Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Word List

The following is a brief reference for frequently misspelled or misused words, and words specific to TRU. It follows the Canadian Oxford Dictionary with a few exceptions.

Remember to follow Canadian spelling for “-our” words: colour, favour, behaviour, labour rather than color, etc.; and for “-tre” words: centre, fibre, metre, litre rather than center, etc.

$1 million
1980s, the ‘80s, 86ers (see also Plurals vs. possessives)
a lot (not alot)
Aboriginal (capitalized)
advisor
alumna (female graduate), alumni (group of graduates), alumnus (male graduate)
biannually
centre, centred
cheque
co-operative education, co-op
co-requisite, but prerequisite
curriculum (singular), curricula (plural)
defence and defenceless, but defensive, defensible
email
enrol (not enroll), enrolment , but enrolled, enrolling (double “l” before a vowel)
grade point average, GPA
homepage (TRU’s homepage is tru.ca)
honour, honourable, but honorary, honorific
humour, but humorous  
Internet
labour
lay off (verb), layoff (noun)
letter of permission
litre, L (see also Numbers: Measurements)
live-stream, live-streaming (verb), livestream (noun)
log in (verb), login (noun)
master’s degree, but Master of Arts (see also Capitalization)
Métis
ongoing
online
percent
post-secondary
prerequisite, but co-requisite
resumé
Secwépemc, but Secwepemctsín, Secwepemcúlucw
tenure track (noun), but tenure-track (modifier, e.g. a tenure-track position)
theatre
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops Indian Band)
vice-chancellor
vice-president
web (but World Wide Web), web page, web server
website
well-being
WolfPack (not Wolfpack), also the ‘Pack
worldwide (but World Wide Web)

Do you mean...

affect, or effect?

affect: (verb) produce an effect on, influence; (of a disease) attack; move, touch the feelings of

effect: (noun) the result or consequence of an action; efficacy; an impression produced on a spectator; (verb) bring about, accomplish; cause to exist or occur

biannual, or biennial?

biannual: (adjective) occurring twice a year

biennial: (adjective) taking place every other year; (of a plant) living or lasting for two years; (noun) a plant that takes to years to grow from seed to fruition; an event celebrated or taking place every two years

complement, or compliment?

complement: (noun) something that completes; one of two things that go together; (verb) complete; form a complement to (the scarf complements her dress)

compliment: (noun) a spoken or written expression of praise; an act or circumstance implying praise; (verb) congratulate, praise; present as a mark of courtesy

e.g., or i.e.?

e.g.: an abbreviation of the Latin exempli gratia meaning "for example"

i.e.: an abbreviation of the Latin id est meaning "that is"

its, or it's?

its (pronoun, see Plurals vs. possessives 

it’s (contraction of “it is”)

principal, or principle?

principal: (adjective) first in rank or importance; main, leading; the original sum invested or lent; (noun) a head, ruler or superior; the head of some schools, colleges and universities; the leading performer in a concert, play, etc.; a lawyer who supervises an articling student

principle: (noun) a fundamental truth or law as the basis of reasoning or action (moral principles); a personal code of conduct, such rules of conduct; a general law in physics etc.

stationary, or stationery?

stationary: (adjective) remaining in one place, not moving; not meant to be moved, not portable

stationery: (noun) writing paper; writing materials such as paper, envelopes, office supplies, etc.

that, or which?

that: (as a restrictive relative clause, or defining relative clause) gives essential information by narrowing it down, as in "this presentation is based on the research that I completed last summer"; not just any research, but last summer's specifically; note there is a tendency in modern usage to omit "that" in this kind of clause: "based on the research I completed last summer"

which: (as a non-restrictive relative clause) gives non-essential information, as in "this presentation is based on my research, which I completed last summer"; the information that comes after which is considered extra information that could be left out without affecting sentence structure or meaning; note a comma always precedes which in a non-restrictive clause