Editorial style guide - S

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See oceans


Lower case.

The four seasons are spring, summer, autumn and winter.


See department

semicolon (;)

Use to separate two related ideas in a sentence.

In 2016, the University introduced several new courses; a list of the courses can be found on the website.

Use semicolons to distinguish phrases listed after a colon if commas will not do the job:

You can choose from: Advanced Study and Research Methods; Computer Aided Architectural Design; Climate Sensitive Environmental Design.


Use instead of 'term'.


The University Senate has an upper case S.

Senate is responsible for regulating and directing the academic work of the University.

sentence case

We use sentence case for all headlines, headings and sub-headings within a document, for instance:

Scientists tackle climate change
Information for students

Unless your headline or heading is also a proper noun, the official title of something. Then you can use Title case.


See honorary titles


See compass points


Earth Use a capital E when referring to the planet where we live. Use a lower-case e if you mean soil.
sun/moon These don't need a capital letter.
solar system No capitals.
universe No capitals.
galaxy Where the solar system is.
Milky Way This is a proper name so it gets initial caps.
outer space Not Outer Space, outerspace or outer-space.
Jupiter, Saturn, Mars etc. These are proper names so they always get a cap.

There are many galaxies, suns, moons and solar systems in the universe. They're not proper names so they don't need caps. It's fine to refer to 'the sun'. The reader will know you mean our sun.

The sun, the moon, Earth, Mars and all the planets in our solar system.


There should never be more than one space in succession in word-processed text. Not even after a full stop.


Don't use a capital s.

The spiegeltent will be returning to Barker's Pool.


Upper case, even though the graphical representation in the SPERI logo is lower case.

split infinitives

Split infinitives are not always bad grammar. Trying to avoid splitting infinitives can result in a formal tone, or a messy sentence. As a rule, choose the option that sounds the least stuffy

Student Funding Calculator

Upper case S F and C.

Students' Union

Note the apostrophe. The full, official title is University of Sheffield Students' Union. You can refer to it as Sheffield Students' Union, or the Students' Union.


One word.