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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ

Contents

Kaaba

Islam’s most sacred shrine at the centre of the great mosque in Mecca. It is a mass of stone 38 feet high, 40 long and 30 wide (11 x 12 x 9 metres).

Kampuchea, use Cambodia

karat

A measurement of weight in precious stones and of purity in gold in American style: carat in UK.

Kathmandu, not Katmandu, Nepal

keenness

Kermanshah

Use Bakhtaran for both the city of Kermanshah and the province of Kermanshah, Iran.

kerosene

Not kerosine. Medium-light distillate used for lighting and heating and to provide fuel for jet and turbo-prop aircraft engines. Called paraffin or paraffin oil in Britain.

ketchup, not catchup or catsup.

key

Overused as an adjective and usually superfluous.

keynote

One word as in keynote speech or keynote address, but it is a tired cliché and best expressed in another way. Explain why the speech is keynote.

KGB

Initials of the former Soviet Committee for State Security (Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti), split up and renamed in 1991. Since then Russian internal and foreign security agencies have been reorganised several times but can still be referred to as successors to the KGB. This does not include the Interior Ministry in charge of the police, which was separate from the KGB in the post-Stalin Soviet Union.

Khmer Rouge

Cambodian Communists.

kibbutz

Plural kibbutzim. An Israeli collective settlement.

kickoff, kick off

One word for the noun and two words for the verb.

kidnap, kidnapping, kidnapped, kidnapper

kids

Use children

kilogram

Use kg (no full stop, same singular and plural) at all references. Convert kilograms to pounds for small weights (below 1,000 kg), to tons for larger weights. To convert to pounds roughly multiply by 22 and divide by 10, precisely multiply by 2.205. To convert to tons roughly divide by 1,000, precisely multiply by 0.000984.

kilometre

Use km (no full stop, same singular and plural) at all references, except in a phrase such as hundreds of kilometres. To convert to miles roughly multiply by 5 and divide by 8, precisely multiply by 0.621.

km per hour

First reference, kph on second and subsequent references.

kiloton

A measure of explosive force, equal to that of 1,000 tons of TNT. The atomic bomb dropped at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, was a 12.5 kiloton weapon.

kindergarten

king

At second reference either the king or the full name, e.g. King Baudouin. Also capitalise the titles of deposed monarchs, e.g. ex-King Zahir Shah.

Kiribati

Formerly Gilbert Islands, West Pacific.

Kmart

No hyphen and no space.

Knesset

Lower house of Israeli Parliament.

knowledgeable

know-how

knot

A measurement of speed, not distance. It describes how many nautical miles (1.15 statute miles) a vessel or aircraft has travelled in one hour. Do not convert to miles per hour. Do not write knots per hour.

Kolkata

Not Calcutta, India.

Koran

Capitalised, the Koran.

Korean names

Koreans put their surname first. In South Korea, the given name follows, hyphenated, and with the initial letter of the first part in upper case and the initial letter of the second part in lower case. Examples: Kim Dae-jung, Roh Moo-hyun, Ahn Jung-hwan. Use the surname only at second reference, e.g. Kim, Roh, Ahn.

In North Korea, the given name follows with no hyphen and the first letter of each part is capitalized. Examples: Kim Jong Un, Ri Sol Ju, Hyun Yong Chol. Use the surname only at second reference, as in South Korea. There are some rare cases where there is just one monosyllabic given name, for example, Park Seung, where Seung is the given name. When in doubt, follow North Korean convention for North Korean names and South Korean convention for South Korean names.

kosher

Lower case.

kowtow

No hyphen.

kph

Use km per hour on first reference, kph on subsequent references.

Ku Klux Klan

A loose-knit organisation of about 40 U.S. groups which claim the supremacy of the white or Aryan race.

kudos

Fame, credit or renown. Always singular.

This page was last modified 18:56, 28 October 2013.

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