Skip to main content
Editorial Style Guide

Appendix B: Tricky word list

  • Aboriginal
  • Aboriginal Peoples (all of Canada’s Indians, Inuit and Métis)
  • accommodation (double ‘m’)
  • adviser (not –or)
  • adverse (unfavourable)
  • averse (reluctant)
  • aging (not ageing)
  • barefoot
  • bona fide (adj. – genuine; adv. – genuinely)
  • bona fides (n. – proof of status)
  • benefit, benefited, benefiting
  • changeover (n.); change over (v.)
  • decision-making
  • dependant (n.); dependent (adj.)
  • diameter
  • dissociate (not disassociate)
  • e.g. (exempli gratia, but avoid using)
  • follow-up (adj.); follow up (v.)
  • fundraise, fundraiser, fundraising
  • half, one-half, half a dozen, a half-dozen
  • heads-up
  • health care (n.); health-care (adj.)
  • highlight
  • i.e. (use ‘that is’)
  • implement (n. and v.), implementation
  • in-depth (adj.)
  • Inuit
  • keynote
  • kilo (avoid as an abbreviation for kilogram or kilometer)
  • likable (not –eable)
  • loath (unwilling)
  • loathe (despise)
  • long-range, long-standing, long-term
  • masterful (domineering), masterly (skilful)
  • meage
  • medium, media (pl.)
  • Métis
  • metre, metric but diameter
  • midterm
  • misinterpret
  • month-long
  • mould (not mold)
  • multicultural, multilateral, multimedia but multi-year
  • naive, naiveté
  • noncommittal
  • non-profit
  • no one
  • nucleus, nuclei
  • occur, occurred, occurrence, occurring
  • online
  • organize
  • paralyze, paralysis
  • part time, a part-time job
  • paycheque (one word)
  • payday (one word)
  • pay off (v.), payoff (n.)
  • per cent, percentage
  • plus, pluses
  • playwright, but playwriting
  • policy-maker
  • post-doctoral 
  • post-secondary
  • prerogative
  • prevalence, prevalent
  • provincewide
  • questionnaire
  • question period
  • reasses
  • re-examinere
  • open
  • resumé
  • rollcall (one word)
  • roof, roofs
  • semi-annual
  • semifinal but quarter-final
  • set up (v.), setup (n.)
  • side-effect
  • spin off (v.), spinoff (n. and adj.)
  • stand by (v.), standby (n.)
  • stand in (v.), stand-in (n.)
  • startup
  • storey, storeys
  • subtle
  • supersede
  • task force
  • teepee
  • telltale
  • tenterhooks (not tender-)
  • thesis, theses
  • think-tank
  • time-slot
  • top-notch (adj.)
  • town hall
  • tremortying (not tieing)
  • unco-operative
  • unco-ordinated
  • unforgivable
  • usable
  • usage
  • verbatim
  • vie but vying
  • willful
  • withdraw, withdrawal
  • workforce, workload, workplacewrite off (v.), writeoff (n.)
  • X-ray
  • YouTube
  • zero, zeros
  • zigzag (no hyphen)