Glossary L-O

Latina – a Latin American female.

Latino – a Latin American male.

lay/lie – a source of frequent confusion. The root of the problem is that “lay” is both the present tense form of the transitive (action) verb that means to put something down and the past tense form of the intransitive verb that means to recline.

Verb forms:
lay, laid, laid, laying
lie, lay, lain, lying

To lay
I laid my purse on the table and now I can’t find it. But: It was lying right there.
Please lay your coat right here.
The hens are laying eggs again.

To lie
I believe I will lie down for a while.
He must lie in bed for a week after his knee operation.
He lay in bed for a week after his knee operation.

Incorrect: I decided to lay down for a nap after lunch.

lectern – a stand for holding notes or the written speech of someone delivering a lecture. See also dais, rostrum, and podium.

lend/loan – in general, “to lend” is a verb; “loan” is a noun.

lists, bulleted – A vertical list (as opposed to a run-in list) is best set off by a complete grammatical sentence followed by a colon. Listed items have ending punctuation only if the items are complete sentences. If the listed items are numbered or bulleted, the line item begins with a capital letter.

Joe had three ways he could “Commute Another Way”:
1. Carpool with Mary
2. Ride his bike
3. Walk

Joe had three ways he could "Commute Another Way":
    carpool with Mary
    ride his bike

Joe had three ways he could “Commute Another Way”:
1. He could carpool with Mary.
2. He could ride his bike.
3. He could walk.

If a vertical list does not begin with a complete sentence followed by a colon, then the entire list should be treated as a sentence. Listed items may be set off by numbers, but begin with a lowercase letter and end with either a comma or semicolon. The entire list ends with a period.

Joe’s three ways to “Commute Another Way” are
1. to carpool with Mary,
2. to ride his bike,
3. to walk.

lists, run-in – short, simple lists are usually run into the text rather than set off as a vertical list with bullets. Numbers or letters that set off the parts of the list are enclosed in parentheses, and the parts are set off by commas or semicolons.

The Smiths’ European tour will take them to (1) London, (2) Paris, (3) Rome, and (4) Madrid.

The performance series will include (a) Bell, Book, and Candle; (b) Suddenly, Last Summer; and (c) Farewell, My Lovely.

-ly – when used to form a compound adverb preceding a noun, do not hyphenate. Correct: It was a highly acclaimed book.

magna cum laude Latin title, meaning with great honors; set lowercase in italics. At Bowdoin, this is referred to as “Latin honors” and is conferred on graduating students whose GPAs place them between the top 2 percent and top 8 percent of the graduating class.

mailman – use postal worker or letter carrier.

majors – lowercase subjects, except those that use a proper noun (English, Latin American studies, geology).

Bowdoin offers the following departmental and program majors: Africana studies, anthropology, art history, Asian studies, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, classics, classics/archaeology, classical studies, computer science, economics, English, French, gender and women's studies, geology, German, government and legal studies, history, Latin American studies, mathematics, music, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, psychology, religion, Romance languages, Russian, sociology, Spanish, and visual arts.

Bowdoin offers the following interdisciplinary majors: art history and archaeology, art history and visual arts, chemical physics, computer science and mathematics, English and theater, Eurasian and East European studies, geology and chemistry, geology and physics, mathematics and economics.

Bowdoin offers one coordinate major through the Environmental Studies Program, and offers students the opportunity to design their own majors.

mankind – substitute people or humanity.

manpower – use work force or employees.

to man – use to staff, to run, to operate.

midcoast - When using this word as an adjective, as in midcoast Maine, it is one word and begins with a lowercase m. When referring to the geographical region (as a noun), the Midcoast, it is one word and begins with a capital M. The only time the term is two words (mid coast or Mid Coast) is when it is the chosen spelling of a proper name of something, as in Mid Coast Hospital.

midnight – use just the word without a number; not 12:00 a.m., not 12:00 A.M., not 12 midnight.

minors – Bowdoin offers the following minors: Africana studies, anthropology, archaeology, art history, Asian studies, biology, chemistry, classics, classical studies, computer science, dance, economics, economics and finance, education, English, environmental studies, film studies, French, gay and lesbian studies, gender and women's studies, geology, German, government and legal studies, Greek, history, Latin, Latin American studies, mathematics, music, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, psychology, religion, Russian, sociology, Spanish, theater, and visual arts.

misplaced modifiers – these are instances of modifying words or phrases placed in such a way that their antecedent words are not clear. When we are combining a number of ideas in one sentence, it is easy to lose track of modifiers and antecedents. The result is awkward writing that confuses the reader.

Combine these ideas in one sentence:
Joe Alumnus worked in the insurance business in Boston for many years.
He moved to Maine in 1960 to take up mussel farming.

Joe Alumnus worked until 1960 in the insurance business in Boston, when he moved to Maine to take up mussel farming.

“When” refers to time, not place. The closest noun preceding “when” (its immediate antecedent ) is “Boston.”

Joe Alumnus worked in insurance in Boston until 1960, when he moved to Maine to take up mussel farming.
Joe Alumnus began mussel farming in Maine in 1960 after moving here from Boston, where he had worked in the insurance business.

Mitchell – Senator Mitchell, Sen. George J. Mitchell.

mobile site – lowercase.

multi – as a prefix does not take a hyphen.

Museum of Art – Always list Bowdoin's art museum using its complete, official name: Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Do not say Walker Art Building unless you are referring specifically to the architectural history of the building. "Walker Art Museum" is never correct.

NCAA – stands for National Collegiate Athletic Association; divisions use Roman numerals, not Arabic. Bowdoin is a Division III school.

NESCAC – stands for the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Bowdoin is a founding member of the eleven-member conference. Other members are Amherst, Bates, Colby, Connecticut, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, Wesleyan, and Williams. Of the eleven, Tufts and Wesleyan are actually universities.

Net – retains capitalization in short form of the Internet

new – frequently used to describe the campus’s most recently constructed (or renovated) buildings, but should not be used after something is more than a year old

non – as a prefix does not take a hyphen, although you may use one to avoid puzzling or misleading forms (non-native looks much better than nonnative). To join it to a two-word unhyphenated phrase, use an en dash (non–music major)

non-American English spelling – For consistency's sake, Bowdoin editors will change non-American English spelling to American English spelling (change colour to color, for example), except in material being quoted directly (Shakespeare wrote Love's Labour's Lost) and in off-campus study materials, which will retain the non-American spelling. Bowdoin editors will also change non-American punctuation to American punctuation.

noon – use the word without a number; not 12:00 p.m., not 12:00 P.M., not 12 noon.

north – lowercased as a direction, but capitalized if referring to a specific geographic location. Do not spell it out in a street address (1460 N. Wabash)

numbers – spell out whole numbers of less than 100, as well as those ending in hundred, thousand, million, etc. Any number that begins a sentence is spelled out.

Ordinal numbers (those that show order) follow the same rules as cardinal (counting) numbers: He was ranked 125th in a class of 127. He batted third in the order. Do not use ordinal numbers in dates: The concert will be performed on September 25 (not September 25th).

Percentages always use numerals (except at the beginning of a sentence), and are followed by the percent symbol in scientific or statistical copy; in other types of writing, the word “percent” is spelled out.

nurse – not male nurse.

object pronouns – Many people—especially those who are diligent about referring humbly to themselves in the subject of a sentence (Mary and I ate lunch)—get confused when using pronouns and especially multiple pronouns as objects:

Correct: She gave it to Mary and me.

Incorrect: She gave it to Mary and I.

When in doubt, take out the intervening objects and see what you’re left with. You would never say or write, “She gave it to I; She gave it to he.”

off-campus – hyphenated as an adjective preceding a noun; otherwise left open (He lives off campus).

OK – not always the best word to use in formal communication, but when used, it is spelled this way and not okay.

online – one word, no hyphen

on-campus – hyphenated as an adjective preceding a noun; otherwise left open (She lives on campus.).

op.cit. – abbreviated form of the Latin opere citato, meaning “in the work cited.” Used in footnotes as a second (or later) reference to a work previously noted. The Chicago Manual, however, recommends using the short-title form instead.

organizations – The official name of an organization is capitalized, but any informal or abbreviated form of the name is lowercased (Bowdoin Chamber Choir, but chamber choir).