M

magazine names
See Capitalization, compositions and Capitalization, magazine names.

make up (v.), makeup (n., adj.)

Master of Arts, Master of Science
A master’s degree or a master’s is acceptable in any reference. Also, see academic degrees.

MC
For master of ceremonies, but only in quoted matter. Otherwise emcee.

M.D.
A word such as physician or surgeon is preferred. (The periods in the abbreviation are an exception to Webster’s New World College Dictionary.) Also, see Capitalization, academic degrees.

mid-
No hyphen unless a capitalized word follows: midsemester, midterm, mid-June, mid-Atlantic. But use a hyphen when mid- precedes a figure: mid-70s.

midnight
Do not put a 12 in front of it. It is part of the day that is ending, not the one that is beginning. Also, see noon.

millions, billions
Use figures with million or billion in all except casual uses: The nation has 1 million citizens. But: I'd like to make a billion dollars. 

mini-
The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen: miniseries, minivan, miniskirt.

minus sign
Use the word minus.

mock-up (n.)

monthlong

months
Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone. When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day, and year, set off the year with commas.

Examples:  January 1972 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. His birthday is May 8. Feb. 14, 1987, was the target date. She testified that it was Friday, Dec. 3, when the accident occurred.

In tabular material, use these three-letter forms without a period: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec.

more than
More than is preferred with numerals: They went to Europe more than 20 years ago. Over generally refers to spatial relationships: The plane flew over the city.

multi-
The rules in prefixes apply, but in general, no hyphen: multicolored, multilateral.

music
Capitalize, but do not use quotation marks on descriptive titles for orchestral works: Bach’s Suite No. 1 for Orchestra; Beethoven’s Serenade for Flute, Violin, and Viola.

  • If the instrumentation is not part of the title but is added for explanatory purposes, the names of the instruments are lowercased: Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major (the common title) for violin and viola. If in doubt, lowercase the names of the instruments.
  • Use quotation marks for nonmusical terms in a title: Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony. If the work has a special full title, all of it is quoted: “Symphonie Fantastique,” “Rhapsody in Blue.”
  • In subsequent references, lowercase symphony, concerto, etc.