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U.S. or United States?

Many research studies reference the United States or agencies with that name included. When editing, we often see the word used in a manner that violates the rule for when the name should be written out and when the name should be abbreviated.

Here is the rule: United States should be spelled out whenever referring to the country in noun form. However, when used as an adjective, the abbreviated form of the word must be used.

Let's see how that looks in a sentence:

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new COVID-19 guidance for individuals in the United States, specifically those living in states with a high infection rate.

In this sentence, the first form of the word is abbreviated because it is an adjective while the second instance is written out because it is a noun.

Remember this rule the next time you are tempted to write U.S. - make sure it's an adjective!

Cultivating tip at a time!

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