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racial terminology
Do not use 'ethnic' to mean black or Asian people. In a British sense, they are an ethnic minority; in a world sense, of course, white people are an ethnic minority
Just as in the Balkans or anywhere else, internal African peoples should be called ethnic groups or communities rather than 'tribes'
Avoid the word 'immigrant', which is very offensive to many black and Asian people, not only because it is often incorrectly used to describe people who were born in Britain, but also because it has been used negatively for so many years that it carries imagery of 'flooding'. 'bogus', etc
The words black and Asian should not be used as nouns, but adjectives: black people rather than 'blacks', an Asian woman rather than 'an Asian', etc
Say African-Caribbean rather than Afro-Caribbean

rack and ruin

racked
with pain, not wracked

rackets
not racquets, except in club titles

Radio 1, 2, 3, 4, Five Live, 6 Music, BBC7

radiologist
reads x-rays

radius
plural radii

raft
something you float on; do not say 'a raft of measures', which has very rapidly become a cliche (particularly in political reporting)

railway station
train station is now acceptable

raincoat, rainfall, rainproof

Ramadan
month of fasting for Muslims

Range Rover
no hyphen

rarefy, rarefied

rateable

re/re-
Use re- (with hyphen) when followed by the vowels e or u: eg re-entry, re-examine, re-urge
Use re (no hyphen) when followed by the vowels a, i, or o or any consonant: eg rearm, rearrange, reassemble, reiterate, reorder, rebuild, reconsider
Exceptions: re-read; or where confusion with another word would arise: re-cover/recover, re-form/reform, re-creation/recreation, re-sign/resign

reafforestation
not reforestation

recent
avoid; if the date is relevant, use it

re-form
to form again

reform
to change for the better;

refute
use this much-abused word only when an argument is disproved; otherwise, contest, deny, rebut

regalia
plural, of royalty; 'royal regalia' is a tautology

regime
no accent

register office
not registry office

regrettable

reinstate

reopen

repellant
noun, repellent adjective
you fight repellent insects with an insect repellant

repertoire
an individual's range of skills or roles

replaceable

reported speech
When a comment in the past tense is reported, use 'had' (past perfect tense): 'She said: "I saw him at the game" ' (past tense) becomes in reported speech 'she said she had seen him at the game' (not 'she said she saw him at the game')

Once it has been established who is speaking, there is no need to keep attributing, so long as you stick to the past tense: 'Anne said she would vote Labour. There was no alternative. It was the only truly progressive party', etc

republicans
lc (except for US political party)

resistance, resistance fighters
see terrorism, terrorists

rheumatoid arthritis
do not call it rheumatism or arthritis, but it can be abbreviated to RA after first mention

riffle
to flick through a book, newspaper or magazine, often confused with rifle

rifle
to search or ransack and steal from: eg rifle goods from a shop

ringfence

risk, hazard
Scientists use hazard to mean a potential for harm and risk to mean the actual probability of harm occurring; though headline writers may feel more at home with risk than hazard, the distinction is worth bearing in mind

rivers
lc, eg river Thames, Amazon river

riveted, riveting

roadside

rob
you rob a person or a bank, using force or the threat of violence; but you steal a car or a bag of money

rock'n'roll
one word

role
no accent

Rollerblade
TM; say inline skates or rollerskates

rollercoaster
one word

Rolls-Royce
hyphen

Romany
plural Roma

roofs
plural of roof (not rooves)

routeing/routing
They are routeing buses through the city centre after the routing of the protesters

Rubicon

rugby league, rugby union

rupee
Indian currency; rupiah Indonesian



 
 

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