Qantas - (Australian national airline) ie without a "u"...


(Australian national airline) ie without a "u".


(ie no gap - and a digit) is acceptable even at first reference for the liner Queen Elizabeth 2. Note it is not named after the current monarch, but is the second ship named Queen Elizabeth, therefore it is "2" rather than "II".


(Pilgrimage centre in Iran) ie without a "u". Do not call it a "holy city" but it can be described as a seat of Islamic learning.


ie all lower case (it stands for quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation).


ie hyphenated.


Use Roman numerals with names (eg: Elizabeth II).Only our own monarch retains the initial cap in all circumstances (eg: The Queen has arrived in Australia). Other monarchs are capitalised only when the name is used (eg: Queen Noor - but the queen).

Queen’s College/Queens’ College

The one in Oxford has an apostrophe before the "s" (Queen’s). The one in Cambridge has it after (Queens’).

Queen’s Speech

ie both words capped up for the Westminster occasion (as opposed to the Queen’s speech at the opening of the Windsor branch of Tesco).

Queen’s University

(in Belfast) ie with the apostrophe before the "s". 


as a verb, it should be avoided in text - use question, or similar. It is acceptable in a headline if nothing else fits.

quotation marks should be single:

in headlines and cross-heads (eg: UK ‘to leave EU’); in promos and for quotes within quotes (eg: Tom Bone said: “They say ‘The Labour Party is finished’ before every election.”) and inside quote boxes (eg: They sprayed ‘go home’ on our front door – Sandra Harris).

In headlines where the attribution is clear, do not include unnecessary quote marks (eg Britain won’t hold referendum, says PM rather than Britain 'won’t hold referendum', says PM).

should be double:

outside the categories listed above - on the ticker, in regular text, summaries and picture captions. Also, at first use of phrases such as “mad cow disease” or “road rage”. (But quotation marks will be single if the phrase comes inside a direct quotation (eg: The minister said: “The spread of ‘mad cow disease’ has ruined thousands of lives.”) Either way, no punctuation is required after the first reference.

No quotation marks are required for film, TV or song titles. Use initial caps to indicate that it is a title (eg: Madonna's early chart-toppers include Into the Groove and La Isla Bonita). 

When referring to a nickname or similar, it’s either lower case and quotes or caps and no quotes, eg Mrs Thatcher was known as the Iron Lady.


A direct quotation, or a series of direct quotes, can capture the essence of a story - but select only the best lines. Put the rest into indirect speech, or leave it out altogether.

Ensure the quotation is comprehensible and makes sense. Do not expose a speaker to ridicule by bringing his/her grammatical/linguistic incompetence to a wider audience. Again, a combination of indirect speech and omission should solve the problem.

Never anticipate a direct quote by using its main point in the cue-line (eg: The minister promised free beer for all. He told the party conference: "There will be free beer for all.")

With complete sentences, the closing quotation marks go after the full stop (eg: Mr Franklin said: "This is a farce."). When quoting a single word or phrase, the quotation marks go before the full stop (eg: Mr Franklin called the episode "a farce".).

Where you want to indicate that a sentence is unfinished, or that part of a quote has been omitted, use triple dots (eg: "I believe the way forward is clear… there is no alternative."). The space should be after, not before the dots in order to avoid a new line beginning with dots.

When using snippets of a quote, make sure they are worth quoting. Mr Jones said he was "gobsmacked" by the award is fine. But Mr Jones said he was "surprised" and "never thought" he would win is best left as indirect speech.


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