Use full names on first reference. On second and subsequent references, use only last names, without courtesy titles, for both men and women regardless of marital status.

There are two exceptions:

  1. To distinguish between a husband and wife quoted in the same story; confusion can often be avoided by using first names.
  2. In obituaries, in media releases but not in Columns, after the first reference, refer to men either by their academic title or by “Mr.”; refer to women either by their academic title or by “Ms.” If you know the woman in question preferred “Miss” or “Mrs.” to “Ms.,” use the appropriate title conveying marital status.

job titles

A person’s formal title should be used on first reference. Use lower case for titles unless they are directly before a name and function as part of the name. As a general rule, titles containing more than four words should be placed after the name. Do not capitalize titles in generic usage: The deans met with the president. The vice president attended the meeting.

academic titles

If a professor holds an endowed chair or special professorship, capitalize the full name of the title: John Doe, Dunley Professor of Academic Law. The full name of the chair often includes first names and middle initials of the donor; these can omitted on first reference. Do not use academic and job titles in conjunction: do not write “Dean Dr. Jane Doe.” Use “Dr.” before a name only when the person in question has an M.D. or D.V.M. degree; it is assumed that UGA faculty possess the terminal degree in their field.

leadership titles

Use whatever title the group uses for its leader: “chairman,” “chairwoman,” “chairperson,” or “chair.” If the information from the group does not make clear the title the group uses, “chairperson” is preferred.

titles of events

Capitalize, in quotation marks, the full, formal titles of workshops, conferences, seminars, speeches, art exhibitions and similar events:A workshop titled “The Use of the Library” will be held next week. Use lower case for subject matter: The main library will offer a workshop on library use.

courtesy titles

In a formal list (of participants or donors, for instance), “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” “Miss,” and “Ms.” should be omitted, except when a woman has chosen to use her husband’s name. Jane Doe, but Mrs. Joseph Doe, Mr. and Mrs. John Doe. See Honor Roll of Donors.

titles of works in Columns

Although newspaper style traditionally avoided italics, technology now allows us to set italics as easily as roman. Columns italicizes the names of:

  • books
  • newspapers and magazines
  • plays and films
  • television or radio series
  • art exhibitions, exhibits and other gallery displays
  • paintings and other artworks
  • operas and other long musical compositions

Columns uses quotation marks to set off the titles of shorter works:

  • short stories, magazine or newspaper articles, poems
  • individual episodes of television or radio series
  • songs and short musical compositions
  • lectures and speeches

Treat words like “the” and “magazine” as part of a publication’s title (capping, italicizing, including in quotes, as appropriate) only when so treated by the publication in question; check the masthead to be sure. In Columns “the” within a sentence is not capitalized unless there is also a change of typeface (e.g., to italics) or a quotation mark to cue the reader.

Titles and Names