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UK we prefer Britain.
Underground, London cap. See Tube.
underwater one word as an adjective but two as an adverb eg "an underwater wedding" but "the couple married under water".
under way two words.
Union Jack only in a naval context. usually it is the Union Flag.
unique means only one, having no like or equal so only use in this specific context. Quite unique or almost unique is nonsense.
United Reformed Church not "Reform".
university cap in full title eg University of Sussex or Sussex University, which is equally acceptable, otherwise l/c.
university posts see special sections.
up avoid unneceessary use after verbs as in "meet up" "sell up" "close up" "rest up".
upon take care with use of upon and up on. The cat jumped upon the mouse but up on the table.
USA acceptable in quotes but we prefer US or America. Use the latter if the story is already full of abbreviations or acronyms.
U-turn use sparingly but hyphenate when you do.
VE-Day also VJ-Day, D-Day
verbosity watch out for and eliminate wordy phrases such as "on the part of" (by), "a large number of" (many), "numerous occasions" (often).
versus the abbreviation is v (l/c, no point).
very one of the most overworked words in English. Always try to do without it.
veteran when applied to vehicles, this describes only those built in 1918 or earlier. Note vintage cars are those built between 1919 and 1930.
vicar take care not to use as a generic word for priest, parson or clergyman. Vicar usually means specifically the incumbent of a parish. See special sections.
vice hyphenate in its deputy context (vice-chairman, vice-president) but not in its depravity context (vice squad).
vintage see veteran.
volcano plural is volcanoes.
Volk’s Railway note Magnus Volk.
wacky amusing in an odd way. Whack is to hit.
walkout noun but note "I am going to walk out".
wards l/c for electoral and hospital eg Jowers ward at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Regency ward in Brighton.
wars First World War, Second World War, Gulf War, Falklands War.
wartime one word.
wear it’s menswear and sportswear but women’s wear, children’s wear
websites say "go to" or "visit" not "log on to". Put a full point at the end if it's the end of a sentence. Watch capitals in web addresses. Main domains may not be case sensitive but subsequent pages could be.
weekday one word.
weights and measurements abbreviations context will determine when to shorten feet, inches, stone, pounds etc He was 6ft 2in (note style) but she stood six feet from the kerb. Similarly, she weighed 8st 10lb (note style) but he was several pounds overweight. Also, he was carrying 7kg of drugs but the drugs weighed a kilogram. Kilo is acceptable in quotes.
Welsh take care with The Royal Welch Fusiliers and The Welsh Guards.
West, the cap in global political sense, similarly Western leaders.
western l/c for cowboy films.
while not whilst.
whips cap Chief Whip, Whips’ Office but l/c the unspecific eg a Government whip. See special sections.
whisky is from Scotland. Whiskey is from Ireland and America.
White Paper capped as in Green Paper when issued by the Government. See special sections.
WHSmith no spaces.
widow is a woman, widower is a man.
Wimbledon caps for the Centre Court.
wind a gale is strong wind of at least 32mph and up to 63mph. A hurricane is a severe storm with a violent wind of 74mph or more.
wines l/c except where it would look ridiculous eg burgundy, bordeaux, champagne, claret but a Hunter Valley chardonnay.
witch-hunt but witchcraft.
witness in British courts witnesses go into the witness box and give evidence. They do not take the stand and testify. In a general sense, it is witness, not eyewitness.
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
wreak the past tense is wreaked, not wrought.
Xmas never use this. It is Christmas.
X Factor, The ITV show is all capped.
Yemen not the Yemen.
"yes” vote, "no" vote
yeti l/c the abominable snowman.
yoke for oxen. Do not confuse with yolk (eggs).
youth courts not juvenile courts. See special sections.
-ze in almost all cases use the -ise ending eg organise. An exception is capsize.
Zimmer is a trade name so cap.
zoo cap as in London Zoo, thereafter the zoo. Note, it’s Drusillas Zoo Park then Drusillas.