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Can be abbreviated to “Mac.”

magazine names

See [italics]

When majority refers to a specific number of votes, it takes a singular verb:

His majority was 200 votes.

In general, majority refers to “the greater number of a countable set” and is followed by the plural:

The majority of Americans speak English. (Not “speaks”—they speak individually.)

Don’t use it with an uncountable mass, such as work, effort, and so on, or with a single item:

Incorrect: I was doing the majority of the work.

Incorrect: The majority of the table was faded.

See also [collective nouns]

managing editor

This is the person in charge of managing the website. All other functions report to the managing editor. Nomenclature varies among different types of publishing organizations and different companies, with some referring to this position as executive editor or editor-in-chief.

The managing editor is responsible for all major decisions—including, but not limited to, what kinds of content go on the website; how long articles should be in general; how the website is structured; how often content is updated; what the general conventions will be for headlines, fonts, and graphics.

The managing editor function is best performed by a single individual with considerable authority to make decisions and resolve disputes between editors, writers, designers, and information architects. In large and complex organizations, policy may be set by an editorial board, which may also function in a review capacity, but operational authority should be delegated to the managing editor.

See also [editorial board]


The masthead is the area at the top of a webpage that contains essential descriptive information about the organization (its company name, logo, product name).

There is limited space available on the average computer screen. Remembering that the Web reader is impatient—they come for the content, not the graphics—the masthead area should be kept as small as possible. A masthead should be between 70 and 90 pixels in length, which reflects industry best practice, and allows you to present the maximum amount of content possible to the reader on the first screen.

It should contain the organization’s logo, the global navigation, and a search box. The logo and associated graphics should take up no more than 30 percent of the masthead area. If the masthead is dealing with a sub-homepage, it should contain the overall logo of the organization, as well as the title of that particular department, sub-division, product group, and so on. This title should be larger than the company logo to help the reader know where they are on the website. If there is an ecommerce facility on the website, it may contain ecommerce navigation. See Figure 3.3.

Figure 3.3. An example layout for a masthead


Ecommerce conducted over wireless or mobile devices.


When a number is associated with a unit of measurement, it is normally given as a digit, for example 5 volts, 3 MB. Leave a space between the figure and unit of measurement. However, the money symbol and percent symbol are always closed up. (If an abbreviation (Fr) or currency code (FRF) is used rather than a money symbol, leave a space between it and the figure.)

10 MB, 20 Kg, $24, 10%, USD 342 million, Fr 20.

Abbreviated units of measurements have no period and take no s in the plural.

10 MB, not 10 MBs

With abbreviations, capitalization is important, for example Mb means megabits, but MB means megabytes.

List of common measurements
Bits per second bps
Celsius ­°C
Centimeters cm
Dots per inch dpi
Fahrenheit ­°F
Feet ft
Gigabits Gb
Gigabytes GB
Gigahertz GHz
Grams g
Hertz Hz
Hours hr
Kilobits Kb
Kilobits per second Kbps
Kilobytes KB, K, or Kbyte
Kilobytes per second KBps
Kilogram kg
Kilohertz kHz
Kilometer km
Liter l
Megabits Mb
Megabits per second Mbps
Megabytes MB
Megabytes per second MBps
Megahertz MHz
Meter m
Watt W


1,048,576 bits (or 1,024 kilobits), abbreviated to Mb,

See also [measurements]


1,048,576 bytes (or 1,024 kilobytes), abbreviated to MB,

See also [measurements]

menu, menu options

Follow the interface for capitalization style—if it’s capitalized on the interface, then capitalize it in the text:

Select Print Preview from the File menu.

Capitalize the names of elements (such as buttons or toolbars) that do not have a displayed name, for example the Save button might simply be indicated by a graphic of a disk, with no accompanying text. Consult the product’s Help file to see what they call the button.

Click the Print button on the Standard toolbar to print your file.


One word. This is data about data—for example metadata for a document would include the title, summary, and author, as well as classification information and keywords. All Web content should contain appropriate metadata. Otherwise, it will be much more difficult to find.

Metadata helps the reader to find the specific content they want; improves the chances of a particular document being indexed properly by external search engines; allows the reader to refine a search; and ensures that essential legal and/or administrative information is gathered on a particular document (copyright information, and so on).

Unless there is a specific reason not to, every page on the website should have appropriate metadata embedded in its HTML. Otherwise, that page will stand less of a chance of being found and properly indexed by both the internal search engine and external ones.

Metadata must be fundamentally linked to the search process and what readers search by. Only collect the metadata that is truly useful and make sure that all essential information is included.

See also [keyword]


One word. Allows for the provision of metadata on a website that does not appear on the website itself. The metatag is embedded into the HTML for any particular page. This metadata is then used by search engines to index the page for future searches. Keywords are the principal form of data entered into metatags, as that is how most people search.

See also [keyword]
See also [search engine registration and optimization]

Microsoft Word

See [word processors]

Million is normally spelled out:

10 million (not 10,000,000)

mobile device

Any non-fixed device that can be used to access the Internet, including cellular phones and PDAs.

mobile phones

In the US, mobile phones are referred to as cell phones.


A modem is a device that when attached to a computer allows someone to connect to the Internet.


A moderator is essential to the successful management of online community activities such as discussion boards, chat, and email mailing lists. Moderators are like editors in that they have a quality control function, but they are also a chairperson and evangelist, encouraging contributions and ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

Without quality moderation, online community activities tend to veer toward the chaotic. Everything gets published whether it’s good or not and consequently quality contributors leave for moderated environments where their ideas are treated with respect.

A quality moderator should promote and encourage membership; introduce new and interesting topics when required; sift through contributions and publish only the most relevant ones; act as a referee for readers in conflict; and police content from a copyright and libel point of view.

See also [chat]
See also [discussion boards]
See also [email mailing list]
See also [online community]


Sums of money should be given in figures, irrespective of the amount:

$5, 5 cents, or £10 million, not ten million dollars

If a money symbol is used, there is no space between the symbol and the figure. If an abbreviation or currency code is used there is a space between it and the figure.

$100    USD 100    Fr 20

Million and billion are generally spelled out.

For a list of foreign currency codes and symbols, see foreign currencies.

monitor size

See [screen size]

When a phrase lists only the month and the year, do not place a comma between them. When a phrase lists the day, month, and year, set off the year with commas in American English. See dates for more information.

May 2001 was a warm month.

July 10, 2001, was their wedding day. (American English)

My start date was 20 June 2001. (British English)

Abbreviate the months as follows (note the periods):

American English:

Jan. Feb. March April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

British English:

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

Moore’s Law

In 1965, Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel, predicted that computer chips would double in capacity every 12 to 18 months. The pace of change has slowed somewhat and so the definition has been changed slightly to reflect that the doubling occurs every 18 months only. A remarkably accurate prediction nevertheless.


The plural of mouse is found in a few forms at the moment—mice, mouses, and even mouse devices. We’d recommend using mice—it’s least awkward and it’s the preferred option in the American Heritage Dictionary.


One word.

See also [click]


One word. Also known as rollovers, mouseovers are created using JavaScript and allow you to change a page element, such as a graphic, when the reader holds the mouse over that element. For example, a link could change color.


One word.


Stands for Moving Picture Experts Group and is pronounced “em-peg.” MPEG is a video and audio compression method on the Web.


This is the file extension for an MPEG, audio layer 3—a high-quality compressed music file that can be downloaded from the Internet and replayed using PC software or by a special MP3 portable player.

See also [Napster]


Multimedia refers to an environment that uses a combination of media to communicate, such as text, graphics, animations, audio, and video. Multimedia as a term has been more associated with CD-ROMs than with the Internet, due the low bandwidth available online.

During the mid-nineties, multimedia became a hot term for the convergence of media. The multimedia promise has thus far failed to live up to the hype, and the word has lost much of its appeal.

Provide an auditory description of the important information of the visual track of a multimedia presentation for accessibility reasons where possible.

See also [accessibility]



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