Spelling and grammar are one of the most basic yet overlooked features for a student publication, especially in the hectic run-up to intro week.
Here are a few common examples and some clarification.
Is it freshers, fresher’s, freshers’ – and do you capitalise it?
- When you’re talking about the actual people, they are the freshers as they are plural.
- When you’re talking about the first week, it’s freshers’ week as it’s a plural noun.
- Some universities call events Freshers’ Fayre or similar and is fine if you’re using title case (Where You Capitalise The First Letter Of A Line) but not when you’re using regular sentence case.
What is the union of students called?
- It’s the students’ union. But that’s if the word is on its own. Never use
students union, student unionor student’s union.
- If combined with a place to make a proper noun it’s Atlantis University Students’ Union.
Similarly if you’re referring to the university, it’s lower-case but if you’re referring to Atlantis University, it’s capitalised.
How do you describe a union officer?
- Each publication should have a house style, but typically it would be Joe Bloggs, students’ union president / Joe Bloggs, Atlantis University Students’ Union president or Joe Bloggs, AUSU president.
- Roles should not normally be capitalised.
How do I refer to my students’ union that has an acronym?
- Take Southampton University Students’ Union for example, who use SUSU as an acronym. You would write it all capitalised because you can’t say it as one word.
- If Students’ Union Rosegate Elementary used the acronym (SURE), you would capitalise the first letter and the use lower-case: Sure.
Getting it right will take an extra few seconds but boosts the professional image of your publication. It would be a bit embarrassing to misspell freshers’ week on the front page!
Good luck and let us know what you’re doing for freshers by getting involved with our #FlashFriday roundup.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @SPAJournalism using the hashtag #FlashFriday.
(Image credit: Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend)