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Spelling

The authoritative source for spelling is the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. When that source gives more than one variation (such as different British and American spellings), use Canadian Oxford’s preferred spelling, i.e., the one listed first.

Archivaria does not use contractions (i.e., uses do not or was not, NOT don’t or wasn’t) unless they are in a quotation or in a passage that clearly adopts a non-academic tone.

Archivaria’s preference for some often-used words:

  • Aboriginal (adj.)
  • afterwards
  • among
  • analog (not analogue) versus digital
  • analyze, analyzing, analysis
  • audio tape (two words)
  • audiovisual (adj.)
  • backlog
  • benefited
  • Black (to refer to people) but black (colour)
  • catalogue
  • CD-ROM
  • centre (verb and noun); centred
  • colour
  • co-operate; co-operative
  • coordinate
  • crowdsourcing
  • data (singular or plural depends on the sense); data set
  • database
  • decision-making (noun); decision-making bodies (adj.); decision makers
  • Elder (capitalized)
  • email
  • ethnocultural
  • et al. (no italics)
  • exercise
  • Figure 3 (for the caption that appears with the figure, but figure 3, with a lower case f in text; the same rule applies to table)
  • first-hand (adj.)
  • First Nations (Canadian context; always plural as adj.)
  • First World War (Canadian and British context)
  • focused, focusing; focuses
  • fulfill; fulfillment; fulfilled
  • globalization
  • hard copy (noun); hard-copy manuscripts (adj.)
  • honour
  • Hudson’s Bay Company
  • Indigenous (adj., capitalized)
  • in-depth
  • Internet (capitalized)
  • inter-war period but inter war (open following a noun)
  • intranet (lower case)
  • Inuit (adj.; collective noun meaning the people does not take an article or the qualifier people)
  • Inuk (singular noun)
  • judgment
  • label, labelled, labelling
  • licence (noun); license (verb)
  • life cycle
  • long term but long-term plans (adj.)
  • markup
  • Métis (noun and adj.)
  • model, modelled, modelling
  • Nation (capitalized as part of the name of a specific Indigenous People)
  • nation-state
  • off-line
  • off-site
  • online
  • on-site
  • onward (not onwards)
  • organization
  • Parliament
  • percent
  • per se (no italics)
  • post-colonial
  • postmodern; postmodernist; postmodernism
  • post-war years but post war (open after a noun)
  • practice (noun); practise (verb)
  • pre-war period but pre war
  • program; programmed; programming
  • provenance
  • recontextualize
  • Second World War (Canadian and British context)
  • semi-structured
  • socio-economic
  • staff (plural)
  • subsection
  • supranational
  • Survivor (capitalized in the context of residential schools)
  • targeted
  • task force
  • time frame
  • toward (not towards)
  • videotape (one word)
  • Web; World Wide Web (capitalized)
  • website; web page; web content
  • white
  • workload
  • workplace
  • workplan
  • workstation
  • World War I; World War II (American context only)

Archives-related words not in Canadian Oxford:

  • archives as repository (singular)
  • Archives (singular; if the name of a repository is shortened to Archive after first reference, the capital A is necessary to avoid confusion between the use of the word archive in a general sense versus the abbreviated name of the repository, e.g., Deseronto Archives; the town supports the need for the Archives; it is a community archive)
  • Canadian Archives Summit; the summit
  • curation
  • deaccessioning
  • diplomatics (singular)
  • finding aids
  • fonds (but when speaking about a specific fonds, use Fonds, e.g., the John Turner Fonds)
  • macroappraisal
  • metadata
  • microappraisal
  • non-archival
  • postcustodial; postcustodialist
  • recordkeeping (n. and adj.); recordkeeper; recordkeeping system
  • record-making; record-maker
  • records creator
  • records management; records manager
  • respect des fonds (not in italics)
  • Rules for Archival Description (RAD) – this and its abbreviation are italicized because it is a published document/standard; other standards, such as ISAD(G), also appear in italics.
  • sub-series
  • the then–National Archives of Canada