Style Guide

UKRA = United Kingdom Reading Association

Compounds formed with the prefix under- are normally closed (CMS 15th, 7.90):
underdeveloped, underprivileged, underrepresented, underway

UNESCO = United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (

UNICEF = United Nations Children's Fund

Uniform Resource Locator = URL

uninterrupted sustained silent reading = USSR

unique, more or less, very, or somewhat
The literal meaning of unique is "one of a kind"; therefore, it makes little sense to describe one thing as "more unique" than another, or "most unique" among a group of things. Likewise, any attempt to enhance or strengthen the uniqueness of an object ("very unique") will be redundant (see absolute adjectives).

United Kingdom Reading Association = UKRA

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization = UNESCO

United Nations Children's Fund = UNICEF

Capitalize only as part of the name of an institution: the Ohio State University, the University of Southern California. Otherwise lowercase: a university, the university



uppercase (n. or adj; rarely, a verb)

upper class


upper middle class (n., adj.)

up-to-date (adjective preceding noun)

URL = Uniform Resource Locator (plural is URLs)

URLs, style

  1. Effective July 1, 2007, ILA books and journals will no longer include "http://" when URLs appear in text or reference lists.
  2. Editors of other ILA documents may choose to include "http://" in URLs or to exclude it, but they should follow a consistent pattern in doing so (e.g., leave out the "http://" for URLs that begin with "www.," but include it for those that do not).
  3. URLs that appear in print should not be underscored.
  4. Where it is necessary to break a URL or an e-mail address, no hyphen should be used. The break should be made between elements, after a colon, a slash, a double slash, or the symbol @ but before a period or any other punctuation or symbols. To avoid confusion, a URL that contains a hyphen should never be broken at the hyphen. If a particularly long element must be broken to avoid a seriously loose line, it should be broken between syllables. (See CMS 15th, 7.44.)



US / U.S., USA / U.S.A.

  1. CMS 15th, 15.34 allows use of U.S. as a noun in tabular or tightly-set material (otherwise, spell out United States). CMS 15th, 15.34 allows U.S. as an adjective in all but the most formal texts.
  2. The abbreviation US (without periods) is used before a dollar sign to indicate U.S. currency. Thus, "The subscription price of the new publication is US$72.50 per year." (See CMS 15th, 9.24)
  3. The abbreviation USA (without periods) is used in addresses, where it follows zip code and comma: "Newark, DE 19714-8139, USA," and is used in affiliations within running text: "Author teaches at Smallville High School, Smallville, Illinois, USA." [Note that the state name is spelled out in running text.]

use (not utilize)

use-inspired (adj.)

user-friendly (adj.)

user group


USSR = uninterrupted sustained silent reading