P

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X Y Z

Pacific Ocean

panel, panelled, panelling

paralleled

parentheses
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.'

Parkinson's disease

party
lc in name of organisation, eg Labour party

passerby
plural passersby

passive voice
Strive for active verbs: compare "the mat was sat upon by the cat" with "the cat sat on the mat"

password

payback, payday, payout

Peak District

pedaller
cyclist; peddler drug dealer; pedlar hawker

pendant
noun; pendent adjective

pensioners
do not call them 'old age pensioners' or 'OAPs'; older people is preferable to 'elderly people' or (even worse) 'the elderly'

peony
flower

per
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

per cent
% in headlines and copy and per cent is two words, not one, we don't live in America … yet

permissible

persons
No! They are people (can you imagine Barbra Streisand singing 'Persons who need persons'?)

Perspex
TM

pharmacist
Do not use 'chemist' as a synonym for pharmacist, or call a pharmacy a 'chemist's shop'

PhD

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.

phenomenon
plural phenomena

phone
no apostrophe

phone numbers
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

photocopy
not Photostat or Xerox (trade names)

Pilates

pin or pin number
not Pin or PIN number

placename

plaster of paris

playbill, playgoer, playwright

PlayStation

plc
not PLC

P&O

poet laureate
lc, currently Andrew Motion

police ranks
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)

Pope, the
but the pontiff lc

Portakabin
TM

Post-It
TM

postcode

postgraduate and undergraduate

postmodern, postmodernist

postmortem

Post Office
cap up the organisation, but you buy stamps in a post office or sub-post office

postwar

practice
noun

practise
verb

pre-
redundant in such newly fashionable words as pre-booked, pre-reserved, pre-ordered, and even pre-rehearsed

precis
singular and plural

premiere
no accent

presently
means soon, not at present

principal
first in importance; principle standard of conduct

Pritt Stik
TM

prizes
Booker prize, Nobel prize, Whitbread prize, etc

profile
a noun, not a verb

program
(computer); otherwise programme

prohibition
lc for US prohibition

prophecy
noun

prophesy
verb

pros and cons

protege
male and female; no accents

protester
not protestor and demonstrator not demonstrater

proved, proven
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

publicly
not publically

Puffa
TM; say padded or quilted jacket not 'puffa jacket'

purchase
as a noun, perhaps, but use buy as a verb

pyjamas



 
 

The University is an exempt charity under the Charities Act 2006.
Accessibility| | Disclaimer| | FOI| | Data Protection| | Charitable Status|

The University of Bolton, Deane Road, Bolton, BL3 5AB Tel: +44 (0)1204 900600