Editorial style guide

British English

You should always use British English terms and spellings, not American or Scottish English.

Use British English

Always use British English and spellings.


  • organisation, not organization
  • centre, not center
  • holiday, not vacation
  • shop, not store
  • programme, not program

Official names

In official names, use the spelling the organisation uses.


World Trade Center, Karolinska Institutet

Scottish terms

Avoid using Scottish terms such as 'outwith', as an international audience may not understand. Use an alternative like 'outside' or 'beyond'.


Latin terms should be used sparingly. 

Some Latin words, and their plurals, are so common that many people don’t know they are plurals: words like ‘data’ and ‘criteria’.

However, you should avoid many Latin terms where possible, in particular plural forms that look pedantic and put the reader off.


  • forums, not fora
  • syllabuses, not syllabi


Consider using ‘former students’ or ‘graduates’ instead. If you do use the Latin term, use it as follows:

  • Alumni - graduates plural
  • Alumnx - non-gendered term for a single graduate
  • Alumna - female graduate
  • Alumnus - male graduate

Graduates and graduands

A graduand is someone to be awarded a degree. A graduate has been awarded and holds a degree.

Spelling style

You can find further guidance on spelling in the Spelling style section of this guide.

Spelling style