H

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

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habeas corpus

A writ to produce a prisoner before a court, usually used to establish whether the person's detention is legal. When used in stories, define its meaning.

Haiti

Not an island. It shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.

Hamas

Refer to it as the Islamist Hamas movement. Suggest we include following in most stories on Hamas: Its leaders have offered a long-term truce with Israel in return for a viable Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Islamist group continues to say it will not formally recognise Israel, and its 1988 founding charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Hamilton

Use the form HAMILTON, Bermuda as a dateline for the Bermudan capital.

H-bomb

Use hydrogen bomb in text unless directly quoting someone. May be used in headlines.

healthcare

One word, peace be to Merriam-Webster, Oxford.

hedge fund

A private investment fund in which institutions and individuals may invest. It typically aims to produce high returns from rapid, short-term market movements, often by taking very leveraged positions and using aggressive strategies such as short selling, swaps, derivatives, program trading and arbitrage.

heavenly bodies

Capitalise the names of planets, stars and constellations.

heights

Convert the heights of mountains, buildings, etc. from metres to feet, not yards.

here

Avoid using here as a device to locate a story. It can lead to confusion, ambiguity and sometimes error. It is often not necessary to give a locator in a lead paragraph. For instance, in a Budapest-datelined story on a meeting between the Hungarian and French presidents one would assume that they met in the capital unless the story explicitly said otherwise. In that case the reference to the talks being in Budapest could come in the second or third paragraph.

hertz

A unit of frequency of one cycle per second. It usually requires explanation. e.g., 16,000 hertz (cycles per second).

Hezbollah

A Shi’ite Islamist group in Lebanon that is backed by Syria and Iran. It is a political party with a formidable guerrilla army.

HICP

A harmonised index of consumer prices, a measure of inflation calculated under common rules by all EU member states. No need to spell it out, but at some point in the story it should be explained. In Britain, the HICP is known as the CPI, but the two are the same index.

hike

Use “rise” or “increase” when referring to pay, prices, etc. "Hike" is jargon.

hint

Do not use this inadequate word because it risks making a value judgement. Who said what and where and when?

Hispanic

As a noun or adjective refers to those whose ethnic origin is in a Spanish-speaking country. Be more specific where possible, such as Colombian or Mexican. Note that people from Portuguese-speaking countries are not Hispanic. See race.

Hispanic names

People in Spanish-speaking countries usually include in their full names the family name of their father followed by that of their mother, sometimes linked by y (and), e.g., Ferdinand Maradona Lopez, Pedro Ardiles y Portillo. Give the full name at first reference, but only the father’s family name (Maradona, Ardiles) at second reference, unless the person is normally known by the combination of two names. Portuguese, Spanish and Brazilian soccer players may be known by several names, one name, or a nickname. Follow commonly accepted usage, e.g., Pele, Joao Pinto, Edu.

historic, historical

A historic event is a major and dramatic one, a historical event is one which, even if in itself quite minor, is part of history. Historic is nearly always the word needed in Reuters copy but use it with care to avoid writing a cliché.

HIV

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The term AIDS applies to the most advanced stages of HIV infection. The initials AIDS and HIV may be used on first reference with the full name given lower in the story. Do not write HIV virus.

Hizbollah

Do not use. See Hezbollah.

hoi polloi

Not the hoi polloi. Prefer the masses, or the common people.

Holland

Use the Netherlands except in datelines, where it is just Netherlands, e.g. ARNHEM, Netherlands, May 16 …

holy places

The holy places of Islam are Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, in that order. In Mecca the great mosque containing the Kaaba is venerated especially in the annual haj, or pilgrimage. In Medina it is the Prophet Mohammad’s mosque where the founder of the Islamic religion is buried. Nonbelievers are not allowed to enter Mecca or Medina. In Jerusalem it is al-Haram al-Sharif, which Jews call the Temple Mount.

hospitalize, hospitalization

Avoid outside the U.S. Prefer “taken to hospital.”

House of Commons, the Commons

House of Representatives

Capitalise when referring to a specific body, e.g., the U.S. House of Representatives.

housing unit

Jargon. Use home or household.

human being

“Human” will do.

hundredweight

UK/U.S. long = 112 pounds/50.8 kg. U.S. short = 100 pounds/45.4 kg.

hung

A person is hanged if he dies in the process, but he may simply be hung upside down; a picture is hung.

hurricanes

The most severe of all storms is a cyclone, in which winds blow spirally inward toward a centre of low barometric pressure. In the Caribbean and on the east coast of the United States such a storm is called a hurricane. In many countries, meteorological offices give tropical storms the names of men and women in alphabetical sequence. Capitalise names once a hurricane has been so designated: Hurricane Katrina. Use “it,” not “he” or “she,” as the pronoun.

hyphenation

Use a hyphen if its omission might lead to ambiguity, e.g., three year-old horses is different from three-year-old horses. Use caution in headlines: False gaoling claim delayed. What was meant was “False-gaoling claim delayed.” “Extra-judicial duties” are other than judicial ones; “extra judicial duties” are additional duties.

Do not hyphenate adjectives used to form comparatives or superlatives, e.g. the most desirable outcome, the least likely result, the more obvious solution.

The dictionary resolves many questions; follow the one specified for your region.

When two or more words express a single concept and modify a noun, use hyphens to link all the words in the compound except the adverb “very” and all adverbs that end in –ly: a full-time job, a know-it-all attitude, a very good time, an easily remembered rule. After the noun, don’t: She works full time. But when the verb is “to be,” the hyphen usually must be retained to avoid confusion: The man is well-known.

Hyphenate dual heritage: Mexican-American.

Where two nouns are paired to form another noun, hyphenate if their original distinct meanings are still clearly retained: actor-manager. Non-U.S.: Hyphenate titles when the first word is a preposition, e.g., under-secretary, vice-admiral, or when a noun is followed by an adjective, e.g. attorney-general. (U.S. titles are not hyphenated: the U.S. Attorney General.) Do not hyphenate when the noun follows the adjective, e.g., second lieutenant.

Hyphenate fractions, e.g., three-quarter, two-thirds.

Hyphenate secondary compass points, e.g., south-southwest but not main ones e.g., southwest.

Hyphenate both terms in phrases such as short- and medium-range missiles (but: small and medium-sized arms). If a figure being converted is hyphenated make sure that the figure in the conversion is also, e.g., within a 10-mile (six-km) radius.

This page was last modified 19:26, 13 October 2014.

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