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a hook or spar; also slang for house; to blow the gaff is to give away a secret
plural of gas; not gasses
use as an adjective rather than a noun: a gay man, gay people, gay men and lesbians not 'gays and lesbians'
gigabits; GB gigabytes
A* not A-star
Our use of language should reflect not only changes in society but the university's values. Phrases such as career girl or career woman, for example, are outdated (more women have careers than men) and patronising (there is no male equivalent): never use them
actor, comedian: covers men and women; not actress, comedienne (but waiter and waitress are acceptable – at least for the moment)
firefighter, not fireman; PC, not WPC (most police forces have abandoned the distinction)
businessmen, housewives, 'male nurse', 'woman pilot', 'woman (lady!) doctor': do not use terms such as these, which reinforce outdated stereotypes. If you need to use an adjective, it is female and not 'woman' in such phrases as female president, female MPs
Use humankind or humanity rather than mankind, a word that, as one of our readers points out, 'alienates half the population from their own history'
Never say 'his' to cover men and women: use his or her, or a different construction; in sentences such as 'a lecturer who beats his/her students is not fit to do the job', there is usually a way round the problem - in this case, 'lecturers who beat their students ...'
but rubella is preferable
female under 18
(upper case) Germanic tribe that invaded the Roman empire
(lowe case) Cure fans who wore a lot of black clothes
lower case in all contexts.
are plural; graffito is the singular
the set of rules followed by speakers of a language, rather than a set of arbitrary dos and don'ts, or as Ambrose Bierce put it 'a system of pitfalls thoughtfully prepared for the feet of the self-made man'
lc: the British grand prix; plural grands prix
England, Wales and Scotland.
If you want to include Northern Ireland, use Britain or UK
a green activist, the green movement; but uc when referring to so-named political parties, eg the German Greens
designated areas around cities subject to strict planning controls, not open countryside in general
one that has not been built on before; one that has been built on before is a brownfield site
Energy from the Earth's surface is trapped in the lower atmosphere by gases that prevent it leaking into space, a natural phenomenon that makes life possible, whose enhancement by natural or manmade means may make life impossible. Not the result of the hole in the ozone layer, whose thinning in the upper atmosphere is due to CFCs; the connection is that CFCs are also greenhouse gases
not the Persian or Arabian Gulf
recognised as an ethnic group under the Race Relations Act