blondis the adjective, male and female: John has blond hair, and Jane’s hair is also blond. In the 21st century but 21st-century boy; fourth century BC; AD2007, 2500BC, 10,000BC. Weight is not a factor, Type 2 diabetes, where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin, comprises about 90% of adult cases. (It is also preferred by some advocacy groups.) Departments and ministries of non-English-speaking countries are lc, eg French ministry of the interior, Iraqi foreign ministry, dependantnoun; dependent adjective; dependenceHis dependants were dependent on him for everything, deprecateexpress disapproval; depreciate reduce in value.Hence self-deprecating humour or remark, not “self-depreciating”, derbyas in Everton v Liverpool or Newbury FC v Thatcham Town; it is not normally necessary to include the word “local”, derisive or derisory?The former means contemptuous, as in a yell of derision; the latter means unworthy of serious discussion, as in a derisory offer, Derry, Co Derry(County Derry at first mention) not Londonderry, Co Londonderry, descendantscome after ancestors; you wouldn’t think we would get this simple thing wrong as often as we do, developing countriesrather than third world, de Villepin, DominiqueVillepin on second mention. Used as adjectives, therefore, British and UK mean the same. (A complete sentence that stands alone in parentheses starts with a capital letter and ends with a stop. Use the following endnote if a story is about a murder/suicide: • In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 and the domestic abuse helpline is 0808 2000 247. Belated attempts by the government to call it the “abolition of the spare room subsidy” should be treated with the contempt they deserve, Beeton, Mrs(Isabella Mary Beeton, 1836-65) author of The Book of Household Management. departments of stateBritish government ministries (but not ministers) take initial caps, as follows: TreasuryCabinet Office (but the cabinet) Home Office Foreign Office (abbreviate to FCDO – for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – after first mention) Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Department for Education (DfE) Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU)Department for International Development (DfID) – no longer exists after merging with the Foreign Office in 2020Department for International Trade (DIT)Department for Transport (DfT) Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Ministry of Defence (MoD) Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Office of the Leader of the House of Commons Northern Ireland Office Scotland Office not Scottish Office Wales Office not Welsh Office. Unexpected twists, or … Bands take a plural verb: Snow Patrol are overrated, Iron Butterfly were the loudest band of the 60s, etc. Alternatives adopted by some publications are British and Irish Isles or simply Britain and Ireland, British Medical Association(doctors’ trade union), BMA on second mention. Duke of Edinburghor Prince Philip at first mention; thereafter the duke or Philip, Duke of Yorkor Prince Andrew at first mention; thereafter the prince or Andrew, dumbdo not use when you mean speech-impaired, du Pré, Jacqueline(1945-87) English cellist, Du Pré at second mention, Dupré, Marcel(1886-1971) French organist and composer, Dürer, Albrecht(1471-1528) German painter, dutch auction, dutch courage, dutch treatbut double Dutch, dwarvesplural of dwarf (not dwarfs); but the verb is to dwarf, eg the Shard dwarfs the surrounding buildings, Dynamofootball teams from the former Soviet Union are Dynamo; teams from Romania are Dinamo, dyslexiawrite “Paul has dyslexia” rather than labelling him “a dyslexic” or saying he “suffers from” dyslexia, national family violence counselling service. Take care using the phrase “odds on”: if Labour is quoted by bookmakers at 3-1 to win a byelection, and the odds are cut to 2-1, it is wrong to say “the odds on Labour to win were cut last night” – in fact, the odds against Labour to win have been cut (the shorter the price, the more likely something is expected to happen). Note that a hearing aid is not a “deaf aid” (although we contrived to use the phrase in a crossword in August 2012), debacleno accents; like farce and fiasco, to be used sparingly in news reporting, decades1950s, etc; use figures if you abbreviate: roaring 20s, swinging 60s, a woman in her 70s, the first reader’s email of the 00s (pronounced, unfortunately, “noughties”), deceptivelyambiguous (in one survey, half the respondents thought “deceptively easy” meant easy, and half thought it meant hard), and therefore best avoided – advice unlikely to be heeded, sadly, by estate agents, decimatenowadays used to mean destroy (yes, we know it originally meant to kill one in 10)See Latin, declarationslc, eg Laeken declaration on the future of Europe, decorationsno need normally to put OBE, KCMG, etc after people’s names, decrycondemn; descry discoverYou only ever see descry when someone uses it wrongly to mean decry, definite, definitely, definitive, definitively”For me, this is definitely the definitive style guide”, defuserender harmless; diffuse spread about, de Gaulle, Charles(1890-1970) French military leader and statesman; De Gaulle on second mention, degreeslike this: my sons all got firsts, but I only got a second – although it was a 2:1 – and I did go on to a master’s, deja vudefined as the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past (whether it has actually happened or not). begs the questionThis phrase is almost invariably misused: it means assuming a proposition that, in reality, involves the conclusion. British Sign Languageabbreviate to BSL after first mention, Britsavoid using except when quoting people; Britons or British people should be used, Broadmoora secure psychiatric hospital, not a prison, BrontëCharlotte, Emily, Anne and their brother Branwell; they grew up at Haworth (not Howarth) in what is now West Yorkshire, Browniesfor girls aged seven to 10, at which point they may join the Guides, Brueghelfamily of Flemish painters, including Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c1525-69) and his sons Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564 or 1565-1636) and Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625); Pieter Bruegel the Elder dropped the H from his surname in 1559, brutaliserender brutal, not treat brutally; so soldiers may be brutalised by the experience of war, BSEbovine spongiform encephalopathy; no need to spell out, BSTbovine somatrophin (bovine growth hormone), Buckingham Palacethe palace on second mention, buckminsterfullerenea form of carbon, named after the US engineer Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), buck’s fizzcocktail of champagne and orange juice, named after Buck’s Club in London, Bucks Fizzwinners of the 1981 Eurovision song contest with Making Your Mind Up, budget, thelc noun and adj, eg budget talks, budget measures, mini-budget, pre-budget report, etc, buffaloesfor the plural; not buffalo or buffalos. Type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas does not produce any insulin, comprises about 10% of cases but is the most common type of childhood diabetes. An example would be to say that parallel lines will never meet, because they are parallel. band nameslc the: the Beatles, the Killers, the The; but uc equivalents in other languages, eg Les Négresses Vertes, Los Lobos. In the US, the domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Departments and ministries of other English-speaking countries also take an initial capital, eg US Department of State, Indian Ministry of Railways. As a reader complained: “Surely an expression which implies that a woman has a child for a man has no place in the Guardian ... How about ‘they had two children’?”, We also said that the late David Frost had “three sons by Carina Fitzalan-Howard” and referred to Mick Jagger’s “two sons by Jerry Hall”, as if the mothers were racehorses. The standard of proof is criminal (beyond reasonable doubt) or civil (on a balance of probabilities). Edited by David Marsh and Amelia Hodsdon.Illustrations by Jakob Hinrichs. dashesA single dash can add a touch of drama – like this. denierone who denies, as in “Holocaust denier”; there is no such word as “denialist”. bureauplural bureaus (furniture) or bureaux (organisations), bureaucratNot really a neutral term. She looked very different from those who came before (she did not look like the people who came before). Say in an attempt to, in an effort to, rather than “in a bid to”; in headlines, move is a useful alternative, bigusually preferable to major, massive, giant, mammoth, behemoth, etc, big banglowercase, whether you are talking about the origin of the universe, around 14 billion years ago, or deregulation of the City of London in 1986, big industriesbig tobacco, big pharma, big six energy companies etc; lower case and no quote marks, ‘big society’A project briefly championed by David Cameron and described by the late Simon Hoggart as “surely the vaguest slogan ever coined by a political leader. It’s remarkable that no one has sorted this problem out; nearly a century ago, HW Fowler was already calling it “a cause of endless confusion”, Biblecap up if referring to Old or New Testament, lc in such sentences as “the stylebook is my bible”; the adjective biblical is always lc, biblical quotationsUse a modern translation, not the Authorised Version. deaf earsAvoid or say “closed ears”; the phrase is not just a rather lazy cliche but offensive to many deaf people. The term “deaf mute” is also outdated and offensive; “deaf”, where relevant, will suffice. Great Britain, however, refers only to England, Wales and Scotland. DRC, formerly the colony of Belgian Congo and then Zaire, is the second largest country in Africa by area and the fourth most populated. biannual or biennial?As no one can agree which of these means twice a year, and which means every two years, it’s best not to use them at all; “twice a year” or “every two years” are unambiguous. Clearness is secured by using words that are current and ordinary.’ Aristotle. See Scotland, British and Irish Lions(rugby union); not “British Lions”, British Film InstituteBFI on second mention, British IslesA geographical term taken to mean Great Britain, Ireland and some or all of the adjacent islands such as Orkney, Shetland and the Isle of Man. True enough, but Cook’s mother was a Yorkshire woman and he is a famous son of Yorkshire, Davison, Emilysuffragette who died four days after stepping in front of George V’s horse at the 1913 Derby, DayGloTM; but note the X-Ray Spex hit The Day the World Turned Day-Glo, daylong, daytimebut month-long, year-long, night-time, day triptwo words, eg Day Trip to Bangor by (trivia question) ... Fiddler’s Dram, “day zero”not Day Zero, in relation to water crises in Cape Town and elsewhere, D-day6 June 1944, or used figuratively (“Monday is D-day for the Blades’ promotion hopes”). Other alternatives are person/people of colour, or minority ethnic people. (See also black. And he (or she) who quoteth the words of Jesus in ancient form, sheweth plainly that he (or she) considereth them to be out of date. There is ongoing debate about the capitalisation of black, with some using it as a physical descriptor, others to describe a specific cultural group, therefore while generally lower case, if a writer, editor or subject of a story prefers to use Black then that choice should be respected. The term survivor is used for people who have experienced domestic violence in the past. However, the following terms can be used for the princes: Prince William, Prince Harry; thereafter William, Harry or the prince. Take care not to write Britain when you might mean England and Wales, or just England – for example when referring to the education system. Use figures for decades: the 1960s, the swinging 60s, etc. bullet pointstake a full stop after each one, ie: Buñuel, Luis(1900-83) Spanish film director. Howbeit the great multitude of believers knoweth this translation not. ‘But far too numerous was the Herd of such Who think too little and who talk too much.’ John Dryden• Follow the style guide on Twitter: @guardianstyle, 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, Dad or dad?capital D if it’s just Dad, eg “I’ll have to ask Dad”; otherwise lowercase, eg “my dad was a dustman, what does your dad do?” etc, Dáil Éireannlower house of parliament in the Irish Republic, normally just the Dáil, Dakarcapital of Senegal; Dhaka capital of Bangladesh, Dalai Lamano abbreviation: he is always the Dalai Lama, Dalektakes initial cap, whether used literally (as in referring to Doctor Who), or figuratively (as in describing, say, your boss), Dalí, Salvador(1904-89) Spanish surrealist, dancefloorone word (thanks to Arctic Monkeys for this one), dangling participles(also known as hanging participles), Avoid constructions such as “having died, they buried him”; the pitfalls are nicely highlighted in Mark Lawson’s novel Going Out Live, in which a TV critic writes: “Dreary, repetitive and well past the sell-by date, I switched off the new series of Fleming Faces.”, Another example, from a leading article: “Due out in January as a white paper, Ms Kelly may be unable to overcome Mr Blair’s apparent determination to stick with A-levels.”, And this particularly exotic dangling participle somehow found its way into the paper: “Though long-legged and possessing a lovely smile, gentleman journalists aren’t looking up her skirt and wouldn’t even if she weren’t gay”, DA noticesissued by the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee, “advising” that the media do not publish sensitive information; formerly D notices, Deraa Syrian city, 90km from Damascus, not to be confused with Darayya, a suburb of Damascus, also sometimes described as a city. All the style guides mentioned above accept (or are silent on) decades formatted as abbreviated numerals prefaced by an apostrophe: Game shows grew to prominence in the 1950s and ’60s. We aim to use positive language about disability, avoiding outdated terms that stereotype or stigmatise. Men have children with, not by, women. (See also BAME. It is overused and many people who have had illnesses over which they have little or no control find it inappropriate, BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4, 4 Extra, 5 live (lower case), 6 Music, bearing childrenSuch phrases as “she bore him two sons” and “he had two children by” are outdated and sexist. The same applies to bimonthly and biweekly: say “every fortnight”, “twice a month” or “every two months”, and so on. Simplistic labels may also be misleading: we published a clarification after calling Captain James Cook the son of a Scottish farm labourer. This is the guide to writing, editing and English usage followed by journalists at the Guardian, Observer and Remember that “a ship can carry a boat, but a boat cannot carry a ship”. The diagnosis is not the person, down undera term Australians themselves rarely use, and best avoided, doyen, doyennethe senior member of a group, eg “she was the doyenne of ballet critics.” It once meant a leader or commander of 10 men, Drat first mention for people practising as a doctor in the field in which they gained that qualification, including medical and academic doctors and doctors of divinity (not, for example, a politician who happens to have a PhD in history, or a medical qualification); thereafter, just use surname except in leading articles, draftsman, draftswomanof documents; draughtsman, draughtswoman of drawings, drier, dryerthis shirt will only get drier after an hour in the tumble dryer (while I use the hairdryer), drinkpast tense drank, past participle drunk: he drinks too much – last night he drank 10 pints, the least he has drunk on any night this week, drink-driver, drink-driving, drunk-drivingThe limits in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are breath: 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres; blood: 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres; urine: 107 milligrams per 100 millilitres. The distinction, once routinely taught in primary schools but now assailed on all sides, especially by train and tube announcers, is being lost. “Kate, Duchess of Cambridge” and “Meghan, Duchess of Sussex” should not be used in copy, but are acceptable shorthand for headlines, or you can use their first names alone. It gets more complicated when something is genuinely odds-on, ie bookmakers quote a price of “2-1 on”: in this case, if the Labour candidate is quoted at 2-1 on and becomes an even hotter favourite, at 3-1 on, the odds have shortened; if Labour loses popularity, and 2-1 on becomes, say, 7-4 on or evens, the odds have lengthened, between 15 and 20not “between 15 to 20” or “between 15-20”, Bevan, Aneurin(1897-1960) Labour health minister from 1945 to 1951 and architect of the NHS. Bodøtown in Norway, just inside the Arctic Circle, body fluid, body hair, body heatdescribe part of the body, bodily contact, bodily functions, bodily secretionsdescribe something the body does, Bogart, Humphrey(1899-1957) American actor, Bolívar, Simón(1783-1830) Venezuelan-born Latin American revolutionary hero; not Simon Bolivar, Simón Bolivar, Simon Bolívar, or Simón Bólivar - all of which appeared in the paper in the space of a year, bolognesesauce, not the French spelling bolognaise, Bombe(not Bomb) machine created by Alan Turing at Bletchley Park to break the Enigma code, Bonfire Nightalso known as Guy Fawkes Night, boo-boomistake; Boo Boo cartoon bear who lived with Yogi in Jellystone Park, bookcase, bookkeeper, bookseller, bookshelf, Booker prizeno longer the Man Booker prize. We should take care to refer to a person or people with dementia, or living with dementia, not as a “dementia sufferer” or “victims of dementia”. Bands that do not take the definite article (although they are often erroneously given it) include Arctic Monkeys, Pet Shop Boys and Ramones; for most bands, this can be easily checked online. Boddingtonspopularly known as Boddies, it remains the cream of Manchester, despite the closure of the Strangeways brewery. Fine in its place, on (say) a sketch or colour piece, but use sparingly and with due regard to tone; in web stories, we should normally use his full name, born outof necessity; borne out by the facts; borne back ceaselessly into the past, borstalsnamed after a village in Kent, these institutions were replaced by youth custody centres in 1982, four years after being immortalised by the Sham 69 single Borstal Breakout, Bosnia-Herzegovinafor the former Yugoslav republic, not Hercegovina, bothunnecessary in most phrases that contain “and”; “both men and women” says no more than “men and women”, takes longer, and can also be ambiguous, Botoxa brand name; botulinum toxin is normally more appropriate in copy, although we recognise that the temptation for headline writers to say “Never mind the Botox” may sometimes prove irresistible, Botswana, Botswanancountry and people; Tswana is the language and largest ethnic group, bouncebackabilityinvaluable word coined by the football manager Iain Dowie and since, thanks to the wonders of Twitter, translated by Guardian Style followers into French (la rebondissabilité) and German (die Rücksprungsfähigkeit), Boutros Boutros-Ghaliformer UN secretary general, Boxing Daya public holiday on or soon after 26 December in many countries; in the Irish Republic it is known as St Stephen’s Day, and in South Africa as the Day of Goodwill, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)when referring to the the movement, bracketsIf the sentence is logically and grammatically complete without the information contained within the parentheses (round brackets), the punctuation stays outside the brackets. Commas would suffice. style to check the house style guide are not on the face of it very likely to be much interested in style at all. In a 1948 speech he described Tories as “lower than vermin”, Bevin, Ernest(1881-1951) Labour foreign secretary between 1945 and 1951 who helped to create Nato. Type 1 is an auto-immune disease, cause unknown (although genetics is believed to play a part).