S

seasons
See Capitalization, seasons.

self-
Always hyphenate: self-assured, self-defense, self-govern.

semi-
The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen. Examples: semiprecious, semifinal, semiannual

semiannual
Twice a year, a synonym for biannual. Biennial means every two years.

semicolon (;)
In general, use the semicolon to indicate a greater separation of thought and information than a comma can convey but less than the separation that a period implies.

  • To clarify a series
    Use semicolons to separate elements of a series when the items in the series are long or when individual segments contain material that also must be set off by commas: He is survived by a son, John Smith, of Chicago; three daughters, Jane Smith, of Wichita, Kan., Mary Smith, of Denver, and Susan of Boston; and a sister, Martha, of Omaha, Neb.
  • To link independent clauses
    Use a semicolon when a coordinating conjunction such as and, but or for is not present: The proof was due last week; it arrived today.

Sept. 11
Sept. 11 is the preferred term to use in describing the terrorist attacks in the United States Sept. 11, 2001.

server
The computer that is host to a Web site. Also, see Computer terminology.

set up (v.), setup (n. and adj.)

sign-up (n. and adj.), sign up (v.)

song titles
See music.

speeches
See lectures, speeches.

state
See Capitalization, state.  

state names
Spell out state names when they stand alone in textual material. Eight states are never abbreviated: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah. When abbreviating, in text, use the examples provided below, with periods followed by a comma unless at the end of a sentence. In address format, use postal abbreviations

State name
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawai'i
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersy
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Use in text
Ala.
Not abbreviated
Ariz.
Ark.
Calif.
Colo.
Conn.
Del.
D.C.
Fla.
Ga.
Not abbreviated
Not abbreviated
Ill.
Ind.
Not abbreviated
Kan.
Ky.
La.
Not abbreviated
Md.
Mass.
Mich.
Minn.
Miss.
Mo.
Mont.
Neb.
Nev.
N.H.
N.J.
N.M.
N.Y.
N.C.
N.D.
Not abbreviated
Okla.
Ore.
Pa.
R.I.
S.C.
S.D.
Tenn.
Not abbreviated
Not abbreviated
Vt.
Va.
Wash.
W. Va.
Wis.
Wyo.

Postal format
AL
AK
AZ
AR
CA
CO
CT
DE
DC
FL
GA
HI
ID
IL
IN
IA
KS
KY
LA
ME
MD
MA
MI
MN
MS
MO
MT
NE
NV
NH
NJ
NM
NY
NC
ND
OH
OK
OR
PA
RI
SC
SC
TN
TX
UT
VT
VA
WA
WV
WI
WY

Also, see Comma, state names and Capitalization, state.

statewide

stationary, stationery

To stand still is to be stationary; writing paper is stationery. Memory Aid: To stay is to be stationary.

street names
See Addresses, avenue, boulevard, street

student-athlete

sub-
The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen: subcommittee, subdivision, subtotal.