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ID . Abbreviation for identification. If the meaning is clear, OK to use in first reference. Capitalized, no periods.

idiosyncrasy . Commonly misspelled.

i.e. See e.g., i.e.

if and when . Wordy. Simplify with either if or when.

I, me . It's sometimes appropriate to refer to yourself as I (and me) in your writing and speaking, especially if you have the authority or responsibility to speak for your King County organization, project, program or service. Using I can add credibility and personality, and it can eliminate passive, wordy sentences. But don't overdo it or write about yourself as though you're another person. If you've made it clear you're describing your opinions and actions, avoid overusing phrases like I believe and I think. And when expressing your opinion or describing your actions, avoid using terms like this writer, the author, one and we (when we is only you). The same guidance applies to using me. See active vs. passive verbs, we, you. Also see Eight myths of writing.

Also, I and me are frequently confused. I is a nominative pronoun (like he, she, we and they), and me is an objective pronoun (like him, her, us and them). Nominative pronouns are always the subject of sentences and clauses. And objective pronouns are always the object of verbs and prepositions. In other words, I is more likely to be at the front of a sentence or clause (typically before the verb). And me is more likely to be at the back of a sentence or clause (typically after the verb): I helped her. He talked to me. She helped him. We talked to them. They talked to us.

Please note these correct uses when the sentence contains a conjunction: He talked to Linda and me. Linda and I talked to him. The team included Debbie and me. Debbie and I attended the meeting. Incorrect: He talked to Linda and I. He talked to Linda and myself. The team included Debbie and I. The team included Linda and myself. See myself.

impact . Do not use as a verb to mean affect. Consider using simpler affect or influence instead. As a verb, impact means to force tightly together, pack or wedge, or to hit with force. Reserve impacted for wisdom teeth: impacted tooth. See have an effect on.

As a noun, impact means a forceful contact or collision. It also means the force of impression or operation of one thing on another, though milder words like effect or influence may be more appropriate: The stormy weather had a negative effect [instead of impact] on park use.

implement . Jargon. Do not overuse this word. Instead, try a form of begin, carry out, follow, fulfill, do, put in place, put into use, put into effect, start or set up, as a verb, or tool, as a noun.

imply, infer. Often confused. Imply means to show, hint or suggest, not to express. Infer means to conclude or deduce from evidence or facts. Writers or speakers imply in the words they use. A listener or reader infers something from the words: He implied in his speech. I inferred from her comment.

in- . No hyphen when it means not: inaccurate, insufferable. Some words take a hyphen: in-depth, in-group, in-house, in-law. See prefixes.

in addition to . Wordy. Simplify. Try besides, beyond, also or and. See beside, besides.

inadvertent . Commonly misspelled.

in a ... manner  Omit needless words. Simplify. Try dropping and making an adverb from the other word: hastily instead of in a hasty manner.

inbox . One word, no hyphen. Also, outbox.

include. See compose, comprise, include.

including, such as. Use these terms when the items that follow are only part of the total; don't list everything or end the list with words like and more, and others, etc.

If the words that follows these terms are essential to the meaning of a sentence, do not put commas before (or after) the phrase. But if the words that follow these terms are not essential, commas are appropriate. (Words are nonessential if they can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence.) Also, if a nonessential such as or including phrase is short (just three or four words), it's OK to drop the comma. If you use a comma before a nonessential phrase, you also must end the phrase with a comma before continuing the sentence.

in conjunction with . Wordy. Simplify. Try with.

incorporated . Capitalize and abbreviate as Inc. when used as part of a corporate name. Inc. is usually not needed in company names, but when it is, don't set it off with commas: J.C. Penney Co. Inc. See correspondence.

incur, incurred, incurring .

indeed . Vague adverb. Use sparingly.

Independence Day. Fourth of July or July Fourth also acceptable. See holidays, holy days.

independently elected officials. Preferred general description (lowercase) for King County officials; previously identified as separately elected officials. King County's independently elected officials are the county executive, members of the King County Council, assessor, elections director, sheriff, prosecuting attorney, District Court judges, and Superior Court judges. The County Council and other elected officials might have other editorial styles for materials produced by their independent offices. Also see capitalization; councilmember; county; county council; judge; King County Executive; sheriff, sheriff's office.

index, indexes. Not indices.

Indians. See American Indian, Eskimo.

indicate . Overstated. Simplify. Replace with show, say or suggest.

indispensable . Commonly misspelled. Ends in able, not ible.

individual, individuals. Overstated. Try person or people. Use individual only if you're trying to distinguish one person from a group. See people, persons.

indoor (adj.), indoors (adv.). She plays indoor tennis. He went indoors.

in fact . Stock phrase. Use sparingly.

infer. See imply, infer.

infinitive. See split infinitives.

inflammable . Never use inflammable. See flammable, inflammable.

in general . Cliché. Use this phrase sparingly.

in-house Hyphenate.

initial-based terms . All initial-based terms, except email, separate the initial from the base word with either a space or a hyphen: A-frame, B-movie, C ration, D-day, G-string, H-bomb, I-beam, J-school, L-shaped, N-word, O-ring, T-shirt, U-boat, X-ray, Y-chromosome. Capitalization varies. Check your dictionary or style manual for specific terms. See email, T-shirt.

initials . Include periods for initials in a person's name, but drop them when using only the initials of a person's name. Don't put a space between initials: T.S. Eliot, JFK See middle initials.

initiate . Overstated and formal. Simplify. Try begin.

in, into, in to . In shows location or position: He was in the house. Into shows motion or movement toward a location: He went into the house. Use in to when in is an adverb that modifies a verb, adjective or other adverb: He turned himself in to the police. Beware this type of absurdity: He turned himself into the police. Usage tip: If you can drop the in without losing the meaning, the term you want is in to: Bring the candidates [in] to me, then we'll all go [in] to the examination room.

in lieu of . Pompous jargon. Simplify. Try for or instead of but not in view of or in place of.

in most cases, in most instances. Wordy. Avoid. Consider replacing with often, mostly, usually or most of these.

innovate . Commonly misspelled.

inoculate . Commonly misspelled.

in order to . Wordy. Simplify by removing in order.

in place of . Wordy. Simplify. Try for.

input, output, throughput . Avoid these words. They may be used as nouns in certain technical fields, such as computer processing, electricity and economics. Depending on the context, information may be a good synonym for all three words. Instead of input, try ideas, advice, comments, thoughts, views, opinions or effort. Instead of output, try work, product, byproduct or result. Instead of throughput, try material.

inquire . Overstated and formal. Simplify. Try ask.

inquiry, enquiry . Synonymous, but inquiry is more commonly used in at least the United States--and thus the preferred choice. Also consider using simpler question.

in reference to . Long-winded jargon. Simplify. Try about.

in regard to . Wordy. Try about or for.

in spite of . Consider replacing with simpler despite.

institute (v.). Overstated. Use form of begin, start or setup.

insure. See assure; ensure, insure.

interface . Jargon. Acceptable as a computer term only when a more specific word is not available. Do not use as a verb. Try using a form of interact, meet, collaborate or work together.

inter-, intra-. The rules in prefixes apply, but usually, no hyphen. Some examples: interagency, interracial, intercommunity, inter-American, intramural.

in terms of . Wordy. Consider using simpler in, with or for, or omit by rewriting sentence: The job was attractive in terms of salary. The salary made the job attractive.

international . Abbreviate as intl., but avoid using except in charts and maps with limited space. Ending period preferred. Capitalize if it's an abbreviation of a proper noun. See abbreviations and acronyms; foreign, international.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers . Use the full name on first reference. IBEW is acceptable on second reference. See local of a union.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America . Teamsters union is acceptable in all references. Capitalize Teamsters and the Teamsters. See local of a union.

International District Station . Capitalize the name of the station for the downtown Seattle transit tunnel.

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers . The shortened form Professional and Technical Engineers union is acceptable in all references. See local of a union.

Changing Internet terms Internet . Capitalize. In later references, the Net is acceptable. Internet and computer terminology is in a state of flux. Some styles below may change, so check back occasionally for updates. Also see Web standards.

Check back occasionally for the latest changes in Internet and computer terminology.

See entries below for other Internet, computer and telecommunications terms:

  • CD-ROM .
  • cell phone, cellular phone, cellular telephone .
  • database. One word.
  • disc, disk .
  • diskette .
  • DOS. Acronym for disk operating system. Spell out (all caps, no periods).
  • download. One word.
  • DVD. Acronym for digital video disk or digital versatile disk. Acronym is acceptable on first use.
  • email .
  • FAQ . Acronym for frequently asked questions.
  • file name acronyms . Including DOC, GIF, HTM, JPG and PDF.
  • GIF . Acronym for graphics interchange format.
  • home page .
  • HTML . Acronym for hypertext markup language.
  • HTTP. Acronym for hypertext transfer protocol. Lowercase in Web addresses.
  • inbox, outbox. Each one word, no hyphen.
  • intranet .
  • IT. Abbreviation for information technology. Spell it out.
  • JPEG, JPG . Abbreviations for joint photographic experts group.
  • KB . Abbreviation for kilobyte.
  • LAN. Acronym for local area network. Spell out (lowercased) on first use.
  • login/log in, logon/log on, log off, log out .
  • MB . Abbreviation for megabyte.
  • offline, online. One word in all uses.
  • PDF .
  • portable document format. See PDF.
  • screen saver. Two words.
  • software .
  • URL. Abbreviation for uniform resource locator. See World Wide Web.
  • voice mail .
  • WAN. Acronym for wide area network. Spell out (lowercased) on first use. Avoid using WAN except in technical contexts.
  • Wi-Fi .
  • Web, web- See World Wide Web.
  • World Wide Web .
  • workstation .

interpretation. The oral conversion of a spoken message from one language to another. See limited English proficiencytranslation, Translation resources.

interstate. See highway designations.

in the amount of . Wordy. Consider omitting, or try replacing with for. Change: She received a check in the amount of $300. To: She received a check for $300. If necessary, use amount of to refer to a general quantity: They had a large amount of work to do. See number.

in the context of   Cliché. Try omitting, or use in.

in the course of . Cliché. Simplify. Try during, while, in or at. Incorrect: Both opinions were given in the course of a news conference.

in the event that . Wordy. Simplify. Replace with if.

in the vicinity of . Wordy. Simplify. Replace with in, near, close to or about.

intl . Abbreviation for international, but avoid using except in charts and maps with limited space. Ending period preferred. Capitalize if it's an abbreviation of a proper noun. See abbreviations and acronyms.

into. See in, into, in to.

intranet Usually lowercased. While there is one Internet, there are many intranets maintained within companies, organizations, government agencies and other computer networks. When naming the unique internal computer network of an organization, intranet may be capitalized: The King County Intranet is well-used by employees. Though not always possible, avoid using the Web or, especially, World Wide Web when referring to an intranet. An intranet page or intranet site can look like an Internet page or site, but it's not actually on the World Wide Web. See e-mail, Internet, offline, online, World Wide Web.

in view of the fact that . Wordy. Simplify. Replace with although.

irregardless . A redundant, nonstandard combination of irrespective and regardless. Regardless is correct.

irrelevant . Commonly misspelled.

island . Capitalize island or islands as part of a proper name: Vashon Island, Vancouver Island, the San Juan Islands, the Hawaiian Islands. Lowercase when they stand alone or refer to the islands in a given area: the island, the Puget Sound islands. For limited space in maps, charts and tables, Island may be abbreviated: Vashon Isl.

it . When referring to a company, a business, a university, a department within a company or other organizations, use it (not they) and singular verbs: The Information Production Group won the Distinguished Achievement Award for its creative rider information materials. It also earned a Certificate of Merit in the Standards Manual category. See this, that, these, those, it.

it. See this, that, these, those, it.

IT . Abbreviation for information technology. Spell it out.

it appears, it would appear that . Wordy. Consider replacing with strong, more direct wording. Try apparently.

it is probable . Wordy. Simplify. Replace with probably.

it's, its. Often confused or misspelled. It's is a contraction that means it is or it has; the contraction always takes an apostrophe: It's a beautiful day. It's gotten out of hand. Its is the possessive form of the pronoun it; the possessive its never takes an apostrophe: Mary had a little lamb; its fleece was white as snow.

-ize . Never create verbs like computerize by tacking ize onto the end of a noun. A useful word may exist: complete, conclude and finish for finalize, moisten for moisturize, rank or set priorities for prioritize. Use a dictionary or thesaurus to find better synonyms.

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