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SJC-style-and-production-guide-2012

SJC-style-and-production-guide-2012

Bbaby Mothers don’t

Bbaby Mothers don’t give birth to baby girls or baby boys. They give birth to boys or girls.BAC blood alcohol content (See per cent)back yard, backyard A ‘backyard’ is as awkward as a ‘backverandah’ or a ‘frontyard’.’Backyard’ is the adjective-noun form and ‘backyard’ is the adjective. A backyard mechanic worksin the back yard. Many other combinations of ‘back’ can be happily fused, eg, backlog,backside, backslide, background.believe No journalist knows what is going on inside another person’s mind. So it is impossibleto report: ‘Mr Smith believes the course of action was correct.’ The report should read: ‘MrSmith said he believed the course of action was correct.’ That is, journalists report what peoplesay, not what they believe people are thinking.basically overused. Avoid.basis overused. Avoid in constructions such as ‘We often see uncle Simon on a needs basis’when you mean uncle Simon visits us when he needs money.bear and bare are often confused. The first is an animal, or ‘loads we must bear’; while thesecond is unadorned, uncovered.best (hyphenation) best-dressed, best-liked, best man, bestseller, best-selling.best and better are often confused. You cannot have the best of two, nor can one of two be themost something: it is ‘better’ and ‘more’ respectively. The ‘best’ of three or more is fine, as is‘most’.besties is current speak for best mates.best practice often ‘world’s best practice’. Often a hyperbolic claim. Impossible to verify. Useit only quoting sources, if then.Bible when referring to the book, initial cap, but not italic. Otherwise lower case for biblical. Butthe style guide is the journalists’ bible.billion is one thousand million. That is, 9 zeros. (Previously an English billion was 12 zeros, thatis one million million. Now standardised at 109.)bigger/biggest The ‘-er’ ending in comparative adjectives is used when comparing two thingsor qualities only. The ‘-est’ ending refers to three or more: ‘elder brother’/ ‘eldest brother’,‘deeper blue’/ ‘deepest blue’.birther (rhymes with flat earther) a conspiracy theorist who insists in the face of all availableevidence that Barack Obama was not born in the USABjelke-Petersen Note the final ‘-en’, not ‘-on’. Sir Joh was Queensland’s longest-servingPremier.black should not be used by reporters as a term describing indigenous Australians, Africans andAfrican Americans. On the other hand it is quite appropriate for those peoples to use the termthemselves to describe themselves.black (hyphenation). Blackmail, blackout (n), black out (v) black tie, black-listed, black list (n).Prefer bribe.blond (male), blonde (female).bored with, NOT ‘bored of’.botanic gardens . Only Hobart has botanical gardens.both (See only) The positioning of ‘both’ should be precise:It is incorrect to write, ‘She was eating both from a plate and a bowl’. It is either,UQ SJC STYLEBOOK 2012 – PAGE 28

‘She was eating both from a plate and from a bowl’, OR (better) ‘She was eating from both aplate and a bowl’. Think about what ‘both’ applies to. This is even more the case with only.bottom line meaning the final addition, where all things are taken into account; another term for‘in the final analysis,’ both of which are empty. Perhaps more meaningful to say, ‘all thingsconsidered,’ but again this is meaningless unless all those things have already been discussed.Better to say ‘having considered the pros and cons,’ or ‘… strengths and weaknesses’ all ofwhich should be made transparent.bought and brought are often confused. Bought is the past tense of buy; brought is the pasttense of bring. One is a purchase. The other is the act of carrying.boyzilian wax See manscaping.Brahmin for Hindu priest and Indian-derived cattle common in Australia as pure and hybrid.Braford, for example, is a hybrid of Brahmin and Hereford cattle, with the former’sendurance and the latter’s beefiness.brake and break are sometimes confused. Brake is the device which, when applied, stopsvehicles, winches etc. A break, on the other hand is a short halt in the work day – coffee break,lunch break etc – or when something is broken. ‘The car refused to start because it had a breakin the fuel line’.brand names Many former (and existing) brand names, such as aspro, kleenex, esky, hoover,thermos, perspex, nylon, crimplene, pyrex, tarmac, corn flakes, bowser and cellophane, havebeen absorbed into the language and no longer carry the capital. But many others must berecognised as registered brand names and the capital retained. Indeed, newspapers will receivethreats of legal action from owners of registered trade names if their trade name is used as acommon noun. Such trade names include the familiar Coke, Breathalyser, Boogie board (bodyboard), Biro, Glad Wrap, Hills Hoist, Primus, Roller Blades, Vaseline, Velcro, Walkman,Polaroid, Laundromat, Stubbies (shorts), Masonite, Land-Rover, Jeep, LandCruiser, Vegemite,Weet-Bix, Hoover, Xerox, Mixmaster, Levi’s. If in doubt, use the generic name — four-wheeldrivevehicle for Land-Rover, for instance, or ball-point pen for Biro.broach is when you raise a contentious topic in a conversation. ‘The wife broached the topic ofher husband’s infidelity’ Brooch is jewellery. Same pronunciation.buildup (n) build up (v)bulkbillburka not burqa, traditional garmet for arabic women, giving full body cover including theface, with just a slit for the eyes.Burma is the preferred name for the country also known as ‘Myanma’, which was the namegiven it in 1989 by the ruling military junta.burned (v) the house burned down. burnt (adj) the burnt out house. burn-off burn undergrowthto make it fireproof. Back-burn burning from firebreak against the wind to prevent an approachingbushfire by using up its fuel. Burns victim.PAGE 29 – 2012UQ SJC STYLEBOOK

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