addressing divines and politicians
The Rev. John Smith
The Right Honourable Paul Martin

addressing multi-titled people
It is correct to say, “President of the University Dr. Peter George,” “McMaster President Dr. Peter George,”
“president of the faculty association Dr. Ian Hambleton,” or “director of the McMaster Manufacturing Research
Institute Dr. David Wilkinson.”

However, on second reference, choose one title or the other: “President George spoke to the press” or “Dr.
George spoke to the press”; do not say “President Dr. George.”

Never use it; use alumnus or alumna

alumna, alumnae, alumnus, alumni
alumna = one female graduate
alumnae = more than one female graduate (e.g., Moulton College alumnae)
alumnus = one male graduate
alumni = plural for a group of male graduates or plural for a mixed group of male and female graduates

Use the ampersand instead of "and" in the names of departments and groups that are to be understood as a unit:

  • Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
  • Arts & Science Program
  • Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Office of Analysis & Budgeting
  • Department of Art & Art History
  • Department of Athletics & Recreation
  • Department of Civil Engineering & Engineering Mechanics
  • Department of Computer Science & Systmes
  • Computing & Information Systems
  • Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Department of Housing & Food Services
  • Department of Materials Science & Engineering
  • Department of Mathematics & Statistics
  • Institute for Molecular Biology & Biotechnology
  • School of Occupational Therapy & Physiotherapy


Arts & Science Program
Use upper-case A and S and the ampersand for "and" to distinguish the program from casual references to arts and science as fields of study.

Burke Science Building (no s on Science)

e.g., i.e.
Note that there are periods after both letters and no space between.
e.g. stands for exempli gratia, "for example"
i.e. stand for id est, "that is"

University extension numbers should always be preceded by ext.
For more information, call James Street, ext. 4073. (not James Street, 4073)

4 Rs
Space between the 4 and the Rs; no apostrophe

Grad years in the Times
If a graduate has more than one degree from McMaster, use only the year for the first degree. A graduate's year follows the name with no punctuation; an apostrophe shows the missing "19."

  • Joe Smith '75 is a geologist.
  • Joe Smith '75, age 60, returned to campus.
  • Joe Smith III '75 is a corporate executive.


Health Sciences Centre
This building is often called MUMC (for McMaster University Medical Centre) or "the hospital" because that is half its function - it is the McMaster site of the Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation. But as far as the University is concerned, it is an academic building, so in our publications it is always called the Health Sciences Centre.

McMaster Times
Not The McMaster Times.

"over" vs. "more than"
"Over" means "above" in a physical context.
The plane flew over the house.

Therefore, when estimating the number of people at an event, for example, say "more than 250" rather than "over 250."

% sign
Use the per cent sign only in financial listings, graphs and charts. In text, spell out the words "per cent."

Room numbers
When abbreviating, use the designated building abbreviation joined to the room number with a hyphen.


Otherwise, use the building's full name followed by a comma, and the room number preceeded by the word "Room" (cap R).

Chester New Hall, Room 321
Health Sciences Centre, Room 1A1

St. Mary's High School
The University refers to the building as the Information Technology Building (formerly "the former teachers' college").

Second World War
Not World War II. (CP)

Telephone numbers
No parentheses around the area code: 416- 525-9140.

Don’t use academic titles in the Daily News, and only sparingly in the Times for all faculty members.

Use the title Dr. only for medical doctors, dentist, eye doctors and chiropractors and only upon first reference.

Do not use the courtesy titles Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms, etc. It is customary to use surnames for nonacademics after
the first reference in the Daily News, e.g., “Marnie Spears” becomes “Spears” in subsequent references; and
first names for nonacademics in the Times, e.g., “Roger Trull” becomes “Roger” after the first reference.
Media releases should follow CP style.

Vice-presidential designations
No commas, no parentheses.

Vice-president administration K. S. Belaire
Provost and vice-president academic Alfred Jones

"Vs." is the abbreviation for "versus," which means "against." Use a period. (CP)