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 7 names in this directory beginning with the letter M.

Refer to the mailstops page on CHILD

Male and female

Avoid sexist references. Gender-specific pronouns should be used specifically, not generally. For example, “A good doctor keeps his patients’ medical records in order,” can be restated: “A good doctor keeps orderly medical records.” If the sentence cannot be rewritten to make it gender-neutral, it's OK to use "their" for a singular reference. For example: "Every child has their own favorite toy." Do not write "he/she" or "his/hers."

Exception: It is appropriate to use gendered pronouns (“he/she” or “his/hers”) when writing about conditions that are specific to males or females.

Medical dictionary reference

Seattle Children’s standard for referencing medical conditions and spellings is Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary is also helpful.

Medical terminology

Consider the audience when using medical terminology. In general, use the lay term first; put the medical term in parentheses if it is needed. For an audience of medical professionals, use the precise medical term.

Mental and behavioral health, writing about

Mental health is a strategic priority at Seattle Children’s. The Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health (developed by The Carter Center) provides thoughtful guidance on writing accurately and sensitively about behavioral health issues.

Monetary units

Use figures and the appropriate symbol, e.g., $10.58. Where no cents are indicated, do not use the trailing zeros.

Correct: $10.
Incorrect: $10.00


Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. (Spell out when using alone, or with only a year.) When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas.

Nov. 5, 2011; November 2011; March 4, 2011; March 2011
Incorrect: Dec. 2011; Apr. 2011; April, 2011

In tabular material (content arranged in table format), use three-letter forms without a period.

Examples: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec.