Appendix III: Word Wise


J, K


Jacobean, Jacobin, Jacobite.

Jacobean – (adj.) of or to do with the reign or culture of James I (1603-25); (n.) a person living during the reign of James I. Jacobin – a member
of the French revolutionary movement established in 1789. Jacobite – a supporter of James II after his dethronement in 


jail – (current)
gaol – (obsolete)


jewel, jewellery – (UK)
jewel, jewelry – (US)


jihad – (recommended) Islamic holy war or holy struggle.
jehad – (variant)


job titles.

Presidents, Prime Ministers, college Principals and Managing Directors have long enjoyed a deferential capitalisation to distinguish them from 
common mechanics, plumbers and taxi drivers. But the practice is becoming anachronistic, the grammatical equivalent of touching the forelock. 
The Times stays with tradition,1 but The Guardian will have none of it: president, prime minister, principal, managing director.

(See capitals.)


judgement – (UK)
judgment – (US and UK)

Optional spelling, as with acknowledgement and acknowledgment.


judicial – to do with a legal system.
judicious – careful, wise, provident.


jurist – a legal thinker, a philosopher of law (academic subject, jurisprudence).
juror – a member of a jury.



To justify means ‘to vindicate’ or ‘to legitimate’. To say that someone justified his actions, therefore, is to make an evaluative statement absolving
him of blame. If we wish to remain neutral, we need to say that he attempted to justify his actions, or that he believed his actions were justified.

ketchup – (UK) (current)
catchup – (UK) (obsolete)
catsup – (US)


kilometre – (UK)
kilometer – (US)

The stress is on the first syllable in standard British pronunciation.

knap, nap.

Knap – (n.) the crest of a hill; (v.) break with a hammer. Nap – (n.) a short sleep; the raised pile of a carpet, blanket etc.; (v.) sleep for a short period.


kneeled, knelt.

(See burned, burnt.)


knowledgable – (disputed)
knowledgeable – (correct)

(See separate entries on likeable, movable, rateable, sizeable, unmistakable and unshakeable.)



1 The Guardian Style Guide. Multiple access, 200203.
2 The Times Style Guide. No longer available on line. Multiple access, 200203.


























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