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 5 names in this directory beginning with the letter P.
People first language

Put the individual before the medical issue when noting that someone has a condition, illness, disease or disability.

Children with autism benefit from early diagnosis and treatment.
Incorrect: Autistic children benefit from early diagnosis and treatment.


Use the % sign when paired with a numeral. Do not put a space between the numeral and the percent sign.

Example: Average hourly pay rose 2.1% from a year ago.

Sentences with the % sign take a singular verb when a singular word follows an of construction. It takes a plural verb when a plural word follows an of construction.

Examples: She said 50% of the membership was there.

He said 50% of the members were there.

Use the percent sign with each individual figure when expressing a range.

Example: Only 50% to 60% of the electorate turned out to vote.

Use decimals, not fractions.

Example: The mortgage rate is 4.25%

Pharmaceutical (drug) names

Capitalize the word; no trademark is needed.

Example: Tylenol

Physician assistant

As with all job titles, this one is lowercase when it is used alone or follows a name; it is uppercase when it directly precedes a name. Not "physicians assistant" or "physician’s assistant."

Plain language

Plain language is communication your audience can understand the first time they read it. See Make it Easy to Read for tips on using plain language. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Everyday Words for Public Health Communication has accurate, simple options for common healthcare terms.