Over the years, Marketing and Communications has developed a preferred style for the punctuation and use of many titles and terms used throughout Seattle Children’s. In conjunction with our preferred style, we use the Associated Press style, which is considered the authoritative word for journalists on the rules of grammar, punctuation and usage. For medical references, we use Stedman’s Medical Dictionary for spelling of all diseases, disorders, syndromes, etc.

The Associated Press Stylebook can be purchased at major bookstores or ordered through the Associated Press, AP News features, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020; it is also available as an online resource. Visit the Associated Press Stylebook.

Below is an alphabetical listing of style guidelines as they are applied when writing about Children’s.

All | # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are currently 8 names in this directory beginning with the letter D.

Use dashes to denote an abrupt change in thought in a sentence or an emphatic pause.

We will fly to Paris in June – if I get the reservations.

Smith offered a plan – it was unprecedented – to raise revenues.

Put a space on both sides of a dash in all uses. In Word, a dash is created by typing the hyphen key twice. For more information on using dashes, refer to The Associated Press Stylebook.


Write dates without "st," "nd," or "th."

Example: We will hold the meeting May 2.

When referencing a specific day and year, abbreviate all months except March, April, May, June and July. Spell out all months when using alone or with only a year.

Sept. 27, 2013 or September 2013
Incorrect: September 27, 2013 or Sept. 2013

Do not abbreviate days of the week. Use a comma after the date and year when a year is written.

Example: March 2, 2011,

Do not use a comma when specifying a month and a year.

Example: March 2011 (not March, 2011)

Format for events is day, month, date, time, place.

Example: Thursday, Nov. 2, 4 p.m., at the Northgate Mall

For date ranges, use “to” to indicate a time span. Include the month before each date.

Examples: The conference is scheduled for March 6 to March 9.
The exhibit is open April 18 to May 3.


Seattle Children’s departs from AP Style for the spelling of daycare.
One word (noun or adjective)

Deaf and hard of hearing

Use “deaf” (lowercase) when using a general term for hearing loss. Use “hard of hearing” (lowercase) when referring to partial hearing loss. Capitalize “Deaf” when referring to a person or the culture of people who are deaf. Do not use “deaf” by itself to refer to a group of people.

“Deaf people” or “the Deaf community”
Incorrect: "the deaf"


Use dietitian (it’s the American spelling of the word; dietician is the British spelling)


Capitalize the name of a discipline within a sentence only if the name is a proper noun.

He is a professor of pediatrics.
She is a professor of English.

Disease names

Diseases and conditions named for the individual who identified them (such as Hodgkin lymphoma, Parkinson disease and Down syndrome) do not take an apostrophe. Check Stedman’s online medical dictionary for guidance.

Hodgkin lymphoma
Incorrect: Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Down Syndrome

Not "Down's Syndrome." Refer to the current edition of Stedman's Medical Dictionary for spelling of all diseases, disorders, syndromes, etc.