Style Guide: E

"e-" words

  • capital E, hyphen, lowercase letter at the beginning of a sentence (E-book)
  • capital E, hyphen, capital letter in title case (E-Book)

e-book, e-commerce, e-portfolio, e-planner, e-reader

each other / one another
“Although strict grammarians have always preferred one another to be reserved for ‘three or more’ and each other for ‘only two,’ these terms are used interchangeably by many careful writers who do not observe that distinction” (NYPL). M-WDEU calls the distinction between these phrases false, arising from etymology rather than usage, and cites Samuel Johnson and Noah Webster as authorities for ignoring the distinction. “There is no sin in its violation. It is, however, easy and painless to observe it, if you so wish” (M-WDEU).

*Note that possessive forms are each other’s and one another’s (never s’ ).

earth / Earth
Earth with a capital E is the formal name of our planet. Reserve it for contexts in which other planets are or could be named -- a discussion of astronomy, geology, or mythology, for example. In all other contexts, lowercase the e.

east / East, eastern / Eastern (see directional terms)

editor/Editor

  1. Capitalize as part of a formal title, especially when preceding a person’s name: Content Editor Sara Long.
  2. Lowercase as a common noun or job description: Sara Long is content editor of IRA's magazine, Reading Today; also, an editor, the editor, the editors of The Reading Teacher.

education / educational
When choosing between these two adjective forms, use educational to refer to something that teaches; thus, an educational book, an educational experience, or educational methods. (Note that an educational course or book is one that people can learn from — on any topic.) Education is a more general term meaning “about teaching and learning”; thus, an education bill, education issues, education courses. (An education course or book is about education.)

Education Resources Information Center = ERIC

e.g., / i.e.,

  1. e.g., is short for the Latin exempli gratia, meaning “for example.” Do not confuse it with i.e., an abbreviation of the Latin id est, meaning "that is."
  2. Note that e.g., is not italicized, takes two periods, and is always followed by a comma. Note also that e.g., is a conjunctive adverb and should be punctuated accordingly. (see conjunctive adverbs)
  3. According to APA 6th, 4.26, these and similar Latin abbreviations (e.g., cf.) should be used only in parenthetical material. In normal text, use the English translations for example, that is, and so forth.

either

  1. Either is usually used of two but may be used of more than two (M-WDEU). Thus, “The word group may be either a phrase or a clause.” “The word group may be either a phrase, a dependent clause, or an independent clause.”
  2. When used as a subject, either should take a singular verb. Thus, “You face a choice between Scylla and Charybdis: either of the passages entails risk.” “Either of the two has what it takes to be president.”

either... or...
The word pair either... or... is a correlative conjunction and is used to join two words or word groups of equal grammatical weight: a word to a word, a clause to a clause, and so on. (see correlative conjunctions)

EL = English learner
As of August 2010, the Style Guide Committee chose to adopt English learner/EL over English language learner/ELL as the preferred term, in following the trend in the educational field.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act = ESEA

elementary school (not hyphenated, even as adjective); thus, elementary school curriculum

elicit / illicit

  • Elicit is a verb meaning “to call forth, to bring out, or to evoke.” Thus, a defense attorney tries to elicit sympathy for her client by describing his troubled childhood.
  • Illicit is an adjective meaning improper or illegal. The defense attorney hoped to downplay her client’s history of illicit activities.

ELL = English language learner or English language learning.

Except in reference to a formal program with that name, the phrases “English language learning” and “English language learner” should not routinely be capitalized. (The fact that the acronym “ELL” is capitalized does not mean that the phrase must be capped.) No hyphen is used. This includes all compound adjectives where English language is used, such as in English language proficiency.

*Note that as of August 2010, the term English learner (EL) is preferred over English language learner. If the author prefers English language learner, this would need to be noted on the style sheet as an exception.

ellipsis points

  1. Use ellipsis points (3 dots) to indicate material deleted from a direct quotation. To show that material between sentences has been deleted, add a fourth dot. To show that an entire sentence (or more) has been deleted, add a fourth dot. (See APA 6th, 6.08)
  2. Do not use ellipsis points at the beginning of quoted material.
  3. Although APA 6th, 6.08 and most other authorities call for a space between ellipsis points, most IRA publications currently use no spaces between ellipsis points.
  4. Do not include a space before or after ellipsis points when used within a sentence (e.g., "Modal resources provide users of the resource with the ability to reshape the...resources at all times."

e-mail (as a verb)
A phrase like "e-mail me," short for "send me an e-mail" is acceptable in informal writing, but less so in formal writing. IRA editors and writers should avoid it.

e-mail / E-mail
Use E-mail (with hyphen and cap E) in list or column style only, that is, when capitalized Tel. and Fax would also be appropriate. In running text, use e-mail (with hyphen and lowercase e). Wherever possible, IRA writers and editors should avoid the closed form, email.

When e-mail, tel., or fax are included in an address or contact line, they should be followed by a semicolon rather than by a colon. Thus, 800 Barksdale Rd., Newark, DE 19714-8139; tel. 302-731-1600, ext. 292; fax 302-368-2449; e-mail publications@reading.org (not tel.:, fax:, or e-mail:)

e-mail addresses
In many systems, e-mail addresses are now given entirely in lower case. However, because some systems may still be case sensitive, editors and writers should seek advice about the proper case(s) to use. If authoritative advice cannot be had, follow the addressee’s preference.

Note: Communication from America Online (7/17/97): “For email [sic] that is destined for an America Online account, convert all upper-case letters to lower-case.”

em dash
Like a pair of commas or a pair of parentheses, a pair of em dashes* can be used to set off an interrupting element in a sentence:

  • Stephen Crane—a man who never saw combat—is credited with writing one of the most powerful of all war stories, The Red Badge of Courage.
  • One of the most powerful of all war stories, The Red Badge of Courage, was written by a man (Stephen Crane) who never saw combat.
  • One of the most powerful of all war stories was written by a man who never saw combat—Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage.

* At the beginning or end of a sentence, a single em dash will be used to set off the interrupting element.

emerita / emeritus

In Latin, emeritus refers to a masculine noun and emerita to a feminine. In American English, emeritus is commonly used of either gender and is considered standard for both. (WNWD has no listing for emerita). Our standard term is emeritus, but we can make an exception in cases in which an author or editor refers to herself as emerita.

en dash

  • Most commonly, an en dash is used like the word to, between numerals, dates, grades, pages, etc.: Grades K–8, May 13–17
  • Less often, an en dash is used to join words of equal weight in a compound: Mason–Dixon Line, Arab–Israeli conflict, north–south axis
  • The en dash may also be used in a unit modifier of a compound noun: pre–Civil War era

English as a Second Language / second language
Capitalized only as the formal name of a course or program (i.e., cases in which the acronym ESL would apply). The generic form is not capitalized. Compare “Jennie is a student in the school’s English as a Second Language program” and “Jennie is learning English as a second language.”

English for Speakers of Other Languages = ESOL

English language arts

English language learner, English language learning = ELL|
Except in reference to a formal program with that name, the phrases “English language learning” and “English language learner” should not routinely be capitalized. (The fact that the acronym “ELL” is capitalized does not mean that the phrase must be capped.) No hyphen is used. This includes all compound adjectives where English language is used, such as in English language proficiency.

*Note that as of August 2010, the term English learner (EL) is preferred over English language learner. If the author prefers English language learner, this would need to be noted on the style sheet as an exception.

English learner = EL
As of August 2010, the Style Guide Committee chose to adopt English learner/EL over English language learner/ELL as the preferred term, in following the trend in the educational field.

English-Only students

equals sign (=) has space before and after (2 + 2 = 4)

equilateral

equilibrium

equitable

equivalent

e-rate = proposed rate reduction for U.S. schools to access the Internet

ERIC = Education Resources Information Center (at NIE, OERI, Washington, DC)

ESEA = Elementary and Secondary Education Act

ESL = English as a Second Language (name of program or course of study); but She is studying English as a second language.

ESOL = English for Speakers of Other Languages

essential (see absolute adjectives)

et al.
Et al. is an abbreviation of et alia, Latin for “and others” (thus, there must be a period after al., but there is no period after et). Et al. should not be italicized or underlined, nor should it ever be used to refer to a group of less than 3 (Smith et al. = Smith and others).

  1. In body copy, if a work has 6 or more authors, cite the first author et al.
    "If a work has 3, 4, or 5 authors, cite surnames for all on first citation of the work; cite first author et al., on all subsequent citations" (APA 6th, 6.12).
  2. Do not use a comma between an author’s name and et al.
  3. In reference list, "when a reference has up to seven authors, spell out all authors' names" (APA 6th, 7.01).

etc.
Etc. is an abbreviation of et cetera, Latin for “and so forth.” Note that it ends with a period and is preceded by a comma.

  1. Because its meaning already includes “and,” the phrase “and etc.” is redundant.
  2. According to APA 6th, 4.26, this abbreviation should not be used in formal text copy; instead, use the English “and so forth” or “and so on.” Reserve etc. for use in parenthetical material or informal text.
  3. When it appears in the middle of a sentence, the term etc. should also be followed by a comma. Thus, "Seeing you take pleasure in reading books, newspapers, magazines, etc., can help your child develop positive feelings about reading."

euphemism
Euphemism involves the substitution of a safer, more innocuous word or phrase for another that might offend, shock, or inflame the reader or hearer. Because a euphemism is almost always less precise than the original word or phrase, it tends to cloud the meaning of the sentence or passage in which it occurs. Examples of euphemism include using to pass away instead of to die; ethnic cleansing instead of genocide; to engage in corporate downsizing or workforce reduction instead of to eliminate someone’s job.

Even Start

every day / everyday

  1. The two-word phrase every day is an adverb meaning “each day” or “daily.” Thus, “At Toyota, we make grammatical mistakes every day in our commercials.”
  2. The single word everyday is an adjective meaning “common” or “ordinary.” Thus, “Most people would not consider the arrival of extraterrestrials on earth an everyday event.”

Evidence-Based Workshops
Formal title of a series of events.

example (not exemplar)

executive director/Executive Director

  1. Capitalize as part of a formal title, especially when preceding a person’s name: IRA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post.
  2. Lowercase as a common noun or job description: Marcie Craig Post is the executive director of the International Reading Association. We spoke with the executive director of the association.

ex officio (no hyphen, even as adjective preceding its noun; normally roman, not italic)

ex post facto

extended constructed-response prompt

extension
Correct abbreviation is “ext.” preceded by a comma: 302-731-1600, ext. 266

extracurricular

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