Online style guide

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machine gun, submachine gun Link to this term
MacKillop Link to this term

Mary MacKillop became Australia's first saint on 17 October 2010

mackintosh Link to this term

the garment, mac for short (Macintosh the computer, Mac for short)

MacLaine, Shirley Link to this term
magistrates court Link to this term

no apostrophe

main, mane Link to this term

the main road, a mane of hair

malapropism Link to this term

Mrs Malaprop in Sheridan's play The Rivals misused words to hilarious effect.

malice aforethought Link to this term

means premeditated harm

manifesto, manifestos Link to this term
manoeuvre, manoeuvring, manoeuvrable, manoeuvrability Link to this term
Maori Link to this term

singular and plural

Marseille Link to this term

the place, La Marseillaise the anthem

marshal Link to this term

field marshal, but Marshall McLuhan

martial arts Link to this term
Marvel comics Link to this term

Must have capital M

Masonite Link to this term
matinee Link to this term
maybe and may be Link to this term

Maybe the island will be overrun, but the island may be overrun

McDonald's Link to this term
McLuhan, Marshall Link to this term

'medium is the message'

me Link to this term

'more with Joe Bloggs and I on Monday... Here 'I' is wrong. It should be me. If in doubt try taking Joe Bloggs out and see how wrong it is.

medal, medallist Link to this term
Médecins sans frontières Link to this term

(Doctors without borders)

media, the Link to this term

singular and plural

median strip Link to this term

not medium strip if you mean that grassy bit in the middle of the road

medieval Link to this term
megabits per second Link to this term

used to describe the rate of data transfer (download speed) of, for example, internet access technologies such as broadband. Megabits per second can be abbreviated to Mbps

megabyte Link to this term

unit of measurement of computer memory, or storage capacity

Melburnian Link to this term

someone who lives in Melbourne; also Sydneysider, Adelaideian, Perthite, Darwinian, Brisbanite.

meltdown, melt down Link to this term

A toddler may have a meltdown in the supermarket. A smelter may melt down iron ore.

memento, mementoes Link to this term

not momento

memoir Link to this term

meaning autobiographical writing, has no final E (but aide-mémoire, a reminder, does)

memorandum (singular) memoranda (plural) Link to this term
ménage à trois Link to this term
mendicant Link to this term

both noun and adjective: beggar and begging

menfolk Link to this term
meningitis Link to this term
meningococcal, meningococcus Link to this term
Messiaen, Olivier Link to this term
metered content Link to this term

online content for which one may be charged. Not 'metred'.

methylated spirits Link to this term
mic, mic'd, mic-ing Link to this term

short for microphone. Problems start when transcribing colloquial phrases like 'He was mic'd up' or 'Mic-ing brass instruments is tricky.' Obviously 'miced' and micing' are too much about mice, not mics, so apostrophes and hyphens are needed.

microphone, mic Link to this term
middle ages Link to this term
mileage Link to this term
militia Link to this term

means a body of soldiers (usually civilians rather than professional soldiers) ... an individual from the militia would be a militiaman or militiawoman.

millennium Link to this term
mimic, mimicry, mimicked, mimicking Link to this term
mindful of Link to this term

not about

miniature Link to this term
minuscule Link to this term
minutia, minutiae Link to this term

means small or trivial details. So to say, as we did on our site recently, that people are 'connecting and communicating online often in intricate detail about the miniature of their lives' is wrong in so many ways. Tautology and malapropism come to mind.

mischievous Link to this term
misogynist, misogyny, misogynous Link to this term
mistakable Link to this term
mixed metaphor Link to this term

'education and skills are the pillars that drive the nation's productivity.' Pillars support, they don't drive, so best to leave them out.

Moby-Dick Link to this term
model, modelled, modelling Link to this term
Mohammed Link to this term
money Link to this term
Monk, Thelonious Link to this term
Monroe, Marilyn Link to this term
mores Link to this term

According to the social mores of the time... (pronounced 'morrays'). It's a Latin word meaning manners or customs. Not to be confused with the French word moiré, which describes the watered effect seen on some kinds of silky fabric.

morning, afternoon... Link to this term

either am or pm or morning or afternoon; never both

mosquito, mosquitoes Link to this term
motley crew Link to this term
motto, mottoes Link to this term
movable Link to this term
moviegoer, the movie-going public Link to this term
MP Link to this term

MP meaning member of parliament applies only in countries with a parliamentary system. There's no such person as a 'Republican MP'.

MPs (plural) Link to this term

not MP's. Also CDs, PCs, Mp3s, etc. No apostrophes please.

Muhammad Link to this term

There are many spellings for the prophet of Islam, but Muhammad is the most widely used. For names of individuals we respect different spellings. It's Muhammad Ali, Mohamed Al-Fayed.

Muslim Link to this term

always capitalised, whether used as noun or adjective (as in Muslim Australians or Australian Muslims)

Mutitjulu Community Link to this term

Australian Indigenous community not far from Uluru in the Northern Territory

Muzak Link to this term

trademark, so capitalise

My School Link to this term

official website name is two separate words, both capped

Myanmar Link to this term

rather than Burma ('also known as Burma' can be included when the name is first used, if considered necessary)

myriad Link to this term

means innumerable, so does not require of. 'We had to cope with myriad health and safety regulations' is correct. Think of how you use many. You wouldn't say *I've got a many of problems, so 'a myriad of...' is equally strange.

myself Link to this term

'Trudy and myself were both invited' is wrong. 'Trudy and I were both invited' or 'the invitation was for Trudy and me' are both right. 'Reply by email to myself' is wrong. 'Reply by email to me' is right.

MySpace Link to this term
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