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Style guide: W


wacky not whacky – although please consider whether you actually need to use this word

waiting lists is preferable to joining lists

waive/waiver means to relinquish a claim while waver means to hesitate

Wales – do not refer to as a principality. The devolved government of Wales meets at the Welsh assembly (not parliament) in Cardiff. Elected representatives are called assembly members or AMs and they have responsibility for areas such as education, health, local government, transport and planning among others.

Plaid Cymru is the largest (or second largest) party in Wales so please avoid references to ‘three main parties’ or ‘three big parties’ when discussing something on a UK level.

Want to Join – was the name of a specific project which has now ceased. Do not use. You can use 'the joining process' instead. 

war crime, war game, war zone

world wars -
first world war, second world war.

warhead, warhorse, warpath, warship, wartime

watchdog, watchmaker, watchword

watercolour, watermark, waterproof but water polo

waterskiing not water skiing.

web, worldwide web  Use lower case for both of these but ‘internet’ is preferable.

webpage is one word 

website is one word. On www.scouts.org.uk references to websites should be referred to without the world wide web prefix: bbc.co.uk or scouts.org.uk. For printed publications the prefix www. would be used in body copy: www.scouts.org.uk

Try to ensure that urls appear over one line and are not broken (although this may not always be possible).

wellbeing is one word

Welsh assembly see Wales

west, western, western Europe

western is also lower case when referring to a cowboy film

Western Isles also known as the Hebrides is a group of islands off the west coast of Scotland. It includes, Lewis, Harris and North and South Uist. Both the parliamentary constituency and the local council are referred to as nan Eilean Siar 

wheelchair is one word. Never refer to a person who uses a wheelchair as being ‘in a wheelchair’ or ‘wheelchair bound’ – ‘wheelchair user’ is acceptable. See disability

which or that? ‘that’ defines, ‘which’ gives extra information (often in a clause enclosed by commas). See that or which?

while or whilst? Although while is generally preferred, whilst is perfectly acceptable as long as the article maintains consistency.
who or whom? Although there are instances where ‘whom’ is grammatically correct, its use is disappearing from spoken English so, if in doubt, use ‘who’.

Wi-Fi is trademarked so upper case it.

windfarm is one word

windsurfing not wind surfing.

winter camp is something scouts might like to do when it’s cold. Wintercamp is an annual event at Gilwell Park in January.

wishlist is one word

with does not have to be accompanied by ‘together’: ‘I completed a secret project with Charlotte not ‘I completed a secret project together with Charlotte.’

withhold is one word


wordsearch is one word

World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM): note the ‘z’

worldwide is one word

Wood Badge not Woodbadge or woodbadge
Woodhouse Park Scout Activity Centre but the activity centre thereafter

World Membership Badge is a round purple badge with the World Scout logo in the centre and surrounded by a rope. Also referred to as the Membership Award.



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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