In formal writing we prefer the full versions of:
- et cetera (not etc)
- for example (not eg)
- that is (not ie)
- okay (not OK)
is two words, as is all right
all words beginning with H now take ‘a’, not ‘an’: a hotel, a historian, a hero, and so on, except, of course, for silent H words like ‘an heir’.
In formal writing we prefer the full versions of:
degrading (as in abject poverty), or humble (as in abject apology), not 'total'
and Aborigine (noun) always capitalised to describe Australia’s original inhabitants
department of history, department of economics (no caps)
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), DipEd (Diploma of Education), MA (Master of Arts), MSc (Master of Science)
French words in common use like résumé and paté probably do need their accents to indicate the pronunciation of the final E that distinguishes them from similar words. Deja vu, chateau and cafe can be written without accents because they can't be confused with any other words.
does not mean 'acquire'. It means to come as a natural increase, usually financial.
(cliché) the success or failure of something
capitalised in 'Native Title Act 1993', lower case in 'the act was passed in 1993', or 'we don't need an act of parliament to do it.'
1100 AD, 45 BC. Second century AD, first century BC. Same arrangement applies to CE (common era) and BCE (before common era)
Found on the RN site this week: You know the old cliche, a photo says a thousand words... That's not a cliche, it's a traditional adage, proverb or saying, and it should read: 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. A cliche is an overused phrase that has lost its meaning, like 'at the end of the day' or 'battle with cancer'. An adage usually tells a universal truth and its wording is set in stone. Its use can be metaphorical: 'Too many cooks spoil the broth,' or 'It's a long road that has no turning.'
someone who adapts something (but electrical double adaptor)
Bush administration, Clinton administration, etc.
adverse weather conditions, but risk-averse
American spelling is advisor, but we're holding out for adviser in Australia—at least for the moment.
AEDT stands for Australian Eastern Daylight Time, and is used when daylight saving is in force. AEST stands for Australian Eastern Standard Time, and is used when daylight saving's over. We're still getting them confused because we think the S stands for summer. It doesn't; it stands for standard.
but aircraft, aircraft carrier, airline, airport
(it affected me badly, to affect indifference, but: it had a bad effect on me.)
native of Afghanistan
official currency of Afghanistan
language, Afrikaner person
The US president is expected to outline a plan to restore the Gulf coast and reduce the country's dependence on oil after spending the last two days touring the southern states. What? Too confusing. Less confusing is this: Having spent the last two days touring the southern states, the US president is expected to outline a plan to restore the Gulf coast and reduce the country's dependence on oil.
a six-year-old boy, my 20-year-old brother, our 40-something peers, now that he's 45—not '45 years of age'. Too wordy.
Even though this has, regrettably, become standard usage, there's nothing wrong with 'home'.
This report sets our water saving agenda for the coming year. Those two speakers have different agendas. Let's stick to the agenda. Please print both agendas and bring them to the meeting. (Agendum, the original Latin singular form, is no longer used in everyday writing.)
When generalising about Australians, some Australians start off in the third person : 'Many Australians...' then switch to first person to include themselves: 'plant native trees in our gardens.' Should be either 'Many Australians plant native trees in their gardens,' or 'Many of us in Australia plant native trees in our gardens.'
'But like many of her female contemporaries *their influence is not fully understood...' Their here is wrong. The comparison with a group does not alter the singular subject. The correct version is But, like many of her female contemporaries, her influence is not fully understood.
to aid and abet, a study aid, a hearing aid; but a person (an assistant) is an aide
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome. HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus which may lead to AIDS.
but aerodrome, aeroplane, aeronautics
(al- means 'the' in Arabic) so 'the al-Qaeda' is wrong
as in 'we went all together in a group'. Not synonymous with 'altogether'
refer to indirectly (sometimes confused with elude which means to escape or avoid.)
my mood alternates between rage and indifference
you can't fight it—it's language change in action, driven here by online gaming. So we can say goodbye to any distinction between alternate and alternative as outlined here. In popular culture at least.
If you don't like potatoes, rice might be a good alternative ... or alternatively you can go without.
means wholly, completely, as in 'it's altogether disastrous'
6 am, 7.15 pm ... not 6 am in the morning. Either 6 in the morning or 6 am.
The 'former Syrian ambassador' is not the same as the former ambassador to Syria. One comes from Syria and one goes there.
realise or fulfil a dream or an ambition, reach or achieve a goal—you can't achieve an ambition, even if you climb every mountain.
are a giveaway if you're copying (rather than quoting) from a US-based website. Center, meter, theater, and so on, in Australian spelling have 're' endings. Other common American spellings are defense, skeptic, traveler, advisor, color, humor; which in Australia are spelled defence, sceptic, traveller, adviser, colour, humour.
run amok (not amuck)
please avoid unless part of company name or trademark
person being analysed
Anangu is the term that Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal people from the Western Desert region of Australia use to refer to themselves.
acid jazz is anathema to me
anyone you're descended from (your descendants are your offspring)
please spell out in full; don't use the ampersand symbol (&) unless it's part of a trade mark or title.
someone who loves everything English
someone who fears or hates England and the English
Antarctica is the name of the continent within the Antarctic region.
before birth (not anti-natal, which would mean against birth...)
means to prepare in advance for something, not the same as to expect.
but anyhow, anyone, anything, anyway, anywhere
for tips on how to use apostrophes in joint ownership and after names ending in 's', follow see also link below:
to assess (apprise is to inform)
Australasian Performing Right Association
An Arab, an Arab woman, Arab architecture, Arab sensibilities. The Arabic language, Arabic writing, Arabic poetry (meaning poetry written in Arabic) but Arab poetry if you mean poetry written by Arabs in other languages.
Central Australian Aboriginal tribe (formerly Arunta or Aranda)
remember the artefact is the object made by the artisan, who might show some artifice in the process.
in journals, chapters in books: titles appear in single quotes
be careful not to reproduce PR claims like world's greatest or premier. They may represent received opinion, but they are still bald assertions and need qualifying according to the ABC's editorial policy.
generic term, so no caps
a hole-boring tool
it augurs well for the future
Burmese democratic leader
Australian Government Overseas Aid Program
ACT (Australian Capital Territory)
NSW (New South Wales)
NT (Northern Territory)
SA (South Australia)
WA (Western Australia)
disinclined, reluctant (adverse means opposed, unfavourable, as in adverse weather conditions). The Cambridge Australian English Style Guide says: With such adverse results from the election, he was not averse to a little whisky...