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panel, panelled, panelling
If the sentence is logically and grammatically complete without the information contained within the parentheses (round brackets), the punctuation stays outside the brackets.
(A complete sentence that stands alone in parentheses starts with a capital letter and ends with a stop.)
'Square brackets,' the grammarian said, 'are used in direct quotes when an interpolation [a note from the writer, not uttered by the speaker] is added to provide essential information.'
lc in name of organisation, eg Labour party
Strive for active verbs: compare "the mat was sat upon by the cat" with "the cat sat on the mat"
payback, payday, payout
cyclist; peddler drug dealer; pedlar hawker
noun; pendent adjective
do not call them 'old age pensioners' or 'OAPs'; older people is preferable to 'elderly people' or (even worse) 'the elderly'
Avoid, use English: 'She earns £30,000 a year' is better than 'per year'. If you must use it, the Latin preposition is followed by another Latin word, eg per capita, not per head. Exception: miles per hour, which we write mph
% in headlines and copy and per cent is two words, not one, we don't live in America … yet
No! They are people (can you imagine Barbra Streisand singing 'Persons who need persons'?)
Do not use 'chemist' as a synonym for pharmacist, or call a pharmacy a 'chemist's shop'
We use lc where possible so we have undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Students can study for a masters degree but they can also complete a PhD or MPhil.
Hyphenate after three or four-figure area codes, but not five-figure area codes: 01204 900600, 0161-832 7200;
Treat mobile phone numbers as having five-figure area codes: 07775 654321
not Photostat or Xerox (trade names)
pin or pin number
not Pin or PIN number
plaster of paris
playbill, playgoer, playwright
lc, currently Andrew Motion
PC on all references to police constable (never WPC), other ranks full out and initial cap at first reference; thereafter abbreviation plus surname: Sgt Campbell, DC, Insp, Ch Insp, Det Supt, Ch Supt, Cmdr, etc (or just Mr, Ms or Mrs)
but the pontiff lc
postgraduate and undergraduate
cap up the organisation, but you buy stamps in a post office or sub-post office
redundant in such newly fashionable words as pre-booked, pre-reserved, pre-ordered, and even pre-rehearsed
singular and plural
means soon, not at present
first in importance; principle standard of conduct
Booker prize, Nobel prize, Whitbread prize, etc
a noun, not a verb
(computer); otherwise programme
lc for US prohibition
pros and cons
male and female; no accents
not protestor and demonstrator not demonstrater
Beware the creeping proven, featuring (mispronounced) in every other TV ad; proven is not the normal past tense of prove, but a term in Scottish law (not proven) and in certain English idioms, eg proven record
Ps and Qs
TM; say padded or quilted jacket not 'puffa jacket'
as a noun, perhaps, but use buy as a verb