R The restricted rating. See movie ratings.

rabbi See Jewish congregations.

Rabbinical Assembly See Jewish congregations.

Rabbinical Council of America See Jewish congregations.


race Identification by race is pertinent:

—In biographical and announcement stories, particularly when they involve a feat or appointment that has not routinely been associated with members of a particular race.

—When it provides the reader with a substantial insight into conflicting emotions known or likely to be involved in a demonstration or similar event.

In some stories that involve a conflict, it is equally important to specify that an issue cuts across racial lines. If, for example, a demonstration by supporters of busing to achieve racial balance in schools includes a substantial number of whites, that fact should be noted.

Do not use racially derogatory terms unless they are part of a quotation that is essential to the story.

See the obscenities, profanities, vulgarities entry and the nationalities and races entry.

rack, wrack The noun rack applies to various types of framework; the verb rack means to arrange on a rack, to torture, trouble or torment: He was placed on the rack. She racked her brain.

The noun wrack means ruin or destruction, and generally is confined to the phrase wrack and ruin.

The verb wrack has substantially the same meaning as the verb rack, the latter being preferred.

racket Not racquet, for the light bat used in tennis and badminton.

radar A lowercase acronym for radio detection and ranging.

radical In general, avoid this descrip-tion in favor of a more precise definition of an individual’s political views.

When used, it suggests that an individual believes change must be made by tearing up the roots or foundation of the present order.

Although radical often is applied to individuals who hold strong socialist or communist views, it also is applied at times to individuals who believe an existing form of government must be replaced by a more authoritarian or militaristic one.

See the leftist, ultra-leftist and rightist, ultra-rightist entries.

radio Capitalize and use before a name to indicate an official voice of the government: Radio Moscow.

Lowercase and place after the name when indicating only that the information was obtained from broadcasts in a city. Havana radio, for example, is the form used in referring to reports that are broadcast on various stations in the Cuban capital.

radio station The call letters alone are frequently adequate, but when this phrase is needed, use lowercase: radio station WHEC.

See call letters.

railroads Capitalize when part of a name: the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad.

Railroad companies vary the spellings of their names, using Railroad, Rail Road, Railway, etc. Consult the Official Railway Guide-Freight Service and the Official Railway Guide-Passenger Service for official spellings.

Use the railroad for all lines in second references.

Use railroads in lowercase for all plurals: the Penn Central and Santa Fe railroads.

See Amtrak and Conrail.

rainstorm See weather terms.

raised, reared Only humans may be reared.

All living things, including humans, may be raised.

RAM Acronym for random access memory, the "working memory" of a computer into which programs can be introduced and then executed.

ranges The form: $12 million to $14 million. Not: $12 to $14 million.

rank and file (n.) The adjective form: rank-and-file.

rarely It means seldom. Rarely ever is redundant, but rarely if ever often is the appropriate phrase.

ratios Use figures and hyphens: the ratio was 2-to-1, a ratio of 2-to-1, a 2-1 ratio. As illustrated, the word to should be omitted when the numbers precede the word ratio.

Always use the word ratio or a phrase such as a 2-1 majority to avoid confusion with actual figures.

ravage, ravish To ravage is to wreak great destruction or devastation: Union troops ravaged Atlanta.

To ravish is to abduct, rape or carry away with emotion: Soldiers ravished the women.

Although both words connote an element of violence, they are not interchangeable. Buildings and towns cannot be ravished.

rayon Not a trademark.

RCA Corp. Formerly Radio Corporation of America. RCA is acceptable on second reference.

Headquarters is in New York.

re- The rules in prefixes apply. The following examples of exceptions to first-listed spellings in Webster’s New World are based on the general rule that a hyphen is used if a prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel:

re-elect re-enlist

re-election re-enter

re-emerge re-entry

re-employ re-equip

re-enact re-establish

re-engage re-examine

For many other words, the sense is the governing factor:

recover (regain) re-cover (cover again)

reform (improve) re-form (form again)

resign (quit) re-sign (sign again)

Otherwise, follow Webster’s New World. Use a hyphen for words not listed there unless the hyphen would distort the sense.

reader See Church of Christ, Scientist.

Realtor The term real estate agent is preferred. Use Realtor only if there is a reason to indicate that the individual is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

See service marks.

reared See raised, reared entry.

rebut, refute Rebut means to argue to the contrary: He rebutted his opponent’s statement.

Refute connotes success in argument and almost always implies an editorial judgment. Instead, use deny, dispute, rebut or respond to.

recipes Always use figures. See fractions.

Do not use abbreviations. Spell out teaspoon, tablespoon, etc.

See the food entry for guidelines on when to capitalize the names of foods.

recision The preferred spelling is rescission.


Reconstruction The process of reorganizing the Southern states after the Civil War.

record Avoid the redundant new record.

rector See religious titles.

recur, recurred, recurring Not reoccur.

Red Capitalize when used as a political, geographic or military term: the Red army.

Red China See China.

red-haired, redhead, redheaded All are acceptable for a person with red hair.

Redhead also is used colloquially to describe a type of North American diving duck.

red-handed (adj. and adv.)


redneck From the characteristic sunburned neck acquired in the fields by farm laborers. It refers to poor, white rural residents of the South and often is a derogatory term.

re-elect, re-election

refer See the allude, refer entry.


reference works Capitalize their proper names.

Do not use quotation marks around the names of books that are primarily catalogs of reference material. In addition to catalogs, this category includes almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers, handbooks and similar publications.

EXAMPLES: Congressional Directory, Webster’s New World Dictionary, the AP Stylebook. But: “The Careful Writer” and “Modern American Usage.”

See the bibliography for the principal reference works used in preparing this book.

referendum, referendums

reformatory See the prison, jail entry.

Reform Judaism See Jewish congregations.

refute See the rebut, refute entry.

regime See the government, junta, regime entry.

regions See the directions and regions entry.

reign, rein The leather strap for controlling a horse is a rein, hence figuratively: seize the reins, give free rein to, put a checkrein on.

Reign is the period a ruler is on the throne: The king began his reign.

release times Follow these guidelines:

TIME SET BY SOURCE: If a source provides material on condition that it not be published or broadcast until a specific time, the story should contain a boldface slug to that effect:

For Release 10 a.m. EST, time

set by source.

MOVEMENT TIME SET BY SOURCE: If a source provides material on condition that it not be moved on any wire read by newspapers or broadcasters until a specific time, the request will be respected. Consult the General Desk if any problems arise.

RELEASE SPECIFIED BY SOURCE: If a source does not specify a particular hour but says material is for release in morning papers, the automatic release time for print and broadcast is 6:30 p.m. Eastern time.

If a source says only that material is for release in afternoon papers, the automatic release time for print and broadcast is 6:30 a.m. Eastern time.

In either case, the story should contain a boldface slug to that effect:

For Release 6:30 p.m. EST.

For Release 6:30 a.m. EST.

ENTERPRISE COPY: Stories sent in advance for a specified cycle and date are released for broadcast and morning papers at 6:30 p.m.; 6:30 a.m. if the advance was sent for afternoon papers.

religious affiliations Capitalize the names and the related terms applied to members of the orders: He is a member of the Society of Jesus. He is a Jesuit.

religious movements The terms that follow have been grouped under a single entry because they are interrelated and frequently cross denominational lines.

evangelical Historically, evangelical was used as an adjective describing dedication to conveying the message of Christ. Today it also is used as a noun, referring to a category of doctrinally conservative Christians. They emphasize the need for a definite, adult commitment or conversion to faith in Christ and the duty of all believers to persuade others to accept Christ.

Evangelicals make up some conservative denominations and are numerous in broader denominations. Evangelicals stress both doctrinal absolutes and vigorous efforts to win others to belief.

The National Association of Evangelicals is an interdenominational, cooperative body of relatively small, conservative Protestant denominations. It has a total of about 2.5 million members and maintains headquarters in Wheaton, Ill.

evangelism The word refers to activity directed outside the church fold to influence others to commit themselves to faith in Christ, to his work of serving others and to infuse his principles into society’s conduct.

Styles of evangelism vary from direct preaching appeals at large public meetings to practical deeds of carrying the name of Christ, indirectly conveying the same call to allegiance to him.

The word evangelism is derived from the Greek evangelion, which means the gospel or good news of Christ’s saving action in behalf of humanity.

fundamentalist The word gained usage in an early 20th century fundamentalist-modernist controversy within Protestantism. In recent years, however, fundamentalist has to a large extent taken on pejorative connotations except when applied to groups that stress strict, literal interpretations of Scripture and separation from other Christians.

In general, do not use fundamentalist unless a group applies the word to itself.

liberal In general, avoid this word as a descriptive classification in religion. It has objectionable implications to many believers.

Acceptable alternate descriptions include activist, more flexible and broadview.

Moderate is appropriate when used by the contending parties, as is the case in the conflict between the moderate or more flexible wing of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and conservatives, who argue for literal interpretations of biblical passages others consider symbolic.

Do not use the term Bible-believing to distinguish one faction from another, because all Christians believe the Bible. The differences are over interpretations.

neo-Pentecostal, charismatic These terms apply to a movement that has developed within mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic denominations since the mid-20th century. It is distinguished by its emotional expressiveness, spontaneity in worship, speaking or praying in "unknown tongues" and healing. Participants often characterize themselves as "spirit-filled" Christians.

Unlike the earlier Pentecostal movement, which led to separate denominations, this movement has swelled within major churches.

Pentecostalism A movement that arose in the early 20th century and separated from historic Protestant denominations. It is distinguished by the belief in tangible manifestations of the Holy Spirit, often in demonstrative, emotional ways such as speaking in "unknown tongues" and healing.

Pentecostal denominations include the Assemblies of God, the Pentecostal Holiness Church, the United Pentecostal Church Inc. and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel founded by Aimee Semple McPherson.

religious references The basic guidelines:

DEITIES: Capitalize the proper names of monotheistic deities: God, Allah, the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer, the Holy Spirit, etc.

Lowercase pronouns referring to the deity: he, him, his, thee, thou, who, whose, thy, etc.

Lowercase gods in referring to the deities of polytheistic religions.

Capitalize the proper names of pagan and mythological gods and goddesses: Neptune, Thor, Venus, etc.

Lowercase such words as god-awful, goddamn, godlike, godliness, godsend.

LIFE OF CHRIST: Capitalize the names of major events in the life of Jesus Christ in references that do not use his name: The doctrines of the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension are central to Christian belief.

But use lowercase when the words are used with his name: The ascension of Jesus into heaven took place 40 days after his resurrection from the dead.

Apply the principle also to events in the life of his mother: He cited the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. But: She referred to the assumption of Mary into heaven.

RITES: Capitalize proper names for rites that commemorate the Last Supper or signify a belief in Christ’s presence: the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, Holy Eucharist.

Lowercase the names of other sacraments. See the sacraments entry.

Capitalize Benediction and the Mass. But: a high Mass, a low Mass, a requiem Mass.

HOLY DAYS: Capitalize the names of holy days. See the holidays and holy days entry and separate entries for major Christian and Jewish feasts.

OTHER WORDS: Lowercase heaven, hell, devil, angel, cherub, an apostle, a priest, etc.

Capitalize Hades and Satan.

For additional details, see Bible, entries for frequently used religious terms, the entries for major denominations, religious movements and religious titles.

Religious Society of Friends See Quakers.

religious titles The first reference to a clergyman or clergywoman normally should include a capitalized title before the individual’s name.

In many cases, the Rev. is the designation that applies before a name on first reference. Use the Rev. Dr. only if the individual has an earned doctoral degree (doctor of divinity degrees frequently are honorary) and reference to the degree is relevant.

On second reference to members of the clergy:

—To a man: Use only a last name if he uses a surname: the Rev. Billy Graham on first reference, Graham on second. If a man is known only by a religious name, repeat the title: Pope Paul VI or Pope Paul on first reference, Pope Paul, the pope (not Paul) or the pontiff on second; Metropolitan Ireney on first reference, Metropolitan Ireney or the metropolitan on second.

—To a woman: Use Miss, Mrs., Ms. or no title before her last name depending on her preference.

Detailed guidance on specific titles and descriptive words such as priest and minister is provided in the entries for major denominations. In general, however:

CARDINALS, ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS: The preferred form for first reference is to use Cardinal, Archbishop or Bishop before the individual’s name: Cardinal Timothy Manning, archbishop of Los Angeles. On second reference: Manning or the cardinal.

Substitute the Most Rev. if applicable and appropriate in the context: He spoke to the Most Rev. Anthony Bevilacqua, archbishop of Philadelphia. On second reference: Bevilacqua or the archbishop.

Entries for individual denominations tell when the Most Rev., the Very Rev., etc., are applicable.

MINISTERS AND PRIESTS: Use the Rev. before a name on first reference.

Substitute Monsignor before the name of a Roman Catholic priest who has received this honor.

Do not routinely use curate, father, pastor and similar words before an individual’s name. If they appear before a name in a quotation, capitalize them.

RABBIS: Use Rabbi before a name on first reference. On second reference, use only the last name of a man; use Miss, Mrs., Ms. or no title before a woman’s last name depending on her preference.

NUNS: Always use Sister, or Mother if applicable, before a name: Sister Agnes Rita in all references if the nun uses only a religious name; Sister Clare Regina Torpy on first reference if she uses a surname, Sister Torpy, Miss Torpy, Ms. Torpy or no title on second according to her preference.

OFFICEHOLDERS: The preferred first-reference form for those who hold church office but are not ordained clergy in the usual sense is to use a construction that sets the title apart from the name by commas. Capitalize the formal title of an office, however, if it is used directly before an individual’s name.

reluctant, reticent Reluctant means unwilling to act: He is reluctant to enter the primary.

Reticent means unwilling to speak: The candidate’s husband is reticent.

Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Not properly described as a Mormon church. See the explanation under Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

representative, Rep. See legislative titles and party affiliation.

republic Capitalize republic when used as part of a nation’s full, formal name: the Republic of Argentina.

See datelines.

republican, Republican Party GOP may be used on second reference.

See the political parties and philosophies entry.

Republican Governors Association No apostrophe.

Republican National Committee On second reference: the national committee, the committee.

Similarly: Republican State Committee, Republican County Committee, Republican City Committee, the state committee, the county committee, the city committee, the committee.

reputation See the character, reputation entry.

rescission Not recision.

Reserve Capitalize when referring to U.S. armed forces, as in Army Reserve. Lowercase in reference to members of these backup forces: reserves, or reservists.

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps The s’ is military practice. ROTC is acceptable in all references.

When the service is specified, use Army ROTC, Navy ROTC or Air Force ROTC, not AROTC, NROTC or AFROTC.

resident See the citizen, resident, subject, national, native entry.


restaurateur No n. Not restauranteur.

restrictive clauses See the essential clauses, nonessential clauses entry.

restrictive phrases See the essential phrases, nonessential phrases entry.

Retail Clerks International Union See United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

Reuters A private British news agency, named for Baron Paul Julius von Reuter, the founder.

The official name is Reuters Ltd. It is referred to as Reuters.

Rev. When this description is used before an individual’s name, precede it with the word "the" because, unlike the case with Mr. and Mrs., the abbreviation Rev. does not stand for a noun.

If an individual has a secular title such as Rep., use whichever is appropriate to the context.

See religious titles.

revolution Capitalize when part of a name for a specific historical event: the American Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, the French Revolution.

The Revolution, capitalized, also may be used as a shorthand reference to the American Revolution. Also: the Revolutionary War.

Lowercase in other uses: a revolution, the revolution, the American and French revolutions.

revolutions per minute The abbreviation rpm is acceptable on first reference in specialized contexts such as an auto column. Otherwise do not use it until second reference.

revolver See pistol and weapons.

Rh factor Also: Rh negative, Rh positive.

Rhode Island Abbrev.: R.I. Smallest of the 50 states in total land area: 1,049 square miles.

See state names.

Richter scale See earthquakes.

RICO An acronym for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Acceptable on second reference, but anti-racketeering or anti-corruption law is preferred.


rifle See weapons.

rifle, riffle To rifle is to plunder or steal.

To riffle is to leaf rapidly through a book or pile of papers.

right hand (n.) right-handed (adj.) right-hander (n.)

rightist, ultra-rightist In general, avoid these terms in favor of more precise descriptions of an individual’s political philosophy.

As popularly used today, particularly abroad, rightist often applies to someone who is conservative or opposed to socialism. It also often indicates an individual who supports an authoritarian government that is militantly anti- communist or anti-socialist.

Ultra-rightist suggests an individual who subscribes to rigid interpretations of a conservative doctrine or to forms of fascism that stress authoritarian, often militaristic, views.

See radical and the leftist, ultra-leftist entry.

right of way, rights of way

right-to-work (adj.) A right-to-work law prohibits a company and a union from signing a contract that would require the affected workers to be union members.

Federal labor laws generally permit such contracts. There is no federal right-to-work law, but Section 14B of the Taft-Hartley Act allows states to pass such laws if they wish. Many states have done so.

The repeal of Section 14B would have the effect of voiding all right-to-work laws. By itself, the repeal would not require workers to be union members, but in states that now have right-to-work laws, the repeal would open the way to contracts requiring union membership.

See closed shop for definitions of various agreements that require union membership.

right wing (n.) But: right-wing (adj.), right-winger (n.).

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Note the and, &.

Headquarters is in Washington.

Rio Grande Not Rio Grande River. (Rio means river.)

rip off (v.) rip-off (n., adj.)

river Capitalize as part of a proper name: the Mississippi River.

Lowercase in other uses: the river, the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

road Do not abbreviate. See addresses.

Roaring ’20s See decades.

robbery See the burglary, larceny, robbery, theft entry.

rock ’n’ roll

Rocky Mountains Or simply: the Rockies.

roll call (n.) roll-call (adj.)

Rollerblade A trademark for a brand of in-line skates.

Rolls-Royce Note the hyphen in this trademark for a make of automobile.


ROM Acronym for read only memory, a storage chip that cannot be reprogrammed by the computer user. Spell out.

Roman Catholic Church The church teaches that its bishops have been established as the successors of the apostles through generations of ceremonies in which authority was passed down by a laying-on of hands.

Responsibility for teaching the faithful and administering the church rests with the bishops. However, the church holds that the pope has final authority over their actions because he is the bishop of Rome, the office that it teaches was held by the apostle Peter at his death.

Although the pope is empowered to speak infallibly on faith and morals, he does so only in formal pronouncements that specifically state he is speaking from the chair (ex cathedra) of St. Peter. This rarely used prerogative was most recently invoked in 1950, when Pope Pius XII declared that Mary was assumed bodily into heaven.

The Curia serves as a form of governmental cabinet. Its members, appointed by the pope, handle both administrative and judicial functions.

The pope also chooses members of the College of Cardinals, who serve as his principal counselors. When a new pope must be chosen, they meet in a conclave to select a new pope by majority vote. In practice, cardinals are bishops, but there is no requirement that a cardinal be a bishop.

In the United States, the church’s principal organizational units are archdioceses and dioceses. They are headed, respectively, by archbishops and bishops, who have final responsibility for many activities within their jurisdictions and report directly to Rome.

The church counts more than 600 million members worldwide. In the United States it has more than 48 million members, making it the largest single body of Christians in the nation.

Roman Catholics believe in the Trinity — that there is one God who exists as three divine persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They believe that the Son became man as Jesus Christ.

In addition to the Holy Eucharist, there are six other sacraments — baptism, confirmation, penance (often called the sacrament of reconciliation), matrimony, holy orders, and the sacrament of the sick (formerly extreme unction).

The clergy below pope are, in descending order, cardinal, archbishop, bishop, monsignor, priest and deacon. In religious orders, some men who are not priests have the title brother.

Capitalize pope when used as a title before a name: Pope Paul VI, Pope Paul. Lowercase in all other uses. See the titles entry.

The first-references forms for other titles follow. Use only last names on second reference.

Cardinals: Cardinal Timothy Manning. The usage Timothy Cardinal Manning, a practice traceable to the nobility’s custom of identifications such as William, Duke of Norfolk, is still used in formal documents but otherwise is considered archaic.

Archbishops: Archbishop Joseph L. Bernardin, or the Most Rev. Joseph L. Bernardin, archbishop of Cincinnati.

Bishops: Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan, or the Most Rev. Bernard J. Flanagan, bishop of Worcester.

Monsignors: Monsignor Joseph E. Vogt. Do not use the abbreviation Msgr. Do not use the Rt. Rev. or the Very Rev. — this distinction between types of monsignors no longer is made.

Priests: the Rev. John J. Paret.

See religious titles and sister entries.

Romania Not Rumania.

Romanian Orthodox Church The Romanian Orthodox Church in America is an autonomous archdiocese of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America is an autonomous archdiocese within the Orthodox Church in America.

See Eastern Orthodox churches.

Roman numerals They use letters (I, X, etc.) to express numbers.

Use Roman numerals for wars and to establish personal sequence for people and animals: World War I, Native Dancer II, King George V, Pope John XXIII, John Jones III. See the junior, senior entry.

Use Arabic numerals in all other cases. See Arabic numerals and numerals.

In Roman numerals, the capital letter I equals 1, V equals 5, X equals 10, L equals 50, C equals 100, D equals 500 and M equals 1,000. Do not use M to mean million, as some newspapers occasionally do in headlines.

Other numbers are formed from these by adding or subtracting as follows:

—The value of a letter following another of the same or greater value is added: III equals 3.

—The value of a letter preceding one of greater value is subtracted: IV equals 4.

Rome The city in Italy stands alone in datelines.

room numbers Use figures and capitalize room when used with a figure: Room 2, Room 211.

rooms Capitalize the names of specially designated rooms: Blue Room, Lincoln Room, Oval Office, Persian Room.

Roquefort cheese, Roquefort dressing A certification mark for a type of blue cheese cured in Roquefort, France.

It is not a trademark.

rosary It is recited or said, never read. Always lowercase.

Rosh Hashana The Jewish new year. Occurs in September or October.

rostrum See the lectern, podium, pulpit, rostrum entry.

ROTC Acceptable in all references for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

When the service is specified, use Army ROTC, Navy ROTC or Air Force ROTC, not AROTC, NROTC or AFROTC.

round up (v.) roundup (n.)

route numbers Do not abbreviate route. See highway designations.

Royal Dutch-Shell Group of Companies This holding company, based in London and The Hague, owns substantial portions of the stock in numerous corporations that specialize in petroleum and related products. Most have Shell in their names.

Among them is Shell Oil Co., a U.S. corporation, with headquarters in Houston.

royal titles See nobility.

R.S.V.P. The abbreviation for the French repondez s’il vous plait, it means please reply.

Rt. Rev. See the entry for an individual denomination.

rubber stamp (n.) rubber-stamp (v. and adj.)

rubella Also known as German measles.

runner-up, runners-up

running mate

rush hour (n.) rush-hour (adj.)

Russia See Commonwealth of Independent States entry.

Russian names When a first name in Russian has a close phonetic equivalent in English, use the equivalent in translating the name: Alexander Solzhenitsyn rather than Aleksandr, the spelling that would result from a transliteration of the Russian letter into the English alphabet.

When a first name has no close phonetic equivalent in English, express it with an English spelling that approximates the sound in Russian: Nikita, for example.

For last names, use the English spelling that most closely approximates the pronunciation in Russian.

If an individual has a preference for an English spelling that is different from the one that would result by applying these guidelines, follow the individual’s preference.

Women’s last names have feminine endings. But use them only if the woman is not married or if she is known under that name (the ballerina Maya Plissetskaya). Otherwise, use the masculine form: Raisa Gorbachev, not Gorbacheva.

Russian names never end in off, except for common mistransliterations such as Rachmaninoff. Instead, the transliterations should end in ov: Romanov.

Russian Orthodox Church See Eastern Orthodox churches.

Russian Revolution Also: the Bolshevik Revolution.