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D

Dashes

Dashes separate phrases; hyphens join words.

The em dash

See em dash.

The en dash

See en dash.

The hyphen

See hyphen, hyphenation.

Dates

Ordinal numbers
1st, 2nd, etc. See Ordinal numbers.

Centuries
See Centuries.

Decades
See Decades.

Month-Day-Year citations
The year should be set off by commas.

The June 3, 2001, press release is in your mailbox.

Month-Year citations
When referring to a month and year but not a specific day, do not use commas.

The June 2001 press release is in your inbox.

Periods of years
In running copy, use the word "to" instead of an en dash.
(En dashes are acceptable within titles, such as on flyers, programs, brochures, etc.)

He worked from 1949 to 1961.

Time, day, and date
Always use the time-day-date sequence for events.

The committee will meet at 3 p.m., Monday, September 23. (Note: not 3:00)

Datum, Data

The plural of datum is data.

The data are irrefutable.
The data show us something surprising.

Days of the week

Never abbreviate the names of the days of the week in prose. Always capitalize.

He arrived on Tuesday.

Decades

Either spell out the names of decades (no caps) or use the numeric form (without an apostrophe).

CORRECT
He grew up in the postwar 1950s.
But she was a child of the windswept sixties.

INCORRECT
My grandmother loved the ’50s.
And the 1960's scandalized her.

Decision maker(s)

Two words, no hyphen. See -maker for more information.

CORRECT
Ideally, data compel decision makers in their policymaking.

ALSO CORRECT
Rep. Conyers has a few things to discuss with policymakers.
The Brothers Grimm wrote a fairy tale about elves and a shoemaker.

Degrees, academic

The names of academic derees and honors are capitalized when they follow the person's name, whether they are abbreviated or spelled out. No periods.

Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS
Bernard Guyer, MD, MPH, Zanvyl Kreiger Professor in Children's Health
AVOID: Michael J. Klag, M.D., M.P.H.

Bachelor's degree
BA, BS (or BSc)
Names of degrees are lowercase when spelled out. Note the use of the apostrophe when of is not present.

a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy
a bachelor of arts degree in English
a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry
a bachelor’s degree in nursing

Multiple bachelor of arts (or bachelor of science) degrees

Under no circumstances is the form "bachelors" (an "s" with no apostrophe) appropriate.

Use the plural form as follows:

I have bachelor of arts degrees in English and history.
I have bachelors' degrees in English and history.
The college now offers bachelors' programs in sustainability and ecological economics.

Master's degree
MA, MS (or ScM), MPH, MHS, MHA
Names of degrees are lowercase when spelled out. Note the use of the apostrophe when of is not present.

a master of arts degree in philosophy
a master of arts degree in English
a master of science degree in biochemistry
a master’s degree in nursing

Multiple master of arts (or master of science) degrees

Under no circumstances is the form "masters" (an "s" with no apostrophe) appropriate.

Use the plural form as follows:

I have master of arts degrees in English and history.
I have masters' degrees in English and history.
The School offers masters' programs in public health, health science and health administration.

Doctoral degree, or doctorate
PhD

Names of degrees are lowercase when spelled out. Note the use of the apostrophe when of is not present.

a doctoral degree in biochemistry
a doctorate in nursing
Graduate students pursuing doctoral study should

Note: We eschew hyphens when modifying "doctoral," as follows:

She will do a year of postdoctoral work.

Multiple doctoral degrees

Use the plural form as follows:

I have doctoral degrees in microbiology and immunology.
I have doctorates in microbiology and immunology.

Commas and abbreviations of degrees
When they follow a person’s name, qualifiers such as PhD and MD are preceded by a comma. A second comma follows the qualifier in running copy. The letters of a degree do not get periods.

John Smith, MD, DrPH, addressed the group.

Commas and the year of graduation
When including the graduation years of alumni, commas are placed after the person’s name and after the year. NOTE: A closing apostrophe (’), not an opening apostrophe (‘), appears in front of the date. The degree appears first, then the date of the degree.

Jane Smith, MPH ’75, associate professor, Epidemiology, said ...
John Smith, PhD ’75, MPH ’72,

Department names—see Capitalization—Names of Johns Hopkins entities

Descendant, descendent

Descendant is a noun; descendent is an adjective.

Donkeys are descendants of wild asses.

Slave-descendent West Indians do not have the same rates of hypertension as slave-descendent black Americans.

Developed, developing world

Acceptable terms:

developed
industrialized
developing
resource-limited
resource-poor

Frowned upon terms:

First world
Third world

Disabled—see also Handicapped

If someone has a disability, don’t write that he or she is afflicted with or is a victim of; instead write He has muscular dystrophy. Don't write wheelchair-bound or confined to a wheelchair; write She uses a wheelchair or walks with crutches.

Put the person first
Put the reference to the person first, followed by the description of the disability, so that people are not defined by their disabilities. Thus, people with disabilities or people with diabetes or people with AIDS, rather than the disabled or disabled people or diabetics or AIDS victims.

people with disabilities
people with diabetes
people with AIDS

Diseases

As a rule of thumb, diseases are neither capitalized nor italicized. However, in the case of diseases that contain a proper noun, that noun is capitalized.

syphilis
cholera
dengue fever
West Nile virus
Lyme disease

Divisions of the University—Official Names—see Johns Hopkins University, Official Names of Divisions

Dollar amounts

See Money

Dr.

See courtesy titles.

DRC, Democratic Republic of the Congo

As of 1997, which is when Mobutu fled the country, the nation is known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the DRC. For purposes of clarity, writers may want to parenthetically refer to the DRC as formerly Zaire.

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