UWA Staff

Commonly used words

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UWA's guide to common words and how they should be used or spelled.

You can search for the word, or use the A to Z list.

A to Z list

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

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A

  • Academic Board
  • advanced standing
  • advice (noun)
  • advise (verb)
  • adviser (not advisor)
  • among (not amongst)
  • an honours degree
  • anticlimax (not anti-climax)
  • anti-discrimination (not antidiscrimination)
  • anti-establishment (not antiestablishment)
  • audiovisual

B

  • bachelor's degree (apostrophe 's'), bachelor's degrees (when used generically in the plural) but Bachelor of Arts
  • bimonthly (not bi-monthly)
  • by-laws (not capitalised)

C

  • cannot (not can not)
  • capitalise (not capitalize, always use 'ise')
  • chancellery (not chancellory)
  • Chancellor (not Chanceller)
  • co-author (not coauthor)
  • compact disc
  • colour (not color)
  • complementary (go together)
  • complimentary (free or flatter)
  • cooperate (not co-operate)
  • coordinator (not co-ordinator, except when part of an external position title)
  • co-requisite (not corequisite)
  • countercheck (not counter-check)
  • coursework

D

  • databank
  • database
  • dean (lowercase 'd' except when part of a person's specific title)
  • disengage (not dis-engage)

E

  • e-book
  • e-commerce
  • e-learning (in title case: E-learning)
  • email
  • encyclopedia (lower case 'e' and without 'a' except when part of a title, such as Encyclopaedia Britannica)
  • enquiry (not inquiry unless used as a scientific or legal term)
  • enrol, enrolment (but enrolled, enrolling)
  • ex-president

F

  • fetal (not foetal)
  • field work
  • first class honours (not '1st', not hyphenated)
  • focused
  • full-time/part-time

G

  • grade point average (not capitalised)
  • Graduation Ceremony (but lower case for generic use)
  • groundwater (unless there are two adjectives, for example, surface and ground water)

H

  • Help Desk (two words)
  • higher degree
  • honour (not honor)
  • honours (no capital 'h' for generic use but Bachelor of Arts with Honours)

I

  • in-depth study (hyphenate 'in-depth')
  • Indigenous (capital I when referring to Indigenous Australians but lower case for general use)
  • inquiry (formal investigation, for example, scientific, judicial)
  • in situ (previously italicised now romanised)
  • interactive (not inter-active)
  • international students (not overseas students)
  • internet
  • interrelated (not inter-related)

J

  • judgement (not judgment)

K

  • the Kimberley

L

  • learned (not learnt)
  • Level 1 (not Level One)
  • licence (noun)
  • license (verb)
  • life cycle
  • lifelong
  • life span (noun, for example, across the life span)
  • lifespan (adjective, for example, lifespan development)
  • logbook

M

  • main round
  • master's degree (apostrophe 's'), master's degrees (when used generically in the plural) but Master of Business Administration
  • microeconomics (not micro-economics)
  • micro-organisms (not microorganisms)
  • micro-teaching (not microteaching)
  • misadvise (not mis-advise)
  • multicultural (not multi-cultural)
  • multidimensional (not multi-dimensional)
  • multidisciplinary (not multi-disciplinary)

N

  • native title (lower case as a general term)
  • non-alignment (not nonalignment)
  • non-effective (not noneffective)
  • non-lecturing (not non-teaching)

O

  • online
  • outcomes-based (include 's')

P

  • per cent
  • policymaker
  • postcolonial
  • postdoctoral (not post-doctoral)
  • postgraduate
  • postmodern
  • practice (noun, for example, doctor's practice)
  • practise (verb, for example, practise your tennis return)
  • prearrange (pre-arrange)
  • pre-modern (not premodern)
  • prerequisite
  • principal (chief or most important)
  • principle (code)
  • program (not programme)

Q

  • queue
  • Qantas

R

  • reallocate (not re-allocate)
  • re-enrol (not reenrol)

S

  • Second World War
  • Semester 2 in table or list (but semester two or second semester in descriptive text)
  • semi-official (not semiofficial)
  • Senate (capital 's')
  • short list (noun)
  • short-listed (verb)
  • socioeconomic (not socio-economic)
  • Southeast Asia
  • St Georges Terrace (no apostrophe)
  • study in depth (in depth as two words)
  • sub-dean (not subdean)
  • sub-section (not subsection)
  • subsoil (not sub-soil)
  • sub-total (not subtotal)
  • summer teaching period (lowercase 's')

T

  • teamwork
  • textbook
  • the University (capital 'U' when referring to UWA only)
  • The University of Western Australia (capitalise 'The' when written in full)
  • time limit
  • timeframe
  • timeline
  • timetable

U

  • The University of Western Australia (capital 'The' when written in full)
  • undergraduate/postgraduate
  • unearned (not un-earned)
  • University (capital 'U' when referring to UWA only)

V

  • Vice-Chancellor (not Vice-Chanceller)

W

  • web link
  • web page
  • website
  • weird (not wierd)
  • wellbeing (not well being)
  • while (not whilst)
  • work force
  • workplace
  • work site
  • workstation
  • world-class
  • World War II

X

  • X-ray (always has a capital 'X')

Y

  • Year 12

Z

  • zigzag