Terminology

These are the style rules and terminology we use across all Life Time content.
When looking for a word that is not included, please consult the American Heritage Dictionary. If alternative spellings are offered, please us the first option. When a word is not found in AHD, please consult Merriam-Webster.

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

Frequently Used
  • Premier Athletic Club
  • Premier Athletic Club & Resort

  • Complimentary
  • Arriving {Year}
  • Whirlpool
  • Destination
A
  • aah (or ah)
  • abdominis
  • aboveground
  • abbreviations:
    • Avoid abbreviations if possible. This includes in addresses and for units of measure. Exceptions: Space constraints or specific usage. Abbreviations for units of measure: Avoid abbreviating if possible. When it’s necessary to use abbreviations, such as lb., oz., yd., etc., do not add an “s” if plural.
  • Account Manager (instead of Member Engagement Advisor)
  • Achilles’ heel
  • Achilles tendon (no apostrophe)
  • aciduation
  • Activity Center
  • acronyms:
    • spell out on first reference, followed by parenthetical acronym, then acronyms throughout. Acronyms can be pronounced as a word, such as ASAP, while initialisms, like RSVP, can’t be; if it is not used more than once, then it should not be used at all.
  • AD (precedes date, e.g., AD 1200, but 1200 BC) full caps, no periods, per CMOS
  • ADD (“attention deficit disorder” is not capped or hyphenated); also ADHD (see below)
  • ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
  • Adidas
  • adrenaline
  • adverbs that end in –ly are not hyphenated
  • adviser
  • aero bars
  • aficionados
  • affect; effect
    • Use “affect” or “influence” instead of “impact” as a verb. Affect is a verb meaning to influence: one’s ears affect one’s balance. The verb effect means to bring about: he effected his escape. Effect (noun) means result, appearance: an airy effect.
  • aftereffects
  • after-school (adjective)
  • afterward (not afterwards):
  • afterword
  • African American (hyphenate as adjective)
  • A-game
  • age (use numerals for ages, e.g., age 30 to 64 or ages 3 to 6)
    • Hyphenate ages in the noun and adjective forms shown:
    • e.g.: Their youngest child is a 3-year-old.
    • e.g.: A 5-year-old child isn’t always ready for kindergarten.
    • But no hyphens in this context: His daughter is now 10 years old.
    • Spell out “to” versus using a dash when indicating an age range (e.g.: 30 to 64)
  • age-groupers
  • aha (doesn’t require quotes for “aha moments,” etc.)
  • AIDS
  • a.k.a.
  • alfresco
  • all-around (adjective)
  • à la carte
  • alpha hydroxy acid (no hyphen)
  • alright (is nonstandard) all right (is correct)
  • a.m. (and p.m., as in 5 a.m.)
  • amp up (or ramp up)
  • ampersand/and - Never use an ampersand (&) when space allows for “and.”
  • and/or (avoid using)
  • antiaging
  • antianxiety
  • antibacterial
  • antidepressant
  • antifungal
  • antigravity
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antimicrobial
  • antioxidant
  • antiviral
  • anyone (singular, gets a singular verb)
  • app (cap when it’s preceded by Life Time: Life Time Member App)
  • anxious (use for when anxiety is present; use eager for excited anticipation)
  • apart (shoulder width apart: No hyphen because “apart” is an adverb, not a noun. AHD gives these examples: “railings spaced two feet apart; born three years apart.”
  • apostle
  • appositive (comma treatment)
  • armchair
  • armrests
  • artisanal (not artesian or artesianal)
  • as (usage note: don’t use “as” when you mean “since”) (lowercased in headline style)
  • asana(s) (not italicized in AHD)
  • ash wood
  • asterisk - An asterisk should come after other punctuation, with the exception of a colon.
    • e.g.: Register now for a free limited-edition race T-shirt.*
    • e.g.: You’ll get 200 LT BUCK$,* and they can be used for many in-club programs.
  • AT (for aerobic threshold)
  • atherosclerosis
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); also “attention deficit disorder”; (no hyphens)
  • attributions in stories (use last names for quotes, unless quoting multiple family members. Then use first names.)
  • audio book
  • autoimmune
  • autopilot
  • AutoShip Program
  • avocados
  • awhile (use “a while” when preceded by prepositions such as “for” or “in”)
B
  • baby boomers, boomers (lowercase)
  • backcountry
  • back door
  • backup
  • back seat
  • backward
  • backyard
  • badass
  • Baja California, Mexico
  • band-aid (adjective, lowercase)
  • barcode
  • barbecue and BBQ
  • base-camp
  • base layer
  • baseline
  • B&Bs
  • BC (follows date, as in 2700 BC; full cap, no punctuation, per Chicago)
  • B complex (hyphenate as adjective, e.g., B-complex vitamin)
  • B vitamins
  • beachcomb
  • be all and end all
  • bedtime
  • beekeeping
  • begs the question (This phrase doesn’t mean what you think it means. Check out this explanation by The Grammar Girl (external link))
  • bench-press (verb); bench press (the machine)
  • bestseller (noun); best-selling (adjective)
  • beta-amyloid plaque
  • beta-amyloid protein
  • beta-carotene
  • biceps (singular and plural)
  • bighorn sheep
  • Big Pharma
  • binge (bingeing)
  • binge eating (noun)
  • bioavailable
  • biomarker
  • birth control pill (hyphenate as adjective when modifying other than “pill”)
  • bisphenol A (BPA) (no hyphen)
  • bite-sized (“sized” is OK here, but “size” usually)
  • BlackBerry
  • black belt
  • blogs and blog posts: Titles of named blogs (and video blogs), like the titles of journals and other periodicals can usually be italicized. An initial “the” can be treated as part of the title (an exception may be made for news blogs whose titles are styled like those of newspapers).
  • blood-glucose levels (hyphenated)
  • blood-sugar levels (hyphenate as adjective)
  • bloodstream
  • blow-dry (use the hyphen for both noun and verb)
  • blow dryer (no hyphen)
  • blowout (1 word, no hyphen)
  • BodyAge (proprietary noun)
  • bodybuilder (-ing)
  • body care
  • bodhi tree
  • body weight (body-weight training)
  • body wide (body-wide exercises)
  • bodywork
  • bona fide (adjective, no hyphen)
  • boot camp (hyphenate as adjective)
  • bot
  • brainstem
  • brand names (Avoid funny letter treatments and try to stick with initial caps; no trademarks or service marks. But if the branding treatment can work without looking wrong, we’ll try to use it.)
  • brand-new
  • brassicas (broccoli and cabbage) (capitalize the Genus)
  • breakup
  • breath work
  • Broccolini (trademarked term, capped)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • buildup (noun)
  • bulgogi [Korean pork dish]
  • Bulletproof (coffee) (capped)
  • body–mind (use en dash)
  • BPA (bisphenol A) (no hyphen per AHD)
  • bylines: use this style: Name of writer is Experience Life’s fitness editor. (Not: “… is the fitness editor at Experience Life.”
  • byproduct
C
  • cardiopulmonary
  • cedarwood
  • caesar salad
  • Caesar (the ruler)
  • café (but no accent in LifeCafe)
  • cals (or kcals for calorie measurements)
  • calipers (usually used as plural, as in “skinfold calipers test”)
  • canceling
  • cancer staging numbers: use Roman numerals, such as “stage IV”
  • candida (italicize the Genus Candida albicans)
  • capitalization: (in heads, subheads, and titles, cap prepositions over four letters; cap academic departments and institutions; lowercase academic positions; lowercase “the” in journals and newspapers; see titles entry)
  • capsicum
  • captions:
    • When referencing photos on a page (print): Use bold type and a colon. For example, “Clockwise from top left:”; or “From right to left:” or “Right:” or “Left:”; when locations are within text, use parentheses, such as: “Our author (left) ropes a steer.”
  • career-shift (hyphenated inverted verb)
  • carry-on
  • catalog
  • catechins
  • cat-ski
  • cattle (cows: cows are female and produce milk; use “cattle” for grassfed cattle)
  • cell phone (hyphenate as adjective)
  • cents (spell out word; use figures below one dollar)
  • centerline
  • centuries: spell one through nine; lowercase (fifth century; 21st century); ordinal numbers should not be superscript
  • certifications: (for abbreviations: all caps, no periods)
  • Certified Fitness Professional
  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • cesarean
  • chamomile
  • chatroom
  • cheat sheet
  • checkout (noun); check out (verb)
  • checkup
  • chelated
  • chest pass
  • chèvre
  • chi: (lowercase)
  • ChiRunning, ChiWalking
  • chia seeds
  • chickpeas
  • childcare (do not use for LTF, use instead of daycare for generic copy)
  • Child Center (always capped; do not use Childcare Center)
  • childlike
  • child-rearing (noun)
  • chili (for pepper and the meal; plural chilies; Chile for country)
  • chin-up
  • chock-a-block
  • chock-full (noun and adjective)
  • city folk
  • cleanup (noun and adjective)
  • CliffsNotes
  • ClubTab (1 word)
  • close-up
  • clutchy
  • coast (cap West Coast, East Coast, the Coast)
  • co- (prefix; usually no hyphen)
  • coauthor
  • coexists
  • coffeemaker
  • cofounder
  • coleslaw
  • cold pack
  • cold-pressed oil
  • cold-water (adjective)
  • colons (Use when a complete sentence precedes it; cap first word when full sentence follows; lowercase fragment. Don’t follow colon with a verb or preposition.)
  • commas: General rule: Use a serial comma before the final item in a series.
  • comma splice
  • committed
  • common sense (one word as adjective)
  • compare (compared with, not toUsage Note: A common rule of usage holds that compare toand compare with are not interchangeable. To implies “in the direction of” or “toward a target,” and so comparing Miriam to a summer’s day means treating the summer’s day as a standard or paragon and noting that Miriam, though a different kind of entity, is similar in some ways to it. With implies “together” or “side by side,” and so comparing the Senate version of the bill with the House version means treating them symmetrically, as two examples of the same kind of entity, and noting both the similarities and the differences.
  • complement/compliment (you complement a meal with a side dish and compliment the cook for the meal)
  • comprises (not “comprised of”) Usage Note: The traditional rule states that the whole comprises the parts and the parts compose the whole. In strict usage: The Union comprises 50 states. Fifty states compose (or make up) the Union.
  • Continent (capped, as in “the Continent”)
  • cook time (and prep time in Confident Cook)
  • cool-down (noun); cool down (verb)
  • co-op
  • CoQ10 (or spell out coenzyme Q10)
  • cornstarch
  • cortisol
  • couple (use with “of”: such as in “a couple of weeks ago, . . .”)
  • Couple membership
  • coworker
  • Craigslist
  • credentials (see titles: no commas for PhD, MD, and other credentials)
  • crème fraiche
  • crock pot
  • CSA (community-supported agriculture) (lowercase)
  • cross-country ski (Nordic skiing is now preferred, but either way is acceptable.)
  • cross-train
  • crow’s feet
  • cure-all
  • cytokines
  • Cycle Club (cap both words)
  • cycling class (not Spinning, which is a brand name)
D
  • Daddy Daughter Dance (no hyphen)
  • dark leafy greens (no comma)
  • Dallas Premier Club
    • Name on building is Life Time Athletic at Premier Place. In copy, use Life Time Athletic Premier Place.
  • data (treat as singular)
  • dates: abbreviate month when it includes a day, such as Jan. 1, 2011; spell out month with year only, such as January 2011; include a comma after the day always and year if used within a sentence.
    • For LT: Spell out a date, and preferably include the day of the week. e.g., Saturday, July 21, 2018
    • Note: When the above information appears within a sentence — The race will take place on Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. — include a comma after the year.
    • For legal copy and other nonpromotional usage, you may use the shorter form with numbers and slashes, e.g., 7/21/18.
  • dates, con't.
    • Do not use ordinal numbers in dates (i.e., 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 31st). e.g., Registration opens Thursday, October 11 (not October 11th).
    • Use this format for a date range within the same month: December 21–23. Use an en dash between numerals.
    • This is the format for a date range with different months: October 29–November 8. Use an en dash between date and month.
  • daycare (don’t use in LT references; use childcare)
  • Daylight Saving Time
  • deadlifts
  • decadeslong
  • decision-making
  • decluttering (new: close prefix)
  • deep freeze (noun)
  • delicious (not to be used)
  • desk dweller
  • de-stress
  • demigod
  • diehard (noun; die-hard, adjective)
  • dietitian (not dietician)
  • digital copy:
    • All numerals can be used in digital copy, and they can be used at the beginnings and ends of sentences and paragraphs.
  • dimensions (5-foot-6-inch man, for example, per AP)
  • dishcloth
  • dish soap
  • docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • doctor (use medical credential instead of Dr., e.g., Andrew Weil, MD)
  • Dodd Blvd. (not Dodd Road for Lakeville location)
  • dodge ball
  • dotcom
  • DownDo (on LifeSpa menu of hair services)
  • downtime
  • dogsledding
  • dogsled
  • DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness; not capped)
  • don Miguel Ruiz
  • doughnut
  • dos and don’ts (when all caps, “DO’S” is acceptable)
  • downside
  • downwinders
  • Dr. (EL style is MD or PhD)
  • DPhil (use PhD instead)
  • drive-thru (for fast-food joint; drive-through for other references)
  • drop off (verb); drop-off (noun and adjective; )
  • dropperful
  • drugmaker
  • drugstore
  • dry cleaning (noun)
  • due to/because of (usage note: avoid using “due to” when it can be replaced by “because of”)
  • duffel bag (not duffle bag)
  • dumbbell (1 word)
  • dumpster fire
  • dustup
E
  • eager (use eager for excited anticipation; use anxious when anxiety is present)
  • Earth (the earth; Earth [capped, no “the”] Planet Earth; Mother Earth)
  • East Coast (open as adjective)
  • e-book
  • eco- (prefix, no hyphens, except for “eco-friendly”)
  • ecoconscious
  • eco-friendly
  • ecosystem
  • ecotourist
  • ecotourism
  • E. coli (italics)
  • ecotopia
  • editor in chief (no hyphens)
  • e.g./i.e. (e.g., means “for example”; i.e., means “that is.” A comma follows each.)
  • egad
  • eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • elicit (not illicit)
  • ellipsis (Equal spaces around dots.) Avoid using ellipses except to indicate missing copy. If needed for dramatic effect, use an em dash with a space before and after it. (See “em dashes” entry.)
  • ELmag.com (shortened URL for direct link); also ExperienceLife.com
  • em dashes: no more than two per paragraph; spaces around dashes [— shift+option+hyphen on a Mac]
    • Use an em dash with a space before and after it to indicate a break in thought or in sentence structure, or to explain or amplify a phrase.
    • e.g., By Friday — or even sooner if possible — I’ll have an answer for you.
    • She lives in Minneapolis — in Uptown, I believe. (Do not use an en dash or hyphen in these instances.)
  • email
  • empty nester
  • en dashes: no spaces around them (used for open compound proper nouns that can’t be hyphenated, like “New York–based”; also use an en dash (option+hyphen on a Mac) without spaces between a range of ages, dates, times, prices, numbers, etc.
    • e.g., 5–10 years old, September 1–15, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., $50–$100, 50–75 events. (The use of “to” is preferred where possible.)
  • endcap
  • engrained (use ingrain instead)
  • ennoble
  • endpoint
  • entrée
  • ephedra
  • Epsom salts
  • Equilibrium
  • esthetic (not aesthetic unless used in connection with MediSpa)
  • esthetician (not aesthetician unless used in connection with MediSpa)
  • etc. (try to avoid in formal writing. OK within parens.)
  • EU (European Union)
  • euro
  • everyone (gets a singular verb)
  • EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
  • exclamation points: use sparingly
  • ExperienceLife.com
  • extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
F
  • face-down
  • face-first
  • face time (hyphenate as adjective)
  • face-up
  • fairgrounds
  • fair-trade organic (nontrademarked, with hyphen, no caps)
  • Fair Trade Certified (Trademarked, capped, no hyphen)
  • Family membership
  • farmers’ markets
  • fast food (hyphenate as adjective)
  • FastFuel Complete
  • fazed
  • feet (use numerals)
  • feng shui
  • fewer (vs. less; use fewer for something that can be measured, and less for an intangible)
  • fiancé (A man to whom one is engaged to be married.)
  • fiancée (A woman to whom one is engaged to be married.)
  • fight-or-flight response (not quoted)
  • fillet (of fish or beef; noun); filleted (transitive verb)
  • fine-tune
  • first come, first served
  • firsthand
  • Fit Academy
  • Fitness Professional
  • Fitness Services Desk (not Fitness Information Desk)
  • flare-up
  • flavonoids
  • flaxseed (s)
  • flextime
  • flip-flop
  • flotation
  • fly-fishing
  • flulike
  • flys (the exercise machine)
  • -fold (suffix, no hyphen)
  • follow-through (noun)
  • follow up (verb); follow-up (noun or adjective)
  • foodborne
  • foodie
  • footbath
  • footwork
  • forebear
  • foreign words: If they can be found in the dictionary, they shouldn’t be italicized. If not, italicize word upon first reference if it appears throughout text
  • foreword
  • forgo (-ing)
  • forward
  • Founding Member (cap both words)
  • free diver
  • freediving
  • free-fall (free-falling)
  • free radical
  • Free Speech Movement (capped per CMOS)
  • free-weights
  • freshwater
  • Frisbee (Ultimate Frisbee)
  • front desk
  • front-load
  • frontline
  • full-time (adverb)
  • Fun Play (Life Time Kids program)
  • funner and funnest are unacceptable and nonstandard (use most fun)
  • -free (suffix, with hyphen)
  • freethinking
  • French fries
G
  • gallbladder
  • game-changer
  • Gen-X (Generation-X)
  • gerunds (avoid using them in heds and deks)
  • get-go
  • gift-wrap
  • gingerroot
  • Ginkgo
  • GMO; GMOs
  • go-getter
  • goodie bag (not goody bag)
  • Gouda
  • goal-setting
  • grams (use figures for weights, e.g., 8 grams)
  • Grand Opening (caps)
  • grape seed (two words is most common in medical research)
  • grassfed
  • grassroots
  • gray (not grey)
  • great- (great compounds hyphenated: great-grandmother)
  • great northern beans
  • great white shark
  • greenlight
  • greenwashing
  • groundswell
  • group cycling class (LT may use cycling class or studio classes)
  • group fitness class (LT may use fitness class or studio classes)
  • gym-goers
H
  • habit-forming (OK to hyphenate in both forms)
  • hair care (2 words)
  • handcrafted
  • hand-held (noun and adjective)
  • hand-in-hand
  • handcycling (April 08, SS)
  • handmade
  • handpicked
  • handwritten
  • hang on to
  • hardcore
  • hard bodies
  • hard boiled (hyphenate as adjective)
  • hard-pressed (adjective)
  • hardwired
  • half-marathon
  • half-hour
  • half-pipe
  • HAZMAT suits
  • Headline style for titles, heds, deks:
    • Cap first and last word in titles and subtitles
    • Cap words four letters or longer
    • Lowercase the articles: the, a, an
    • Lowercase conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor
    • Lowercase: to, as
    • Lowercase the prepositions: on, in
  • heads (or hed: cap prepositions that are four or more letters long)
  • headlamp
  • head-on
  • health adviser (all lowercase)
  • healthcare
  • Health Coach
  • health-wise
  • health club
  • healthy/healthful (both acceptable, meaning conducive to good health)
  • heartbeat
  • heart rate
  • heart-rate monitor; heart-rate training
  • heart-rending (not heart-wrenching)
  • heat stroke
  • heavy-duty
  • heavyweight
  • heli-ski
  • hemp seed (hyphenate as adjective)
  • HIIT (high-intensity interval training, lowercase)
  • high-five
  • high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • high school (no hyphen as adjective, such as high school student)
  • high-tops
  • hipbones
  • home ec
  • home in = to focus on; hone in = to sharpen, as in a skill
  • homegrown
  • homemade
  • homepage
  • hold on to
  • hone in (see home in)
  • hotbed
  • hot spot
  • hourlong
  • house-made
  • however (Usage Tip: avoid starting sentence with “However, . . .” but “However you say it, . . . for example, is OK. Choose “Yet” or “But” instead.)
  • how-to (how-tos)
  • the Huffington Post (Roman)
  • hula hoops
  • Hula-Hoop (trademarked)
  • hyperdrive
  • hyperfocused
  • hyphens: hyphenate compound adjectives (modifiers), e.g., heart-rate monitor, high-quality cardio equipment, family-focused events.
    • Exception: No hyphen when the first word is an adverb and ends in “ly.”
    • e.g., wholly owned corporation, easily remembered name
    • Do not hyphenate:
      • a) a compound modifier before a noun when the compound itself carries a modifier or after a noun unless subject to misreading or hyphenated in American Heritage as an adjective:
      • a well-built house / a very well built house
      • a house well built / the house was well built
I
  • icecap
  • ice-skate (-ing)
  • impact (is not a verb; replace with “affect” or “influence,” such as “it will affect (not impact) the body. But “have an impact on” is correct.)
  • important (e.g., more important is preferred to more importantly)
  • inches (use numerals)
  • indoles
  • initialisms (Acronyms can be pronounced as a word, such as ASAP, while initialisms, like RSVP, can’t be. Both initialisms and acronyms should only be used as abbreviations when they appear again later in a story.)
  • injury-free
  • injectable (not injectible)
  • in order (usually can be deleted)
  • in-line skate
  • ingrain (preferable to engrain)
  • info (OK as substitute for “information”)
  • initials (space between, such as in E. P. Seligman)
  • in season
  • Integrated Muscle and Joint Therapy (IMJT)
  • internet (the hardware system; the Web is how we access information)
  • in to (tune in to)
  • in vitro (no hyphen for adj. or adv.)
  • IQ
  • ironclad
  • Ironman (Hawaii Ironman)
  • irritable bowel syndrome (no hyphen per AHD)
  • IU (International Unit, replaced DV on vitamins)
  • Isoflavones
  • italics (use for someone’s thoughts; use for word emphasis)
J
  • jackknifes
  • jalapeño
  • jet lag (jet-lagged)
  • joining fees (always plural)
  • judgment
  • judgy (per Merriam-Webster)
  • jujitsu
  • jump rope
  • jump-start (verb and noun)
  • junior high school (no hyphen)
  • Jr. (no commas around it, per CMOS)
K
  • kalamata olives
  • karate
  • Kathmandu
  • kelp
  • kettlebells
  • kickboxing
  • kick off (verb)
  • kickoff (noun)
  • kick-start (transitive verb)
  • K (10K) (cap K used when abbreviating kilometer — 10K run, etc.)
  • Kids Play (no apostrophe)
  • kimchi
L
  • largess
  • latte (no accent per A.H.)
  • lb. (abbreviations for pound/pounds; we usually spell out “pounds” except in recipes) 1 lb., no hyphen when abbreviated, but spell out [abbreviations don’t change in the plural, such as 1 lb., 3 lb.; 4/18]
  • leaky gut syndrome (no hyphen)
  • less (vs. fewer: see fewer)
  • LifeCafe
  • lifeblood
  • life cycle
  • lifelong
  • LifeSpa gift card (gift card is 2 words)
  • Life Time — Healthy Way of Life (for company)
  • Life Time in-house email address: xxxxx@lt.life
  • Life Time Triathlon
  • lifetime.life (don’t include www. or http://)
  • life span
  • light bulb
  • like (vs. “such as”): Like says that what follows is intended as a frame of reference to indicate the group of things you’re talking about but is itself not included in the group. Such as means that what follows are examples of the things that are part of the group you’re talking about.
    • If the statement is going to be set off by commas, use such as. “Some colors, such as orange and yellow, stimulate your appetite.”
    • If the purpose of the statement is to make a comparison, use like. “Family-friendly programs like The Brady Bunch are harder to find these days.”
  • limited edition (hyphenate when an adjective: limited-edition merchandise )
  • limited time (hyphenate when an adjective: limited-time offer)
  • line-drying
  • locker room (locker-room, adjective)
  • lockstep
  • log in, or on (verb); login (noun)
  • log in to (not log into)
  • long-standing (adjective)
  • long term (hyphenate as adjective, e.g., long-term contracts)
  • loss leader
  • lower (lower-back pain)
  • low fat (low-fat, adjective)
  • LT BUCK$
  • LTF/X
  • LTF/Xers
  • lunging
  • -ly (“-ly” adverbs aren’t hyphenated in compounds)
  • Lyme disease
M
  • mache (no accent per AHD)
  • mahi mahi (no hyphen)
  • makeup
  • makeup (1 word)
  • mango (mangoes, plural)
  • manmade
  • marketing-speak
  • mash-up
  • mass-market (adjective)
  • masters
  • Masters Swim or Masters Swim Class
  • max-heart-rate training
  • mcg (microgram)
  • MD (no periods)
  • Meals to Go
  • media (plural)
  • Member Advantage
  • Member Activities
  • Member Activities Desk
  • megabyte (abbrev. MB, no space, e.g., 256MB)
  • megadose
  • mega-store
  • metabolic assessment
  • metabolic profile (no caps when used in general way vs. myMetabolicProfile)
  • mg (milligram; use abbreviation): don’t repeat spelled-out word in “20 to 40 mg,” for example
  • micronutrients
  • midafternoon
  • midday
  • middle age (middle-age, adjective)
  • Middle American (adjective and noun)
  • midlife
  • midrange
  • Midwest
  • miles: for distances spell below 10
  • milk shake
  • Millennials
  • millions (use numerals, always open, no hyphens) (use numbers with millions, billions)
  • mind–body (adjective; use en dash)
  • mindset
  • mini squats (no hyphen)
  • Mixed Combat Arts (MCA)
  • Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
  • month-to-month membership
  • months (abbreviate with dates per AP, such as Oct. 8, 1998, but spell out when using alone or with a year alone. See dates entry.)
    • Abbreviate names of months more than five letters when followed by a date, but spell out when referring to the month generally.
    • DO NOT abbreviate March, April, May, June, July.
 in February; Feb. 5; March 30; April 7; Sept. 10, 2000; in September 2000
  • monthlong
  • motocross
  • mph (miles per hour; use figures: 7 mph)
  • multi (prefix; in general, no hyphens)
  • multiday
  • multigrain
  • multihued
  • multijoint
  • multisport (no hyphen)
  • multitasking
  • multiuse
  • multivitamin
  • muscle-up
  • must-read (a must-read)
  • myofascial
  • mountain-bike rides (hyphenate as adjective)
  • myriad (use without of, e.g., with myriad options)
N
  • naive
  • natural groceries
  • nauseous/nauseated
  • nerve-racking
  • news feed (hyphenate as adjective)
  • neti pot
  • New Year’s; New Year’s Day and Eve; the New Year (when referring to the Jan. 1st period)
  • news bite
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs)
  • nightlife
  • nitpicking
  • No. (use instead of #, e.g., “No. 1 choice”)
  • non- (usually no hyphen)
  • nonmember (for EL: for LT: non-member (always use a hyphen)
  • nonnegotiable
  • none (none functions as singular and takes a singular verb, e.g., none of the members was there)
  • no one (is singular: “no one is”)
  • Nordic skiing
  • nori
  • Northern California
  • nontoxic
  • nonprofit
  • notwithstanding
  • nutmeat
  • Nutrition Coach (sometimes called Registered Dietitian)
  • nurse-practitioner
  • nystagmus
  • noncaffeinated
  • numerals: Use numerals for all numbers above nine; spell out all numbers under 10. (Note, however, the exceptions below.)
    • Use numerals for dimensions: inches, feet, yards; weights and measures: grams, ounces, pounds; ages; sizes: millions, billions; percentages; speeds
    • 401(k); 1990s or ’90s; 24/7; 8-x-11-inch pan, e.g.;
    • Use numerals with reps, when appropriate for ease of reference.
    • Do not start sentences with a number (exceptions for digital copy).
    • Use figures for ages, sums of money, time of day, percentages, house numerals, years, days of month, degrees of temperature, proportions, votes, scores, speeds, time of races, dimensions, and serial numbers.
  • numerals: con't
    • Spell out numbers, no matter how large, when they begin sentences; rephrase the sentence if long numbers are awkward. Exception: When starting a sentence with a year, do not write it out. 1999 was a very good year.
    • Use figures for ordinal numbers above ninth; spell out ordinals under 10th (e.g.: Ninth, 21st, 156th, 192nd, 21st century).
    • Use 21 million instead of 21,000,000. Also: $39 million, $22.5 billion. Don’t carry beyond two decimals. Millions, billions are open, no hyphens.
    • Avoid unnecessary ciphers. Use $1, not $1.00; 1 p.m., not 1:00 p.m. Use zero before decimals, e.g., 0.25. • Spell out an approximate number if it can be expressed in a few words. Nearly a thousand; half a million; about four hundred; BUT: the city’s population of about 575,000
    • DO NOT use Roman numerals except when they are part of a title or a name. World War I; World War II; King Henry VIII; Rocco Colabella III
  • numerals: con't
    • Fractions standing alone are spelled out. One-fourth of the students
    • Insert commas with four or more figures, except in dates (e.g.: $5,900; 1,576 skateboards; 1990; 2001)
    • Avoid successive numerals in a single expression. 15 six-inch boards
    • Spell out degrees when referring to temperature. 49 degrees 
 - Use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc. He is 5 feet 6 inches tall. The basketball team signed a 7-footer. The 6-foot-5 forward
    • For cancer staging numbers: use Roman numerals, such as “stage IV”
    • digital copy:
      • All numerals can be used in digital copy, and they can be used at the beginning and end of sentences and paragraph
O
  • offhand
  • off-limits
  • offline
  • offload
  • off-ramp
  • off-season (noun, adjective, adverb)
  • off-site
  • oil field
  • OK (not “okay”)
  • Olympics (the Games, the Olympics, the Olympic Games)
  • om
  • omega-3, omega-6
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • omelet
  • one (is singular, such as one in 10 Americans is)
  • on hand
  • onboard/onboarding
  • online
  • only (use it right before the word you want to single out)
  • onsite (adjective and adverb)
  • one-on-one (not 1-on-1 unless there’s not enough space to spell out “one”)
  • one-to-one (not 1-to-1 unless there’s not enough space to spell out “one”)
  • open-mindedness (n.) open-minded
  • outpatient
  • over- (prefix, usually no hyphens)
  • overeat
  • overtraining
  • O2
P
  • paddleboard (paddleboarding, paddleboarded)
  • page (spell out page numbers)
  • palate (taste)
  • paleo (lowercase; cap when referring to the Paleolithic era)
  • palette
  • Parents Night Out
  • parkour (it’s in the dictionary, lowercase; see NYTimes for example)
  • Parmesan
  • Parmesan-Reggiano
  • part-time (adjective)
  • PE (or phys ed)
  • Pec Deck machine
  • peloton (Roman, no ital)
  • percent (spell out; always use numbers, e.g., 2 percent, always open, no hyphens; don’t repeat spelled-out word, in 50 to 70 percent)
  • Personal Trainer [EL lowercases in descriptive copy]
  • phthalates
  • phone book
  • phone numbers: (For EL use hyphens and no number 1 before long-distance.) (For LT: Use periods to separate the parts of a phone number: e.g., 612.555.1212. Do not include a ”1” at the start of long-distance numbers: e.g., 888.583.2622. For digital properties use hyphens: e.g., 888-583-2622.)
  • photo foodies
  • photoshopped (lowercase)
  • phytochemicals
  • phytonutrients
  • pick up (verb)
  • pickup (noun or adjective, such as a pickup or a pickup game)
  • playlist
  • Play-Doh
  • play maze
  • pull-downs
  • PhD (EL style for Dr.)
  • PH
  • photosensitive
  • pickleball
  • pickup
  • Pilates (capped)
  • p.m.
  • Poolapalooza (no hyphens when in copy; hyphens are OK in graphic form)
  • pool deck (2 words)
  • public-relations (adjective)
  • publisher info: only in Bookmarks dept.
  • pull-up
  • purée
  • pushups
  • pocket-sized
  • podcast
  • polypropylene
  • posterboard
  • postpartum (adverb and adjective: e.g., in postpartum; and postpartum depression)
  • posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • postworkout
  • powerfood
  • powerlifting (power lifters)
  • prefixes: (e.g., co-, non-, pro-, pre-, post-, etc., usually have no hyphen with adjoining word, unless it looks odd; same for suffixes)
  • prep time (and cook time in Confident Cook)
  • preopening (no hyphen)
  • prepositions (cap four letters or more in heads and subheads)
  • presale (no hyphen)
  • preventive (not preventative)
  • Preview Center (capped; never use “presale center”)
  • primary-care doctor
  • problem-solving (problem-solvers)
  • proved (preferable to proven)
  • pumpkinseeds
  • purée
Q
  • quotes (For EL, departments aren’t quoted; story titles are quoted. Quote words and phrases treated as words; quote words used as terms.)
  • quoting words (avoid in most cases; see scare quotes)
  • qigong
  • Qi (chee) use chi
R
  • racecourse
  • race day (2 words: OK to hyphenate as an adjective)
  • Racquetcap (interactive program for racquetball players)
  • rain gear
  • ramp up (or amp up)
  • ready-made
  • real-estate (hyphenate as adjective)
  • Recipes:
    • Number with abbreviation is open, no hyphen., per CMOS (8 oz. package); abbreviate tbs., tsp., in ingredients list, but spell in directions; stack fractionsre-create (and recreate for the activity)
  • reengineered
  • reentry
  • reestablish
  • reexamine
  • Registered Dietitian (sometimes called Nutrition Coach)
  • Reindeer Games
  • reintroduce
  • reinventing
  • reps (use numerals, e.g., 8 to 12 reps at the end of Workout when possible)
  • restart
  • résumé
  • rib cage
  • rightsize (-ing)
  • road map
  • rock climbing
  • rock-hard
  • rockwall (1 word; better for SEO purposes)
  • Rolfing
  • roll-up (noun; refers to food item)
  • Rollerblading
  • roller coaster
  • roller skiing (roller skis)
  • roundtrip
  • rpm
  • rucksack
  • Run Club (cap both words)
  • runner-up (noun)
  • runoff
S
  • Saint John’s wort
  • saltshaker
  • same old (no hyphen)
  • saucepan
  • sautéing
  • scare quotes (Quotation marks used to emphasize a word or phrase or to indicate its special status, especially to express doubt about its validity or to criticize its use.)
  • search for (Use the phrase: “go to ExperienceLife.com and search for “story title or topic.”)
  • SAD (seasonal affective disorder) lowercase per AHD.
  • saltwater
  • school-break camp
  • seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • seat belt
  • second-best
  • secondhand
  • self-esteem
  • self-worth
  • semicolon (Use in a list when there’s internal punctuation.)
  • semirural
  • semitrailer
  • serial comma (EL style: use comma before final item in a series)
  • serotonin
  • setbacks
  • set point
  • setup
  • shakeup
  • shelf life
  • shelf-stable
  • shiitake
  • shoelaces
  • shop.lifetime.life (Do not include www. or https://.)
  • shortchange
  • shortcut
  • shorthand
  • should (Avoid using when suggesting something to readers.)
  • shoulder width apart (no hyphen)
  • shuteye
  • shutoff
  • sidebars (Treat them independently from story, so re-ID sources in sidebars.)
  • side butt
  • side effect
  • side dish
  • sign up (verb); sign-up (noun)
  • Single membership
  • single-mindedness
  • since (use when you mean as)
  • single-track
  • sit-up
  • -size (use “-size” instead of “-sized”; e.g., apple-size tumor)
  • skincare
  • skinfold
  • sky-high
  • slash (virgule: / : avoid “and/or”)
  • sled dog
  • slideshow (most commonly written as one word, but not in the dictionary)
  • slow cooker
  • Slow Food movement (lowercase “movement”)
  • smartphone
  • smartwatch
  • sneaked (is preferred over “snuck”)
  • SNPs (“snips”) no hyphen when spelled out
  • snowshoe
  • so-called (the word that follows “so called” should not be quoted)
  • social media (hyphenate as adjective; e.g., social-media campaign)
  • socioeconomic
  • somatapause
  • someone (treat as singular)
  • sometime (adverb, and indefinite period of time)
  • soul mate
  • sound bite
  • soundtrack
  • Southern California (and Northern California)
  • soymilk
  • spark plug
  • spidey sense (think of that creepy crawly feeling)
  • Spinning (Don’t use this word. For the trademarked program, lowercase in general, but don’t use it at all for group cycling classes; use group cycling classes or cycling classes)
  • Spooktacular (Halloween event for kids)
  • spot-on
  • spring-cleaning (noun)
  • sports skills (not sport skills)
  • standby
  • standard American diet (SAD), lowercase
  • stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)
  • star fruit
  • start-up
  • State Names (abbreviate per AP when used with cities):
    • Abbreviate names of states when used after the names of cities and towns, but spell out when referring to the state generally. The state may be omitted in references to Washington communities and to major cities when names alone are adequate identification (Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, etc.).
    • Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kan., Ky., La., Mass., Md., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Neb., Nev., N.C., N.D. N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., Okla., Ore., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Va., Vt., Wash., Wis., W.Va., Wyo.






    • DO NOT abbreviate Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Utah, Texas.

    • DO NOT abbreviate the names of Canadian Provinces.

    • DO NOT abbreviate the Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, British West Indies, except when repeated full references in a story would be cumbersome.
  • stairclimbers
  • StairMaster
  • standalone
  • startlingly
  • step-up (such as in “a step-up”)
  • stir-fry, stir-fries
  • strength training (hyphenate adjective, e.g., strength-training program)
  • stress-eating
  • stressed-out (adjective, Informal: Undergoing or suffering the effects of extreme stress: He was stressed-out because he had so much work to do.)
  • store-bought
  • stopwatch
  • such as (vs. “like”: see like entry)
  • suffixes (e.g., -like, -wide, etc., usually have no hyphen with adjoining word, unless it looks odd)
  • sulphur/sulfur
  • sub-ablative (use a hyphen; MediSpa terminology)
  • Summer Camp or summer camp
  • sun-dried
  • sun-dried tomato (use a hyphen)
  • SUP (standup paddleboarding)
  • superbugs
  • superfood
  • supergreens
  • superset
  • supersize
  • “sure to” (avoid using this phrase)
  • summited (verb, to summit a mountain)
  • surefire
  • sweatshops
  • Swim Play
  • Swiss ball
  • systemwide
T
  • Tabata
  • tae kwon do
  • tagline (1 word)
  • tai chi
  • tailor-made (adjective and noun)
  • takeaway
  • takeout
  • tap into (but tune in to)
  • taproots
  • taste buds
  • tbs. (in text, spell out tablespoon; abbreviate in recipes)
  • tchotchke
  • team member(s)
  • TEAM (no periods, not T.E.A.M.)
  • TEAM Boot Camp
  • TEAM Fitness
  • TEAM Weight Loss
  • teapot
  • TEDMED
  • TED Talks
  • TEDx Talks
  • telltale
  • Tencap (interactive program for tennis players)
  • Tencap Squash (interactive program for squash players)
  • temperatures (350 degrees F; or 350°F)
  • tendinitis (tendinosis)
  • tenfold
  • tepee
  • test-drive (transitive verb); test drive (noun)
  • thank-you (noun, e.g., “send a thank-you”)
  • therefore
  • till (is acceptable for “until”)
  • time (use figures, e.g., 10 a.m.)
  • time frame
  • time-out
  • timesaving
  • timeline (1 word)
  • timetable
  • time trial
  • tiptop
  • ’tis
  • titles (for publication): use Chicago style: italicize books, mags, newspapers, movies, videos, CDs; lowercase “the” in journals and newspapers, e.g., the New York Times; capitalize the principal words, including any prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters; lowercase articles, prepositions (fewer than four letters); only capitalize an article (the, a, an) or word of fewer than four letters if it’s the first or last word in a title; capitalize the first and last word in a hed; use headline style for article titles (see “Headline style” above)
    • Titles of regular departments or columns in periodicals are set in roman with no quotation marks (per CMOS)
  • titles (con't):
    • Titles (professional, academic, corporate, and organizational): lowercase, e.g., the chief executive officer; Pat Belsos, chief executive officer of Caterham Industries; the CEO; the director; Janice Bayder, superintendent of Coriander Township High School District; Francoise Meltzer, professor of comparative literature; Professor Meltzer; Mark Payne, chair of the Department of Classics
    • Named professorships: Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School
    • Names of degrees, fellowships, and the like are lowercased when referred to generically: a master’s degree; a doctorate; master of business administration (MBA)
  • “to boot” (avoid using this phrase)
  • to-dos
  • tomatoey
  • toolkit
  • touchy-feely
  • top-notch
  • top-off (noun); top off (verb)
  • Torchlight 5K
  • toward (not towards)
  • towel-dry (verb)
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (capped) TCM
  • trademarks: (per CMOSEL does not use trademarks, registered marks, or service marks)
  • trail building
  • Training Desk
  • transverse abdominis
  • trans fats (hyphenate as adjective)
  • trapezoid (trapezius, plural)
  • travel, traveling, traveled (one “l”)
  • treasure-trove (noun and adjective)
  • triceps (singular and plural)
  • trick-or-treating (trick or treat)
  • trifecta (a betting term for picking the first three winners in order)
  • tsp. (for teaspoon; in text, spell out; abbreviate in recipes)
  • T-shirt
  • tune in to
  • tune-up (noun)
  • Turkey Day 5K
  • TV or television
  • tweet
  • Twitter
  • type A person
  • type 2 diabetes
U
  • über (prefix, usually no hyphen)
  • überfocused
  • U.K.
  • ultra- (prefix, usually no hyphen)
  • underage
  • undertraining
  • under way
  • United States (use U.S. as adjective) For possessive plural, use United States’
  • UpDo (on LifeSpa menu of hair services)
  • up to date; up-to-date (only hyphenate when used as an adjective before a noun, e.g., up-to-date maps)
  • Ultimate Frisbee (capping per AHD on 5/2/18)
  • ultramarathon (ultramarathoner)
  • ultradistance
  • upside
  • uptick
  • up-to-speed (per CMOS)
  • upward
  • username (1 word)
  • using (preferred to “utilizing”)
  • U-turn
V
  • Venn (capped)
  • video game (hyphenate as adjective)
  • vinyasa
  • Vita
  • violà (accent grave over “à”)
  • VO2 max (with subscript)
  • voice mail
W
  • wabi-sabi
  • waitlist (1 word)
  • wakami
  • wake-up call
  • Walmart
  • wannabe
  • warm-up (verb); warm-up (noun and adjective, e.g., do a “warm-up” and “warm-up time”)
  • wastewater
  • waterpark (1 word)
  • waterproof
  • water-ski
  • waterslide (1 word)
  • Web (cap: as in “the Web”; use this for system of accessing information, vs. internet)
  • webcast (lowercase)
  • Web Extra!
  • website (but still the Web)
  • weeklong
  • weights: (use figures for grams, ounces, pounds)
  • weightlifter
  • weightlifting
  • weight loss (hyphenate as adjective: such as weight-loss program)
  • weight training
  • weight room
  • West (as in the West; Western, as in the Western states)
  • West Coast
  • wheatgrass
  • whitecaps
  • -wide (usually no hyphen, such as companywide)
  • width (no hyphen in “shoulder width apart” or “hip width apart)
  • windproof
  • well-being (noun)
  • wind-proof
  • whitewater; whitewater (adjective)
  • while: Usage note: As a conjunction, while is used to indicate that two events are happening at the same time (While I was preparing the hamburger patties, she sliced the onions and tomatoes), but it can also be used to contrast two clauses in a nontemporal way (While the “h” is silent in the word “honest,” it is pronounced in the word “hostile”). To avoid ambiguity or an unintended suggestion of simultaneity, choose a different conjunction, such as although or whereas.
  • Whole Foods Market
  • whole-grain (adjective); whole grains (noun)
  • whole wheat (use a hyphen for adjective, e.g., whole-wheat bread)
  • wholeheartedly
  • whole-life balance
  • Whole-Life Education
  • woo-hoo (per M-W)
  • workout (verb, work out, working out)
  • workday
  • work–life balance (with en dash; not work/life balance)
  • workplace
  • work station
  • world-class (adjective)
  • wipeout
  • weight room
  • www. (when breaking urls, the dot drops to next line)
    • Note: Website addresses within editorial copy will include www. and be all lowercase letters, though dotcom company names may include caps. Treatment of individual advertisers’ website addresses will be left to their discretion.
    • When a Web address functions as its own entity, like Grist.org, the www is not needed except for when giving the full address.
    • Experience Life’s and Life Time’s websites will not include www. : ExperienceLife.com
    • URLs should break at the end of complete sections, such as after www., or between life and time such as in Experiencelife.com, with no hyphens at line breaks. Dots and the “@” marks in addresses shouldn’t end a sentence but should fall to the next line.
    • Use “search for” when directing reader to our Web archives.
    • New EL URLs: ExperienceLife.com and ELmag.com
X
  • x-rays
Y
  • yadda yadda yadda
  • yearlong (adjective)
  • year-round (year-round, adjective)
  • yeses
  • yin-yang (hyphen)
  • yoga (all lowercase; not Yoga)
  • yoga poses: lowercase
Z
  • zero-depth entry
  • zero-depth-entry pool (also called beach-entry pool)
  • zero-edge pool
  • Ziploc
  • z’s
  • zigzag
  • ZIP code
  • zipline
Punctuation
  • When using dashes midsentence, use em dashes with spaces around them: — not double hyphens: – ; no more than two em dashes per paragraph
  • Space before and after ellipses . . . like this, with equal space between dots, per Chicago; a sentence-ending ellipsis looks like this: . . . . Begin new sentence.
  • No double spaces after periods
  • use en dashes in series like 20–50 (though preferred style is 20 to 50); Jan. 1–5; no spaces around en dashes

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