Skip Navigation
Welcome to the Bloomberg School of Public Health


-maker (suffix)

Wherever possible, we try to eliminate the hyphen and create compound words with the prefix -maker.

Public health advocates rely on quantitative data to reach policymakers.

Some people rely on their coffeemakers.

How many shoemakers remain in the Netherlands?

Then there are exceptions.

Human rights advocates use qualitative data to reach decision makers.

Use your best judgment.

Malaria Institute

The official name of the School’s new Malaria Institute is the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute (JHMRI).

Male, female

Use as adjectives only. If you are writing about a person, use man or woman.

The male rats were kept in another cage.
The men were not invited to the bachelorette party.

Master's degree, masters' degrees

See degrees.

Media, Medium

The plural of medium is media.

Memorandum, Memorandums, Memoranda 

The plural of memorandum is either memorandums or memoranda.

Mid- (prefix)

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

midlife crisis
midlevel health workers

But sometimes there must be exceptions and quandaries.

mid-Atlantic OR midAtlantic? Your call.

For other conundrums, check an American language dictionary.


See Time of day.

Millennium, Millenia, Milleniums

The plural of millennium is either millenia or millenniums.

Million, billion

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

He contributed $100 million to the University.

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

7.5 billion

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

an $18 million building

Minutes, hours

See Time of day.

MMI (Molecular Microbiology and Immunology)

In first reference, this department must be referred to as:

the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Subsequent references may be shorted to its standard abbreviation, MMI.


Arabic numerals
Use arabic numerals for all money amounts, with a dollar sign. Omit ciphers (.00) in whole-dollar amounts.

 7 cents
 $0.98 (use the zero)

Use ciphers (.00) in whole dollar amounts if the sentence includes a dollar-and-fraction amount.  

A fishing license in this state costs $15.
A fishing license is $15.00 if you are going to fish in this state, but $24.50 in the neighboring state.

Month-day-year citations

See Dates.

More than

We prefer the term "more than" over the term "over."

Heymann has published more than 140 scientific articles ...

Heymann has published over 140 scientific articles ...


We prefer the plural form "mosquitoes" over "mosquitos."

Asian tiger mosquitoes, an invasive species in the U.S., are more malevolent than indigenous mosquitoes.


MSM is an acronym for the increasingly popular term "men who have sex with men."

Epidemiologists prefer the term "men who have sex with men," in a gesture of sensitivity toward men who have sex with men but do not identify themselves as homosexual or gay.

Multi- (prefix)

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



But sometimes there must be exceptions.


If you are uncertain, check an American language dictionary.


Formerly known as Bombay. In 1995, the official name was changed from Bombay to Mumbai. Capital of the state of Maharashtra (India).


See Burma.

Council on Education for Public Health

 Johns Hopkins University

©, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.
Web policies, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205