CD-ROM: Note caps, also note CD player
Caddie: Golf caddie but tea caddy
Caesarean: As in Caesarean section or C-section. Note spelling
Cabinet: Cap C in relation to the Government
Cafe: No accent
Cannabis: Note spelling, no cap
Canvas: As in tent
Canvass: As in votes in election
Capitals: Use caps sparingly. Give to organisations and institutions, but not to committees or job titles.
* Lower case for mayor, chairman, manager, councillor unless specific: Councillor Jim Smith.
* Cap up main words in titles: All You Need is Love
* Royalty takes caps for every mention: Prince of Wales, then Prince Charles
* Police titles are also capped-up.
* Religions take caps: Christian, Muslim, Catholic etc
* Capitals for countries, specific regions (south east lower case but West End caps)
* Caps for days and months but lower case for seasons: winter, spring, summer autumn
* Caps for festivals and holidays: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, but lower case new year
Captions: Must explain the picture to the reader, avoid using the intro or headline words. Give names in full, listed from left. Keep titles concise and separate each person and title with a comma, eg. (pictured from left) council chairman John Smith, scout leader Bill Jones and Cat and Fiddle landlord Alan Butcher.
For longer titles use comma and semi colon, eg. the deputy chief public health inspector from Whitbread, Jim Allen; the acting secretary for Hayes Royal British Legion, Joan Hicks; and the .....
Note use of the word the which turns the adjectival phrase into a noun phrase. Do not mix the two forms of list
Always use a upper case kicker eg. ON TIME: The new…
If using single caption for more than one pic directions should follow kicker eg. ON TIME: (top, above, left)
Careless: Dangerous word because it implies blame, e.g. careless driver. Fine if used in court copy – where it has privilege – but take care otherwise
Caribbean: Note two Bs
Cashpoint: One word
Centenarian: For a 100-year-old woman, but Centurion for commander of a century in Roman army
Century: Is always lower case. ‘The 17th century’ but
‘the 17th-century graveyard’
Chairman/chairwoman: But not chair or chairperson.
Childcare: One word like healthcare. Also childminder.
Churches: The Church (caps) is the Christian body and the church (lower case) is the building they worship in
Church of England titles:
Archbishop: The Most Reverend John Jenkins, subsequently the archbishop
Bishop: The Right Reverend John Jenkins, Bishop of ..., subsequently Bishop Jenkins or the bishop
Dean/Provost: The Very Reverend John Jenkins, Dean of ..., subsequently the dean or Dean Jenkins or Mr Jenkins
Archdeacon: The Venerable John Jenkins, subsequently Canon Jenkins
Deaconess: Deaconess Jane Jenkins, subsequently Deaconess Jenkins or Mrs/Miss Jenkins
Rector/Vicar: The Reverend John Smith becomes Mr Smith in subsequent pars not the Rev Smith.
Clergymen take or conduct services, do not use officiate
Church, Roman Catholic:
Pope: His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, subsequently Pope John Paul or the pope
Monsignor: The Very Reverend Monsignor John Jenkins or the monsignor
Priest: The Reverend Father John Jenkins, subsequently Father Jenkins
Chief Rabbi: Chief Rabbi Dr John Jenkins, subsequently Dr Jenkins
Rabbi: Rabbi John Jenkins (or Rabbi Dr John Jenkins if he has a doctorate) then Rabbi Jenkins
Minister: The Reverend John Jenkins, subsequently Mr Jenkins. All titles such as President, Bishop and Missionary become Mr
Church, all others:
In all other churches the original title, such as Minister, Clerk, Elder or Pastor become Mr in subsequent pars
Citizens Advice Bureau: Note no apostrophe. Style for more than one bureau: bureaus (not x)
Clichés: Avoid horrible, hackneyed, tired old phrases such as: giving the green light or thumbs up, get the go-ahead, kick-off, launched, state-of-the-art, strutting their stuff, major.
Also avoid expressions such as wheely brilliant (cyclists), bloomin’ marvels (flowers), vicious vandals, callous crooks, egg-cellent Easter etc. Single word clichés to be avoided include miraculous escape, tragic accident, brutal murder, outraged residents and controversial planning applications.
n ALSO avoid at all costs council speak, police jargon and Americanisms such as rolled out or transportation – use instead introduced and transport.
With animals, avoid clichés like furry feline and headlines that say purrrrr-fect pets. Used occasionally pet puns are amusing, but generally they are overworked and tired
Closed-circuit television: Use CCTV
Co-: Hyphenate co-operate, co-opt, co-ordinate but note uncooperative and uncoordinated
cockney: no caps
Code of Practice: Make sure you know it
Court reporters: The byline style is ‘by court reporter’
Colombia: The country in South America
Columbia: The district in USA
Colons: Should be followed by a cap letter. Generally, we do not use semi-colons in copy but if used they should be followed by a lower case letter
Collective nouns: Are singular. The council is/The company has. Exceptions: Pop groups and sports teams are plural, the police are, a couple are, a family are, but Surrey Police is when referring to the county force
Collided: To say a vehicle collided with another implies blame. If it is impossible to use something like a two-car smash, use was in collision with. Note cars do not collide with trees – they hit them.
commas: Use sparingly. There is no need for a comma in: The shop in the High Street
Commemoration: Has three ms
Comment: Do not allow personal views into stories. News reports should be objective and balanced. Comment should be clearly labelled as such
Committal/Committed: Note both have two ts
Commitment: Note has one t
Committees: Lower case e.g. planning committee
Companies: Leave out plc, Ltd
Compared: Compared with, not to
Compass: Points of the compass should be in lower case as in north, south, east and west unless a specific place, as in West Sussex. See capitals
Complement: Full number as in a ship’s complement Complementary: Making up a whole, completing
Complimentary: Free. Praising
Congestion Charge: Capped up
Conman: One word
Contractions: Don’t, won’t, isn’t etc Do not use unless in quotes.
Controversial: Try to avoid, it’s a cliché.
Cop: referring to the police, is a banned word unless the story is light-hearted, eg. Top cops
Do not take photos from brochures or books without the publisher’s approval.
Ordnance Survey maps have a copyright and payment is likely to be requested for maps used without permission.
Copyright rules extend to the Internet and other electronic images and information
Councils: First mention in full: Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council then just use the council.
Always Surrey County Council, the authority, the county council, not simply Surrey.
Councillors: Never abbreviate to Cllr. It should be Councillor John Smith, then Mr Smith.
When you mention a councillor or MP, put his or her party in brackets after their name – Uxbridge MP John Randall (Conservative), or Councillor Marge Proops (Labour) – if party politics is relevant to the story. This helps put their comments or actions into perspective and is often essential information.
Court: Cap up full titles e.g. Guildford Crown Court/Harrow Magistrates’ Court (NOTE THE APOSTROPHE), otherwise crown court, magistrates’ court, Harrow magistrates, coroner’s court, county court, unless using full title. See Court style sheet
Courts Martial: Not Court Martials
Crime: People do not HAVE things stolen, e.g. ‘A man had his bag stolen by two thieves’. This implies the person has somehow asked for, or colluded in, the disappearance of the item(s). Instead, ‘A man’s bag was stolen by two thieves’.
Curb: Means to restrain. Kerb relates to a pavement.
Currently: Use now
Curtsy: Not curtsey
Customs and Excise: Name has changed to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).