Spelling

Date adopted: 
December 11, 2019
Last update: 
May 15, 2024

Use Canadian spellings, based on The Canadian Press Stylebook, The Canadian Press Caps and Spelling and the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Here are some examples:

Not: color, neighbor, favor, counselor, traveler, panelist, focussed
But: colour, neighbour, favour, counsellor, traveller, panellist, focused

Not: license (noun), defense, organise
But: licence (noun), license (verb), defence, organize

You can set your computer to Canadian spellings. If you work at the Government of Yukon and are not sure how to do this you can get help from your ICT support team – email [email protected].

You can find a list of words and terms we use a lot below or you might find these links useful:

Common words and terms

  • 1-bedroom home, 3-bedroom home
  • advisor (but use "adviser" when you're referring to someone who has the necessary credentials under the Securities Act to advise people on investments and buying or selling securities)
  • artists- and writers-in-residence
  • bachelor's degree (not bachelors degree)
  • barrier-free
  • B&B
  • Bureau of Statistics (not Yukon Bureau of Statistics)
  • busing (not bussing)
  • campgrounds (campgrounds have individual campsites)
  • can-can
  • child care (not childcare, avoid daycare and day care)
  • CBC Yukon
  • Colourful Five Percent (use “percent” only when referring to Jim Robb's work otherwise use “per cent”)
  • communications strategy (not communication strategy)
  • Community Development Fund 
  • communities, in Yukon communities
  • comprised, comprising (not comprised of)
  • coordinate (not co-ordinate)
  • cooperate (not co-operate)
  • Cultural Industry Training Fund
  • decision making, decision makers, decision-making process, a decision-making body
  • driver’s licence
  • federal (not Federal)
  • federal, provincial, territorial (not Federal, Provincial, Territorial or Federal/Provincial/Territorial)
  • Film & Sound Commission (not Film and Sound Commission)
  • follow up (verb) or follow-up (adjective), (not followup)
  • French First Language and French Second Language
  • French Language Services Directorate (not Bureau of French Language Services)
  • fuel wood (not fuelwood)
  • gold rush (generic term), Klondike Gold Rush (specific)
  • groundwater (not ground water)
  • health care (not healthcare)
  • health care card
  • health care provider (not health care professional or allied health professional)
  • Klondike, Klondikers
  • Klondike Gold Rush
  • licence (noun), motor vehicle licence
  • license (verb), licensed to operate
  • long-term care home
  • master's degree (not masters degree)
  • memorandum of understanding
  • metre (meter if you're referring to a machine)
  • Métis
  • mould not mold
  • neighbourhood (when you’re referring to or creating a sense of community or where there’s the potential for the availability of services beyond just residential lots – also remember to add where the neighbourhood is, for example, Dawson or Whitehorse, rather than assume everyone will know)
  • north (direction)
  • North (region)
  • northerner (not Northerner)
  • north of 60
  • oil and gas, as in "oil and gas wells" and "oil and gas companies" ("oil and gas" is the industry standard for "oil well or company", "gas well or company", "oil or gas well" or "oil or gas company")
  • outside not Outside (as in outside Yukon)
  • period products (not feminine hygiene products)
  • practice (noun), doctor’s practice
  • practise (verb), licensed to practice
  • re-ablement (not reablement)
  • request for proposal
  • roundtable
  • Shäw Kwä’ą/Health and Wellness Yukon/Santé et mieux-être Yukon (include all three names with slashes and only use the term "health authority" sparingly)
  • silviculture
  • State of Emergency (always capitalized)
  • subdivision (when you’re referring specifically to the process of subdividing land)
  • Substance Use Health Emergency (always capitalized)
  • toll-free
  • wastewater (not waste water)
  • wellbeing (not well-being)
  • Yukon Education for the school authority but Department of Education for the department
  • Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act
  • Yukoner

Associations and non-government organizations

  • Association franco-yukonnaise (l’AFY)
  • BGC Yukon 
  • Empowering Youth Society (BYTE), formerly Bringing Youth Towards Equality
  • Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)
  • Committee on Abuse in Residential Schools (CAIRS)
  • Dawson City Arts Society
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon (FASSY)
  • Gwaandak Theatre Society
  • Kaushee’s Place
  • KIAC School of Visual Arts now Yukon School of Visual Arts
  • Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, KIAC
  • Klondike Visitors Association (KVA) (note no apostrophe on the s)
  • Learning Disabilities Association of Yukon (LDAY)
  • Leaping Feats Creative Danceworks studio, Leaping Feats
  • Les EssentiElles
  • Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society (LAWS)
  • MacBride Museum
  • Nakai Theatre
  • Northern Lights School of Dance (NLSD)
  • Society of Yukon Artists of Native Ancestry (SYANA)
  • Teegatha'Oh Zheh
  • TIA Yukon (Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon)
  • Victoria Faulkner Women's Centre
  • Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council
  • Yukon Arts Fund
  • Yukon Art Society (YAS), Yukon Art Society Gallery (Arts Underground)
  • Yukon Artists @ Work (YAAW)
  • Yukon First Nation Education Directorate
  • Yukon International Storytelling Festival
  • Yukon Historical & Museums Association
  • Yukon Outfitters’ Association
  • Yukon University, YukonU, YukonU in Haines Junction, YukonU in Teslin, YukonU in Old Crow and so on (not "the", not "formerly Yukon College")
  • Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society (an entity of Kaushee’s)
  • Yukon Writers’ Festival

Events

  • Kids Kreate
  • Spruce Bog
  • Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous

Facilities and buildings

  • Canada Games Centre
  • Copper Ridge Place
  • Da Kų Cultural Centre
  • Dredge No. 4
  • École Émilie-Tremblay
  • École Whitehorse Elementary School
  • Guild Hall
  • Jim Smith Building (formerly Government of Yukon Main Administration Building)
  • Lion’s Aquatic Centre
  • Norman D. Macaulay Lodge
  • Mae Bachur Animal Shelter
  • Odd Gallery, Odd Fellows Hall
  • S.S. Klondike
  • Swan Haven Interpretation Centre
  • Takhini Hot Springs
  • The Old Fire Hall
  • Thomson Centre
  • Tombstone Interpretive Centre
  • Yukon Arts Centre
  • Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre
  • Formerly Yukon College (Ayamdigut Campus in Whitehorse), now Yukon University, or YukonU

Place names

  • ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge)
  • Arctic Circle, the Arctic, but arctic wildflowers
  • Bonnet Plume River (Tsaih Tl’ak Njik)
  • Dempster Highway
  • Dawson (official geographical name, City of Dawson for the municipality)
  • Dezadeash Lake
  • Eagle Plain (basin for oil and gas development)
  • Eagle Plains Hotel (on the Dempster Highway)
  • Ethel Lake (Takwä́ntʼye)
  • Frances Lake
  • Canyon Mountain (locally known as Grey Mountain)
  • Hot Springs Road
  • King Point
  • Lake Laberge
  • Macmillan River
  • M’Clintock River
  • MacRae Industrial Area (known locally as McCrae Industrial Area)
  • Mount McIntyre
  • Nałasìn River (Nisutlin River)
  • Peel watershed
  • Takhini Hot Springs
  • Tetlʼámǟn (Tatlmain Lake)
  • Wellesley Lake
  • Whistle Bend subdivision

National and territorial parks and protected areas

(*awaiting designation)

  • Agay Mene Territorial Park*
  • Asi Keyi Territorial Park*
  • Coal River Springs Territorial Park
  • Ddhaw Ghro Habitat Protection Area*
  • Devil’s Elbow and Big Island Habitat Protection Areas
  • Herschel Island - Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park
  • Horseshoe Slough Habitat Protection Area
  • Ivvavik National Park
  • Kluane National Park and Reserve
  • Kusawa Territorial Park*
  • Lewes Marsh Habitat Protection Area
  • Łútsäw Wetland Habitat Protection Area
  • Ni’iinlii Njik (Fishing Branch) Habitat Protection Area
  • Ni’iinlii Njik (Fishing Branch) Territorial Park
  • Nisutlin River Delta National Wildlife Area
  • Tsâwnjik Chu (Nordenskiold) Habitat Protection Area
  • Old Crow Flats Habitat Protection Area
  • Pickhandle Lakes Habitat Protection Area*
  • Peel Watershed Planning Region
  • Ta’Tla Mun Habitat Protection Area
  • Tagish Narrows Habitat Protection Area
  • Tombstone Territorial Park
  • Vuntut National Park
  • Whitefish Wetland Habitat Protection Area*

Municipalities

  • City of Whitehorse, the City (not "the City of Whitehorse", not "the city", for example, "the Government of Yukon and City of Whitehorse have agreed..." and “the Yukon government and the City have agreed…”)
  • City of Dawson (preferred by the City of Dawson)
  • Town of Watson Lake
  • Village of Carmacks

Jurisdictions and countries

Follow the common practice or preferred style of the jurisdiction, region or country you're writing about. For example:

  • B.C. not BC
  • the Northwest Territories, the NWT, not Northwest Territories, NWT
  • Nunavut (there are no abbreviations for Nunavut)
  • UK not U.K.

Species

When you use Latin names, include both the genus and species name, such as Ursus americanus and italicize both words. Only put the first word (the genus name) in capitals.

When you write species’ names, write them in lowercase, unless a proper noun forms part of their name, such as Dall’s sheep.

For more detailed advice, email [email protected].

  • black bear, black bears (plural)
  • collared pika, collared pikas (plural)
  • Dall’s sheep
  • grizzly bear, grizzly bears (plural)
  • tundra swan, tundra swans (plural)
  • lake trout (singular and plural)
  • human-wildlife conflict
  • Leave No Trace (but no-trace practices)
  • Porcupine caribou herd but Porcupine Caribou Harvest Management Plan
  • RV dump station
  • silviculture
  • Ursus americanus

We may capitalize species’ names in materials intended for educating people about wildlife. We publish these materials with a note providing this explanation.

Words to avoid misspelling

  • council (as in city, or the Executive Council Office) and counsel (as in Crown, or the Legislative Counsel Office)
  • councillor (as in city)
  • counsellor (a person who gives guidance)
  • palette as in “colour palette” (not “pallet” unless you mean a platform for moving things, or a “palate” as in the roof of your mouth)
  • practice (noun), doctor's practice
  • practise (verb), licensed to practise
  • publicly (not publically)