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Spelling

Our websites follow the PHSA style guide, which uses Canadian spellings.

It is important to use correct spelling because misspellings decrease trust in our websites.  

If you draft content in Word, ensure that the spell checker is set to Canadian English. And when you transfer your content into SharePoint, don’t forget to paste as plain text. Also, use these correct spellings for common errors:  

  • Health care (not healthcare)  
  • Web page (not webpage)  
  • Patient-centred care (not patient-centered care)  
  • Neighbourhood (not neighborhood)  
  • Wait-list (not waitlist) 

If you have any questions about spelling, consult the PHSA style guide or the Canadian Oxford Dictionary.  

SharePoint’s spelling checker  

SharePoint, the software we use to manage our web pages, has a built-in spelling checker. To use the spell checker:  

  • Open the page in edit mode. 
  • Go to the format text tab. Click the chevron (inverted v) under the spelling button to select Canadian spelling.   
  • If there are spelling errors on the page, SharePoint will underline them with a squiggly red line.  
  • Before you check-in or publish a page, you will also get a message about any spelling errors. If you select cancel on this message, you will see misspellings underlined with a squiggly red line.   

Acronyms, abbreviations and program names  

Do not use acronyms or abbreviations. They can be confusing to people reading your web page. Even terms that are common in health care such as “ED” for emergency department or “psych” for psychiatrist are not understood by many people.  

You may use the term PHSA, which technically is an initialism not an acronym. However, please use the proper name of your program on web pages for the public or wider audiences. You can find your program’s proper name and accepted second reference in the “Guidelines for names of PHSA programs and services” document on the PHSA style guide page. 

Some examples of proper names include:  

  • Trans Care BC (not TransCare BC or TCBC) 
  • BC Children’s Hospital (not BCCH or C&W)  

The correct spellings for some partner organizations are:  

  • Ministry of Health (not MoH)  
  • WorkSafeBC (not Worksafe BC) 
  • HealthLink BC (not HealthLinkBC or Health Link BC)  
  • Child Health BC (not ChildHealth BC) 


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