Online style guide

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WA Link to this term

Western Australia

Wal-Mart Link to this term

Walkman Link to this term

trademark, so capitalise

website address (URL) Link to this term

no need to include 'http://www' unless you want it to be an active link.

wedge Link to this term

thin end of the wedge, not edge

Weight Watchers Link to this term

trademark, so capitalise

well known, better known, best known Link to this term

he's well known for his wit, better known for his temper but best known for his flower arranging. We sometimes write 'most well known', which is not the best usage.

wellbeing Link to this term

one word, no hyphen

west, the west, western culture, western world Link to this term

but West Bank, West End

Western Australia Link to this term

not West Australia for the name of the state. But it's the West Australian Ballet and The West Australian (newspaper)

western Europe Link to this term
wharf, wharves Link to this term
wheelchair Link to this term

wheelchair user, not 'wheelchair bound', nor 'confined to a wheelchair'

wherewithal Link to this term

one word, and one L

whilst Link to this term

while is preferred in everyday writing

White House Link to this term

never Whitehouse when you mean the one in Washington, DC

whiz-kid ... gee whiz ... whizzing past Link to this term

but he's a wiz at math

who's Link to this term

the contraction of 'who is'

whose Link to this term

belonging to (the boy who's annoying me is the same boy whose sister I like)

Wi-Fi Link to this term

trademark, so keep hyphen and caps

WikiLeaks and upper case L Link to this term

It's important to get that upper case L in WikiLeaks, just as it is the upper case P in iPhone. They're proprietary names (registered as trademarks by their owners) and should be represented exactly.

wind speed Link to this term

'120 kilometre winds' may be understandable shorthand in conversation, but we should write '120 kph winds' for accuracy online.

window on the world Link to this term

'...a book which opens a window on one of the greatest periods of English history' (Shorter Oxford Dictionary)

wiz Link to this term

a wiz at Scrabble ... but whiz-kid ... gee whiz

word order Link to this term

'And what's it like to discover love letters from Marie Antoinette, written just before the French Revolution in an old trunk in a corner of your villa?' Why was she writing love letters in your old trunk? Better to rearrange the word order and write: ...what's it like to discover, in an old trunk in a corner of your villa, love letters from Marie Antoinette written just before the French Revolution...

wordiness Link to this term

'There is an increasing number of overseas players buying into Australian agriculture.' This is too wordy and might be better like this: More and more overseas players are buying in to Australian agriculture.

wordiness: less is more Link to this term

less is more in phrases like 'we look at the way in which we engage with...', which can be rewritten as 'we look at the way we engage with...' or even 'we look at how we engage with...'

worse, worst Link to this term

Remember the scale of badness: bad, worse (comparative), worst (superlative). The headline 'Pakistan's children worse hit by floods' is wrong. Here we need the superlative: Pakistan's children worst hit by floods.

wrack, rack Link to this term

We sometimes use 'wrack' when we mean 'rack'. Wrack is seaweed (but you can be racked with pain, go to rack and ruin, rack your brains, or find something nerve-racking)

wrap a parcel Link to this term

but rap someone over the knuckles

wreak havoc Link to this term

but reek of corruption and reap a reward

Writers' festivals Link to this term

Never a writer's festival, because that would be a festival for only one writer. Sydney still (as at 2012) has an apostrophe: Sydney Writers' Festival; Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne have dropped it: Perth Writers Festival, Brisbane Writers Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, and Adelaide has the Adelaide Festival Writers' Week. If in doubt, check each festival's official website.

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