Online style guide

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Cabcharge Link to this term
cabinet Link to this term

federal cabinet, shadow cabinet

cachet Link to this term

kudos, prestige (Macquarie)

caddie Link to this term

golf caddie

caddy Link to this term

tea caddy

caesarean Link to this term
calendar Link to this term
callous Link to this term

unfeeling

callus Link to this term

hard skin

cancan Link to this term

the dance

canon Link to this term

body of work (cannon is the weapon)

Tags: 
canvas, canvases Link to this term

artists' material

canvass, canvassed, canvassing Link to this term

solicit votes, opinion etc

Cape Canaveral Link to this term
Cape Town Link to this term

one of the host cities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the legislative capital of South Africa

capitalisation Link to this term

We limit initial caps (apart from those marking the beginning of a sentence) to proper nouns—that is, nouns naming a particular person or thing. So we'd write 'Mark Scott, the ABC's managing director…' or 'John Smith, adjunct professor at ANU…'

No caps for 'premier', 'prime minister', 'president', 'executive producer', 'artistic director', 'curator', and so on, because these are all common nouns. When used as a form of address, a common noun is capped and becomes a title: President Obama, Queen Elizabeth, Pope Benedict, Governor Bartlett; but 'Australia's prime minister, Kevin Rudd, is visiting China…' or collectively, 'Previous popes have held similar views…' are all lower case.

cappuccino Link to this term
career Link to this term

when used as a verb means to rush headlong (careen is to keel over)

Caribbean Link to this term
carte blanche Link to this term
cast off Link to this term

the boat cast off from the quay

cast-off Link to this term

we accept cast-off clothing

catapult Link to this term

not catapault

catastrophe Link to this term
catch-22 Link to this term
Catholic Link to this term

Roman Catholic (but small c for catholic tastes)

cause célèbre, causes célèbres (pl) Link to this term

an issue arousing public debate or partisanship (Macquarie). Watch out for the plural form.

caviar Link to this term
CDs plural Link to this term

no apostrophe

cemetery Link to this term

not cemetary

censor, censure Link to this term

you voice your censure when you're censoring something

Central Australia Link to this term

capitalised, but northern Australia not, as 'northern' is descriptive, not an official name

centre or epicentre Link to this term

A listener has recommended that we avoid using epicentre to describe anything other than the point on the earth's surface directly above the central disturbance of an earthquake.

century Link to this term

twentieth century, 21st century, the nineteen hundreds, the 80s

chafing at the bit Link to this term

not chaffing

chairman of the ABC board Link to this term

no need to capitalise. Same for general manager, chief executive, etc

Champs Elysees Link to this term
chancellor, vice-chancellor Link to this term

no need to capitalise

changeable Link to this term
chapter headings Link to this term

when cited appear in single quotes

chatroom, chatshow Link to this term
chauffeur, chauffeured Link to this term
cheap Link to this term

as chips

Chechen, Chechnya Link to this term

Chechen Republic, Chechen people, Chechen prime minister, Chechen war, Republic of Chechnya.

cheep Link to this term

the birdsong

Chennai Link to this term
childcare Link to this term

The Macquarie dictionary lists child care for 'the professional superintendence of children', followed by child-care centre and childcare worker. We prefer the one-word version for all uses.

choirboy Link to this term
cholesterol Link to this term
Chomsky, Noam Link to this term
chord Link to this term

musical chord, but spinal or vocal cord

Tags: 
Christian, Christianity Link to this term

but unchristian, and a child's christening

circuit, circuitry Link to this term
civilisation Link to this term

not civilization

clean up, clean-up Link to this term

we vowed to clean up the process ... soon the clean-up was underway

cliches Link to this term

George Orwell said, 'Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.' So in that spirit, please avoid phrases like these:

battle with cancer
raft of awards
at the end of the day
emotional rollercoaster
to name but a few (usually seen at the end of an exhaustive list)
anytime soon

Tags: 
co-op, co-opt, Link to this term

(but cooperation, cooperative)

Coca-Cola, Coke Link to this term

trademark so capitalise

cocoon Link to this term
coexist, coexistence Link to this term

no hyphen

cold-blooded Link to this term
coliseum Link to this term

large stadium or theatre (but Colosseum is the amphitheatre in Rome)

collective nouns Link to this term

committee, jury, choir, audience: the audience were (plural) drifting in to the auditorium in ones and twos; the entire audience was (singular) on its feet. Use of singular or plural verb depends on how you want the collective noun to be understood.

Colombia Link to this term

is the South American country. Columbia is a city in the US state of South Carolina.

colon Link to this term

please use in headings and titles instead of dashes

Colosseum Link to this term

the Roman amphitheatre. Coliseum for buildings in other countries.

combat, combated, combating Link to this term
commas Link to this term

On the RN website all punctuation should make sense grammatically, not just rhetorically. Marks you use to show pauses and intonation in your studio scripts won't necessarily work in online copy. For some comma rules follow the 'how to use commas' link below

Commonwealth Link to this term
compare Link to this term

compare like with like: yesterday's weather with today's. But compare two different things with the aim of finding similarities: compare her outfit to an unmade bed.

complement (noun) Link to this term

the full complement

complement (verb) Link to this term

a scarf would really complement that outfit

complementary (adjective) Link to this term

might describe angles, colours, medicine; and means completing a whole

compliment (noun) Link to this term

you pay someone a compliment

compliment (verb) Link to this term

I compliment you on your great dress sense

complimentary (adjective) Link to this term

I was being complimentary when I said you had great dress sense. Free drinks or tickets are also complimentary.

comprehensible Link to this term

understandable

comprehensive Link to this term

inclusive

comprise Link to this term

means consist of. So comprise of is wrong

Condoleezza Rice Link to this term
consensus Link to this term

means general agreement or concord, or majority of opinion (Macquarie) so 'opinion' is redundant in 'consensus of opinion'

consequences for Link to this term

we usually say something may have serious consequences for an existing situation. So the following doesn't sound right: '...the increasing numbers of jellyfish around the world are having serious consequences on the marine life status quo...' The writer may have been thinking of 'effect on'.

continual, continuous Link to this term

continual means continuing on with stops and starts; continuous means going on without stopping.

convener Link to this term

not convenor

cooperation Link to this term
cooperative Link to this term
coordinator Link to this term

(no hyphen)

Cootamundra Link to this term
copyright notice Link to this term

Please use this wording on the RN website: For copyright reasons this [program, story, interview, etc] is not available as [streaming, downloadable audio etc] ... Please avoid platform-announcement style disclaimers beginning with 'Due to copyright restrictions...'

cord Link to this term

thin rope, vocal or spinal cord, but musical chord

correspondent Link to this term

writer or reporter, but co-respondent in a divorce case

court martial, courts martial Link to this term

the verb is to court-martial

couscous Link to this term
cover-up Link to this term

a 40-year cover-up means the full story has only now come to light

cowed Link to this term

intimidated (but to kowtow, from the Chinese, means to prostrate yourself before someone)

crackdown, crack down Link to this term

In a nation-wide crackdown, the government will crack down on welfare fraud.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) Link to this term
cringe, cringing Link to this term
criteria (plural), criterion (singular) Link to this term

and it's phenomena (plural) but phenomenon (singular)

Tags: 
Cross-benchers Link to this term

not cross benchers

crossroads Link to this term
cuckoo Link to this term
cum Link to this term

kitchen-cum-dining room

curb Link to this term

to restrain (kerb is the edge of the footpath)

curly quotes Link to this term

Microsoft Word has a feature that changes straight quotes and apostrophes into curly quotes. Sometimes these display as something like this: ’ when published online. Here's how to turn them off in Word:

currant Link to this term

dried fruit

currency Link to this term
current Link to this term

electricity or water

currently Link to this term

use 'now'

Tags: 
cusp Link to this term

means where two points meet. It doesn't mean on the verge of. Your birthday can be on the cusp of two star signs, but you can't be on the cusp of adulthood.

cut a swath Link to this term
cut and paste Link to this term

useful keyboard shortcuts in MS Word: Ctrl+A highlights all text, Ctrl+C copies it, and Ctrl+V pastes it to a new place or a new document. On a Mac 'Ctrl' is the Apple key.

cyclone Link to this term

cyclone Tracy, tropical cyclone Aivu, hurricane Andrew

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