uh-oh; uh oh

Don’t use these. Our customers rely on us to know what we’re doing in the worlds of taxes and accounting. We don’t earn anyone’s confidence by saying things like “uh oh.”


Don’t use periods when abbreviating United Kingdom.


Don’t use “unavailable” if a menu or option can’t be used. Instead, work with design to make sure it’s grayed out. OK to use when referring to a service that might be unavailable.

Do this: The statement storage service is unavailable outside the U.S.


OK to use for checkboxes. Use select and uncheck for the actions you take on checkboxes. Don’t use clear.



underway; under way

Under way is conventionally two words when it functions as an adverb or a predicate adjective (“The project is under way”). It is usually one word, underway, when it is an adjective preceding its noun (“The underway project was interrupted”). But you know what? Let’s avoid using it in either capacity. It’s awkward, and not very straightforward. Be more specific about what’s happening and when.


Use “unpaid” for invoice status. (“2 invoices unpaid.”) Don’t use “open.”


Write as one word, no hyphen.


Use until instead of till. Till is more informal, which is OK, but might localize as “cash drawer.” To avoid this, stick with until over till.

up-to-date, up to date

Use hyphens if the phrase precedes the word it’s modifying, but not if it follows the word it’s modifying.

Do this: Use your up-to-date QuickBooks information to bring your Turbo Tax return up to date.


Avoid this term. Try “change plans” instead.

upper left; upper right

For accessibility reasons, we strongly discourage using location cues. If you must (try harder!), write these as shown. Don’t write “upper left corner” or “upper right corner.”


For the developer site only, use this acronym as shown. It means uniform resource identifier.


For the developer site only, use this acronym as shown. It means uniform resource locator.

US; U.S.

In headlines, it’s US. This applies to slide titles. In text body, it’s U.S.

USB flash drive

As shown. This is our preferred term for the small, portable drive you insert into a USB port. Don’t use others terms like thumb, stick, key chain, or jump. Better yet, just back up your data to the cloud.


United States dollar. Abbreviate as shown.

use vs. utilize

Don’t write utilize. Use “use” instead.

user ID

Capitalize “User ID” only when you’re writing it as a field name. In the middle of a sentence, write “user ID.” Note that “user ID” is always two words, never “userID”.

Use “user ID,” not “username” or “user name.”

username, user name

Don’t use. Write “user ID” instead.