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Style guide: B


Baden-Powell, or B-P

Baden-Powell House

Baden-Powell House Conference Centre but conference centre when not writing the name out in full

badges/Awards – please write the full name of the badge or award using upper case: Skater Activity Badge, Sports Enthusiast Activity Badge, Water Activities Activity Badge. For consistency, cap general groups of badges also, eg Staged Activity Badges, Activity Badges. It is OK to just refer to the badge when speaking generally.

For sponsored badges/partnership awards, name the sponsor after the name of the award in the first instance: the Environment Partnership Award sponsored by Serco Environment, Animal Carer Activity Badge sponsored by Pets at Home. It is OK to just refer to the award thereafter.

The same formula applies to Staged Activity Badges: Hikes Away Staged Activity Badge, Information Technology Staged Activity Badge sponsored by Nesta. It is OK to just refer to the badge thereafter.

Challenges are called Challenge Awards: Creative Challenge Award, Fitness Challenge Award. It is OK to refer to the challenge thereafter.

For guidance on the correct names of badges, awards and challenges, please see the full badge list

bail out – depends on how it is used. A prisoner/Company/person gets a bail out but you bale out a boat or from an aircraft. It might be better to use an alternative.


Bangalore is now called Bengalooru

bank holiday is lower case

barbecue not barbeque or BBQ

barracks are for the Army; the RAF has airfields

basically – overused and pointless basically. Avoid.

Basque country – use upper case

bated breath not baited breath

BBC1, BBC2 – no spaces (and no ads, which is nice). However the other terrestrial TV channels are BBC Three and BBC Four.

BBC News Channel is not called News 24

In terms of radio channels, the Today programme is on Radio 4, but news can also be found on BBC Five Live and BBC World News.


Bear Grylls no use of puns on either part of Bear's name. When using apostrophes use Bear Grylls' ie no additional s. Bear is the tenth Chief Scout.

Beaver Scout or Beavers Individual members are referred to as Scouts whenever possible. This includes adults as well as young people. Therefore you should say ‘Angela is a nine-year-old Scout. Once a week she goes to her local Cubs meeting.’

Obviously this will not always be possible and you will have to refer to Cubs and Beavers but please say ‘Scout/s’ whenever you can. We are all Scouts after all.

Beaver Scout Leader
beekeeper, beekeeping

Berwick-upon-Tweed is in England. Don’t be confused by the fact that Berwick Rangers play in the Scottish league

benefitted, benefitting

between – it’s better to use the full word as opposed to dashes/hyphens. ‘We have space for between 25 and 30 people on our expedition’ rather than: ‘We have space for 25-30 people on our expedition’. The same principle applies for Dates and time

Biblical references: are written as John 3:16 and so on

Big Adventure, the - please now refer to Using Camps to Recruit Parents: a guide

bimonthly – bimonthly means ‘every two months’. Unfortunately, bimonthly also means ‘twice a month’. It’s best to avoid and just say ‘every two months’ or ‘twice a month’. This is the same for biannual (say twice a year instead) and biennial (say every two years instead).

billion – write out in full when referring to people, use ‘bn’ abbreviation when referring to figures

B&B is an acceptable abbreviation for a bed and breakfast

blog, blogger, blogging: ‘Wayne’s blog has been updated’

Blu-Tack is a trademarked item. Use, but spell it like this.
Board of Trustees, Chair of Trustees, Trustee of The Scout Association - upper case if relating to a Scouting or Guiding role, lower case (trustee, board of trustees, chair of trustees) if not.

bookcase, bookkeeper, bookshelf


Boundary Commission

Boxing Day is 26 December although it’s called St Stephen’s Day in the Republic of Ireland and Day of Goodwill in South Africa

Brackets – if the sentence is logically and grammatically complete without the information contained within the brackets, then punctuation stays outside the brackets. (A complete sentence that stands alone in parentheses starts with a capital letter and ends with a stop.)

braille is lower case

Scout brand centre is the name of what can be found at www.scouts.org.uk/BRand

Brasilia is the capital of Brazil

bridges – lower case: Waterloo bridge, O’Connell bridge

British Isles – avoid if you mean to include the island of Ireland.

British Scouting Overseas

Brownies – for girls aged from seven to ten, at which point they become Guides

Bullet points and lists
Sometimes bullet points are used to break up a single sentence. This is done in order to:
(here you’d used a fullstop at the end of the final bullet only)

To use bullet points correctly, you’ll need:
Consider using numbered lists also for variation, especially for instructions. 

Make bullet points consistent in structure. For example, make all of them full sentences/questions or all fragments. If you have two sets of bullet points in a single document, you don't need to make them consistent with each other - just within themselves.

businessman, businesswoman are both one word but business people are part of the business community

book titles See publication titles



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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW