.7.4 Weekdays

Weekdays are abbreviated to Sun., Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., and Sat.

1.7.5 Dates

Show dates using the month first, date second and year third.

  • Oct. 27, 2008

1.7.6 Times

Avoid periods for lower case am and pm

  • 10 am (not 10:00 a.m.) but 5:30 pm
  • 1:30-5 pm (one ‘pm') rather than 1:30 pm-5 pm
  • noon or midnight, not 12 am or 12 pm, to avoid confusion

1.7.7 Ordinals

When expressing dates without a year, do not use the ordinal form.

  • Nov. 8, not Nov. 8th

1.7.8 Range of dates

When expressing periods of time in years, write the numbers out using an en dash (slightly longer than a hyphen), not a slash.

  • 2005-2006 or 1987-89 (not '87-'89)

Heads up The one exception is in the expression of academic years.

  • the 2008/09 academic year

1.7.9 Range of times

Use "from" and "to" when writing a range of times but use an en dash in tables.

  • The meeting went from 9 to 10:30 am
  • Reception, 7-10 pm

1.8 Measurements

1.8.1 Metric abbreviations

Use lower case with no periods for metric measurement abbreviations except for "litres" which is abbreviated with a capital letter (L) to avoid confusion with the numeral 1. Use one space between the numeral and the abbreviation.

  • 10 km, 230 ml, 7 L

1.8.2 Imperial abbreviations

Abbreviate imperial measurements in lower case with a period at the end of each unit.

  • in., ft., sq. ft.

1.8.3 Temperature

Celsius is abbreviated with a capital letter C, no period and one space between the temperature and abbreviation.

  • 35 C, -6 C

Do not insert any spaces if using the degree symbol.

  • 35°C, -6°C

1.8.4 Square measures

Square measures can be written as sq m or with the superscript (m2) for scientific or technical text.

  • 8 sq. m, or 8 m2

1.9 E.g. vs. i.e.

The abbreviation for exempli gratia is e.g., but it should be avoided. Use "for example" instead.

Use "that is" instead of i.e.

Use the vs. abbreviation for versus only in sports schedules and the names of court cases.



Heads up  A "heads-up" icon alerts you to common style issues.

Check This  Watch for "Check this out" icons to point you to more information.

Rule of Thumb  We've put together a few handy and easy-to-remember tips.

PC Mac  Some punctuation characters mentioned in the style guide (such as the en-dash) are in the extended character set. This means these characters cannot be found on your keyboard, but you can type in key codes to retrieve them. We have included the common keystrokes for both Mac and PC.