dcsimg

RCN house style for print and web

  

lady

avoid. Use woman instead

Lady Thatcher

(and other ladies – for example, Lady Cumberlege) not Baroness

laptop

later

often redundant – for example, “They will meet later this month…”

Latin

From The Guardian style guide: “Some people object to, say, the use of ‘decimate’ to mean destroy on the grounds that in ancient Rome it meant to kill every 10th man; some of them are also likely to complain about so-called split infinitives, a prejudice that goes back to 19th-century Latin teachers who argued that as you can't split infinitives in Latin (they are one word) you shouldn't separate ‘to’ from the verb in English. Others might even get upset about our alleged misuse of grammatical ‘case’ (including cases such as dative and genitive that no longer exist in English). As our publications are written in English, rather than Latin, do not worry about any of this even slightly.”

laser

light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Or, as The Guardian style guide says, an example of why not all acronyms need to be capped up

lawsuit

lead

taking the lead

led

he was led by the hand

learned

not learnt

learning disabilities

not learning difficulties

leeches

note spelling

legionnaires’ disease

leukaemia

liaise, liaison

note spelling

licence, license

she got her licence (noun); she was licensed to prescribe (verb)

lifelong

one word, no hyphen

literally

often used wrongly so best left to sports commentators

London

don’t assume everyone outside the capital knows which Oxford Street you are referring to or that Soho is an area of London

long term

in the long term – no hyphen; long-term planning – hyphenated

Lords, House of

capped up