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 T.
T cell and T-cell

T cell (no hyphen) is correct when used as a noun; T-cell (with hyphen) is correct when used as an adjective to describe a noun.

Example: Cancer immunotherapy reprograms a patient’s own T cells to fight cancer.

Example: T-cell therapy promises to revolutionize cancer treatment.


Telephone/fax numbers

Always include an area code. Place a hyphen between the area code and exchange, and a hyphen between the exchange and the last four digits.

Example: 206-987-1234

Internal extensions use a hyphen between the 7 and the last four digits.

Example: 7-1234

Toll-free numbers do not require a 1 at the beginning.

Example: 800-987-1234


that vs. who – use of

Use “who” when writing about people.

Examples:
The man who left the store was tall.
The bird that flew into the window was stunned.
Incorrect: Employees that are affected by layoffs will be greatly missed.
Incorrect: The dog who ate my homework was white.


Time of day

Use figures except for noon and midnight. Hours between midnight and noon take a.m.; hours between noon and midnight take p.m. It is expressed with a space between the numeric time and the letters, the letters are lowercase and each takes a period.

Example: 11:15 a.m., 3:28 p.m.

Use a colon to separate hours from minutes.

Example: 3:30 p.m.

Do not include minutes when something occurs on the hour.

Example: 11 a.m., not 11:00 a.m.

Use the word to, not a hyphen or dash, to designate a time range.

Example: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If both elements in the time range occur within the morning or the evening; use a.m. or p.m. only once.

Examples:

9 to 11:30 a.m

9:15 a.m. to noon

9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Titles, job titles, courtesy titles, academic titles and degrees (see also first name vs. last name)

Titles are capitalized when used before a person’s name, and lowercase when used when used after a person’s name. (For readability, it is better to put the person before their title.)

Examples:

Correct: Executive Vice President Jane Doe

Correct: John Doe, executive vice president

It’s not necessary to use the word “department” with the department name after a person’s name and title.

Example: Jane Doe, analyst, Strategic Planning and Business Development

Using descriptive language that communicates what a person does rather than a formal job description (unless the title is self-explanatory, like CEO or president) is preferred, especially in communications geared to a general audience. For internal audiences, use your judgment about whether the reader will understand what a job title means.

Preferred for external communications:

Beatrice Smith, an editor who maintains the Editorial Style Guide

John James, who evaluates and treats children with hearing loss, led the seminar on cochlear implants.

Preferred internal communications:

John James, who evaluates and treats children with hearing loss, led the seminar on cochlear implants.

John James, an audiologist, led the seminar on cochlear implants.

Courtesy titles Within text, “Dr.” is used on first reference for physicians and, when appropriate in the context, for others who hold doctoral degrees (PhD). Last names only are used on subsequent reference in external communications. First names only are used on subsequent reference in internal communications.

Example for external communications: Dr. Bruder Stapleton was Seattle Children’s chief academic officer. Stapleton is also a nephrologist.

Example for internal communications: Dr. Bruder Stapleton was Seattle Children’s chief academic officer. Bruder is also a nephrologist.

Use “Drs.” when identifying more than one person with a medical degree or doctorate

Example: Drs. Bruder Stapleton and Jim Hendricks are dedicated to academic research.

Credentials Avoid using credential letters that are not commonly understood, especially in communications geared to a general audience. For internal communications, the credential letters should be used at the writer’s discretion. Descriptions of someone’s role is preferred to stating their credentials.

Preferred: Molly Brown, an advanced practice nurse in Nephrology, oversees patients’ medication compliance after transplant.

Not preferred: Molly Brown, ARNP, oversees patients’ medication compliance after transplant.

When listing more than one credential, put the most advanced degree last, or just the most advanced degree (as the previous degree is inferred).

Example: Joe Doe, RN, MN

Preferred: Joe Doe, MN

No periods are used with credentials.

Correct: Joe Doe, RN, MN

Incorrect: Joe Doe, R.N., M.N.

Use credentials, rather than courtesy titles, in listings.

Correct: Tumaini Coker, MD

Incorrect: Dr. Tumaini Coker

Academic degrees If mentioning a degree is necessary to establish someone’s credentials, the preferred form is to name the degree and avoid using the abbreviation. There is an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, etc., but no possessive in Bachelor of Arts, etc.

Correct: Henny Penny has a master’s degree in mass communications.

Correct: Henny Penny has a Master of Science in mass communications.