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Bachelor's degree, bachelors' degrees

See degrees.

Bacterium, bacteria

Singular = bacterium
Plural = bacteria

When referring to a particular bacterium or bacteria, the genus name is italicized and initial-capped, and the species name is italicized (but not capitalized), as follows:

Chlamydia trachomatis (the bacterium that causes chlamydia)
Vibrio cholerae (the bacterium that causes cholera)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the bacterium that causes tuberculosis)
Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacterium that causes Lyme disease)

When abridging the name of a bacterium, we do so as follows:

C. trachomatis
V. cholerae
M. tuberculosis
B. burgdorferi

The name of the disease caused by the bacterium is neither italicized nor capped (unless it contains a proper name).


The swab test screens for the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis in fewer than 24 hours.

Garcia Marquez wrote a novel about love and cholera; who has written about chlamydia?

The pathogen B. burgdorferi, found in deer ticks, can transmit Lyme disease to humans.


Officially, the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Prior to 1971, East Pakistan.


Our style is to use the abbreviations BC and AD without periods.

In keeping with AP style, we have decided, for the time being, to use the abbreviations BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini). Our hope is that, as the secular terms BCE (before the common era) and CE (the common era) become more widely used, we will be able to jettison the religious terms, replacing them with the more secular.

A Greek papyrus from 163 BC mentions Egyptian girls being "circumcised" during Pharaonic times.

Biannually, bimonthly, biweekly

Be aware that these terms have come to mean either twice a year, month, or week, or every other year, month, week. To avoid confusion, use either twice a or every other , according to need.

Billion, million

Use Arabic numbers for very large numbers (i.e., a million or larger).

7.5 billion

For monetary values in the millions and up, use the numeral plus the word million, billion, and so forth.

He contributed $100 million to the University.

Numerals in compound adjectives
A hyphen is not necessary in a compound adjective that includes arabic numerals to represent dollars.

an $18 million building

Bio- (prefix)

As a rule, we try to eliminate use of the hyphen after the prefix bio-.


Sometimes there will be exceptions. Use your best judgment.

Bloomberg School, the 

The first time that the School is referred to in running copy, the School's official name should be used: the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Second reference is the Bloomberg School (the the is not capitalized unless it starts a sentence).

In the School's Magazine, use the Bloomberg School on first reference and then either the Bloomberg School or the School thereafter.

Bombay (India)

See Mumbai. Unless referring to the name of a specific organization, use Mumbai instead of Bombay.

Orris root adds the scent of violets to Bombay Saphhire Gin.
Bollywood, Mumbai's thriving movie industry, churns out potboilers and romances.

-borne (suffix)

Wherever possible, we try to eliminate the hyphen with the prefix -borne.

Particulate matter is an airborne mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets.

The nation’s salmonella outbreak of 2008 is the largest foodborne outbreak in the last decade.

Waterborne diarrheal-related diseases claim the lives of 1.8 million people each year.

But, of course, every rule has its exceptions.

Worldwide, arthropod-borne diseases cause a great deal of mortality and morbidity.

Use your best judgment.


One word. No hyphen.

Bulleted lists—see Lists


Use Burma, not Myanmar.

In 1989, the military junta in Burma changed the name of the nation from the Union of Burma to the Union of Myanmar. For some time, many nations, organizations and publications held fast to the name Burma, refusing to recognize the military dictatorship of Myanmar. Increasingly, however, most institutions have adopted the name Myanmar, including the AP and the UN.

The New York Times refers to the nation as "Myanmar, formerly Burma."
The Washington Post is inconsistent, using both names interchangeably.

Commonly, the adjectival form is "Burmese," as in, "The Burmese deltas were flooded..."

Wherever possible, we refer to the nation as Burma, and the people, food, geography, culture, etc., as Burmese; if we must, as in the case of recognizing a funding source, we will consider using the name Myanmar. Where Chris Beyrer or his work is concerned, we always refer to the nation as Burma.


One word, no hyphen.

Council on Education for Public Health

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