Spelling and preferred terms (A to Z)

Spelling conventions for words and phrases commonly used for online content.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  L  M  N  O  P  R  S  T  W

If a term is not listed here, check the Canadian Press (CP) Caps and Spelling, also follow the writing style guide.


  • AB (abbreviation of Alberta)
  • Aboriginal – always capitalize but use Indigenous instead, except when referring to specific constitutional rights, programs or business units
  • act – capitalize titles of legislative acts but not subsequent references when full name is not used, for example 'Occupational Health and Safety Act' or 'the act'
  • addiction – avoid addictions
  • Age:
    • adolescent (12, 13 and 14)
    • young person or youth (15, 16 and 17)
    • adult (over 18)
    • senior (avoid senior citizen, aged and elderly)
  • Alberta’s government or Alberta government (informal)
  • Alberta Legislature Building (official name of structure) but 'the legislature building' (unofficial)
  • Alberta Public Service (APS)
  • Alberta.ca


  • bill – capitalize titles of proposed laws but not subsequent references when full name is not used, for example 'Bill 36' becomes 'the bill' after first reference.


  • Certificate of Indian Status or Secure Certificate of Indian Status
  • co-worker



  • e-commerce
  • e-disclosure
  • e-file
  • e.g. – avoid, use 'for example' instead
  • e-learning
  • email (no hyphen)
  • e-newsletter
  • ESL English as a second language has changed to EAL English as an additional language to be more inclusive.
  • e-tutoring


  • First Nations – see also Indigenous
  • full time (n.), full-time (adj.)
  • fundraiser/fundraising/fundraise – use one word, no hyphen


  • gender-sensitive language:
    • their (avoid 'his' or 'her')
    • they (avoid 'he' or 'she')
    • transgender person (adj.), avoid using as noun
  • Geography – lowercase words such as 'north', 'east' or 'northeast', except when it’s a specific political or administrative name
  • GoA (acronym for Government of Alberta)
  • government (informal) – 'the government', 'Alberta government, Canadian government'
  • Government of Alberta (formal) – see also Alberta government


  • health care (n.), health-care (adj.)
  • homeless person (adj.) – avoid using 'the homeless'


  • ID instead of identification
  • i.e. – avoid, use 'that is' instead
  • Indigenous – always capitalize and use broader terms such as First Nations, Inuit and Métis
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • internet – lowercase only, except at the start of a sentence


  • job site, see also work site
  • job titles – lowercase generic job titles such as 'minister' or 'director' and capitalize formal titles, such as 'Minister Smith'


  • Legislative Assembly of Alberta or the Assembly (CP exception)
  • LGBTQ2S+
  • licence (n.), license (v.), licensee (n.)
  • literacy - avoid foundational learner
  • log in and log-in (v.), login (n., adj.), avoid using 'log on'
  • lowercase (n., v.)
  • Lt.-Gov. or lieutenant-governor (use abbreviation before full name on first reference)


  • member of the legislative assembly (MLA)
  • Métis – always use an accent over the ‘e’ except when referring to the Metis Settlements Act, Metis Settlements or entities established by its legislation
  • Métis people
  • Métis Peoples
  • Metis Settlements
  • minister, ministry – lowercase generic titles, for example, 'the minister'
  • Minister, Ministry – capitalize proper titles, for example, Minister of Health, Minister Smith or Ministry of Health
  • multimedia (n., adj.)


  • Names use full name and title at first reference


  • oil sands (CP exception)
  • online (all uses)


  • people with disabilities – avoid 'persons with disabilities' or 'handicapped'
  • person with autism, person with muscular dystrophy, person with hearing loss – avoid terms 'speech-impaired'
  • Premier – capitalize both proper and generic titles (CP exception)
  • province of Alberta (geography) or Province of Alberta (corporation)
  • provincewide


  • research – avoid knowledge mobilization (jargon)


  • stakeholder – is too generic list specific groups ( Education stakeholders, instead list teachers, students, parents, trustees, administrators)


  • toll-free number (adj.), toll free (adv.), for example 'call toll free' or 'toll free in Alberta'
  • tradespeople


  • web page, the web, World Wide Web
  • website (one word)
  • Word document (brand name)
  • workforce, workload or workplace
  • work site (n.), work-site (adj.) – See also job site
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