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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

Varanasi, India

Not Benares.

VAT

Value added tax, a system of taxing products on the value added at each stage of production and exchange, effectively a consumption tax. VAT acceptable on second reference.

versus

Spell it out in full in text. It can be abbreviated to “vs.” in headlines or tables, but American style is to use “v.” in court cases, e.g., Roe v. Wade.

veteran

Overused in sports and general news stories and best avoided. Be more precise. Give the person’s age and the details that show why the person is a veteran.

veto, vetoes, vetoing, vetoed

via

Means “by way of,” not “by means of.” “We came via the main roads,” but not, “We came via the bus.”

vice, vice-

In American style, use two words for titles such as vice chairman, vice president. Otherwise, hyphenate.

Viet Cong

Not Vietcong.

Vietnamese names

Use the last name alone at second reference, e.g., Nguyen Co Thach is Thach and Bui Tin is Tin. The only exception to this rule is the late Ho Chi Minh (a nom de guerre). He is Ho at second reference.

Virgin Mary

Use this title or the Madonna, not “Our Lady,” except in titles such as “Our Lady of Czestochowa” or in the names of churches.

voicemail

One word.

Volgograd

Formerly Tsaritsyn and then Stalingrad.

Voodoo

Capitalise when referring to the religion, lowercase for a magical fix.

vulgarities

See obscenities.

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