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Introduction And

How To Use This Guide


This is the official editorial stylebook for Modern Times Magazine. Unless noted in these pages, all use issues conform to Associated Press Stylebook ‑ 2009 recommendations. First reference for spelling style, usage and foreign geographic names that are not included in this stylebook or the Associated Press Stylebook – 2010 is Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition.

Some notes:

Entry words are in alphabetical order and bold face.

Examples of correct and incorrect usage are underlined.

Some entries only give the correct spelling or usage without further explanation. Capitalization, however, is identified and should be followed.


Alphabetic list of entries

Punctuation Guide

For more information, contact the editor at (480) 269-3688.

Alphabetic list of entries
Academic degrees – Generally: use bachelor’s degree or master’s degree; when degree earned is mentioned, capitalize: Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Master of Science in Engineering degree.

Acronyms – Only use when completely necessary and to enhance readability. Do not identify – even with parentheses ‑ on first reference or capitalize component words unless they warrant it independently of the acronym. Do use parentheses, however, on first reference when the acronym is not relatively evident, but generally accepted. Public-private partnerships (P-3). See individual entries for further clarification. Do not use parenthetical references to terms that are not referenced more than once. Acronyms are preferred when needed in headlines.

ADA – The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is the short title of United States Public Law which went into effect July 26, 1990. The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability and has a direct impact on construction and design. Acronym acceptable on second reference.

Advisor or adviser – Follow Webster’s New World Dictionary, not AP style.

Building names – If a formal name is given to a building within a set of buildings, capitalize. When describing a generally classified building, do not capitalize. The Central Patient Tower at the St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, but The patient tower at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.

Capitalization – Do not capitalize unless specifically identified within this stylebook, the AP stylebook or Webster’s College Dictionary. Some interpretations include:

  • Generalized government and business documents are not capitalized: certificate of need, building permit and yearly statement forecast.
  • See titles entry.

cell phone – Use AP style two-word spelling of cellular phone.

Company names – Follow the desires of the company with one exception: Capitalization of all letters is not acceptable unless the name is an acronym.

D-backs — Nickname for the Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball Team. Acceptable on second reference.


etc. – Use abbreviation for etcetera only in quotes (to relate a direct depiction of what was said) or in interview type format such as a Q&A. Generally, avoid use.


fax – Accepted as reference for facsimile or facsimile machine telephone number as per AP stylebook. Referring to fax number is acceptable only when the number does not follow: The office has fully moved into the electronic age and no longer has a fax number, but not, the fax number is 520-635-7514. Avoid use as a verb except when referencing a spoken quote: “The lines were overloaded as millions faxed in their displeasure,” said the opposition leader. When provided as part of contact information for an individual or company, have the phone number for the facsimile machine follow the word: She can be reached by calling 602-896-5632, fax 803-652-1432 or by e-mail to Generally, do not use a fax number in copy accept in taglines or other pertinent contexts such as a contact or informational list. When used in contact information list, never abbreviate or capitalize: fax: 602-453-6385 not Fax: 602-453-6385.

healthcare – A variation from AP style, one word.

HIPAA –The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA is acceptable on first reference.



legislature — Even when naming a specific legislature: the Arizona legislature.

MLB — Major League Baseball. Acronym acceptable on first reference.

NFL — National Football League. Acronym acceptable on first reference.


President Bush I — George H.W. Bush

President Bush II — George W. Bush

politicians — Generally, follow AP style for capitalization not covered in this guide. When identifying members of a legislative body, or identifying political party, follow this example, Sen. Steve Yarborough, republican, district 21

Product names Follow the desires of the company with one exception: Capitalization of all letters is not acceptable unless the name is an acronym.


rom-com - Romantic comedy.

SB 1070 — Use in first reference to Arizona's April 2010 passage of Senate Bill 1070 — a controversial attempt to assert state enforcement of immigration laws.


SXSW — Acceptable on first reference for the South by Southwest Festival.

Telephone numbers – XXX-XXX-XXXX. Generally the ten digits and dashes are adequate enough to identify as a phone number: She can be reached by calling 602-453-6385. Using phone to reference a telephone number is acceptable on all references. When used in contact information list, never abbreviate or capitalize: phone: 602-453-6385 not PH: (602) 453-6385. Also see fax and cell phone entries.

Titles – As per AP style, capitalize the names of magazines and newspapers, do not italicize. Contrary to AP style, capitalize and italicize books (reference, fiction, non-fiction, et al.), study titles, movies, DVDs and television programs. Put quotations around subsections of books (chapters), magazines (headlines to identify particular story), newspapers (headlines to identify particular story), study subsections. Example: According to The New York Times, in a recent Esquire magazine article, “Road Warriors of Hard Rock,” author Rick Smith summed up the highlights of the conference tour. The piece did not match the buzz surrounding the 1979 classic novel/reference work, Rock Warriors Hit the Road, the Times said.
As per AP style, for business titles, preferred style is lowercase and make follow name. If sentence reconstruction would make this difficult, capitalization and use immediately before name is acceptable although not desired. Example: The healthcare field is looking strong in 2008, said Howard Ross, president of USA Outlook.
For academic titles, follow business titles usage except when discussing an endowed position. When doing so, lowercase general title but capitalize official title of endowment whether the title precedes or follows the name. Example: George J. Mann, AIA, professor, is the Skaggs-Sprague Endowed Chair of Health Facilities Design, at the College of Architecture, Texas A&M University.


website – Contrary to AP style, one word. When identifying a website, include www before the site: Do not underline or use color other than regular copy.


Punctuation Guide
Single quotation marks In addition to uses outlined in the AP stylebook, use single quotation marks to identify unfamiliar, ironic or unique uses of a word or term. Usage is like unfamiliar terms in quotation marks entry in AP stylebook. Example: Finally, at 10 feet you should be able to see detail and the quality of construction, and the ‘hand’ of the building.

Em-dash Follow AP style in all contexts. Note: AP style calls for a space on both sides of an em-dash in all uses. Use in place of parentheses when necessary.

Bullets and punctuation – When using bullets, always use a period at the end of each bulleted item. Numbers can start a bullet item: 72-hour fuel supply.