Word Usage and Consistency List


Follow these guidelines for specific and frequently used services and technical terms within the Division of Information Technology (DIT). Unless otherwise noted, always spell out the full name of a service or system on first use in an article; an acronym or alias on references after that is acceptable.

A|B|C|D|E|G|I|K|L|M|O|P|Q|S|T|U|V|W|Z

A

Abbreviations and acronyms

  Abbreviations and acronyms should be added in parentheses following the first reference.

Example: "The department of Knowledge Management (KM) has put together usage standards for the IT Library."

Abbreviations or acronyms may be used after the first reference.

Active Directory

Can be abbreviated as AD.

Administrator  

Always spell out administrator; don't abbreviate.

Administrative Resource Enterprise Services ARES

Can be abbreviated as ARES.

and/or

Avoid where possible. Writers often use this instead of "or" or "and." Decide which is accurate and write it that way. If both are correct, write out "either X, or Y or both." See also slashes. For more context, refer to Plain Language: Don't use slashes.

Avast Antivirus 

Can be abbreviated as Avast.

Avast is an antivirus program offered to the University of Maryland through TERPware.

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B    

UMD Box  

Should always be written as two words. Capitalize Box.

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C

CirQlive  

Always use the full name. Capitalize C and Q.

Cisco Voice over Internet Protocol Telephones

Should be abbreviated as Cisco IP Phones.

"IP" should always be capitalized.

Cisco Unified Communications Self Care Portal should be abbreviated as Self Care Portal; it should not be used to refer to voicemail.

Comma  

Don't use Oxford comma (the comma before the conjunction before the last term in a list).

Incorrect: Adobe Creative Cloud, Windows 10, and Microsoft Office are all products available for download from TERPware.

Correct: Adobe Creative Cloud, Windows 10 and Microsoft Office are all products available for download from TERPware.

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D

Data Classification (Shells)  

To learn how to add a Data Classification to an item in the Service Catalog, see Add Data Classification to a Service Offering in the Service Catalog.

Directory Authorization Service Account  

Always use the full name. Capitalize D, A, S and A.

Directory ID (and passphrase)  

Can be abbreviated as Directory ID. When mentioning it in combination with university, the u in university should be lower case (e.g. university Directory ID).

DIT-HR

The Division of Information Technology Human Resources department. Do not remove hyphen in order to stay consistent with DIT-HR branding.

Duo

Should be written as Duo. Capitalize D. For usage guidelines see Multi-Factor Authentication.

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E

eduroam  

Should be lowercase, even if written in the title of an article. E should be capitalized only if it is at the beginning of a sentence.

Incorrect: eduroam is a secure, worldwide roaming Internet access service. You can connect to Eduroam using your DirectoryID (and passphrase).

Correct: Eduroam is a secure, worldwide roaming Internet access service. You can connect to eduroam using your DirectoryID (and passphrase).

e.g.

A Latin abbreviation for the phrase exempli gratia. Instead, use "for example" or "for instance."

ELMS (Enterprise Learning Management System)

Can be abbreviated as ELMS-Canvas. Do not use ELMS or Canvas alone; note capitalization.

Email for faculty/staff

May be referred to as UMD Gmail or UMD Google Mail.

Email for Students

May be referred to as TERPmail. Capitalize TERP.

et al.

A Latin abbreviation for the phrase et alii, et alia or et alibi. Instead, use "and others."

etc.

A Latin abbreviation for the phrase et cetera. Instead, "and others" or "so on" or "and so on."

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G

Google Workspace for Education (Formerly G Suite)

Google tools/apps are referred as "Google and the name of the app" (i.e., Google Calendar)

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I

IBM Spectrum Protect

Can be abbreviated as IBM Spectrum.

Formerly Tivoli Storage Manager.

i.e.

A Latin abbreviation for the phrase id est. Instead, use "that is" or "in other words."

In this article  

Heading prefacing articles with multiple headings. Should not be followed by a colon.

Information Technology Service Center

Can be abbreviated as IT Support. Should link to itsupport.umd.edu

iOS

Should always be be written with a lower case i and OS capitalized.

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K

Knowledge article

Do not capitalize knowledge or article, except at the start of a sentence.

Knowledge base  

Should be avoided; use the specific knowledge base instead. Do not abbreviate.

Example: "Check out this article in the IT Library."

Knowledge Management  

Capitalize when referring to the department. Should be abbreviate as KM after first reference.

Knowledge module

Knowledge should be capitalized when referring to the ServiceNow module.

Knowledge states

Knowledge article states should be capitalized. The word state should never be capitalized.

Example: "This article is in Draft state. The Retired state means the article is not visible."

Kuali Financial System

Can be abbreviated as KFS or Kuali.

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L

LinkedIn Learning

Always use the full name; note capitalization.

Listserv List 

Always use the full name; note capitalization.

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M

macOS

Should always be written with lowercase mac and OS capitalized.   

Multi-Factor Authentication

Common noun. Multi-factor authentication services are provided by Duo; however, you should use multi-factor authentication unless in reference to the service provider Duo or its products (e.g. Duo Mobile).

Example: Multi-factor authentication is how it should be written at the start of a sentence, while multi-factor authentication is correct otherwise.

Can be abbreviated as MFA.

MathWorks  

Always use the full name. Capitalize M and W.

MATLAB  

Always write as one word; all letters should be capitalized.

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O

Office of Data Administration

Can be abbreviated as Data Administration. Capitalize and A.

Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment

Spell out on first use with acronym IRPA in parenthesis. Use IRPA in later uses. Capitalize every letter in IRPA.

Online Training

Should be referred to as LinkedIn Learning when possible.

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P

Panopto (Lecture Capture)

Should be written as Panopto (Lecture Capture) on first reference. Additional references may use Panopto.

Plural Nouns

Avoid using optional plurals. Where an optional plural could be written, use the plural form of the word instead.

Incorrect: A knowledge article's content owner(s) are responsible for ensuring its accuracy.

Correct: A knowledge article's content owners are responsible for ensuring its accuracy.

Purchasing Card  

Should be written as UMD Purchasing Card on first reference. Additional references may use pcard or purchasing card. Avoid use of pcard where possible.

Project NEThics  

Always use the full name. Note Capitalization.

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Q

Qualtrics (Survey Tool)

Should be written as Qualtrics (Survey Tool) on first reference. Additional references may use Qualtrics.

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S

Screen Sharing

Common noun; can be used as a verb (for example, share your screen). Always write as two words.

SecureW2  

Should be written as one word. Capitalize and W.

Service Desk  

Proper noun. Should be written as two words. Capitalize and D. Do not use IT or DIT with Service Desk.

ServiceNow Incident Management System

One word. Capitalize S and I. Can be abbreviated as SN.

Software Downloads

Software downloads are from TERPware. For word usage guidelines, see TERPware.

Shells (Data Classification) 

See Data Classification (Shells).

slashes

Avoid slashes where possible. See also and/or. For more context, refer to Plain Language: Don't use slashes.

Special Identity Management Service

Should be written as Special Identity Management Service (SIMS) on first reference. Additional references may use SIMS.

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T

TerpConnect  

Should be written as one word. Capitalize and C.

TERPware  

Should always be spelled as one word with TERP capitalized and ware in lowercase letters. 

Tivoli Storage Manager

Former name for IBM Spectrum Protect.

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U

umd-guest  

Refers to the wireless network maintained by the University of Maryland. Should be lowercase, even if written in the title of an article. U should be capitalized only if it is at the beginning of a sentence. Should be written as two words joined with a hyphen.

umd-iot  

Refers to the wireless network maintained by the University of Maryland. Should be lowercase, even if written in the title of an article. U should be capitalized only if it is at the beginning of a sentence. Should be written as two words joined with a hyphen.

umd-secure  

Refers to the wireless network maintained by the University of Maryland. Should be lowercase, even if written in the title of an article. U should be capitalized only if it is at the beginning of a sentence. Should be written as two words joined with a hyphen.

UMEG

Refers to the University of Maryland Electronic Grading system.

University of MD app

A web and mobile application that acts as a hub for many UMD resources. Do not unabbreviate MD, as it is the proper name of the application.

Usage standards

Common noun. The standards by which a knowledge article is published or retired during a KCS review cycle. Recommended to preface with the words IT Library for specificity.

Example: "This article was retired because it failed to meet IT Library usage standards."

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V

Virtual Private Networking

Can be abbreviated as VPN.

viz.

A Latin abbreviation for the phrase videlicet. Instead, use "namely," "precisely," or "that is to say."

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W

Warehouse on the Web

Can be abbreviated as WOW.

Webex  

Should be written as one word. Capitalize W only.

Wi-Fi  

As listed in AP Style, should be written as two words joined with a hyphen. Capitalize W and F.

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Z

Zoom breakout room

Do not capitalize breakout room.