University of Montana Style Guide

Style Guide Index:




baccalaureate a college bachelor's degree.

back roads Two words. Exception: "Backroads of Montana" TV show produced by UM's Broadcast Media Center.

backward Not "backwards."

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor Science A bachelor's degree or a bachelor's is acceptable in any reference. See academic degrees entry for additional guidelines.

backstage one word.

bad, badly A person feels "bad," not "badly." "Feeling badly" means having an impaired sense of touch. See good, well entry.

barbecue Not "barbeque" or "BBQ."

bells UM is home to the carillon bells in Main Hall's clock tower, the victory bell that rings during football games in Washington-Grizzly Stadium, and the USS Montana bell in the Adams Center lobby.

bestseller, bestselling no hyphen.

between, among See among, between entry.

bi- See prefixes entry, but in general, no hyphen: bilateral, bilingual, bipolar, biweekly.

biannual, biennial "Biannual" means twice yearly and is synonymous with "semiannual." "Biennial" means every two years.

billions See millions, billions entry.

bimonthly, semimonthly "Bimonthly" means every other month; "semimonthly" means twice a month.

biweekly, semiweekly "Biweekly" means every other week; "semiweekly" means twice a week.

Black(s), white(s) (n.) Do not use either term as a singular noun. For plurals, phrasing such as Black people, white people, Black teachers, white students is often preferable when clearly relevant. White officers account for 64% of the police force, Black officers 21% and Latino officers 15%. The gunman targeted Black churchgoers. The plural nouns Blacks and whites are generally acceptable when clearly relevant and needed for reasons of space or sentence construction. He helped integrate dance halls among Blacks, whites, Latinos and Asian Americans. Black and white are acceptable as adjectives when relevant.

Black (adj.) Use the capitalized term as an adjective in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense: Black people, Black culture, Black literature, Black studies, Black colleges. African American is also acceptable for those in the U.S. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable. Americans of Caribbean heritage, for example, generally refer to themselves as Caribbean American. Follow an individual’s preference if known, and be specific when possible and relevant. Minneapolis has a large Somali American population because of refugee resettlement. The author is Senegalese American. Use of the capitalized Black recognizes that language has evolved, along with the common understanding that especially in the United States, the term reflects a shared identity and culture rather than a skin color alone.

Blewett School of Law On first reference: The University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law. On second or subsequent references: The Blewett School of Law, the School of Law, the law school. 

board Capitalize this word only when it's an integral part of a proper noun: Board of Regents.

board of directors, board of trustees Always lowercase.

Board of Regents of Higher Education Use the full name or "the state Board of Regents" on first reference. On second reference, use "the Board of Regents," "the regents" or "the board." Capitalize "regent" or "regents" only at the start of a sentence or when followed by one or more names: The regents will meet Oct. 3. He said Regents Conroy and Kaze will discuss the issue.

bookstore, the Capitalize the before bookstore in The Bookstore at the University of MontanaUniversity bookstore or bookstore on second reference.

Bonnie HeavyRunner Gathering Place is located in The Payne Family Native American Center at UM.

boy Term applies until 18th birthday. Then use "young man" or "man." See youth entry.

building names Capitalize formal names. See Appendix C for list.

Bureau of Business and Economic Research Spell out on first reference. Use " the bureau" or "BBER" on second reference.

by- See prefixes entry, but in general, no hyphen: byline, bypass, byproduct.