Alphabetical list of terms#

This section provides usage guidelines for general terms. The table indicates the following special types of terms:

  • Restricted: Terms that can create problems if used incorrectly

  • Avoid: Terms to avoid in favor of better alternatives

  • Don’t use: Terms that shouldn’t be used

A blank cell in the “Special usage” column indicates that a word is generally acceptable and should be used as directed in the “Comments” column.

Additionally, the table uses the following abbreviations to indicate parts of speech:

  • (v)=verb

  • (n)=noun

  • (adj)=adjective

  • (adv)=adverb

Term

Special usage

Comments

24x7x365

Use this phrase to describe continuous availability. Don’t replace the x’s with slashes, hyphens, or the word by.

Use:

We deliver Fanatical Experience™ — we are here to help, 24x7x365.

about, on

Restricted

Don’t use on to mean about. For example, use information about, not information on.

Don’t use about to mean approximately.

Use:

Help provides information about the console.

The installation takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Don’t use:

Help provides information on the console.

(This ambiguous sentence could mean that the information is displayed on the console.)

The installation takes about 10 minutes to complete.

abort

Avoid

Don’t use. Instead, use words like stop, exit, cancel, or end.

Use:

If the program seems to be looping, end it.

Don’t use:

If the program seems to be looping, abort it.

above

Restricted

Don’t use above to locate information within a topic or a deliverable or to refer to releases or product versions.

To locate information, use preceding or provide a specific link or cross-reference.

To refer to releases or product versions, use later.

Use:

The preceding commands create a /etc/sysconfig/iptables flat file with human readable syntax that can be manually edited.

Follow the same process described in “Obtaining the metadata information via the Cloud Servers API (Examples).”

To configure a custom error page for 3.5 SP1 and later, follow this example.

Don’t use:

The above commands create a /etc/sysconfig/iptables flat file with human readable syntax that can be manually edited.

Follow the same process described above.

To configure a custom error page for 3.5 SP1 and above, follow this example.

access (v)

Avoid

Avoid when you can in favor of friendlier words like see, edit, find, use, or view.

accessible

Restricted

Use accessible only to refer to things that all people, including those with disabilities, can easily use. Don’t use it to mean simple or open.

add-on (n, adj)

Hyphenate this term when using it as a noun or adjective. Don’t use add on or addon.

Use:

Entourage 2008 Web Services Edition is a free add-on to Entourage 2008 provided by Microsoft.

ad hoc

Use as two words. Don’t hyphenate ad hoc, even when it’s used as a modifier (for example, ad hoc tasks).

admin, administrator, administer (v), administrative (adj)

Use admin in code as needed, such as role: "admin". Use administrator in descriptive content, such as “The administrator of the accounts”. Use administer when a verb form is needed. Do not use administrate. For example, “Kelly administers the accounts processes for that customer.” Use administrative as ad adjective before a noun, such as administrative role.

affect, effect

Use affect as a verb to mean influence, change, or have an effect on. Use effect as a noun to mean the result of an action or the power to bring about a result.

Use:

Any change in network latency between primary and DR locations can potentially affect RPO because of the impact on data replication.

The open cloud has a long-term effect on innovation.

after, once

Use after to mean occurring subsequently in time or order. Use once to mean one time.

Don’t use after to refer to the location of information. Instead, use next, follows, following, or provide a specific cross-reference.

Use:

After you create a volume, you can’t resize it.

The client ID is generated once, and it persists between restarts of the client.

You can resize the server, change the image, or add a record by selecting the option that follows the description for each setting.

Don’t use:

Once you create a volume, you can’t resize it.

You can resize the server, change the image, or add a record by selecting the option that appears after the description for each setting.

afterward

Use instead of afterwards.

all caps

Don’t use

Use uppercase instead.

Use:

Commands are written in uppercase to distinguish them from field names and other data.

Don’t use:

Commands are written in all caps to distinguish them from field names and other data.

allow

Restricted

Use allow only when discussing permission. Avoid using allow to imply that a program, feature, or product permits a user to do something. Use you can instead. Enables is also acceptable.

This restriction also applies to let and permit.

Use:

By default, network policies don’t allow inbound access from the Internet to your cloud servers.

You can use Cloud Block Storage to expand the storage capacity of your cloud server.

Don’t use:

Cloud Block Storage allows you to expand the storage capacity of your cloud server.

alternate, alternative

Use alternate as a verb to refer to performing by turns or changing from one state to another state repeatedly.

Use alternative as a noun or adjective to mean a choice between two things, such as alternative methods.

Use:

If your system doesn’t receive information from clients in a timely manner, results alternate between error messages and successful data collection.

As an alternative method, you can right-click the table and select a command from the menu.

AM, PM

Show in uppercase, with no periods after each letter, and a space before.

Use:

Between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM

Don’t use:

Between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

among, between

When referring to three or more persons or items or when the number is unspecified, use among.

When referring to two persons or items or when referring to the relationship between two items at a time, use between.

Use:

To learn more about the differences between IMAP and POP, see the following article.

If you’re new to Linux, you have to choose among unfamiliar distributions.

Acting as an abstraction layer between a guest OS and the physical hardware, the hypervisor must juggle physical resources among multiple competing consumers.

and/or

Don’t use

This construction is ambiguous and doesn’t exist in other languages. For clarity, use one of the following constructions:

To indicate that one alternative or another is acceptable, use or.

To indicate multiple alternatives, use a list.

To indicate that two alternatives are acceptable, either separately or combined, use or both.

Use:

If you’re using the Cloud Servers API to create cloud servers, you can use API options to create servers without the PublicNet network or the ServiceNet network.

you’re now ready to complete one or more of the following tasks:

  • Create a profile

  • Modify the sample files

  • Generate a job

From this window you can edit the job, schedule it to run later, or both.

Don’t use:

If you’re using the Cloud Servers API to create cloud servers, you can use API options to create servers without the PublicNet and/or ServiceNet network.

you’re now ready to create a profile, modify the sample files, and/or generate a job.

From this window you can edit the job and/or schedule it to run later.

Android

Use initial caps. Never use android.

Use:

Android-powered device

Don’t use:

android-powered device

anti (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words that begin with the prefix anti unless the root word starts with an i or a capital letter.

If you have a question about a particular word, look it up in a dictionary.

Use:

antivirus, antispam, antispyware, anti-intelligence

any time (n), anytime (adv)

Use:

You can change this setting at any time. Anytime you want a good video, you can watch YouTube.

API, APIs

Use API to refer to either an API for a service or a language-Specific API. Don’t use it when referring to a method or a class. The plural form of API is APIs, not API’s.

Use:

Use the API for Cloud Servers when you need a feature that is not available in the Control Panel.

Don’t use:

Don’t write “This resource has one API” when you mean “This resource has one method.”

app

Use app, not application, in most cases.

appear

Unlike display, appear doesn’t require a direct object. You can use appear instead of is displayed if the context is appropriate.

Use:

A message appears.

The system displays a message.

appendixes

As the plural of appendix, use appendixes rather than appendices.

application

Don’t use

Instead, use app. The industry trend is toward app. It’s okay to use application as part of a common phrase such as application programming interface, but in general usage, app is preferable.

architect (v), architected (adj)

Don’t use

Use architect only as a noun. For a verb, use design, create, plan, or another appropriate verb.

Instead of using architected as an adjective, use designed or another appropriate word.

argument (command-line context)

Don’t use

Instead, use option.

as, since

Restricted

Don’t use as or since when describing the reason for a situation, event, and so on. Use because instead.

Use since only to express an interval, not causality.

Use:

Because the utility failed, you can’t complete the transaction.

The status hasn’t changed since the error occurred.

Don’t use:

Since the utility failed, you can’t complete the transaction.

as a service (aaS)

For example, infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Note the capitalization of the spelled-out term and the abbreviation. On first occurrence, use the spelled-out term and introduce the abbreviation in parentheses. Use the abbreviation thereafter.

as per

Don’t use

Use according to instead.

assure

Restricted

Use ensure to mean make certain of an action, event, or outcome. Don’t use assure (to set someone’s mind at ease) to convey this meaning.

at scale

Don’t use at-scale.

auto (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words that begin with the prefix auto unless it’s necessary to avoid confusion.

Don’t make up words that start with auto. When in doubt, use automatic or automatically instead.

Don’t use auto as an abbreviation for automatic or automatically, unless you are referring to a label on a UI.

If you have a question about a particular word, look it up in a dictionary.

Use:

You can access the autoconfiguration tool to set up your Outlook email client.

The installation automatically starts the service.

Don’t use:

You can access the auto configuration tool to set up your Outlook email client.

The installation auto starts the service.

back end (n), back-end (adj)

Avoid

Use a more specific term such as server, operating system, or network. If you need to use the term, show it as noted.

backslash

Use backslash to refer to the \ character, and use slash to refer to the / character. Don’t use slash mark.

back up (v), backup (adj, n)

Use:

Back up your files.

Make a backup copy.

Perform an incremental backup of your database.

backward

Use instead of backwards.

bad

Avoid

Use serious instead, or provide an explanation.

bare metal

Use bare metal, instead of Bare Metal or bare-metal.

be sure

Avoid

Depending on context, use ensure or verify instead.

because

Use because (not since or as) to express causality.

Use:

The system issues an error message because the syntax is wrong.

Don’t use:

The system issues an error message since the syntax is wrong.

before

Use before to mean to precede in time or order of actions.

Don’t use before to refer to the location of information. Instead, use previous, preceding, or provide a specific cross-reference.

Use:

Before you change the DNS of your domain, you can use the URL to test your website.

Because the entity recipe precedes this stanza, it implicitly selects the entityId for this or any check in scope.

Don’t use:

Because the entity recipe is placed before this stanza, it implicitly selects the entityId for this or any check in scope.

below

Restricted

Don’t use below to locate information within a topic or a deliverable or to refer to releases or product versions.

To locate information, use following or provide a specific link or cross-reference.

To refer to releases or product versions, use earlier.

Use:

In the following example, cbsvolume1 is the name of the volume.

You can use netstat to confirm whether a super-server is listening on a specific port. For more information, see Checking listening ports with netstat.

To configure a custom error page for 3.5 SP1 and earlier, follow this example.

Don’t use:

In the below example, cbsvolume1 is the name of the volume.

You can use netstat (see below) to confirm whether a super-server is listening on a specific port.

To configure a custom error page for 3.5 SP1 and below, follow this example.

between, among

When referring to three or more persons or items or when the number is unspecified, use among.

When referring to two persons or items or when referring to the relationship between two items at a time, use between.

Use:

To learn more about the differences between IMAP and POP, see the following article.

If you’re new to Linux, you have to choose among unfamiliar distributions.

Acting as an abstraction layer between a guest OS and the physical hardware, the hypervisor must juggle physical resources among multiple competing consumers.

bi (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words that begin with the prefix bi, such as bidirectional and bimodal, unless the root word starts with an i or a capital letter.

billion

Avoid

Billion indicates different numbers in different numeration systems. In the short-scale system (used in the English-speaking countries), it indicates 109, or 1,000,000,000. In the long-scale system (used in Spanish-speaking countries), it indicates 1012, or 1,000,000,000,000.

To avoid confusion when you’re citing a large number such as a billion, express the amount in numerals. If space constraints prevent writing numerals, use billion as defined in the short-scale system.

biweekly, bimonthly

Avoid

Because these terms can be interpreted as twice a week or month or once every two weeks or months, avoid using them. For clarity, instead use longer terms such as every two weeks, every two months, twice a week, and twice a month.

Boolean

Always use with an initial capital letter.

both

Use to refer to only two things.

Use:

To prevent both headers and I/O summaries from being printed, use “-qqq”.

OpenStack provides large, medium, and small organizations an alternative to closed cloud environments.

Don’t use:

OpenStack provides both large, medium, and small organizations an alternative to closed cloud environments.

bottom left, bottom right

Don’t use

When referring to the location of an item on a UI, use lower left and lower right instead.

See also left and right.

box

Use box instead of field to describe a box (including a text box, list box, group box, combo box, and spin box) within a dialog box or window. When citing a specific UI element name, use only box with the name (for example, Candidate box, not Candidate list box) except when naming a check box. In contrast, when citing one of these terms generically, use the complete term, such as list box.

Note: Don’t use box to refer to a computer.

Use:

In the Search *n* activities box, enter your search term.

Select the Printer and Clipboard check boxes.

Complete each list box.

bring up

Don’t use

Don’t use this term to refer to starting or turning on a system. Use start or turn on instead.

Don’t use this term to refer to the opening of a window or part of a UI. Use open instead.

Use:

Press the F1 key to open a help screen with the keyboard commands.

To start eth1 without restarting the device, use the ifup command.

Don’t use:

Press the F1 key to bring up a help screen with the keyboard commands.

To bring up eth1 without restarting the device, use the ifup command.

button

Don’t use button and icon interchangeably. If you’re referring to a command button or toolbar button (labeled or unlabeled), use button. If you’re referring to a graphic on a screen, window, or other area, use icon.

When providing an instruction to click a button that executes a command, use the name of the button without the word button.

Use:

To save the configuration, click OK.

by using

See using, by using, with.

can

Use can to indicate the power or ability to perform an action.

See also may, might, must, should, and Use helping verbs accurately.

Use:

You can shorten phase 1 by eliminating unneeded files, such as archived logs and application cache files, from the original cloud server.

canceled, canceling

Use each word as shown, with a single l.

cannot

Use as one word.

catalog

Use catalog instead of catalogue.

catastrophic

Avoid

Use serious instead.

check (v)

Avoid

In a user action, tell the user whether to clear or select the check box. Don’t tell them to check the box. Additionally, prefer verify over check.

check box

Use check box as two words. In a user action, tell the user whether to clear or select the check box.

Use:

Select the No Output check box.

Clear the selected check box.

Don’t use:

Check the No Output box.

Click the check box.

choose

Restricted

In procedure steps, use select when referring to actions in the UI. Choose is acceptable in a general sense.

clear (v)

Use clear to mean the opposite of select or enter. Don’t use deselect or unselect.

click

Use click to mean press and release a mouse button. Use click to refer to operations and selections that you make with a mouse. Don’t use click on or press.

Use:

Click OK.

Don’t use:

Click on OK.

Press OK.

client

Use client to refer to a computer, object, or program that obtains data or services from a server. If the context is clear, you can use client as a noun. If the context isn’t clear, use client as an adjective (for example, client computer).

Don’t use client to refer to a person. Use customer instead.

Use:

Routing directs client requests to the content source best able to serve the request.

The client interacts with the remote file system through the SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).

Because no two customers are the same, the company is aware of the need for customizable platforms.

client/server

Use a slash, not a hyphen.

cloud

When using cloud as a general noun or adjective or as a generic reference, use lowercase.

cloud hosting, Cloud Hosting

Use lowercase when referring generally to the industry and providers. Capitalize when referring to it as a Rackspace offering.

cloud server, Cloud Servers

When referring to an actual server, use server or cloud server. Use Cloud Servers to refer to the Rackspace service.

close, open

For folders in a tree, use open to refer to the action of opening a folder. Use close to refer to the action of closing the folder.

In other contexts, use open to refer to opening a window, dialog box, or file. Use close to refer to the Close button or closing a window, dialog box, or file.

See also collapse, expand and exit (close, quit, stop).

co (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words that begin with the prefix co, such as coexist or coprocessor, unless the root word begins with o, such as co-op.

collapse, expand

For directories or other navigational trees, use expand to mean the action of opening the tree to view more objects (such as folders). Use collapse to mean the action of closing the tree to view fewer objects.

colocate, colocation

Use as shown, with one l and no hyphen, when referring to locating customer equipment in a third-party data center.

Use:

In managed colocation, you lease the hardware, networking, and most other devices that you need in the data center.

command (UI)

Use command when referring to a selection on a menu, an instruction for an action to take place, or the name of a command. Don’t use menu item, menu option, or menu choice.

Use:

The Open command opens a file.

Use the SQL CREATE command.

Don’t use:

The Open menu item opens a file.

command button

When providing an instruction to click a button that executes a command, use the name of the button without the word button. In a description, you can use the name and button, especially when another button name or option name is the same or similar.

Use:

Click OK.

The window contains an Apply button, an OK button, and an Exit button.

command line (n), command-line (adj)

Don’t hyphenate command line when it’s used as a noun. Hyphenate it when used as an adjective, as in command-line interface.

Use:

Type the following command at the command line and press Enter.

In the command-line interface, type the following command:

command-line interface (CLI)

If you need to use the spelled-out term for clarity, hyphenate it. However, you can use the abbreviation without first spelling out the term; it’s a common abbreviation.

comment out

Use as a phrasal verb meaning to cause to become a comment. When you comment out a line of code, you add characters to the line that make it recognizable as a comment only and not as executable code.

Use:

Comment out the following line by placing a # symbol in front of it.

complement

Use complement (not compliment) to describe an item that completes or supplements another item.

Use:

The Rackspace Critical Application Services team complements internal IT teams.

complete (v, adj)

Complete is a transitive verb, which means that it requires a direct object. If you can’t give it a direct object, use the adjective complete (is complete) or use a different word, such as finish.

Use:

When the migration is complete and the server starts, test your web sites and applications.

Internet access is required to complete the installation.

Don’t use:

When the migration completes and the server starts, test your web sites and applications.

comprise

Avoid

Even when this term is used correctly, people think it’s used incorrectly. Because of the confusion associated with this term, use consist of, include, or contain instead.

Don’t use comprised of.

Use:

The configuration consists of your edge and connected physical network devices, and one or more Cloud accounts that you associate with the configuration.

computer

Use computer instead of machine or box. Use server instead of computer if that’s more accurate.

console

Use lowercase letters when console isn’t part of a product name or a proper name.

Use:

If your server becomes unreachable through RDP or the web console, you might have to place the server in Windows Rescue Mode.

customer

Use customer to refer to individuals who use Rackspace products and services. Avoid using user.

damage (v)

Avoid

Use affect instead.

data

Use data with a singular verb.

Use:

If you can’t access your Cloud Databases instance, your data is still protected on a redundant SAN.

data center

Use region rather than data center. Region is the term used in the control panel and API. If you need to use data center, show it as two words and don’t capitalize it.

data store

Use data store as two words instead of as one word.

database

Use database as one word.

default (n, adj)

Use default as a noun or adjective. Don’t use default as a verb.

Use:

The field contains the default value that you specified during installation.

Don’t use:

The field value defaults to the value that you specified during installation.

deinstall

Don’t use

Use uninstall instead.

deselect

Don’t use

Use clear instead.

Use:

Clear the check box.

desire, desired

Don’t use

Use want, appropriate, required, or another word or phrase instead.

destroy

Avoid

Use remove or delete instead.

dialog

Avoid

See dialog box.

dialog box

Don’t use dialog, dialogue, window, pop-up, screen, or display to mean dialog box. Capitalize dialog box only if it’s part of a name that’s shown in the software. Use lowercase letters for generic references (the filter dialog box).

Note: A dialog box is usually modal, which means that you can’t minimize it and must respond to it before proceeding. In contrast, you can keep a window open but minimized while working on another task.

different than

Don’t use

Use different from instead.

dimmed

Use dimmed to describe the appearance of an unavailable command, option, or button. Don’t use disabled, grayed, or grayed out.

See also unavailable.

Use:

If the button is dimmed, it’s unavailable.

disabled

Restricted

Don’t use disabled to describe inactive commands, options, or buttons on the interface. Use dimmed to describe the appearance of an inactive command, option, or button; use unavailable to refer to its state. Don’t use disabled to refer to individuals with disabilities.

Use of disabled is acceptable in other contexts. For example, a feature might be disabled through configuration.

display

The verb display requires a direct object. You can use the passive is displayed, or you can use appears or opens in the appropriate context.

Don’t use display as a noun to mean pane, window, or dialog box.

Use:

The system displays a message.

A message appears.

The dialog box opens.

Don’t use:

The message displays.

The dialog box displays.

The display shows the results of your search.

do

Restricted

Don’t use in phrases such as do the following. Use perform instead.

double-click

Always hyphenate when used as a verb or modifier. Don’t use double-click on.

Use:

To open the installer, double-click the Remote Desktop Connection.mpkg icon.

double-tap

When documenting instructions for mobile devices, use double-tap to express the action of quickly touching and releasing an item on the device screen twice in quick succession. Always hyphenate.

See also tap.

Use:

To enter a password in all uppercase letters, double-tap the Shift key to lock it.

downtime

Use downtime as one word.

drag (v), drag-and-drop (adj)

In UI environments, drag refers to using the mouse to “pull” an item from one area of the screen to another area. Because the action of dropping (releasing the mouse button) is intrinsic to the action of dragging items in a UI, don’t use drag and drop as a verb.

Use:

Drag the video and image file to the container window. (verb)

You can add objects to Cloud File containers by using a drag-and-drop user interface. (adjective)

Don’t use:

Drag and drop the video and image file to the container window.

drill down

Avoid

Because drill down is idiomatic, avoid using it. Use navigate instead to mean to follow a path to lower-level items in a hierarchy.

Use:

Navigate to the folder that contains your file.

Avoid:

Drill down to the folder that contains your file.

drop-down (adj)

Restricted

Only when you are referring to a drop-down menu as a user interface element, for example, in Helix documentation, use drop-down as an adjective.

Include the hyphen.

Use:

The drop-down menu element must include several options.

Don’t use:

The dropdown menu element must include several options.

drop-down list, drop-down menu

Don’t use

Use list or menu, or use the name of the list or menu.

Use:

In the Extend registration for menu, select the number of years.

Don’t use:

In the Extend registration for drop-down menu, select the number of years.

due to

Avoid

Use because of instead.

earlier, later

Use these terms (instead of lower and higher or below and above) when referring to product releases and version numbers. Don’t use earlier or later to refer to information in text.

See also following, preceding.

Use:

Ubuntu 12.04 or earlier

Windows 3.1 or later

Don’t use:

Ubuntu 12.04 or lower

Windows 3.1 or above

ecommerce

Don’t hyphenate. Capitalize the word if it occurs at the beginning of a sentence or in a title.

Use:

Your ecommerce strategy must identify and address infrastructure needs to support availability.

Ecommerce sites can meet PCI DSS requirements in the following ways.

effect, affect

Use affect as a verb to mean influence, change, or have an effect on. Use effect as a noun to mean the result of an action or the power to bring about a result.

Use:

Any change in network latency between primary and DR locations can potentially affect RPO because of the impact on data replication.

The open cloud has a long-term effect on innovation.

e.g.

Don’t use

Use for example instead. See Avoid obscure non-English words and abbreviations.

either

Use either for two items only.

Use:

Select either Quick or Standard.

Select Quick, Standard, or Customized.

Don’t use:

Select either Quick, Standard, or Customized.

email

Use as a noun, adjective, and verb. Don’t hyphenate. Capitalize when referring to the Rackspace product or if the word occurs at the beginning of a sentence or in a title.

Use:

Enter your entire email address, using all lowercase letters.

Fail2ban sends an email to demo@example.com.

You can configure the product to email notifications to you.

Set up Rackspace Email with your BlackBerry device (article title)

email hosting, Email Hosting

Use lowercase when referring generally to the industry and providers. Capitalize when referring to it as a Rackspace offering.

enable

You can use enable instead of allow to describe how a customer interacts with a program, feature, or product. When possible, however, use you can instead.

Use:

Rackspace Private Cloud can be deployed with a Chef-based approach that enables customers to create an OpenStack cluster on the Ubuntu operating system, CentOS, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Don’t use:

Rackspace Private Cloud can be deployed with a Chef-based approach that allows customers to create an OpenStack cluster on the Ubuntu operating system, CentOS, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

end user (n), end-user (adj)

Restricted

When addressing your audience, use customer, you, or the imperative mood instead. You can use end user to refer to the users of your audience (for example, the users of a developer’s program or the users that an administrator supports).

Hyphenate the term when it’s used as a modifier.

Use:

As the Email Administrator, you’re responsible for setting up end-user clients and devices.

ensure

Use ensure to mean make certain of an action, event, or outcome. Don’t use the following similar terms to convey that meaning:

  • assure (which means to set someone’s mind at ease)

  • be sure

  • insure (which means to guarantee financially against risk)

  • make sure

error message (For more information, see Error message guidelines.)

Use error message, and not error alone, to refer to the message that notifies customers of an error.

You can use message by itself as a general term to refer to an error, informational, or warning message.

Use:

You might see the Connection timed out please try again. error message because your browser is storing an invalid cookie.

Don’t use:

You might see the Connection timed out please try again. error because your browser is storing an invalid cookie.

etc.

Don’t use

Remove etc. from the text and replace it with and so on or explain what it means (in general terms or by example). Precede a limited list of examples with such as, or list all specific items. See Avoid obscure non-English words and abbreviations.

Ethernet

Capitalize.

e-words

Most words that start with the abbreviation for electronic should be hyphenated, such as e-learning, e-book, and e-reader. Exceptions are email and ecommerce.

Use lowercase for the e in body text, and capitalize the e at the beginning of a sentence or a title. If the term is hyphenated, capitalize the letter following the hyphen in titles.

Don’t make up new e-words.

exit (close, quit, stop)

Use exit to refer to closing a program or application. Don’t use end, leave, stop, or terminate to refer to closing a program or application.

Use close to refer to the Close button or closing a window, dialog box, or file.

Use quit to refer to the QUIT command.

Use stop to refer to hardware operations, jobs, services, or routines.

Use:

Exit all applications, and restart your computer.

Click Finish to exit the installation program.

expand

For directories or other navigational trees, use expand to mean the action of opening the tree to view more objects (such as folders). Use collapse to mean the action of closing the tree to view fewer objects.

fail to

Avoid

Use unable to instead.

fanatical, fanatically

Don’t use

Because Fanatical Experience and Fanatical Support are either registered service marks or service marks of Rackspace, don’t use Fanatical or fanatical as a general adjective, and don’t use fanatically.

Use (first use in content):

Our dedication to deliver Fanatical Experience™ extends beyond expert live assistance to ensuring that customers have access to self-help tools.

Don’t use:

We fanatically support your infrastructure.

FAQ

Use the acronym FAQ to refer to an article or section that documents frequently asked questions, or a collections of question and answer (Q&A) pairs. If you need to refer to more than one FAQ, follow FAQ with a plural noun, such as articles or documents. Don’t use FAQs.

To refer to the Q&A pairs themselves, spell out frequently asked questions or just use questions.

Use:

This article provides answers to frequently asked questions about Rackspace Cloud Servers.

We provide answers to your questions about Rackspace products in product-specific FAQ articles.

fatal

Avoid

Use serious instead.

fewer, less

Use fewer for countable items. Use less for collective or mass items.

Use:

Fewer resources mean heavier workloads, less time, and lower levels of staff experience.

file name, file system

Use these terms as two words unless the context requires otherwise.

firewall

Use firewall as one word.

follow (v), follow-up (adj, n)

Use:

Follow the installation with configuration.

The follow-up procedure was successful.

Complete the follow-up.

Don’t use:

Follow-up the installation with a configuration.

The follow up procedure was successful.

Complete the follow up.

following, preceding

Use these terms as adjectives, not as nouns.

Use:

Check the following items: user ID and password.

See the preceding example.

Don’t use:

Check the following: user ID and password.

See the preceding.

Don’t use above, below, earlier, or later to refer to information in text. Where possible, use specific references. If you can’t use specific references, use preceding and following as adjectives to refer to elements such as figures and tables.

for instance

Don’t use

Use for example instead.

forward slash

Don’t use

Use slash to refer to the / character. Use backslash to refer to the \ character.

free

Restricted

Don’t use free when describing the availability of Rackspace products and services. Use no charge or at no cost instead.

front end (n), front-end (adj)

Use a more specific term if possible. If you need to use the term, show it as noted.

given (adj)

Don’t use

Don’t use given to mean particular or specific. In many cases, no adjective is necessary. If one is, use particular or specific.

Use:

The enabled option defines whether a specific section is enabled.

Session persistence directs incoming traffic from an address to the same web server node behind the load balancer.

Don’t use:

The enabled option defines whether a given section is enabled.

Session persistence directs incoming traffic from a given address to the same web server node behind the load balancer.

gray

Restricted

Use gray (not grey) only to express color. When referring to the state of inactive commands, options, or buttons on an interface, use unavailable (not dimmed or gray or grayed out).

See also dimmed.

Use:

The printed report uses gray shading to identify the data categories.

grayed or grayed out

Don’t use

Use dimmed to describe the appearance of an unavailable command, option, or button. Use unavailable to refer to the state, not the appearance, of inactive commands, options, or buttons on the interface.

guarantee, guaranteed to

Don’t use

Don’t make guarantees in Rackspace content. Use terms like intended to, expected to, or designed to instead.

high availability (HA) (n), high-availability (adj)

Use the spelled out term on first use in an article or document, and introduce the abbreviation in parentheses. Hyphenate the spelled-out term when it’s used as a modifier.

higher, lower

Restricted

Don’t use these terms when referring to product releases and version numbers. Use earlier or later instead.

Use:

Ubuntu 12.04 or earlier

Windows 3.1 or later

Don’t use:

Ubuntu 12.04 or lower

Windows 3.1 or higher

home page

Use home page to refer to the first (main) page that you see when you enter a website.

See also web, web page, website, WWW, www, home page.

host list, host name

Use each of these terms as two words.

How-To

When referring to the portion of the Support website that contains articles about Rackspace Cloud services, show the name as How-To.

hyperlink

See link.

icon

Don’t use icon and button interchangeably. If you’re referring to a graphic on a screen, window, or other area, use icon. If you’re referring to a command button or toolbar button (labeled or unlabeled), use button.

Use:

To add video to an in-progress IM conversation or conference call, click the Camera icon.

ID, IDs

Use uppercase letters. Don’t use id or Id unless the context requires it.

Don’t use ID as a verb; use identify instead.

Use:

The <affected-end-user-id> element specifies the user ID of the end user who is affected by the incident.

i.e.

Don’t use

Use that is instead. See Avoid obscure non-English words and abbreviations.

if necessary

Avoid

Avoid using this ambiguous phrase. Instead, describe the circumstance in which the action is necessary.

Use:

If you select Specific local ports, specify the port numbers. If you specify more than one port number, separate the numbers with a comma.

Don’t use:

If you select Specific local ports, specify the port numbers, separating them with a comma if necessary.

if, whether

Use if to introduce an adverbial clause that describes a condition on which an action depends.

Use whether to introduce a noun clause that describes a possibility or an alternative.

Use whether or not to describe a condition on which an action doesn’t depend.

Use:

If the application is missing, the file doesn’t open.

Choose a method based on whether you need to monitor transactions.

The program uses a large amount of space, whether or not your system can spare it.

impact (v)

Don’t use

Don’t use impact as a verb. Use affect instead.

Use:

Migrating to a hosted SharePoint environment can also affect user support and training.

Don’t use:

Migrating to a hosted SharePoint environment can also impact user support and training.

in to, into

Use in to when in is part of the verb phrase. Use into to imply motion to the inside of something.

Use:

Log in to the computer.

Insert the DVD into the disc drive.

Don’t use:

Log into the computer.

include, including

Use these terms for partial lists or partial information only. Include or including implies incomplete information.

indexes

As the plural of index, use indexes rather than indices.

infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

Note the capitalization of the spelled-out term and the abbreviation. On first occurrence, use the spelled-out term and introduce the abbreviation in parentheses. Use the abbreviation thereafter.

install, installation

Use install as a verb only, not as a noun or adjective. Use installation (not install) as a noun meaning the process of installing a product or as an adjective describing the process.

Use:

Install the software.

The installation has the following prerequisites.

Complete the installation process.

Don’t use:

After completing the install, you can configure the product.

The install script sets the required values for system variables.

Note: Use site (not installation) for the location of a system or facility.

insure

Restricted

Use ensure to mean make certain of an action, event, or outcome. Don’t use insure (to guarantee financially against risk) to convey this meaning.

inter (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words that begin with the prefix inter, such as interrelated or interdependent, unless the root word starts with a capital letter.

interface

Restricted

Use interface as a noun meaning user interface. Don’t use interface as a verb; use interact instead.

Use:

MyRack is used by customers with dedicated servers and is the interface for RackConnect.

The phpMyAdmin package enables you to interact with your database through a PHP user interface.

Don’t use:

The phpMyAdmin package enables you to interface with your database through a PHP user interface.

internet, Internet, intranet

Capitalize Internet when referring to the world’s largest computer network; use lowercase letters when referring generically to any large network made up of smaller networks that are connected by routers. The World Wide Web is part of the Internet.

Note: An intranet is a network that usually uses applications that are associated with the Internet (such as web pages and an e-mail system), but the network is accessible only to people within a given company or organization.

See also web, web page, website, WWW, www, home page.

its, it’s

Its is the possessive form of it. It’s is the contraction of it is. To avoid confusion and mistakes, use it is instead of it’s, or revise the sentence to eliminate it’s or it is, which can lead to wordiness or ambiguity.

Use:

Rackspace doesn’t administer your cloud or its contents—just the equipment on which it is hosted.

keep in mind

Don’t use

Use remember or consider, or rewrite to eliminate the need for the term.

Use:

Consider the effects of increasing the value.

Remember the important considerations when planning and configuring your setup.

Don’t use:

Keep in mind the effects of increasing the value.

Keep in mind the important considerations when planning and configuring your setup.

key pair

Use as two words. Hyphenate when used as a unit modifier, as in key-pair authentication.

key-value store

Hyphenate key-value when used as an adjective.

kick off (v)

Don’t use

Use start instead.

kill

Avoid

Use cancel, stop, or end instead.

later

See earlier, later.

launch

Avoid

Use start instead of launch to refer to programs, services, jobs, routines, or hardware operations.

Use:

Start the program.

Don’t use:

Launch the program.

left

Restricted

Avoid using left by itself as a directional term. When possible, use such terms as upper left, lower left, leftmost, and on the left side of instead. Include a hyphen if the term modifies a noun, as in upper-left corner. Don’t use left hand.

Use:

Click the Server Manager icon at the lower left of the Windows task bar.

Select Entourage in the upper-left corner of the pane.

less, fewer

Use fewer to modify countable nouns. Use less to modify collective or mass nouns.

Use:

Fewer resources mean heavier workloads, less time, and lower levels of staff experience.

lets

Restricted

See allows.

leverage

Restricted

In technical content, use use instead. In marketing content, use leverage to mean to gain an advantage by the use of something.

Use:

When you create a cloud server, use the metadata option to specify the pools.

Don’t use:

When you create a cloud server, leverage the metadata option to specify the pools.

life cycle (n), life-cycle (adj)

In most cases, use as two words. Use lifecycle only if it’s used in a product interface, is part of a product name, or is part of the name of an external standard.

Use:

IT organizations can simplify the management of data across its life cycle with integrated modules for backup and recovery, archiving, replication, search, and reporting.

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) divides security issues into two broad categories. The first category relates to issues of governance, such as Information Lifecycle Management (ILM).

like

Avoid

Depending on context, use such as instead.

link

Use link as both a noun and a verb. To avoid using it as both parts of speech in the same article or section, you can also use hyperlink as a noun.

Use:

You can link the title of the article to an HTML-formatted copy of the article.

Click the link.

log file

Use log file as two words.

log in (v), log off (v), login (n or adj), logoff (n or adj)

Use log in and log off as verbs for connecting to and disconnecting from a computer, system, or network.

Use login and logoff as nouns or adjectives.

Don’t use log into; use log in to instead.

Use:

You need a user ID and password to log in to the system.

Routine events such as logins help determine network usage.

lowercase

Don’t use lower-case. Don’t use upper/lowercase to mean mixed case.

See also mixed case, mixed-case (compound modifier preceding a noun).

lower, higher

Restricted

Don’t use these terms when referring to product releases and version numbers. Use earlier or later instead.

Use:

Ubuntu 12.04 or earlier

Windows 3.1 or later

Don’t use:

Ubuntu 12.04 or lower

Windows 3.1 or higher

lower left, lower right

When referring to the location of an item on a UI, use lower left and lower right instead of bottom left or bottom right.

See also left and right.

machine

Restricted

Use machine only when referring to a virtual machine (VM). In all other cases, use computer, server, or another specific term.

make sure

Don’t use

Use ensure instead of make sure to mean to make certain of an action, event, or outcome.

man

Restricted

Use man to refer to man pages or to the man command. Don’t use man to refer to people, as in the term man-hours, or to refer to working in the service of something, as in man the phone lines. Use gender-neutral terms instead.

Use:

You can read the man page for the mysqldump command to see all of its options.

In a hosted environment, you pay as you grow, which saves you money in server hardware, software, upgrades, and staff hours needed to run it all.

Don’t use:

In a hosted environment, you pay as you grow, which saves you money in server hardware, software, upgrades, and man-hours needed to run it all.

managed hosting, Managed Hosting

Use lowercase when referring generally to the industry and providers. Capitalize when referring to it as a Rackspace offering.

master

Avoid

For database replication, use primary/replica instead of master/slave.

matrixes

As the plural of matrix, use matrixes rather than matrices.

may

Use may to indicate permission only.

See also can, might, must, should, and Use helping verbs accurately.

menu

Capitalize menu only if it’s part of the name that’s shown in the software. Use lowercase letters for generic names (for example, the primary menu).

menu item

Don’t use

Use command instead of menu item in the following situations:

  • Referring to a selection on a menu

  • Referring to an order or instruction for an action to take place

  • Naming or referring to a command within a product

message

You can use message as a general term to refer to an error, informational, or warning message, or an email message.

Use:

You might see the Connection timed out please try again message because your browser is storing an invalid cookie.

Type the email address that you want recipients to use when they reply to your messages.

metadata

Don’t hyphenate.

might

Use might to indicate probability or possibility.

See also can, may, must, should, and Use helping verbs accurately.

mixed case (n), mixed-case (adj)

Use mixed case to refer to terms that have been formatted with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters. Don’t use upper- and lowercase or upper/lowercase to mean mixed case.

Use:

Format the term in mixed case.

The term in mixed case represents a GUI element.

The mixed-case term is correct.

Don’t use:

Format the term in mixed-case.

Format the term in upper-lowercase.

The mixed case term is correct.

mobile device

Use this term to refer generally to any kind of mobile device, such as mobile phones and tablets. If you can use a more specific term, do so.

Use:

After you have installed the Rackspace application on your mobile device, you’re ready to start managing Cloud Servers on your account.

To set up IMAP on your iPhone, perform the following steps.

mouse (v)

Don’t use

Don’t use mouse as a verb (as in mouse over the menu). Use a phrase such as point to or move the pointer over. It’s acceptable to use mouse as a noun or adjective.

multi (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words that begin with the prefix multi, such as multitenant and multifaceted, unless the root word starts with an i or a capital letter.

must

To indicate the necessity of an action, use must rather than have to or need to.

See also can, may, might, should, and Use helping verbs accurately.

NA

Restricted

See not applicable (NA).

name server

Use as two words.

namespace

Use as one word.

non (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words beginning with non, such as nonnumeric and nonzero, unless a hyphen is necessary to avoid confusion or the root word is a proper noun.

Don’t use non to negate an entire phrase, as in non-security related (use unrelated to security instead).

Also, don’t attach non to a trademark, such as non-Windows.

Use:

A catchall address is a designated mailbox where any email that’s sent to a nonexistent email address is delivered.

If the test fails, the script stops with a nonzero exit status.

If your internal system configurations require non-SSL ports, see the Email Server Settings page for a full list of available servers and ports.

not applicable (NA)

Use the abbreviation NA to mean not applicable. For example, if you have a table cell for which no information is available and space constraints prevent spelling out Not applicable or None, use NA.

number sign (#)

Use number sign to refer to the # symbol. Don’t use pound sign or hash sign.

offline

Don’t hyphenate this term.

offsite, onsite

Don’t hyphenate these terms.

on

See about, on.

once

See after, once.

online

Don’t hyphenate.

only

Place only preceding the word or group that it modifies. If only modifies a final word or phrase, it may precede or follow that word or phrase.

Examples:

The program runs only the control file.

The program runs the control file only.

Only the control file is run by the program.

(These statements mean that the control file is the only item that the program runs.)

The program only runs the control file.

(This statement means that running the control file is all that the program does.)

For much more about the use of the word, see Use the Word Only Correctly.

on-premises, off-premises

Use these terms to distinguish local computing (in which resources are located on a customer’s own site) from remote computing (in which resources are provided partially or totally through the cloud). Always hyphenate. Premises is plural; don’t use on-premise or off-premise.

Use:

The company concluded that the cloud is inherently no less secure than the on-premises environment.

A private cloud is a single-tenant virtualization solution hosted either on-premises or off-premises.

open

See close, open.

open source (n), open-source (adj)

Use lowercase. Hyphenate when used as a modifier.

operating system, OS

OS is a common abbreviation for operating system and you can use it without first spelling it out if the context is clear. To form the plural of OS, add an s without an apostrophe—OSs.

However, if you feel that the context makes the use of OS or OSs confusing in a particular document, spell out the term in all instances in the document. If space is constrained (such as in a table or figure callout), use the abbreviated forms but explain them in text.

out-of-the-box (adj), out of the box (adv)

This term describes a system, item, functionality, or feature that’s usable without customization. Don’t abbreviate as OOTB.

When used as an adjective preceding a noun, the phrase is hyphenated, but when used as an adverb, it isn’t hyphenated.

Use:

Reporting is an out-of-the-box feature.

Reporting is available out of the box.

over, more than

Don’t use over to indicate quantities; use more than instead. Also, don’t use over to refer to version numbers.

See also earlier, later.

Use:

More than three million business email users rely on Rackspace email hosting.

Don’t use:

Over three million business email users rely on Rackspace email hosting.

page

When documenting a wizard, use page to mean the successively displayed windows of the wizard. Don’t use dialog box, pane, screen, or window.

See also web, web page, website, WWW, www, home page and wizard page.

pane

Use pane to refer to a portion of a window, screen, or console that presents information to the user. Always show in lowercase.

Use:

Under the Storage folder in the navigation pane, select Disk Management.

partner

Capitalize only when referring to partners in the Rackspace Partner Program.

path name

Use path name as two words unless the software requires otherwise. Don’t use path when referring to a path name.

PC

Avoid

Use computer instead.

per

Use per rather than a slash in text to mean for each. In graphical material, use the slash if space is a constraint.

Don’t use per to mean according to or by way of.

See also Avoid obscure non-English words and abbreviations.

Use:

The report shows bytes per second.

Don’t use:

The report shows bytes/second.

Configure the utility per these instructions.

percent, percentage

Percent can take a singular or a plural verb, depending on the quantity being described. If the percentage refers to a singular term, use a singular verb. If the percentage refers to a plural term, use a plural verb. When a prepositional phrase exists between percent and the verb, the form of the verb is determined by the nearest noun. When a prepositional phrase doesn’t follow percent, a singular verb or a plural verb is acceptable.

Always use a number with percent. If you’re describing a nonspecific quantity, use percentage.

Unless space is restricted, use percent rather than %.

Use:

An alarm occurs when more than 90 percent of the available space is used. (Ninety percent is used.)

Forty percent of customers abandon an ecommerce website that takes more than three seconds to load. (Forty percent abandon.)

A higher percentage of customers in on-premises environments experience incidents.

permissions

In general, you can use permission to refer to the ability of a particular user to access a particular resource by means of a user account or assigned role. A permission is associated with an item (as opposed to a whole system), such as a file, directory, or printer shared on a network.

Note: The meaning of this term can vary. Ensure that you use the term correctly for the product or technology that you’re documenting.

Don’t use permissions, privileges, and rights interchangeably to mean the same thing.

See also privileges and rights.

Use:

The full access role grants the permissions to create, read, update, and delete resources within multiple designated products where access is granted.

permit

Restricted

See allow.

platform as a service (PaaS)

Note the capitalization of the spelled-out term and the abbreviation. On first occurrence, use the spelled-out term and introduce the abbreviation in parentheses. Use the abbreviation thereafter.

please

Restricted

Don’t use please in instructions. Reserve please for situations in which you’re asking the user to do something inconvenient. However, it is rarely necessary.

Use:

If you want to remove your Exchange account from your iPhone, perform the following steps.

See the following articles about how you change your default technology, add a MySQL database, and connect to FTP.

If you encounter any issues with the installation of the CMS, please report the issue to our Support team, post in our forums, or visit DotNetNuke’s community forums.

Don’t use:

If you want to remove your Exchange account from your iPhone, please follow these steps.

Please see the following articles about how you change your default technology, add a MySQL database, and connect to FTP.

plug-in (n, adj)

Hyphenate; don’t use plugin.

PM, AM

Use uppercase, with no period after each letter.

pop-up

Restricted

Use pop-up as an adjective to refer to a menu that’s displayed when you right-click an icon or screen, or to refer to a window in context-sensitive Help. Don’t use pop-up as a noun or verb.

Use:

You can use the pop-up menu to set thresholds.

Don’t use:

The pop-up contains configuration commands.

post (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words beginning with post, such as postmigration and postproduction, unless it’s necessary to avoid confusion or if the root word is a proper noun.

pre (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words beginning with pre, such as preexisting and prerequisite, unless the root word is a proper noun or a date.

preceding

See following, preceding.

press

Use press to mean to push down a key or keys. Don’t use the verbs strike, punch, depress, push, or hit.

See also click.

Use:

To move the cursor to the next field, press Tab.

pretty-print (v)

Use as a verb to indicate that a certain command makes returned code is easier to read.

prior

You can use prior as an adjective, but the preferred term is earlier.

See also earlier, later.

privileges

In general, you can use privilege to refer to the capability of performing a specific function, sometimes on a specific object (for example, the capability of executing a particular type of SQL statement). A privilege can be granted or assigned to local groups, global groups, and individual users.

Note: The meaning of this term can vary. Ensure that you use the term correctly for the product or technology that you’re documenting.

Don’t use permissions, privileges, and rights interchangeably to mean the same thing.

See also permissions and rights.

Use:

Database privileges apply to a database and to all objects within it. These privileges can be granted for specific databases or globally so that they apply to all databases.

quickstart

Show as one word. If capitalized for the title of a document, capitalize as Quickstart.

quit

Use quit to refer to the QUIT command.

Use:

When you finish updating parameters, type q to quit.

See also exit (close, quit, stop).

quotation mark

Use quotation mark, not quote, when referring to single quotation marks and double quotation marks.

Use:

Replace the text inside of the quotation marks on the AuthName line with the name of your password-protected area (for example, AuthName "My Password-Protected Directory").

Don’t use:

Replace the text inside of the quotes on the AuthName line with the name of your password-protected area (for example, AuthName "My Password-Protected Directory").

re (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words beginning with re, such as reinstall and reinitialize, unless it’s necessary to avoid confusion with another word.

Use:

recover (to get back or regain)

re-cover (to cover again)

recreate (to take part in a recreational activity)

re-create (to create again)

read-only

Always hyphenate.

read/write

Use a slash. Don’t hyphenate this term.

real time (n), real-time (adj)

Use two words as a noun. Hyphenate the term as an adjective.

re-create, recreate

Use re-create to mean to create again. Recreate means to take recreation (relax, renew).

Use:

Having a single file to manage (the image) enables you to easily re-create a new server with that identical configuration and state.

Don’t use:

Having a single file to manage (the image) enables you to easily recreate a new server with that identical configuration and state.

refer to

Avoid

Use see instead for references within a document and cross-references to other documents.

Use:

For a detailed description of the prerequisites, see Installation prerequisites and concepts.

Don’t use:

For a detailed description of the prerequisites, refer to Installation prerequisites and concepts.

regular

Avoid

In British English, regular implies evenly spaced or consistent; in American English, it implies normal or usual.

release notes

Use lowercase letters for a general reference; capitalize the term only when it’s used in a title.

respectively

Avoid

Avoid this term. Express relationships directly rather than making the elements of one list respective to elements of another list.

ReST

Use ReST as the abbreviation for ReStructured Text.

REST

Use REST as the abbreviation for Representational State Transfer.

restore (v, adj)

Avoid using restore as a noun. You can use it as an adjective, as in the restore operation.

Use:

Confirm your restore settings and click Start Restore.

The Single Backup window shows the progress of the restore operation.

Don’t use:

The Single Backup window shows the progress of the restore.

right

Restricted

Avoid using right by itself as a directional term. When possible, use such terms as upper right, lower right, rightmost, and on the right side of instead. Include a hyphen if modifying a noun, as in upper-right corner. Don’t use right hand.

Don’t use right to mean correct.

Use:

Click the Options button in the lower-right corner of the Remote Desktop Connection window.

When you enter the correct answer, the wizard continues.

Don’t use:

When you enter the right answer, the wizard continues.

right-click

Always hyphenate when used as a verb or modifier. Don’t use right-click on.

Use:

If the Server Manager window isn’t displayed, right-click the Computer icon and select Manage.

rights

Use rights to refer to rules that are associated with a system as a whole, as opposed to an item. Rights are granted or assigned to local groups, global groups, and individual users to allow them to perform certain actions on the system.

Note: The meaning of this term can vary. Ensure that you use the term correctly for the product or technology that you’re documenting.

Don’t use permissions, privileges, and rights interchangeably to mean the same thing.

See also permissions and privileges.

Use:

Domain administrators use a primary user account, which has basic user rights in the domain.

road map

Use as two words.

roll back (v), rollback (adj, n)

Use these terms to describe a feature that reverses the current transaction.

Use:

To roll back the server to its original flavor, enter the resize-revert command.

Use the rollback feature.

run time (n), runtime (adj)

Use the noun run time to indicate the time during which an application is running. Use the adjective runtime to describe a thing that’s occurring or relevant at run time. Don’t hyphenate this term.

Use:

You can enter or modify data at run time.

The application generates a runtime error.

(s), (es)

Don’t use

Don’t add (s) or (es) to the end of a noun to indicate the possibility of more than one item. Use the singular form or the plural form, or use both forms joined by a conjunction.

Use:

Close any applications that are open.

Don’t use:

Close any application(s) that is/are open.

screen

Use screen to refer to the physical surface of a computer or device. Applications and information are displayed in windows and dialog boxes, in panes and sections and areas.

scroll bar

Use as two words.

see

Use see for references within a document and cross-references to other documents. Don’t use refer to, and don’t precede see with please.

Use:

For a detailed description of the prerequisites, see Installation prerequisites and concepts.

Don’t use:

For a detailed description of the prerequisites, refer to Installation prerequisites and concepts.

For a detailed description of the prerequisites, please see Installation prerequisites and concepts.

select

Use select instead of choose to specify a choice from a list or menu or to specify an option button.

Use:

In the List of Files dialog box, select the file that you want to save.

From the File menu, select Save.

self (prefix)

Usually words with the prefix self, such as self-service and self-explanatory, are hyphenated.

serious

Use serious instead of the more negative terms bad, catastrophic, or fatal.

set up (v), setup (adj, n)

Use:

Set up the directory structure.

Complete the setup procedure.

should

Use should only to describe a user action that’s recommended. In such cases, however, prefer we recommend instead.

Don’t use should to indicate probability; use might instead. Don’t use should to indicate necessity; use must instead.

See also can, may, might, must, and Use helping verbs accurately.

shut down (v), shutdown (adj, n)

Use:

To shut down the server, log in as a sudo-enabled user through SSH and enter the following command.

Enter the following command to test your shutdown script.

simply

Avoid

Don’t use simply to imply that something is easy; it might not be easy for the user. The term is usually superfluous and can be omitted.

Use:

Enter the IP address of the server, and press Enter.

Don’t use:

Enter the IP address of the server, and simply press Enter.

since

Use since to express a passage of time, not to explain why. Use because to explain why.

See also as, since (restricted use).

slash

Use slash to refer to the / character, and use backslash to refer to the \ character. Don’t use slash mark.

slash mark

Don’t use

Use slash to refer to the / character, and use backslash to refer to \ the character.

slave

Avoid

For database replication, use primary/replica instead of master/slave.

software as a service (SaaS)

Note the capitalization of the spelled-out term and the abbreviation. On first occurrence, use the spelled-out term and introduce the abbreviation in parentheses. Use the abbreviation thereafter.

spam (n, v)

Use lowercase spam to refer to unsolicited email. Capitalize (Spam) only when referring to the canned meat product that consists primarily of pork products, or when used at the beginning of a sentence or in a title or heading.

stand-alone

Hyphenate stand-alone and use it as an adjective only.

start (v), startup (adj, n)

Use start instead of start up or launch to refer to programs, services, jobs, routines, or hardware operations.

Use:

Start the program.

Insert the startup disk into the drive.

Don’t use:

Start up the program.

Launch the program.

stop

Use stop to refer to hardware operations, jobs, services, or routines.

See also exit (close, quit, stop).

Use:

Stop the tape backup.

Stop the job.

sub (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words beginning with sub, such as subdomain, subclass, and subaccount, unless it’s necessary to avoid confusion or the root word is capitalized.

such as

Use such as without a comma to introduce a restrictive clause. Use such as with a comma to introduce a nonrestrictive clause. If a nonrestrictive clause occurs in midsentence, set the clause off with commas.

See also restrictive clauses.

Use:

Trees such as oaks and elms don’t grow at this altitude. (restrictive)

This year we’d like to visit a place such as Greece or Rome. (restrictive)

We like to plan our vacations around three-day weekends, such as Labor Day. (nonrestrictive)

Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits, are high in vitamin C. (nonrestrictive)

supported

Avoid

Software moves in and out of supported status as the software evolves and as Rackspace organizations change. If you claim that Rackspace supports product X, you must follow product X and the Support organization to keep the claim true. Without claiming that product X is supported, advise customers how to discover whether Support can help them with product X (call Support) and how to query the API version.

sync

Use sync as the abbreviation of synchronize. Don’t use synch. As often as possible, use the unabbreviated word.

tap

When documenting instructions for mobile devices, use tap to express the action of quickly touching and releasing an item on the device screen.

See also double-tap.

Use:

From the Settings screen, tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account > Microsoft Exchange.

terminate

You can use this term, rather than kill, to describe ending or stopping a process.

Use:

You can terminate the process by pressing Ctrl+C.

Don’t use terminate to refer to closing a program or application; use exit instead.

text box

Use text box as two words.

that, which

Use that to introduce a restrictive clause, and don’t use a comma. Use which to introduce a nonrestrictive clause, and use a comma. If a nonrestrictive clause occurs in midsentence, set the clause off with commas.

See also restrictive clauses.

Use:

Enter the username and password that you just created. (restrictive)

The hourly backups are rolled into a nightly backup, which is retained for two days. (nonrestrictive)

then

When then is used as a conjunctive adverb to join two independent clauses, it must be preceded by and or by a semicolon. Preceding it with only a comma creates a comma splice.

Use:

Specify a name for the network drive, and then set the maximum cache size.

Specify a name for the network drive; then set the maximum cache size.

Don’t use:

Specify a name for the network drive, then set the maximum cache size.

there are, there is

Avoid

Avoid using these ambiguous phrases at the beginning of sentences or clauses.

Use:

This option has no parameter.

When errors occur in the script, the product writes information to the message log.

Don’t use:

There is no parameter for this option.

When there are errors in the script, the product writes information to the message log.

third party (n), third-party (adj)

Use:

Many enterprises rely on multiple third-party applications to augment their SharePoint environments.

A website that’s hosted by a third party can scale up or down to match fluctuating demand.

time frame

Use time frame as two words.

timeline

Use timeline as one word.

time out (v), timeout (adj, n)

Use time out as two words when using the term as a verb. Use timeout as one word when using the term as a noun or adjective.

time stamp

Use time stamp as two words.

time to live (n), time-to-live (adj)

Use time to live without hyphens as a noun. Use hyphens for the adjective.

Use:

Time to live (TTL) limits the data lifespan in a computer or network.

time zone

Use time zone as two words.

toolbar, toolbox, toolkit, tooltip

Use each of these terms as one word.

top left, top right

Don’t use

When referring to the location of an item on a UI, use upper left and upper right instead.

See also left and right.

towards

Don’t use

Use toward instead.

trillion

Trillion indicates different numbers in different numeration systems. In the short-scale system (used in the English-speaking countries), it indicates 1012, or 1,000,000,000,000. In the long-scale system (used in Spanish-speaking countries), it indicates 1018, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.

To avoid confusion when you’re citing a large number such as a trillion, express the amount in numerals. If space constraints prevent writing numerals, use trillion as defined in the short-scale system.

un (prefix)

Don’t hyphenate words that begin with un, such as undo and uninstall, unless it’s necessary to avoid confusion (un-ionized versus unionized) or unless the root word is a proper noun (un-American).

unavailable

Use unavailable (not dimmed or gray) to refer to the state, not the appearance, of inactive commands, options, or buttons on the interface.

See also dimmed.

Use:

The Copy command is unavailable until you select some text.

United Kingdom, UK

Use United Kingdom as the noun form and UK as the adjective form.

United States, US, USA

Use United States as the noun form and US as the adjective form. In postal addresses, use USA (the approved postal abbreviation).

Use:

For items that are mailed to or from destinations that are external to the United States, US mailing addresses should contain the country abbreviation USA.

UNIX

Use uppercase for all occurrences of UNIX. Don’t connect this trademark to another word by using a hyphen.

Use:

You can think of a container as analogous to a folder in a Windows system or a directory in a UNIX system.

On Linux and other systems based on UNIX, you can use the ping6 tool to check an IPv6 address.

Don’t use:

You can think of a container as analogous to a folder in a Windows system or a directory in a Unix system.

On Linux and other UNIX-based systems, you can use the ping6 tool to check an IPv6 address.

uppercase

Don’t use upper-case or upper-lowercase.

See also mixed case, mixed-case (compound modifier preceding a noun).

upper left, upper right

When referring to the location of an item on a UI, use upper left and upper right instead of top left or top right.

See also left and right.

uptime

Use uptime as one word.

up-to-date

Hyphenate this compound modifier whether it precedes or follows the noun that it modifies.

us

Restricted

Use first person judiciously. For more information, see Write to the user by using second person and imperative mood.

usable

Use usable instead of useable.

user

Avoid

Use customer to refer to individuals who use Rackspace products and services.

user name or username

Use user name as two words, unless you are referring to a user interface, screen, or command where it is shown as one word, username.

using, by using, with

Use by using, or recast the sentence. Don’t use using (alone) or with. By using is easier for worldwide audiences to understand.

Use:

You can select the text by using the text tool.

Use the text tool to select the text.

Don’t use:

You can select the text using the text tool. (Is the text using the text tool?)

You can select the text with the text tool.

utilize, utilization

Avoid

Use use and usage instead.

versus, vs.

Avoid

Use compared with instead. In a title, you can use versus to save space.

See also Avoid obscure non-English words and abbreviations.

via

Avoid

Use through or by way of instead.

See also Avoid obscure non-English words and abbreviations.

want

Use want, or another appropriate word, instead of desire or wish.

we

Restricted

Use first person judiciously. For more information, see Write to the user by using second person and imperative mood.

web, web page, website, www, home page

You can use the web as a short form of the World Wide Web. Use lowercase www only as part of a web address. Use web page to refer to a document on the Internet. Every web page is identified by a unique URL. Use website to refer to a location that consists of a home page and (typically) several additional documents. Use home page to refer to the first (main) page that you see when you enter a site.

See also internet, Internet, intranet.

web server

Use web server, not webserver, to refer to the device.

when, whenever

Use when, not whenever, to mean at a particular time. Whenever means every time, any time, at all times, or each time.

Use:

When a threshold is exceeded, a warning message is issued.

The virus scanning program runs whenever you start your computer.

where

Restricted

Avoid stand-alone where clauses to explain values or variables in command syntax examples. Instead, use a sentence or a list.

Use:

display <controlFile>

<controlFile> represents the name of the control file.

Avoid:

display <controlFile>

where <controlFile> represents the name of the control file.

whether, whether or not

See if, whether.

which

See that, which.

while

Use while to refer to something occurring during a period of time. Don’t use it to mean although, though, or whereas.

Use:

Although setting a bandwidth limit might increase your backup time, it can reduce the impact on other network activity like web browsing and downloads.

A clock icon is displayed while the database completes the setup.

Don’t use:

While setting a bandwidth limit might increase your backup time, it can reduce the impact on other network activity like web browsing and downloads.

white paper

Use as two words.

Wi-Fi

This term is a proper noun and a registered trademark. Always use with the capitalization and hyphenation shown. Don’t use WiFi, wifi, Wifi, or wi-fi.

wildcard

Use wildcard as one word.

window

Use window when referring to a portion of a screen with visible boundaries in which an application or part of an application is displayed. A window can contain documents and messages and can be minimized.

See also dialog box.

wish

Don’t use

Use want or another appropriate word instead.

with

See using, by using, with.

wizard, wizard page

Use lowercase letters for generic references to a wizard; use initial capitals when wizard is part of the name in the interface. Use page to refer to the successive dialog boxes or windows that compose the wizard.

Use:

On the Rule Type page of the New Inbound Rule Wizard, select Port and then click Next.

Use the OSCommerce installation wizard to update any required permissions on the site’s files.

work around (v), workaround (n)

Use:

The best workaround for hosting multiple SSL sites is to host each site on a separate cloud server.

Use the following methods to work around this issue.

write-only

Always hyphenate.

wrong

Avoid

Use incorrect or inconsistent instead.

zeros

Use zeros, not zeroes, as the plural of zero.