E

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earring
no hyphen

earshot

Earth
in an astronomical context; but moon, sun

east Asia
or south-east Asia rather than far east

east coast mainline

EastEnders
TV soap

Easter Day
not Easter Sunday

eastern Europe, western Europe

easyJet

eBay

ebook

E coli

e-commerce

educationist
not educationalist

eerie
weird; Erie North American lake; eyrie of eagles

effete
does not mean effeminate or foppish, but 'weak, ineffectual or decadent as a result of over-refinement ... exhausted, worn out, spent' (Collins)

efit
(electronic facial identification technique) program used to create police drawings

eg
no full point

Eid al-Adha
(Festival of Sacrifice) Muslim festival laid down in Islamic law, celebrates the end of the hajj. Note that eid means festival, so do not describe it as the 'Eid festival'

Eid al-Fitr
Muslim festival of thanksgiving laid down in Islamic law, celebrates the end of Ramadan (al-fitr means the breaking of the fast)

eid mubarak
not a festival but a greeting (mubarak means "may it be blessed")

elderly
do not use to describe anyone under 70, and say elderly people (or even better, older people), never 'the elderly'

electrocution
death by electric shock, so don't say touching a faulty light fitting you were 'electrocuted' – rather you received an electric shock

elite
no accent

ellipsis
use spaces before and after ellipses, eg She didn't want to go there... ; there is no need for a full point

email

embarrass, embarrassment

emigrate
leave a country; immigrate arrive in one

emir
not amir

empathic
not empathetic

employment tribunal
not industrial tribunal

enamoured of
not by or with

enclose
not inclose

encyclopedia
not encyclopaedia

enforce, enforceable

England
take care not to offend by saying England or English when you mean Britain or British

English Heritage, English Partnerships

English Nature
is now Natural England

enormity
something monstrous or wicked, not synonymous with largeness

enrol, enrolling, enrolment

en route
not on route


ensure
make certain; insure against risk, assure life

enthral, enthralling

epicentre
the point on the earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake or underground explosion; frequently misused to mean the centre or focus itself

epilepsy
seizures are epileptic, people are not; so say (if relevant) 'Mr Smith, who has epilepsy ...' not 'Mr Smith, an epileptic ...' We do not define people by their medical condition

Eskimos
Inuit in Canada and Greenland
Inuit is plural; an individual is an Inuk

espresso
not expresso

Ethnic
never say ethnic when you mean ethnic minority, which leads to such nonsense as 'the town has a small ethnic population'

EU
European Union (no need to spell out at first mention); formerly EC (European Community); before that EEC (European Economic Community)

euro
currency; plural euros and cents

Europe
includes Britain, so don't say, for example, something is common "in Europe" unless it is common in Britain as well; to distinguish between Britain and the rest of Europe the phrase "on the continent" may be useful;
eastern Europe, central Europe, western Europe

every day
noun and adverb: it happens every day

everyday
adjective: an everyday mistake

expat, expatriate
not ex-pat or expatriot; this is 'ex' meaning 'out of' (as in export, extract), not 'ex-' meaning 'former' (as in ex-husband)

explained
avoid: write 'he said' not 'he explained'

eye level
no hyphen

 



 
 

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