Santa Clara University

Office of Marketing and Communications

SCU Editorial Style Guide



Use Macintosh on first reference; Mac on second reference. Personal computer on first reference; PC on second reference.

magazine names

Capitalize and place in italics.

  • Santa Clara Magazine

Lowercase in all uses.

maiden/birth names

Susan (Brown) Hanson, Susan Brown Hanson if she uses it as her full name.


Always capitalize, but lowercase any preceding adjectives.

  • high Mass
  • funeral Mass
  • requiem Mass

An exception: “Red Mass,” the traditional name for a special Mass celebrated for members of the legal profession.

Capitalize the formal names of the two major parts of the Mass: “Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist.” Also capitalize the names of specific prayers within the Mass that are unchanging.

master of arts, masters of science

A master’s degree or a master’s is acceptable in any reference. The correct abbreviations are M.A. and M.S.

may, might

If there’s some potential for confusion, use might to mean “maybe” and may if you mean “allowed to.”

  • I might go to the Bronco tonight.
  • May I borrow your pen?
Mayer Theatre

The Louis B. Mayer Theatre on first reference. Mayer Theatre or the theatre are acceptable second references.


See academic degrees.

Messiah, messiah

Capitalize in religious uses. Lowercase when used generically to mean a liberator.


No hyphen unless a capitalized word follows:

  • midair, mid-America, mid-Atlantic, midsemester and midterm

But use a hyphen when mid- precedes a figure:

  • mid-30s
middle names/initials

Include on first reference if it is the person’s preference, if they are publicly known that way, or to avoid confusion with people of the same name.


Lowercase. Use instead of 12 a.m.

millennium, millennial

“Millennial generation” is often used to describe students born during or after the 1980s.

Mission Church

Capitalize when referring to the church at Santa Clara University. In a first reference to the church, use Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Also capitalize Mission in subsequent references to the SCU church.

Capitalize the names of other missions on first reference Mission San Juan Bautista but lowercase mission on second reference.

Mission Gardens

Capitalize when referring to the garden area at the center of campus.

Mission Santa Clara de Asis

Use as first reference to Mission Church on campus.

Note special character and direction of accent in Asís.


For amounts of $1 up to $999,999.99, use the dollar sign with a decimal point to separate dollars from cents.

  • $50.75

Leave the decimal point and zeroes off of even dollar amounts.

  • $50

For even amounts of $1 million or more, omit zeroes and use “million,” “billion,” etc.

  • $2 million
  • $1.5 billion

For amounts under $1, simply use the word “cents.”

  • 67 cents
  • Two cents’ worth


Always abbreviate as Msgr. when used before the name. Spell out and lowercase in all other uses.


See dates/months/years.

More than vs. over

More than is preferred with numerals:

  • Their salaries went up more than $20 a week.

Over generally refers to spatial relationships:

  • The plane flew over the city.

In general, no hyphen.

  • multicultural, multimillion-dollar, multilateral, multilevel
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