See Tricky Spelling and Confusing Words

Tricky words for writing measurements and for writing about data-processing

Tricky words for writing measurements

  • Write gram, kilogram  AVOID:  gramme, kilogramme
  • However, use tonne but AVOID:  ton (‘ton’ refers to the non-metric measure).
  • Write metre for the unit of length, meter for measuring instruments. EXAMPLE: the gas meter was one metre tall

Tricky words for data-processing usage

Forms of the words 'input' and 'output'
These words do not take a different past tense or participle form 

  • AVOID: inpu[t]ted and output[t]ed.]

Use instead input and output:

  • EXAMPLE: 70,000 items of data were input last month.

However, note the verb to format, which takes the forms formatted and formatting.

  • EXAMPLE: Last month they formatted their texts using the APA Style Guide.  We like formatting. 

Reference List