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RCN house style for print and web

  

safety representative

not health and safety representative (or rep)

saint

abbreviate to St (no full stop) – in hospital names, for example

St John Ambulance

not St John’s, and no longer a “Brigade”

Samaritans

has dropped “the” from its name

Sane

mental health charity

Sars

severe acute respiratory syndrome

schizophrenia

never use to mean “in two minds”. Avoid “schizophrenic” – use “person with schizophrenia”

school years

year 1, year 10 etc

scientific names

for example, Escherichia coli – initial cap, and italics

Scottish Government

and Scottish Parliament, whose members are MSPs (no need to spell out)

seasons

spring, summer, winter, autumn – all lower case

self-esteem, self-respect etc

hyphenate

semi-colon

“an elegant compromise between a full stop (too much) and a comma (not enough)” – “Some nurses were brilliant; others less so”. See also colon

sexuality

“LGBT” is becoming an acceptable substitute for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender” but context may demand that you spell it out at first mention

side-effects

hyphenated

singular/plural

corporate or political entities are singular: the RCN is…; the Government is…; the BBC is…

skilful

one l; well, two, but only one in the "skil" bit

specialty

not speciality when referring to a field of practice

span of years

2011-13 but between 2011 and 2013; not between 2011-13

spelling

use English rather than American: -ise, not -ize (an exception is the World Health Organization)

sponsors

may have negotiated with the RCN Marketing Department about how their name should appear. If in doubt, check

square brackets

use for clarification in quotes: “Peter [Carter] is speaking at our event,” the branch chair said.

staff

are plural

stationary

not moving

stationery

writing materials