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race. Identify a person's race (or nationality) only when it is pertinent. When an ethnic reference is needed to identify U.S. citizens, don't hyphenate terms when used as nouns: an African American, a Chinese American, Italian Americans. But hyphenate the terms when used as adjectives: a Mexican-American agency. See African American; American Indian, Eskimo; Asian, Pacific Islander; black; Hispanic, Latino; white.

Be aware of stereotyping words, images and situations that suggest all or most members of a racial or ethnic group are the same: flashy, aggressive and happy-go-lucky blacks, inscrutable Asian, conservative Briton, cold Dane, hearty German, exuberant Italian, sleepy Mexican, tight Scot, fiery Spaniard.

Avoid using qualifiers that reinforce racial and ethnic stereotypes: Betty Wong is quiet and reserved might suggest that Asians are shy and docile. Avoid using ethnic clichés: fiestas when writing about a Hispanic.

Be aware of possible negative connotations of color-symbolic words: a black reputation, yellow coward.

Be aware of language that might have questionable racial or ethnic connotations: Culturally disadvantaged implies superiority of one culture over another.

Avoid patronizing and tokenism toward racial or ethnic groups. But make sure publications represent all groups fairly--in articles and photographs.

See profanity, other offensive language.

radio station. See station.

railroad. Capitalize when part of a name. Lowercase when using the railroad. See Amtrak.

rainstorm. One word.

ranges. Use the form: $33 million to $40 million. Not: $33 to $40 million, unless you're referring to 33 dollars. See dash.

rank. Consider using this simpler word instead of the pompous prioritize. See prioritize.

rank and file (n.), rank-and-file (adj.).

rarely. It means seldom. Rarely ever is redundant, but rarely if ever is correct.

ratepayer. One word. So is taxpayer.

rather. Vague adverb. Usually adds little. Omit, or be more precise: The flight was rather late. The flight was 10 minutes late. See unique.

ratios. Use numerals and a hyphen: The ratio is 4-to-1. A 4-to-1 ratio.

RCW. See Revised Code of Washington.

re-. See the rules in prefixes. Otherwise, the sense often determines whether to use a hyphen: recover (to regain or get back), re-cover (to cover again); re-collect (rally, recover), recollect (remember).

really. Vague adverb. Use sparingly, or be more precise: The assignment was really difficult. The assignment took two days longer than expected.

Realtor. Use the term real estate agent instead. Use the trademarked word Realtor (uppercase) only if there is a reason to note that the person is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

reason why, reason is because. Redundant. Omit needless words. They canceled the contract because ... Not: The reason they canceled the contract is because ... Also: The reason for the decision is ... Not: The reason why the decision was made is ...

receive. Commonly misspelled. Also, consider replacing with forms of simpler get. See get.

recent, recently. Avoid in news copy. News is recent by definition. Be specific. Change: The Metropolitan King County Council recently decided ... . To: The Metropolitan King County Council decided Monday ... .

record. Avoid the redundant: The accounting team set a new record. Omit new. Records are new by definition.

recommend. Commonly misspelled.

recur, recurred, recurring. Not reoccur.

redundancy. Unnecessary repetition can annoy readers, take up space, annoy readers, waste time, cause confusion, hinder readability and annoy readers. See Redundant phrase replacements and the county's Plain-language writing guide.

re-elect, re-election.

referable.

references. See bibliographies and notes; composition titles; footnotes, endnotes.

refer to as. Delete, or consider using less wordy call, name or term.

regard. As regards, in regard to and with regard to are pompous. Simplify. Try about, as for, for, in, of, on, over, respecting, to, toward or with.

regarding. Consider replacing with simpler about or on.

regions. See directions and regions.

registered trademark (™). See trademark.

regulator. To avoid ambiguity, note what it controls: flow regulator, sewage regulator, fuel regulator.

relate. Overstated and formal. Simplify. Try tell.

relevant. Commonly misspelled. Consider replacing this overused word with more original wording.

religious affiliation. Identify a person's religious affiliation only when it is pertinent. See holidays.

remain. Overstated and formal. Simplify. Try stay.

remainder. Overstated and formal. Simplify. Try rest.

remove. Overstated and formal. Simplify. Try take away or haul off.

renown, renowned. Commonly confused. Renown is a noun and synonym for fame, distinction, prestige and eminence. Renowned is an adjective and synonym for famous, notable, celebrated and distinguished. Reknown and reknowned are misspelled words.

reoccur. Not a word. Replace with recur.

repetitious. Commonly misspelled.

Rep., representative. See correspondence, legislative titles, party affiliation.

reproduce. Consider replacing with simpler copy.

republican, Republican Party. See party affiliation; political parties and philosophies.

request (v.). Overstated and formal. Simplify. Try ask.

request for proposals. Spell out (lowercased) on first reference. RFP acceptable on second reference.

reroute. One word.

reside. Pompous. Use a form of live or stay.

residences. Use simpler homes or houses instead.

resident. See citizen. Also see people, persons

resistant. Commonly misspelled.

resolution. See motion, ordinance.

restroom. One word.

result in. Overstated. Use a form of lead to.

retain. Formal and overstated. Consider replacing with simpler keep, continue, hold or save.

retrofit (n. and v.). One word.

Revised Code of Washington. Spell out and capitalize on first reference. RCW--or state law (lowercase)--is acceptable in later references (and for limited space in signs, maps, charts and tables): The Revised Code of Washington (RCW 42.17.260) requires public agencies to make various records available for public inspection. RCW 42.17.310 also describes some exceptions. The state law also describes some exceptions.

RFP. See request for proposals.

rhythm. Commonly misspelled.

Ride Free Area. Capitalize, no hyphens.

ridematch, ridematching, rideshare, ridesharing. One word, no hyphen. Services of Metro's Rideshare Operations program. The program operates RideshareOnline.com. See carpool; high-occupancy; vanpool, VanPool.

right-of-way. Hyphenate. The plural is rights-of-way.

riprap. One word.

river. Capitalize as part of a proper name: Duwamish River, Sammamish River. Lowercase in other uses: the river, the Snoqualmie and Sammamish rivers.

river bank. Two words.

road. Capitalize when part of a formal name. Lowercase when used alone or with two or more names. Except for limited space in maps, charts and tables, do not abbreviate as Rd: We drove down Holman Road. The crew will pave Altamont and Pine roads. See addresses, correspondence, highway designations.

rock 'n' roll. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are two of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands.

roommate. One word. Two m's.

room and suite numbers. Use numerals and capitalize room when used with a numeral: Room No. 9, Room 123, Suite 16, conference Room 9B. See rooms below, correspondence, No.

rooms. Capitalize the names of specially designated rooms: Rainier Room. But fifth floor conference room. See chambers, room numbers above.

round trip (n.), round-trip (adj.).

round up (v.), roundup (n.).

route number. Except for limited space in signs, maps, charts and tables, do not abbreviate Route or Routes as Rte or Rtes. The preferred usage for bus route designation is to capitalize route and follow with the number: Route 5, Route 251. When referring to two routes, use either Route 1 and Route 2 or routes 1 and 2. When describing more than two routes, use lowercase: routes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 13. Capitalize express when naming an express variation on a regular route, but avoid putting an E after route numbers to show express routes, except when necessary in headlines, headings and charts: Route 21 Express, not Route 21E. Avoid using local to describe regular, non-express service. See highway designations.

R.S.V.P. The abbreviation for the French repondez s'il vous plait, it means please reply. To avoid confusion, miscommunication, disappointment and frustration, use Please reply instead.

runoff. One word, no hyphen.

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

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