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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. 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 on POD or the Canadian Oxford Dictionary.

SharePoint spelling checker

To use the SharePoint 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.
  • Spelling errors on the page will show with a squiggly red line underline.
  • 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 POD PHSA style guide page (requires network access).

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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