Oral History Program Style Guide: Section 3: Preferred Spellings for Frequently Encountered Words and Terms

Jump to: Numbers | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X  

Numbers

8 mm (film type)

16 mm (film type)

35 mm (film type)

3-D, three-dimensional

A

a while (two words: obj. of preposition); awhile (one word: adverb)

ACT UP (no need to spell out, but should be in all caps)

aesthetic

African American (no hyphen unless adjective)

aha

antebellum

archaeology

the Archive Project (Visual AIDS)

Area (club)

Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard

Art AIDS America (exhibition)

art-making

ARTNews

Artforum

artwork

Ashanti

avant-garde

B

B.A.

back and forth (adv); back-and-forth (n, adj)

backtrack (one word)

baisse taille

Ballroom scene

balsa wood

band saw (two words)

basket maker

Bay Area

bentwood

bicentennial

Black C.A.R.E. (Black Community AIDS Research and Education)

blow job (two words)

blowpipe

blue-chip gallery/artist

body monitors

boxwood

Boy Scouts; scouting, scout leader; Boy Scout leader

brand-new

brush plate

buttonhole (one word)

C

cabinetmaker (one word)

camel hair (or camel's hair)

candleholder

candlestick

catalogue

Catch One (club, LA)

chain saw

champleve (one word)

chest of drawers

china paint

chinoiserie (lowercase)

chokin

Christie's

civil rights movement (lowercase)

Club Fuck!

coal miner (two words)

ColorCore

copy editor / copyedit

coronavirus

counterculture

COVID-19 (stands for coronavirus disease 2019)[1]

craftsman

crosshatch (v, n)

cross-hatching (n)

cuff links (two words)

custom-made

cut out (v, two words)

cutout (n, adj)


[1] For COVID-19 pandemic related terms the AP Stylebook is helpful: https://web.archive.org/web/20200622212245/https://www.apstylebook.com/topical_most_recent

D

da Vinci

Dahoumey

damascene

Damascus steel

Dango

DC (Washington, DC)

de Kooning

decision making (n, two words)

Depression

die-in

dinnerware

disc (for recording)

"documenta" when referring to the series of exhibitions; documenta 7 or specific number when referring to a specific exhibition.

drywall

Dyke Action Machine! (DAM!)

E

Early American

earthwork

East Coast (but going east, eastern)

Ecstasy (capitalized; recreational drug)

electro + process (one word, electroplate, etc.)

email

eye-opener

F

Fahrenheit

faience

fall-front (desk)

feminist movement

fiberglass

fierce pussy (all lowercase)

Fiesta; Fiestaware

fine-tune

firebox

fire-glazed

firsthand

flatware

flossa

fly-shuttle loom

free-form

freelance

freestanding (one word)

fresco; frescoes

Fulbright Program (various awards within)

full time (n; rarely encountered), usually full-time (adj/adv)

fund-raising

furniture maker

G

gay-bashing

gemstone

GI Bill (no periods)

glassblower

glassmaker

GMAD (Gay Men of African Descent)

GMHC (Gay Men's Health Crisis)

God

goddam (n, v), goddamed (adj, adv)

gold leaf (n, two words)

gold medal (lowercase)

Gran Fury (artist collective)

gray (not grey)

GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency)

Guggenheim Fellowship

Gump's

H

hairpin (1 word)

hand-blown

hand-building, hand-built

handcrafted (1 word)

hand-forging

handmade

hand-make

hand-quilted

handsaw

hands-on

hand-spun

handweaver, handwoven

hardwood (1 word)

high chair (2 words)

high tech

high-rise

HIV government assistance programs (spell out in brackets)

HIV-positive

hollowware

honan

HOWL! Festival

I

iCI (Independent Curators International, NY)

ikat

ikebana

Imari

internet (lowercase)

ironwork, glasswork, etc.

J

jacquard (fabric)

Jacquard loom (named after inventor)

jewelry maker (two words)

jigsaw (one word)

K

Kaposi sarcoma, Kaposi sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV)

karat

kente

kilnload

L

LA (not L.A.) (with exceptions)

La MaMa

LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions)

lace making (two words)

Le Palace (club, Paris)

lengthwise

Lesbian Herstory Archives

LGBT Center (capitalize C, NYC)

life-size, life-sized

lifetime

linocut

long-range

long-standing

long-term

longtime

lost wax, lost-wax process

low-fire

low-tech

Lucite

lumberyard (one word)

M

MacArthur Fellowship

makara

mange

man-made

mass-produced, mass production

mat (n, v) (around a picture)

matte (nonglossy finish)

medium (mediums is plural for materials; media is "mode of expression")

metalsmith, metalworker

#MeToo movement, or #MeToo (note hashtag and capitalization)

MicroGeneSys

mid-'70s, mid-'80s, mid-'90s

Midwest, but midwestern

mingei

Mission District

MOCA

mock-up

model making (two words)

mokume gane

MoMA

MSM (Men having Sex with Men or Men Seeking Men) (also WSW)

Mudd Club

Mylar

N

NEA grant, fellowship (unless titled)

niello

nunome-zogan (per MFA, Boston)

O

October (journal)

off and on (adv; hyphenate if adj; ditto one of a kind, one on one, etc.)

okay (not OK or ok)

open-minded

Oribe

Oriental

P

palate (taste)

palette (colors)

Palladium (club)

pallet (bed)

paper cord

papermaking (one word)

Parke-Bernet Galleries

part-time (adj)

Ph.D., B.A.

photo + technique (one word., photogravure; but photo etch)

Plexiglas

plique-à-jour (accent grave over "a")

postwar

pottery-making

Prescription drug names (especially if obscure) add "[prescription drug]"

Printmaking

PS1

Pyramid Club

Q

quilt maker, quilt making (two words)

R

raku

ready-made

redwood

resume (no accents necessary)

Rhodes Scholar/Scholarship

rokusho

rolltop (one word)

rosewood

round-over (except as verb, then two words, no hyphen)

rya

S

S/M; S and M if "and" is spoken (S-and-M if adjective) [Homosaurus[1] prefers SM]

salt glazing (n), salt-glazed (adj), salt-glaze (v)

sandblast(ing)

sapwood

sawmill

Scotch tape

S-curve

semiprecious

setup (n, one word)

shakudo

short-lived

short-term (unless n)

silk screen (n, two words)

silk-screen (v & adj)

silkworm

sketchbook

slip-casting

SOFA (Sculptural Objects & Functional Art)

SoHo (with exceptions such as an organization that doesn't capitalize the "H")

Sotheby's (Parke-Bernet Galleries, '37-64; Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co, '64-70)

South, but southern

spell-check

Sperone Westwater

the States (referring to United States)

still life (two words.; hyphenate for adj.)

still lifes (two words)

stoneware

strip piecing

Styrofoam

Super 8 (film type)

T

tabletop (one word)

TAG (Treatment Action Group)

takaniku zogan

tape recorder (n, two words)

tape recording (n, two words)

tape-record (v)

T-cells

terra-cotta

The Kitchen (performance space)

The Marys

theater, not theatre

tie-dye

time frame (two words)

time-consuming

time-out

tinfoil

tintype (one word)

toolmaker, toolmaking (one word)

Treatment and Data committee (precursor to TAG)

T-shirt

tulip tree

tulipwood

tussah

TV

U

UK

ukiyo-e

underpainting

university-educated (adj)

university-trained (adj)

USA

US (the United States)

V

van Gogh

Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)

Voulkos's (for possessive)

W

WAC (Women's Action Coalition)

Washington, D.C.

watercolor (one word)

website, web, but World Wide Web

well known (adv)

well-known (adj)

West Coast (but west, western)

WHAM (Women's Health Action and Mobilization)

wheat paste (n, two words); wheat-paste (adj or verb)

wheel-thrown, wheel throwing

widespread

wide-spreading

women's movement

wood carving

wood turning (two words., per Renwick)

woodblock (one word)

wood-carver

woodcraft

woodcut

woodworking, woodwork, woodshop

workshop

wrought iron

WSW (Women having Sex with Women or Women Seeking Women) (also MSM)

X

xerox (lowercase), but Xerox machine

X-ray (n)

x-ray (v)