Word list

If the term you're looking for isn't on this page, then consult the resources listed in Editorial resources.

Closed compounds and prefixes

In general, use the closed form of compound words and words with prefixes; that is, write them without a space or a hyphen. We've included some common examples of the closed form in the word list, such as dataset, metadata, and predefined, as well as our exceptions for well-established terms that commonly use a hyphen or a space, such as multi-region and style sheet. Additionally, in cases where the noun, verb, and adjective versions of a word are treated differently, we explicitly note the differences.

As always, it's fine to deviate from this guidance if that serves your readers better. For example, if you determine that the hyphenated version of a term in your domain is more appropriate for your readers, it's fine to use that instead. We acknowledge that sometimes there are competing forms of the same word in wide use, especially as new terms emerge, and you might have good reasons for deviating from our guidance. Use the same term consistently throughout your document.

For more information, see Hyphens.

Word list

All word list entries have a link icon next to them. To link directly to an entry, you can right-click and copy the link address, or click and copy the URL from your address bar.

Some word list entries include guidance to avoid or don't use a term. Apply this guidance as follows:

  • Use with caution: A recommendation to avoid using the term when possible, or to use the term with caution. The term might be ambiguous or obscure, so we provide alternative term suggestions or suggest that you use a more specific term. However, you can use the term if needed.
  • Don't use: In all cases, we prefer to not use the term. The term might be particularly ambiguous or it might have an offensive or non-inclusive association. If such a term appears in code, we recommend that you replace or write around the term.
  • Android: Applies only to Android documentation.
  • Google Cloud: Applies only to Google Cloud documentation.
  • Google Workspace: Applies only to Google Workspace documentation.

Numbers and Symbols

+
OK to use + with numbers in text, such as customer records with 300+ demographic attributes, except in formal contexts.
& (ampersand)
Don't use & instead of and in headings, text, navigation, or tables of contents.
It's OK to use & when referencing UI elements that use &, or in table headings and diagram labels where space constraints require abbreviation.
It's OK to use & for technical purposes in code.
2-Step Verification
When referring to Google's 2-Step Verification, use initial caps.
When referring to generic 2-step verification, use lowercase.

A

a and an
Use a when the next word starts with a consonant sound, regardless of what letter it starts with. For more information, see Articles (a, an, the).
A/B testing
Capitalize and use slash notation for A/B.
abnormal
Don't use to refer to a person.
OK to use to refer to a condition of a computer system.
abort
Avoid in general usage. Instead, use words like stop, exit, cancel, or end. In Linux, abort refers to a type of signal that terminates an abnormal process.
about versus on
When a cross-reference includes information that describes what the cross-reference links to, use about instead of on.
Recommended: For more information about indexes, see Managing indexes.
Not recommended: For more information on indexes, see Managing indexes.
above
Don't use for a range of version numbers. Instead, use later.
Don't use to refer to a position in a document. Instead, use earlier or preceding.
Don't use to refer to a position in the UI. Instead, write instructions that avoid directional language. For more information, see Writing accessible documentation.
It's OK to use above in a non-directional way, such as when describing a hierarchy.
access (verb)
Avoid when you can. Instead, use friendlier words like see, edit, find, use, or view.
access token
Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
account name
Don't use. Instead, use username.
actionable
Avoid unless it's the clearest and simplest phrasing for your audience. Instead, leave it out or replace it with a phrase like that you can act on or useful.
Don't use actionable in the legal sense without consulting a lawyer.
action bar
In Android documentation, don't use. Instead, use app bar.
ad tech
Write out on first mention: advertising technology (ad tech).
Don't use adtech or ad-tech.
address bar
Use to refer to the URL bar or the combined URL bar and search box in a browser.
Don't use omnibox.
ad hoc
OK to use in database and analytics contexts to mean "free-form" or "user-written" (for example, ad hoc queries or an ad hoc chart). For other contexts, try to find a more specific English equivalent.
Don't hyphenate or italicize the term.
admin
Write out administrator unless it's the name of a UI label or other element.
It's OK to use admin in Android documentation.
administrator
In Android documentation, don't use. Instead, use admin.
advertised route priority
OK to also use base advertised route priority when discussing region-to-region costs.
Don't shorten or use variations of these terms.
agnostic
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise term like platform-independent.
aka
Don't use. Instead, write out also known as, or present an alternative term using parentheses or the word or. You can also write out a definition.
Recommended: Geographic data, also known as geospatial data, is ...
Recommended: Geographic data (geospatial data) is ...
Recommended: Geographic data, or geospatial data, is ...
all apps screen
In Android documentation: Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
allowlist (verb), allowlisted, allowlisting
Don't use as a verb. Instead, rewrite to improve clarity.
OK to use allowlist as a noun.
For more information, see blacklist.
allows you to
Don't use. Instead, use lets you. For more information, see enable.
alpha
Lowercase except when part of a product name.
Recommended: PRODUCT_NAME Alpha
Recommended: PRODUCT_NAME is in alpha.
America, American
Use only to refer to the Americas or the American continent.
Don't use to refer to the United States. Instead, use a more precise term like the US or the United States, and people in the US. For more information, see US.
among
See between versus among.
AM, PM
To be consistent with Material Design, use all caps, no periods, and a space before.
Recommended: 9:00 AM
Recommended: 10:30 PM
and/or
Don't use unless space is limited, such as in a table. For more information, see Slashes.
Android
When referring to the operating system, capitalize Android.
Android-powered device
Not Android device.
and so on
Avoid using and so on whenever possible. For more information, see etc.
anti*
See Closed compounds and prefixes.
anti-pattern
Avoid using anti-pattern, particularly as a standalone heading. Instead, consider using a more specific and broadly understood term.
Recommended: Avoid these five SQL errors.
Recommended: Avoid these five programming practices that make SQL queries inefficient.
Not recommended: Avoid these five SQL anti-patterns.
API
Use API to refer to either a web API or a language-specific API.
Don't use API when referring to a method or a class. For example, don't write This resource has one API to mean "This resource has one method."
API Console, APIs console, developer console, dev console, or Google API Console
Don't use. Instead, refer to the Google APIs Explorer or to the Google Cloud console. For more information, see console.
API Console key
In most contexts, use API key instead of API Console key.
In Apps admin APIs, it's OK to use API Console key to distinguish from other API keys.
API key
Not developer key or dev key.
APIs Explorer
Not API explorer or other variants.
app
In general, use app instead of application when referring to programs for end users, especially in the context of mobile or web software.
In some contexts, such as enterprise software, it's OK to use application to convey a sense of greater complexity.
Use application in standard phrases such as application programming interface.
app bar
In Android contexts, formerly action bar.
appendix
Use the plural appendixes, not appendices.
application
See app.
as
If you mean because, then use because instead of as. As is ambiguous; it can refer to the passage of time. Because refers to causation or the reason for something.
as of this writing
Avoid because this phrase is implied. The phrase can also prematurely disclose product or feature strategy or inappropriately imply that a product or feature might change.
See also currently and presently.
Recommended: BigQuery doesn't support that function.
Not recommended: As of this writing, BigQuery doesn't support that function.
For more information, see Timeless documentation.
authentication and authorization

In general, use the word authenticated only to refer to users, and use authorized only to refer to requests that are sent by a client app on behalf of an authenticated user.

A user authenticates their identity by entering their password (or giving some other proof of identity). The authenticated user then authorizes the client app to send an authorized request to the server on the user's behalf.

When you want to use a preposition with authenticate, use against.
authN, authZ
Don't use. Instead, use authentication or authorization.
auto*
See Closed compounds and prefixes.
autohealing
Not auto-healing.
auto mode VPC network
Not auto mode network.
autopopulate
Not auto populate or auto-populate.
autoscaling
Not auto-scaling.
autotagging
Not auto-tagging.
autoupdate
Don't use. Instead, use automatically update.
-aware
Avoid using as a compound modifier, as in healthcare-aware.
OK to use when it's part of a product name, such as Identity-Aware Proxy.

B

backend
Not back-end or back end.
bar
Avoid when possible. For more information, see foo.
bare metal
Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier, such as bare-metal server.
base64
Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item. Otherwise, capitalize Base64 only if it's part of a formal name.
Write base64 in code font only if it's a string literal or otherwise quoted from code.
baz
Avoid when possible. For more information, see foo.
below
Don't use for a range of version numbers. Instead, use earlier.
Don't use to refer to a position in a document. Instead, use later or following.
Don't use to refer to a position in the UI. Instead, write instructions that avoid directional language. For more information, see Writing accessible documentation.
It's OK to use below in set phrases such as below (the) average, below the mean, below zero.
It's OK to use below in a non-directional way, such as when describing a hierarchy.
best effort
Avoid where possible. Instead, use more specific wording. After providing a description, you can add a phrase like "sometimes referred to as best effort."
beta
Lowercase except when part of a product name.
Recommended: PRODUCT_NAME Beta
Recommended: PRODUCT_NAME is currently in beta.
between versus among
It's fine to use between when talking about more than two things; however, between isn't interchangeable with among.
Use between when you're talking about two or more distinct things:
Recommended: JavaScript introduces dependencies between the DOM, the CSSOM, and JavaScript execution.
Use among when you're talking about things that are part of a group or things that aren't distinct:
Recommended: ... a conventional SQL database that can be shared among multiple apps.
More examples:
Recommended: Because screen dimensions vary widely among devices (for example, between phones and tablets, and even among different phones), you should configure the viewport so that your pages render correctly on many different devices.
Not recommended: Because screen dimensions vary widely between devices (for example, between phones and tablets, and even between different phones), you should configure the viewport so that your pages render correctly on many different devices.
Recommended: You can share services among multiple clients.
Not recommended: You can share services between multiple clients.
See also Grammar Girl's discussion of between and among.
big-endian
Hyphenate. Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
Recommended: The codebase assumes big-endian byte ordering.
Not recommended: The codebase assumes Big Endian byte ordering.
Not recommended: The codebase assumes Big-endian byte ordering.
Not recommended: The codebase assumes big endian byte ordering.
billing charges
Don't use billing charges to mean charges that appear on a bill. Instead, use billed charges.
Use billing charges to describe the cost of creating the bill.
black-box
Avoid using black-box, blackbox, or black box to describe monitoring and testing. Consider using a more precise term for clarity.
  • For monitoring, use synthetic monitoring.
  • For testing, use opaque-box testing.
Black Friday
Avoid unless explicitly referring to an event in the US. Instead use peak scale event.
blackhat, black hat, black-hat
Don't use. Instead, use precise terms for the kind of violation or practice, such as illegal, unethical, or in violation of rules.
blackhole (verb), blackholed (adjective)
Don't use. Instead, use a more descriptive term or phrase, such as dropped without notification.
blacklist, black list, black-list
Don't use blacklist, whitelist, and graylist. Instead, use more precise terms that are appropriate for your domain.
  • For the noun blacklist, consider using a replacement such as denylist, excludelist, or blocklist.
  • For the noun whitelist, consider using a replacement such as allowlist, trustlist, or safelist.
  • For the noun graylist (greylist), consider using a replacement such as provisional list.
In all of these cases, consider that there might not actually be a list involved. When replacing problematic terms, be sure to be technically accurate for the specific context.
For the verb forms of these words, a simple word-for-word replacement typically isn't the best solution. Instead, replace verbs such as blacklisted with phrases that accurately convey the relevant action. For example:
Recommended: To deny requests from an IP address, add it to the dos.yaml file.
Not recommended: To denylist an IP address, add it to the dos.yaml file.
Don't use: To blacklist an IP address, add it to the dos.yaml file.
If the command or code that you're documenting uses one of these words, then use the words only in direct reference to the code items (formatted as code), and make it clear what you're referring to.
Recommended: Add a user to the allowlist (whitelist) by entering the following: whitelist adduser EMAIL_ADDRESS.
Not recommended: Add a user to the whitelist by entering the following: whitelist adduser EMAIL_ADDRESS.
For more information, see the inclusive documentation page.
blacklisted, black listed, black-listed
Don't use. See blacklist.
blacklisting, black listing, black-listing
Don't use. See blacklist.
blast radius
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise term like affected area or spatial impact.
blind
Avoid using blind to or blind eye to. Instead, use more precise terms like ignore, unaware of, disregard, avoid, or reject.
Avoid using blind writes. Instead, use a more precise phrase, such as a write operation without a read operation.
Avoid using blind change or change blindly. Instead, use a more precise phrase such as change without first confirming the value.
When referring to people, use terms like person who is blind, screen reader user (if applicable), person who is visually impaired, person who is low-vision, magnification user (if applicable).
blue-green
Not blue/green or blue green.
boolean
In most contexts, boolean refers to a specific data type in a specific programming language. In such cases, use code font and the exact spelling and capitalization of the programming keyword.
When referring to the abstract data type, use lowercase.
If you refer to Boolean mathematics or Boolean logic, use uppercase.
branding information
In the Google Cloud console, the phrase branding information refers to the information that Google shows to users when the client asks them to authorize access: specifically, the project's name and logo, and the developer's Google Account. This information is set in the Consent screen page.
break-glass
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise term depending on context:
  • To describe a general emergency or procedure that grants emergency access, use emergency access.
  • To describe a fallback procedure, use manual fallback or preplanned procedure.
brown bag, brown-bag
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise term like learning session, lunch and learn, lunchtime learning session, casual training, or informal training.
build cop, build sheriff
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise term like build monitor.
button
In a UI, a link isn't the same as a button; don't use the term button to refer to a link.
Use button to refer to mechanical buttons (like the volume control buttons on the side of a phone) and capacitive touch buttons on a phone (like the Home button). You press mechanical buttons, and tap capacitive and on-screen buttons.

C

can

Use can in the following ways:

  • To convey permission (for example, "You can access the server").
  • To refer to an optional action (for example, "You can also view logs with the Log Viewer").
  • To describe a possible outcome (for example, "The process can take 30 minutes").
See also could, may, might, must, should, and would.
For information about clarifying who's performing an action, see Active voice.
canary
Don't use canary as a verb, and don't use canarying.
When possible, avoid jargon like canary and canary testing. If you use one of these phrases, define it on first use or provide a link to the definition, and use it consistently throughout the document.
cell phone, cellphone
Don't use. Instead, use mobile phone, or if you're talking about more than phones, then use mobile device.
It's OK to use phone (without mobile) when the context is clear.
cellular data
Don't use. Instead, use mobile data.
cellular network
Don't use. Instead, use mobile network.
chapter
When referring to documentation that isn't in the form of a book, don't use the term chapter. Instead, refer to documents, pages, or sections.
check
Don't use to refer to marking a checkbox. Instead, use select.
Recommended: Select Automatically check for updates.
Not recommended: Check Automatically check for updates.
checkbox
Not check box.
chubby
Don't use. Instead, use a word that clearly explains what you mean, such as unused or overextended.
clear
Use (as a verb) to refer to clearing a check mark from a checkbox.
Recommended: Clear Automatically check for updates.
Not recommended: Uncheck Automatically check for updates.
Not recommended: Deselect Automatically check for updates.
CLI
Don't use CLI generically to refer to a command-line interface. Instead, refer to the specific command-line interface, such as the gcloud CLI.
click
When the environment is a desktop with a mouse, use click for most targets, such as buttons, links, list items, and radio buttons. Don't use click on.
Recommended: Click OK.
Not recommended: Click on OK.
Hyphenate right-click, left-click, and double-click.
When a click or tap action reveals a collapsed list, you can write click to expand or simply expand.
It's OK to write click in when referring to a region that needs focus (for example: click in the window), but not when referring to a control or a link.
For Android apps, don't use click. Instead, use tap.
click here
Don't use. For information and alternatives, see Link text.
clickthrough (noun), click through (verb)
client
In REST and RPC API documentation, client is short for client app—that is, the app that the developer is writing.
Don't use client as an abbreviation for client library; instead, use library.
client ID
Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
client secret
Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
Cloud
Don't use as short for Google Cloud.
For generic references such as the cloud or hybrid cloud, use lowercase.
Cloud console
Don't use. Instead, refer to the full name Google Cloud console.
If you aren't discussing any other console (such as the Google Admin console), you can abbreviate to the console after first mention.
Use the before the tool name. For more information, see console.
Cloud SDK
Not Google Cloud SDK.
co*
See Closed compounds and prefixes.
codebase
Not code base.
codelab
Not code lab or code-lab. For more information, see documentation.
cold
When possible, avoid jargon like cold failover, cold standby, and cold spare. If you use one of these phrases, define it on first use and use it consistently throughout the document.
colocate
Not co-locate or colo.
compliant, compliance
Use with caution. A claim that a product or its output is compliant with a standard is a strong statement.
comprise
Don't use. Instead, use consist of, contain, or include.
config
Avoid when possible. Instead, spell out the full word when it's used in a non-code sense: configuration or configuring. Use the verbatim code item name when referring to, for example, a data structure or a file with that name.
cons
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise term, such as disadvantages.
console
Don't use in isolation. Instead, use the name of the specific console, such as the Google Cloud console or the Google Admin console.
Use the before the name of a console.
After giving the full name of a console, you can use a shortened version of the name, such as the Admin console.
If you're only discussing the Google Cloud console, after giving the full name you can refer to the console.
To refer to a sub-page of a console, use the term page.
If a specific term for a browser-based interface is unavailable, use web interface.
content type
Don't use when referring to types such as application/json; instead, use media type.
Control+S, Command+S, and other keyboard commands
To refer to a Control character, use Control+CHARACTER.
Don't use Ctl-S, Cmd-S, or Cloverleaf-S.
In most cases, use an uppercase letter for CHARACTER.
In macOS, many keyboard commands use the Command key instead of the Control key, and there's an Option key instead of an Alt key. If your audience includes macOS users and Windows or Linux users, then mention both keyboard commands.
Recommended: Control+S (Command+S on macOS)
Copy and paste
Avoid using. Instead, explain what to enter into a field and not how.
Recommended: In the Query field, enter the output from the previous step.
Not recommended: Copy the output from the previous step and paste into the Query field.
could
Avoid using. Instead, use can where possible.
See also can, may, might, must, should and would.
For information about clarifying who's performing an action, see Active voice.
For information about tenses, see Present tense.
CPU
All caps. No need to expand the abbreviation on first mention.
crazy, bonkers, mad, lunatic, insane, loony
Don't use. Instead, use complicated, complex, baffling, strange, or unexpected, and only for inanimate objects.
Create a new ...
Avoid using unless you need to distinguish the item from another recently created item. Instead, use Create a ...
Recommended: Create a project.
Not recommended: Create a new project.
cripple
Don't use. Instead, use more precise language. For example, instead of it crippled the server, write it slowed the server down.
When referring to people, use terms that specifically describe a physical impairment, such as person with a motor disability; person with a mobility impairment (refers to walking or moving about); person with dexterity impairment (refers to using a standard mouse or keyboard); person who uses a wheelchair, walker, or cane; wheelchair user; person with restricted or limited mobility.
cross-site request forgery
Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
curated roles
Don't use. Instead, use predefined roles.
currently
Avoid because this word is implied. The word can also prematurely disclose product or feature strategy or inappropriately imply that a product or feature might change.
See also as of this writing and presently.
Recommended: Windows isn't supported.
Not recommended: Windows isn't currently supported.
For more information, see Timeless documentation.
custom mode VPC network
Not custom mode network.
curl
Not cURL.
For information about when to use code format, see Items that are sometimes in code font.
Cyber Monday
Avoid unless explicitly referring to an event in the US. Instead use peak scale event.

D

dash
A dash () isn't the same character as a hyphen (-). The characters are used for different purposes. Therefore, don't use the word dash to refer to a hyphen.
dashboard
Don't use to refer to the Google Cloud console. For more information, see console.
Use dashboard not Dashboard unless it's officially part of a product name.
data
Use data as singular, not plural; the data is, not the data are.
Use data as a mass noun, not a count noun; less data, not fewer data.
data center
Not datacenter.
data center campus
Use when referring to an entire physical location, which can encompass one or more data centers.
data cleaning
Not data cleansing.
data flow (noun); dataflow (noun)
If it's possible to replace with the phrase flow of data, then use two words: data flow.
If that replacement doesn't work, such as when referring to something like stream processing or reactive programming, then use one word: dataflow.
data source
Not datasource.
datastore
Not data store.
data type
Not datatype.
dead-letter queue, dead letter
Define on first use, for example dead-letter queue (unprocessed messages queue).
deep linking
Not deep-linking. However, if you can replace with linking, then do so.
deficient
Don't use to refer to a person.
OK to use to refer to a condition of a computer system.
deformed
Don't use to refer to a person.
OK to use to refer to a condition of a computer system or inanimate object.
demilitarized zone (DMZ)
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise term like perimeter network.
denigrate
Don't use. Instead, use disparage.
denylist (verb), denylisted, denylisting
Don't use as a verb. Instead, rewrite to improve clarity.
OK to use denylist as a noun.
For more information, see blacklist.
deprecate
To deprecate an item is to recommend against the item's use, typically as a warning that the item will soon be unavailable or unsupported. Don't use deprecated to mean removed, deleted, shut down, or turned down.
deselect
Don't use to refer to clearing a check mark from a checkbox. Instead, use clear.
Recommended: Clear Automatically check for updates.
Not recommended: Deselect Automatically check for updates.
Not recommended: Uncheck Automatically check for updates.
desire, desired
Don't use. Instead, use a word like want or need.
Recommended: Set the value to the size that you want.
Not recommended: Set the value to the size that you desire.
Not recommended: Set the value to the desired size.
Developers Console
Don't use. For more information, see console.
DevOps
Short for development operations. No need to spell out on first mention unless the audience requires it. For more information, see DevOps.
dialog
Use dialog for the UI element sometimes called a dialog box.
Use dialogue only for verbal interaction between people.
directory, folder
If the context that you're documenting (such as an IDE's GUI) uses one term or the other, use that term. If not, then use directory in a command-line context, and folder in a GUI context. When in doubt, default to directory.
disable
Don't use disable or disabled to describe something that's broken.
When describing a user action or the state of a UI element, use a more precise term where possible. You can use inactive, unavailable, deactivate, turn off, or deselect, depending on the context. Use the same term consistently throughout your document. See also enable.
disclosure triangle, disclosure widget
Don't use. Instead, use expander arrow.
display (verb)
Don't use as an intransitive verb. Display is a transitive verb; therefore, it requires an object. It is often misused in technical documentation, as demonstrated by the following example:
Recommended: The Output Directories area appears.
Recommended: The Output Directories area is displayed.
Not recommended: The Output Directories area displays.
The following example demonstrates correct usage of the verb display but means something quite different from the preceding examples.
Recommended: The Output Directories area displays the vector image.
distributed denial-of-service (DDoS)
Hyphenate as shown. On subsequent mention, use DDoS.
DNS server policy
Lowercase server policy.
DNSKEY
One word, all capital letters.
documentation or document or documents
Within a document, use in this document, and not in this article, in this topic, or in this doc. It's OK to use in this tutorial, in this quickstart, or in this codelab. Always spell out documentation except in cases where space is limited, such as in tabs and URLs.
Recommended: You can find many examples in this document.
Not recommended: You can find many examples in this article.
Recommended: This document provides guidance about creating tables.
Not recommended: This topic provides guidance about creating tables.
documentation set
Not doc set or docset.
does not yet
Avoid in timeless documentation because this phrase can become outdated. The phrase can also prematurely disclose product or feature strategy or inappropriately imply that a product or feature might change.
Recommended: The Google Cloud console doesn't support this IAM role.
Not recommended: The Google Cloud console does not yet support this IAM role.
For more information, see Timeless documentation.
dojo
Don't use. Instead, use a precise term that is accurate for the context, such as training or workshop.
domain name registrar
Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC)
Write out and capitalize each word on first use. OK to abbreviate as DNSSEC after first use.
double-tap
Hyphenate. Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
downscope
Consider using a more descriptive term like constrain scope or reduce scope. Because downscope might not be broadly understood, if you use the term, make sure to define it on first use.
Don't use down scope or down-scope
Recommended: Reducing the scope of a token helps you follow the principle of least privilege.
Recommended (first use): The IAM recommender helps you downscope (reduce) the permissions that are available to your users.
drag
Use drag, not click and drag and not drag and drop.
OK to use drag-and-drop as an adjective.
Recommended: Drag the USER to the Authorized box.
In most cases, you can omit drop-down from phrases like drop-down list or drop-down menu, and just use list or menu. Include drop-down as a modifier only if the omission would cause ambiguity. Don't use drop-down as a standalone noun.
dumb down
Don't use. Instead, use a word or phrase what's happening, such as simplify or remove technical jargon.
dummy variable
Don't use to refer to placeholders. Instead, use placeholder.
Also don't use if referring to the concept in statistics known as a dummy variable. Instead, use alternate terms such as indicator variable, design variable, one-hot encoding, Boolean indicator, binary variable, or qualitative variable.

E

each
Each refers to every individual item taken individually, not to a group of items taken collectively. In other words, each isn't a synonym for all. For example, a list of each item is ambiguous; a list of all the items or a list of the items is generally clearer.
earlier
Use for a range of version numbers, not lower.
Recommended: Use version 2.2 or earlier.
Not recommended: Use version 2.2 or lower.
In Android documentation, don't use earlier for a range of version numbers. Instead, use lower.
When referring to a position in a document, use earlier or preceding, not higher.
easy, easily
What might be easy for you might not be easy for others. Try eliminating this word from the sentence because usually the same meaning can be conveyed without it.
ecommerce
Not e-commerce.
edge availability domain
Don't use edge availability zone, metro availability domain, or metro availability zone. Don't shorten to EAD.
e.g.
Don't use. Instead, use phrases like for example or such as. Many people confuse e.g. and i.e.
egress
When referring to the networking term, use lowercase.
either
When using either, use parallel syntax.
Recommended: Do either option 1 or option 2.
Recommended: Either do option 1 or do option 2.
Not recommended: Either do option 1 or option 2.
In general, use either only for a choice between two things, not for a choice among multiple things. Writing either A or B or C will distract some readers, but if it's the best phrasing for your situation, then use it.
element
In HTML and XML, a tag is a component of an element that indicates the start or end of the element. (For example, the <i> start tag indicates the beginning of the <i>example</i> element.) In general, don't use the term tag to refer to an entire element.
email
Not e-mail, Email, or E-mail.
Don't use as a verb.
Use a specific verb in front of the word. For example, send email. This construction is better for translation and a global audience.
emoji
Use emoji for both singular and plural forms. See Don't know the difference between emoji and emoticons? Let me explain and What's the Plural of Emoji?
enable
In procedures, use the appropriate label and action for the UI element that the user interacts with. When describing a user action or the state of a UI element, use a more precise term where possible. It's OK to use enable when not referring to a person.
For turning on or activating an option or feature, use enable or turn on consistently:
  • Use the same term in introductory text as described in the procedure.
  • Use the same term throughout the document unless there's a difference in the UI elements for different procedures.
Recommended: To enable the API, click the toggle.
Recommended: Enable the API for your project.
For making it feasible to do something, use lets you.
Recommended: The API lets you detect features in images.
Not recommended: The API enables you to detect features in images.
Not recommended: The API allows you to detect features in images.
In Google Workspace documentation, if possible, use turn on or on instead. If referring to the state of a UI element, use available.
endpoint
Not end point.
enter
Use enter to refer to the user entering text. If it's important to not press Enter, explicitly say so. See also type.
Recommended: In the Owner box, enter your name.
Recommended: In the Size box, type a font size.
ephemeral external IP address
Don't use ephemeral IP address or external IP address to refer to ephemeral external IP addresses.
error-prone (adjective)
Hyphenate. Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
etc.
Avoid using etc., and so forth, and and so on wherever possible. If you really need to use one, use etc. Always include the period, even if a comma follows immediately after.
Recommended: Your app might experience problems such as instability or high latency.
Recommended: Your app might experience problems, including instability or high latency.
Not recommended: Your app might experience instability, high latency, and so on.
Not recommended: Your app might experience instability, high latency, etc.
Not recommended: If your app experiences instability, high latency, etc., follow these steps:
eventually
Avoid in timeless documentation because this word can become outdated. The word can also prematurely disclose product or feature strategy or inappropriately imply that a product or feature might change.
See also future and soon.
Recommended: This version of the SDK is deprecated.
Not recommended: This version of the SDK is deprecated and eventually will be no longer supported.
For more information, see Timeless documentation.
execute
Verb commonly used to refer to function calls, SQL queries, and other processes. When the meaning is the same, use the simpler word run instead. If you need to use a more precise term for your context, use that term.
expander arrow
The UI element used to expand or collapse a section of navigation or content. If you describe this element, use the terms expander arrow and expandable section
Don't use terms like expando or zippy.
exploit
Don't use exploit to mean "use."
Only use exploit in the negative sense, such as to describe exploiting a security vulnerability.
external IP address
Not public IP address.
external VPN gateway
Write external and gateway all lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading or list item.
extract
Use instead of unarchive or uncompress.

F

fail over (verb), failover (noun, adjective)
fat
Don't use. Instead, use a precise modifier that conveys the appropriate meaning. For example, use high-capacity network connection instead of fat connection or full-featured client instead of fat client.
Instead of using fat in a negative sense, such as trim the fat, refer in a more concrete manner to the removal of unused items.
OK to use as an acronym when referring to file allocation table (FAT).
female adapter
Don't use. Instead, use a genderless word like socket.
filename
Not file name
file system
Not filesystem.
fill in; fill out
Use fill in when referring to entering information in individual fields.
Use fill out when referring to completing an entire form.
Recommended: Fill out the questionnaire. Be sure to fill in the required fields.
final solution
Don't use. Instead, use solution as a standalone term or, depending on the context, definitive, optimal, best, or last solution.
fintech
Write out on first mention: financial technology (fintech). Don't use FinTech or fin-tech.
firewalls
Don't use in Compute Engine or networking documentation. Instead, use firewall rules.
Exception: If you're explaining how firewall rules work, you can explain that every network has an implied virtual distributed firewall.
Outside of Compute Engine or networking documentation, the term firewalls is acceptable.
first-class, first-class citizen, first class
Don't use socially-charged terms for technical concepts where possible. Instead, consider terms such as core feature, built-in, top-level.
following
It's not necessary to use a noun after following unless it helps provide clarity and enables accessibility. See Tables.
Recommended: ... in the following code sample ...
Recommended: ... in the following table ...
Recommended: ... do the following: ...
foo
Avoid when possible even though it's a common term in the developer community. Instead, use a clearer and more meaningful placeholder name.
for instance
Avoid when possible. Instead, use for example or such as.
frontend
Not front-end or front end.
functionality
Use with caution. With respect to hardware or software, functionality refers to a set of associated functions or capabilities and how they work. However, the word is sometimes overused, especially when the intended meaning is capabilities or features.
future, in the future
Avoid in timeless documentation because this word or phrase can become outdated.
See also eventually and soon. For more information, see Timeless documentation.

G

GBps
Short for gigabytes per second. By convention, we don't use GB/s. For more information, see Units of measurement.
Gbps
Short for gigabits per second. By convention, we don't use Gb/s. For more information, see Units of measurement.
gcloud CLI
After first use of Google Cloud CLI on a page, it's OK to refer to the gcloud CLI, but not simply gcloud. The name is always lowercase, and gcloud is always set in code font.
gender-neutral he, him, or his (or she or her)
Don't use. Instead, use the singular they (see Jane Austen and other famous authors violate what everyone learned in their English class). Don't use he/she or (s)he or other such punctuational approaches. For more information, see Pronouns.
generative AI
Spell out generative. Use sentence case.
Don't use gen AI or Gen AI.
Don't hyphenate generative AI as an adjective unless you must do so for clarity.
ghetto
Don't use. Instead use more precise terms like clumsy, workaround, or inelegant to refer to code that isn't in a production-ready state.
gimp, gimpy
Don't use. Instead, use precise, non-figurative language to refer to a deficiency in a component.
OK to use in reference to companies, tools, software packages, and other entities that use the term in their names.
GKE node
Use when first introducing GKE nodes on a given page. For subsequent mentions, you can use node. A GKE node is a worker machine that runs containerized applications and other workloads. The machine is a Compute Engine VM that GKE creates during cluster creation. See also virtual machine (VM) instance.
Google, Googling
Don't use as a verb or gerund. Instead, use search with Google.
Google Account, Google Accounts
Capitalize Account.
Google API Client Library for LANGUAGE (Java, .NET, etc.)
On second and subsequent use, you can abbreviate to LANGUAGE client library.
Google API Console, Google APIs Console
Don't use. For more information, see console.
Google Cloud
Not GCP, Cloud Platform, or Cloud.
Google Cloud console
If you're only discussing the Google Cloud console, it's OK to shorten to the console after first use on a given page.
Use the before the console name. For more information, see console.
Google Cloud project ID
Not Cloud project ID or GCP project ID. You can also shorten to project ID, but be aware that that term is ambiguous in some contexts.
Google Developers Console
Don't use. For more information, see console.
Google I/O
Not I-O or IO.
Google Play services
Write services in lowercase.
Google Play services SDK
Write services in lowercase.
grandfather clause, grand-father clause, grand father clause
Don't use. See grandfathered.
grandfathered
Don't use to refer to something that is allowed to violate a rule because it predates the rule. Instead, use an adjective like legacy or exempt or a verb like made an exception.
Recommended: The app is exempt because it was released before the new requirements were announced.
Not recommended: The app is grandfathered in because it was released before the new requirements were announced.
gray-box, grey-box
Avoid using gray-box, graybox, or gray box to describe testing.
To refer to testing that's a combination of clear and opaque testing methods, describe exactly what it's doing.
If you need to refer to this type of testing after you describe it, consider using a more precise term for clarity, such as translucent-box testing.
grayed-out, greyed-out, gray out, grey out
Don't use. Instead, use unavailable.
grayhat, greyhat, gray hat, grey hat
Don't use. Follow the guidance for black hat when referring to someone violating rules or laws.
graylist, greylist, gray list, grey list, gray-list, grey-list
Don't use. See blacklist.
graylisted, greylisted, gray listed, grey listed, gray-listed, grey-listed
Don't use. See blacklist.
graylisting, greylisting, gray listing, grey listing, gray-listing, grey-listing
Don't use. See blacklist.
gsutil
In the Google Cloud context, use code font for both the name of the command-line utility and the command.
guru
If possible, use a more precise term. For example, if you mean expert or teacher, use those terms.
guys, you guys
When referring to a group of people use non-gendered language, such as everyone or folks.
gypsy
Don't use. To refer to the people, use Romani, Roma, or Traveller, as appropriate for the specific group you're referring to. In place of metaphorical uses of the term, use more precise phrases.

H

hamburger, hamburger menu
Don't use. Instead use the aria-label for that particular icon. For example, Menu. For more information, see Buttons and icons.
hands off, hands-off
Use a less figurative phrase, such as automated. If you're referring to a group that doesn't do anything during a process, write a description.
hands on, hands-on
Use a less figurative phrase, such as customizable, or write a description of the activity.
hang, hung
Don't use to refer to a computer or system that is not responding. Instead, use stop responding or not responding. For more information, see Avoid unnecessarily violent language.
happiness and satisfaction
Use happiness when referring to a customer's perception of a site's reliability. Use satisfaction when referring to whether the site meets the customer's needs.
Site reliability engineering (SRE) content generally refers to measuring customer happiness instead of customer satisfaction. The two phrases are not equivalent.
The distinction the SRE documentation makes is between satisfying a need (a dispassionate act) and establishing an emotional response (creating happiness). Although it is difficult to measure happiness precisely, SRE uses service level indicators (SLIs) to quantify user perception. For example, a customer might feel a "need" to watch a show on TV. If the show is available, the customer's need is satisfied. But if playback is slow or choppy, the customer might not be happy.
For more information about SRE and measuring reliability, see The Happiness Test.
hardcode (verb), hardcoded (adjective)
he, him, his
Don't use a gendered pronoun except for a specific individual of known gender. Use they and their for the general singular pronoun.
healthcare
Not health care or health-care.
health check
Use with caution. When describing an action taken for a computer system, only use the term health check if this is the term that appears in the interface. Be certain to remove any ambiguity regarding whether the term refers to health in the medical sense.
Use detailed, non-figurative language as much as possible, such as referring to a node being responsive instead of referring to a node being healthy.
healthy
Don't use. See health check.
high availability (noun), high-availability (adjective)
Lowercase except when part of a product name, but OK to abbreviate as HA after first use.
higher
Don't use for a range of version numbers. Instead, use later.
Don't use to refer to a position in a document. Use earlier or preceding.
Don't use to refer to a position in the UI. Instead, write instructions that avoid directional language. For more information, see Writing accessible documentation.
In Android documentation, use higher for a range of version numbers, not later.
A release with the highest version number might not be the latest version. For example, if version 2.0 of an operating system receives a bug-fix update after version 3.0 has been released, then version 2.0.1 might be the latest version, even though its version number is lower than 3.0.
high performance computing (HPC)
Don't hyphenate. Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
hit
Don't use as a synonym for click, press, or type.
hold the pointer over

Only use this verb phrase in the following cases:

  • When the user needs to hold their mouse over a UI element, but not click the UI element. This action involves waiting for the UI to react—for example, waiting for a tooltip to open or waiting for a submenu to open.
  • When the duration of time is important.

The phrase point to is more common.

See also point to.
Recommended: In the Admin menu, hold the pointer over File, and then click New.
Not recommended: In the Admin menu, hover over File, and then click New.
holiday, the holidays
Don't use to refer to the end of the year. Instead, refer to specific quarters or months.
home screen
Two words in Android contexts; not homescreen or home-screen.
hostname
Not host name.
hot
When possible, avoid jargon like hot failover, hot standby, and hot spare. If you use one of these phrases, define it on first use and use it consistently throughout the document.
housekeeping, house keeping, house-keeping
Don't use. Instead, use less figurative and more precise terms, such as maintenance and cleanup.
hover
Don't use. Instead use hold the pointer over.
HTTPS
Not HTTPs.

I

IaaS
Write out on first mention: infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
IAM
When referring to the Google Cloud product, spell it out on first use: Identity and Access Management (IAM).
When referring to UI text, write this term the way it's written in the UI.
When referring to the general practice of identity and access management, spell it out in lowercase on first use and include a parenthetical comment:
Recommended: Identity and access management (generally referred to as IAM) is the practice of granting the right individuals access to the right resources for the right reasons.
ID
Not Id or id, except in string literals or enums.
In some contexts, it's best to spell out as identifier or identification.
i.e.
Don't use. Instead, use phrases like that is. Many people confuse e.g. and i.e.
if
Wondering whether to use if or whether? See whether.
Although it is common in casual usage to omit the word then in if...then statements, you should include helper words like then in technical documentation. For more information, see Use clear, precise, and unambiguous language.
impact
Use only as a noun. Instead of writing that something has an impact, use the word affect.
Recommended: This issue affects user experience.
Acceptable: This issue has an impact on user experience.
Not recommended: This issue impacts user experience.
index
Use the plural indexes unless there is a domain-specific reason (for example, a mathematical or financial context) to use indices.
ingest
Use import, load, or copy when referring to simple movement of data. Use ingest only when referring to such operations that also involve significant processing of the data.
ingress
When referring to the networking term, use lowercase. When referring to the GKE term or API, capitalize Ingress.
in order to
Avoid in order to; instead, use to.
Use in order to when needed to clarify meaning or to make something easier to read.
Recommended: You can use monitoring to help identify issues.
Not recommended: You can use monitoring in order to help identify issues.
Recommended: The infrastructure is required in order to support search.
Not recommended: The infrastructure is required to support search.
inline
One word as an adjective, inline, not in line or in-line.
instance group
Don't abbreviate to IG. See also managed instance group.
intercluster
Use unhyphenated intercluster, not inter-cluster.
interconnectAttachment
Use when referring to the API. Otherwise, use VLAN attachment.
Interconnect connection
Only use Interconnect connection relative to a product as follows:
  • CDN Interconnect connection
  • Cloud Interconnect connection
  • Dedicated Interconnect connection
  • Partner Interconnect connection

OK to use connection on subsequent mentions.

When you're referring to a Google Cloud product, always specify the product name. Don't use Interconnect or interconnect as standalone terms, and don't use generic terms like cloud interconnect connection or cross-connect.
Interconnect connection location
Only refer to an Interconnect connection location in context of a specific product, for example CDN Interconnect.
OK to also use colocation facility.
interconnect type
Don't use. Instead, use connection type. Examples of connection types are a dedicated connection or a connection provided by a service provider.
interface
OK to use as a noun.
Don't use as a verb. Instead, use interact, talk, speak, communicate, or other similar terms.
internal DNS
Write internal all lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
internal IP address
Not network IP address or private IP address.
Internationalized Domain Name (IDN)
Write out and capitalize each word on first use. OK to abbreviate as IDN after first use.
internet
Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
Internet Key Exchange (IKE)
Write out and capitalize each word on first use. OK to abbreviate IKE after first use.
I/O (see also Google I/O)
Not I-O or IO.
IoT
OK to use as an abbreviation for Internet of Things. Note the lowercase o.
IP
IP alone is an abbreviation for intellectual property. If you mean an IP address, write IP address.
IPsec
Not IPSec or IPSECShort.
Short for Internet Protocol Security. No need to spell out on first mention.

J

jank, janky
Use only to refer to a glitch or problem with graphics that is caused by a loss of data or inadequate refresh rate. Don't use otherwise. Use a less figurative term to refer to something of poor or unreliable quality.
just
Avoid. Usually, just is a filler word that you can delete without affecting your meaning.
Recommended: BigQuery skips the row.
Not recommended: BigQuery just skips the row.
If your meaning is unclear without just, then use a more specific term such as only, instead, or previously, or revise your language to be more specific. (Even if one of these replacement terms fits, you often don't need it.)
Recommended: You can run DML statements in the same way that you'd run a SELECT statement.
Not recommended: You can run DML statements just as you'd run a SELECT statement.
Recommended: Let a user query only the table without full dataset access.
Recommended: Let a user query the table without full dataset access.
Not recommended: Let a user query just the table without full dataset access.
Sometimes, just is useful for conveying that one approach is simpler than another. In those cases, use just instead of simply.
Recommended: Use the namespace ID namespace:example-kind or just example-kind.

K

k8s
Don't use. Instead, use Kubernetes.
KBps
Short for kilobytes per second. By convention, we don't use KB/s. For more information, see Units of measurement.
Kbps
Short for kilobits per second. By convention, we don't use Kb/s. For more information, see Units of measurement.
kebab, kabob, kebab menu, kabob menu
Don't use. Instead use the aria-label for that particular icon. For example, More. For more information, see Buttons and icons.
kebab case, kabob case, kebab-case, kabob-case
Don't use. Instead, use dash-case.
key
Don't use as an adjective in the sense of crucial or important.
If you use key as a noun, specify which kind of key you're referring to on first mention, because there are many kinds of keys in technical contexts.
key pair
A pair of keys, such as a public key and a private key. Contrast with key-value pair, which refers to a pairing that specifies a value for a variable (as in configuration files).
key ring
Use instead of keyring (without the space) when referring to a grouping of Cloud KMS keys.
key-value pair
Use instead of key/value pair or key value pair.
kill
Avoid when possible. Instead, use words like stop, exit, cancel, or end. For exceptions to this rule, see Documenting command-line syntax.

L

lame
Don't use. Instead, use precise, non-figurative language to refer to a deficiency in a component.
later
Use for a range of version numbers, not higher.
Recommended: Use version 2.2 or later.
Not recommended: Use version 2.2 or higher.
Not recommended: Use version 2.2+.
A release with the highest version number might not be the latest version. For example, if version 2.0 of an operating system receives a bug-fix update after version 3.0 has been released, then version 2.0.1 might be the latest version, even though its version number is lower than 3.0.
In Android documentation, don't use later for a range of version numbers. Instead, use higher.
When referring to a position in a document, use later or following, not below.
latest
Avoid in timeless documentation because this word can become outdated.
If you must use latest, give the reader a reference point—for example, a version number or release date.
Recommended: To help keep your system secure, install the latest version of the tools.
Recommended: The June 2021 release includes the latest tools that help secure your system.
Not recommended: The product includes the latest tools that help secure your system.
For more information, see Timeless documentation.
learnings
Don't use. Instead, refer to knowledge or things that you learned.
left-nav, right-nav
Don't use directional language.
If referring to applications, use navigation menu.
If referring to navigational elements for documentation, use content navigation menu.
legacy
If possible, use a more precise term. If you do use legacy, include or point to a definition to clarify what you mean in the current context. Don't use legacy with any sort of pejorative connotation.
let's (as a contraction of let us)
Don't use if at all possible.
Not recommended: Let's click the OK button now.
Letter of Authorization and Connecting Facility Assignment (LOA-CFA)
Write out and capitalize each word on first use. OK to abbreviate as LOA-CFA after first use.
leverage
Avoid using if you mean use. If possible, use a more precise term. For example, use, build on, or take advantage of.
lifecycle
Not life cycle or life-cycle.
lift and shift
See rehost.
like versus such as
It's OK to use either like or such as for comparisons or examples.
limits
In an API context, limit often refers to usage limits (number of queries allowed per second or per day). Where possible, specify the kind of limit that you mean, such as usage limit or service limit; the word limit can refer to many different kinds of limits, including rules about acceptable use. See also quota.
lint
Write both command-line tool name and command in lowercase. Use code font except where inappropriate.
little-endian
Hyphenate. Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
Recommended: The codebase assumes little-endian byte ordering.
Not recommended: The codebase assumes Little Endian byte ordering.
Not recommended: The codebase assumes Little-endian byte ordering.
Not recommended: The codebase assumes little endian byte ordering.
livestream
Not live stream.
load balancing (noun), load-balancing (adjective)
lock screen
Two words in Android contexts; not lockscreen or lock-screen.
login (noun or adjective), log in (verb)
For the verb form, sign in is generally better.
If you're documenting a tool that uses the term log in, then use that term.
long press
In Android documentation, don't use. Instead, use touch & hold. (Not touch and hold.)
long-running operation
Not long running operation.
OK to abbreviate as LRO after the first use.
lower
Don't use for a range of version numbers. Instead, use earlier.
Don't use to refer to a position in a document. Instead, use later or following.
Don't use to refer to a position in the UI. Instead, write instructions that avoid directional language. For more information, see Writing accessible documentation.
In Android documentation, use lower for a range of version numbers, not earlier.

M

male adapter
Don't use. Instead, use a genderless word like plug.
man hours, manhours, man-hours
Avoid using gendered terms. Instead use terms like person hours.
man-in-the-middle (MITM)
Avoid using gendered terms. Instead use terms like on-path attacker or person-in-the-middle (PITM).
manmade, man made
Avoid using gendered terms. Instead use a word like artificial, manufactured, or synthetic.
manned
Avoid using gendered terms. Instead use terms like staffed or crewed.
manpower, man power, man-power
Avoid using gendered terms. Instead use terms like staff or workforce.
Markdown
Always capitalized, even when you're referring to a nonstandard version.
master
Use with caution. Never use in conjunction with slave. Where possible, replace master with a specific term that is accurate for the context, such as primary, main, original, parent, initiator, driver, controller, manager, mixer, aggregator, publisher, leader, or active.
Guidance Recommended Not recommended
Don't use master in conjunction with slave in any context. Cloud SQL primary/replica Cloud SQL master/slave
Avoid using master where possible.
  • GKE control plane
  • Jenkins controller
  • root key (in security)
  • primary key (in databases)
  • GKE master plane
  • Jenkins master
  • master key (in security)
  • master key (in databases)
If the command or code that you're documenting uses the literal word master, then use this word only in direct reference to the code item (formatted as code), make it clear what you're referring to, and use the new term thereafter.
See also slave.
Material Design
Capitalize each word in Material Design.
matrix
Use the plural matrixes unless there is a domain-specific reason (for example, a mathematical context) to use matrices.
may
In general, reserve for official policy or legal considerations.
To convey possibility, use can or might instead.
To convey permission, use can instead.
See also can, could, might, must, should, and would.
For information about clarifying who's performing an action, see Active voice.
MBps
Short for megabytes per second. By convention, we don't use MB/s. For more information, see Units of measurement.
Mbps
Short for megabits per second. By convention, we don't use Mb/s. For more information, see Units of measurement.
media type
In most contexts, use media type instead of content type or MIME type.
meta*
See Closed compounds and prefixes.
metafeed
Not meta-feed.
metageneration
Not meta-generation.
method
In programming contexts where method refers to a member of a class (as in Java), avoid also using the word generically to mean "approach" or "manner."
metropolitan area (metro)
In networking, a metro is a city where a colocation facility is located.
microservices
Not Microservices or micro-services.
might
Use to convey possibility or an uncertain outcome (for example, "You might be prompted to enter your credentials").
See also can, could, may, must, should, and would.
For information about clarifying who's performing an action, see Active voice.
MIME type
MIME stands for "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions," and thus refers specifically to email. In non-email contexts, use media type instead. If you feel that'll be ambiguous to an audience familiar with the term MIME, then you can write media (MIME) type for clarity.
mobile
Don't use mobile as a standalone noun. Instead, specify mobile phone, or if you're talking about more than phones, then use mobile device.
mobile data
Use instead of cellular data.
mobile device
Use mobile device when you're referring to more than phones (for example, tablets and phones). It's OK to use phone (without mobile) when the context is clear.
mobile network
Use instead of cellular network.
mobile phone
If you're talking about more than phones, then use mobile device. It's OK to use phone (without mobile) when the context is clear.
mom test
Don't use mom test, grandmother test, grandma test, or girlfriend test. Instead, use terms like beginner user test or novice user test.
monkey, monkey test
Don't use monkey to refer to people. When referring to tests, refer to the specific function. For example: automated, random tests.
multi*
See Closed compounds and prefixes.
multi-cluster
Hyphenate. We generally prefer to close prefixed words, but this is an exception because it's an established term.
multi-region, multi-regional
Hyphenate when referring to a Google Cloud location that consists of more than one region.
You can use multi-regional as an adjective in the context of multi-regions, but consider multi-region as an attributive noun instead, such as in "The dataset is in the EU multi-region location." Use multiregional in other contexts.
multi-service
Hyphenate. We generally prefer to close prefixed words, but this is an exception because it's an established term.
multi-tenancy
Hyphenate. We generally prefer to close prefixed words, but this is an exception because it's an established term.
must
Use to describe a required action or state (for example, "You must have the Editor role"). You can also write you need in order to convey a requirement.
See also can, could, may, might, should, and would.
For information about clarifying who's performing an action, see Active voice.

N

N/A
Not NA. Spell out as not available or not applicable on first reference.
name server
Not nameserver.
namespace
Not name space.
native
Avoid using native to refer to people.
When referring to software products, try to use a more precise term—for example, use built-in to describe a feature that's part of a product.
The term native isn't necessarily clear—for example, cloud-native could mean that something was written for the cloud, or that it's built in to a cloud platform, or that it currently exists in a cloud platform.
Alternatives to a term like cloud-native could include: modern cloud, born in the cloud, cloud first, and cloud-born.
Don't use to refer to a navigation menu. For more information, see Navigation menu.
neither
Write neither A nor B, not neither A or B.
network IP address
Don't use. Instead, use internal IP address.
new, newer
Avoid in timeless documentation because this word can become outdated.
New also implies that the reader knows the older product and that labeling something as new is therefore meaningful.
If you must use new, give the reader a reference point—for example, a version number or release date.
Don't use newer to refer to a specific version of a product. Instead, use later. Make sure that you provide a version number or release date by which to understand later.

In Android documentation, use higher instead of later.

Recommended: The service's network analysis feature reports on network health.
Not recommended: Network analysis, a new feature in the service, reports on network health.
For more information, see Timeless documentation.
ninja
Don't use to refer to a person. Instead, use a term such as expert. OK to use in reference to companies, tools, software packages, and other entities that use the term in their names.
non*
See Closed compounds and prefixes.
nonce
Use with caution: this term has a secondary slang meaning that can cause confusion for global readers. Always define the term on first use, and only use it in specific technical contexts such as authentication and blockchain.
In end-user documentation and other contexts, use a more descriptive phrase, such as a number that will be used only once.
non-key
An exception to our usual preference for closed forms.
NoOps
Don't use. Instead, use fully managed. If you must include the term, define it at first use with language such as fully managed or no operations, but not non-operational. Don't use noops.
For an instruction that does nothing, use no-op or the specific instruction name for your context.
NoSQL
Not No-SQL or No SQL.
notification drawer
In Android contexts, don't hyphenate. Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
now
Avoid when describing features of products or services because this word is implied.
If the intent of the text is a comparison between past and present, you can use now—for example, "In versions of the tool earlier than 1.10, you could use only the default value, but now you can assign a custom value."
Recommended: This feature lets you use combinations of user properties.
Not recommended: This feature now lets you use combinations of user properties.
For more information, see Timeless documentation.
nuke
Don't use. Instead use remove or attack. For example, a denial-of-service attack.

O

OAuth 2.0
Not OAuth 2, OAuth2, or Oauth.
off-the-shelf, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)
Use more widely understood terms like ready-made, prebuilt, standard, or default.
old, older
Don't use to refer to a previous version of a product. Instead, use earlier.
Make sure that you provide a version number by which to understand earlier.
In Android documentation, use lower instead of earlier.
Recommended: This functionality doesn't work in versions earlier than 1.17.0.
Not recommended: This functionality doesn't work in older versions.
For more information, see Timeless documentation.
omnibox
Don't use. Instead, use address bar.
once
If you mean after, then use after instead of once.
on-premises
Not on prem, on premise, or on-premise. Hyphenate when used as any part of speech.
Use to refer to a customer's resources that they manage in their own facilities. Don't use peer.
It can be acceptable to use on-premises as a noun when it would be awkward to repeatedly write out a full phrase like an on-premises environment. However, it's preferable to use the more complete phrase whenever possible.
Recommended: An on-premises database.
Recommended: The database runs on-premises.
OK: Moving data from on-premises to Google Cloud.
OS
OK to use as a shortening of "operating system."
outpost
Don't use. Instead, use channel.
Recommended: social media channels
outside the box, out of the box, out-of-the-box
Avoid using in a figurative way. OK to use literally.
overview screen
In Android documentation, don't use. Instead, use recents screen.

P

PaaS
Write out on first mention: platform as a service (PaaS).
page
Preferred term when referring to a web page in general, and to a sub-page of a console in particular.
parameter
In our API documentation, parameter is usually short for query parameter; it's a NAME=VALUE pair that's appended to a URL in an HTTP GET request. In some contexts, however, the term can have other meanings.
parent-child or parent/child
Not parent – child or parent—child.
path
Avoid using filepath, file path, pathname, or path name if possible.
peer gateway
Don't use on-premises gateway when you mean a peer gateway. A peer gateway can be an on-premises device or service or another cloud gateway.
peer network
Don't use on-premises network when you mean a peer network. A peer network can be an on-premises network or another cloud network.
peering zone
Not peer zone.
per
To express a rate, use per instead of the division slash (/), unless space constraints require the use of the slash. For more information, see Units of measurement.
Avoid per in contexts other than rate units.
Recommended: requests per day
Recommended: create a policy for each Pod
Recommended: according to the style guide
Recommended: in response to your request
Not recommended: requests/day
Not recommended: create a policy per Pod
Not recommended: per the style guide
Not recommended: as per your request
performant
Avoid where possible. Instead, use a more precise term.
Recommended: an accurate machine learning model
Not recommended: a performant machine learning model
persist
Don't use as a transitive verb. It's best to avoid using as a verb at all, especially in passive voice.
Recommended: To make the token persistent ...
OK: To make the token persist ...
Not recommended: The token is persisted ...
Not recommended: To persist the token ...
persistent disk
Not PD.
Lowercase except at the start of a sentence.
personally identifiable information (PII)
Some government agencies use the less common term personally identifying information; use this alternate term only in contexts where you're referring to a document that uses this term.
pets versus cattle, pets vs. cattle, pets v. cattle
Don't use. Instead, use more precise terms like persistent versus dynamic or manually configured versus automated. For more information, see Avoid unnecessarily violent language.
plain text
In most contexts, use plain text, but use plaintext in a cryptography context.
please
Don't use please in the normal course of explaining how to use a product, even if you're explaining a difficult task.
Don't use the phrase please note.
Use please only when you're asking for permission or forgiveness—for example, when what you're asking for benefits you, inconveniences a reader, or suggests a potential issue with a product.
Recommended: If the issue persists, please contact your account representative.
For more information, see voice and tone.
plugin (noun), plug-in (adjective), plug in (verb)
PM
See AM, PM.
point to
Use to refer to the action of pointing the mouse pointer (focus). This action doesn't imply a length of time waiting for the UI to react to user action.
This is similar to the action hold the pointer over (hover). In most cases, it's better to use the verb phrase hold the pointer over if you want the user to wait for the UI to react.
POJO
If you're not actually writing about a Plain Old Java Object for a Java audience, use simple object. You can write a simple object, similar to a POJO in Java if that helps your audience.
PoP
Acronym for point of presence.
Recommended: point of presence (PoP)
Not recommended: point of presence (POP)
pop-up, popup
Don't use.
To describe a window that appears and asks for, or presents, additional information, use dialog.
To describe a menu that rises from an interface (such as a right-click context menu), use menu.
populate
OK to use if you're writing about a process populating a table or other entity. If you're writing about a person, use fill in.
Recommended: The SQL command populates the table with sample data.
Recommended: When you have finished filling in the form ...
Not recommended: When you have finished populating the form ...
port
Use listen on (not to).
portal
Don't use to refer to the Google Cloud console. For more information, see console.
possible
Don't use possible or impossible to mean you can or you can't.
PostgreSQL
If the UI uses the name Postgres, it's OK to match the UI. Don't use PostgreSQL.
postmortem
Avoid in general usage. Instead, use retrospective.
In disaster recovery (DR) and DevOps contexts, use blameless postmortem.
practitioner
Avoid using without any supporting information to define the roles that you're referring to.
Recommended: The framework describes best practices for architects, developers, administrators, and other cloud practitioners.
Not recommended: The framework describes best practices for cloud practitioners.
pre*
See Closed compounds and prefixes.
prebuilt
Not pre-built.
precapture
Not pre-capture.
preemptible
Not pre-emptible or pre-emptive.
pre-existing
Not preexisting.
preferred pronouns
Don't use. Instead, use pronouns.
prerecorded
Not pre-recorded.
pre-shared key
Not preshared key.
presently, at present
Avoid because this word or phrase is implied. The word or phrase can also prematurely disclose product or feature strategy or inappropriately imply that a product or feature might change.
See also as of this writing and currently.
Recommended: This setting is required.
Not recommended: At present, this setting is required.
For more information, see Timeless documentation.
press
Use when referring to pressing a key or a key combination to cause an action to occur. Also use for mechanical buttons.
For on-screen and soft (capacitive) buttons, use tap.
Recommended: Press Control+C (or Command+C on macOS).
presubmit
Not pre-submit.
primitive
Use with caution. Don't use primitive in a disparaging sense.
project
In Google Cloud documentation, use Google Cloud project on first mention and in any context in which there might be ambiguity about what kind of project you're referring to.
property
In our API documentation, a property is an element in a resource. For example, a Task resource has properties like kind, id, and title.
pros
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise term, such as advantages.

Q

quick, quickly
What might be quick for you might not be quick for others. Try eliminating this word from the sentence because usually the same meaning can be conveyed without it.
quota
In API contexts, often refers to API usage limits. Where possible, it's best to use a more specific term, such as usage limit; the word quota means many different things to many different people.
In some contexts, such as Google Cloud documentation, the standard term is quota, so use that term.

R

RDP
Don't use as a verb. Instead, use connect using RDP. If it's clear from context that they're using RDP, it's OK to use connect.
re*
See Closed compounds and prefixes.
read-only
Not read only. Always hyphenate read-only.
recents screen
In Android contexts, use instead of overview screen.
redline
Don't use as a verb. Instead, use precise terms appropriate to the context.
In the context of editing or providing a review, refer to those actions or to tracking changes.
In the context of setting priorities and planning work, refer to those actions or to priority lining.
regex
Don't use. Instead, use regular expression.
rehost
Use to describe the migration of an app or workload with no changes or minimal changes to that app or workload. Also known as lift and shift. For more information, see Rehost: lift and shift in the Cloud Architecture Center.
On first mention, associate rehost with lift and shift. Okay to use rehosting as needed after first mention.
Recommended: You can use this reference architecture to efficiently rehost (lift and shift) on-premises applications to the cloud.
Recommended: The first step to modernization is to rehost your application in the cloud (also known as lift and shift).
Don't use the forklift approach.
repo
Don't use. Instead, use repository.
Representational State Transfer
Don't use. To people unfamiliar with REST, this acronym expansion is meaningless; it's better to refer to it as REST and not explain what it stands for.
reservation, off the
Don't use.
resource record set
Not resource recordset.
retarded
Don't use. If you are referring to a system or component being slowed, use the word slowed.
retriable, triable
Don't use retriable or triable, unless a code item uses that spelling. Outside of code font, write around the term.
retryable, tryable
Where possible, write around retryable and tryable. For example, write out you can try it again or can be tried again.
review
If you mean "read, potentially for the first time," then use read instead of review.
If you mean "read critically, commenting on problems" (as in code review), then review is fine.
Avoid using phrasing like "If you've never heard of OAuth, then review the OAuth documentation."
RFC
When referencing an RFC specification, use a space between RFC and the number (for example, RFC 2318).
roll out
Don't use to mean a sudden or instantaneous launch. If you use roll out, define what you mean. When possible, use a more precise, non-figurative term like gradual, in stages, phases, or progressive.
RTFM
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise phrase like "For more information, see ...."
runbook
Not run book.
runtime, run time
Use the noun runtime when referring to the environment in which software runs, such as a Ruby or Java runtime.
Use the noun phrase run time when referring to the time during program execution when something occurs, as contrasted with compile time, for example.
Recommended: The profiler collects data at run time, and the scheduler uses this data at compile time to improve performance for subsequent runs.
Recommended: The App Engine standard environment has two generations of runtime environments. The second-generation runtimes significantly improve the capabilities of App Engine.

S

SaaS
Write out on first mention: software as a service (SaaS).
sane
Don't use. Instead use a word like valid or sensible.
sanity check
Don't use. Instead, use a term like quick check, confidence check, preliminary check or coherence check.
SAP
Pronounced as the individual letters S, A, P, so write an SAP system, not a SAP system.
scale
Don't use scale alone to say that something is large or increasing. Include supporting words to indicate magnitude or direction of change in magnitude, whether scaling up or down, such as when you change a machine type to add or remove CPUs or RAM, or scaling out or in, such as adding or removing instances from a group.
Recommended: The system performs better at a larger scale.
Not recommended: The system performs better at scale.
Recommended: The system scales up quickly, but it scales down more slowly.
Not recommended: The system scales quickly.
screenshot (noun)
Not screen shot or screensnap.
Don't use as a verb; instead, use take a screenshot.
scroll
OK to use scroll as a verb, but if possible, instead use a term that isn't specific to implementation. For example, write go to the section, instead of scroll to the section.
If you use scroll, don't use directional language like scroll up. For more information, see Accessibility.
Capitalize Search when referring to a product like Google Search.
Search Console
Capitalize each word in Search Console.
see
OK as a general term and when referring to links and cross-references. Our research indicates that language relating to sight is OK for a wide range of readers. For more information, see Link text and cross-references.
select
Use to describe choosing an item from among multiple options, selecting text, or marking a checkbox.
Recommended: Select Automatically check for updates.
Not recommended: Check Automatically check for updates.
service
It's OK to refer to Google products, such as Google Kubernetes Engine or Compute Engine, as services. However, if the term services leads to ambiguity, then use the product names.
service level agreement
Lowercase when referring to service level agreements in general.
It's OK to use title case (Service Level Agreement) when referring to a specific document.
OK to abbreviate as SLA after first use.
service level indicator
Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
OK to abbreviate as SLI after first use.
service level objective
Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
OK to abbreviate as SLO after first use.
setup (noun or adjective), set up (verb)
sexy
Don't use. Instead, use precise, positive words, such as fast, powerful, or elegant.
SHA-1
Not SHA1, except in string literals/enums and in hyphenated phrases such as HSA-SHA1.
shall
Avoid shall except under advice from a lawyer. For more information, see should.
she, her, hers
Don't use a gendered pronoun except for a specific individual of known gender. Use they and their for the general singular pronoun.
sherpa
If possible, use a more precise term. For example, if you mean guide, use that term.
shift left
In general, avoid using this term to mean moving something earlier in time. Instead, use a less figurative phrase, such as shift earlier or move to an earlier phase. This figurative term relies on the non-universal assumption that the natural flow is from left to right.
It's OK to use shift left and shift right in the context of binary multiplication and division.
should, should be
Generally avoid.
Because should is ambiguous by definition, it can be problematic. For example, if you're telling the reader what to do, should implies that the action is recommended but optional, which can leave the reader unsure about what to do.
Clarify what you mean. Determine if an action is required versus optional, an outcome is expected versus possible, or a state is actual versus recommended.
  • If an action is required: Use must, or rephrase the sentence so that it's a clear imperative instruction such as "Do the following before you continue."
  • If an action is recommended: Use We recommend... or Google recommends .... You can use should if a recommended action is generally recognized. For example, "You should use a strong password ..." or "You should follow the principle of least privilege ...."
  • If an action is optional: Use can. For example, "You can also use approach B to solve the same problem."
  • If an outcome is expected: Describe the outcome in terms of what is expected. For example: "The process returns 10 items."
  • If an outcome is possible: Use might or can. For example, "The process can take about 30 minutes."
  • If a state is actual: When you're describing the state of something, such as the value of a variable, avoid writing "The value should be true." Instead, clarify which of the following you mean:
    • "You must set the value to true."
    • "The server sets the value to true."
    • "If the value is false, follow these steps to change it to true."
See also can, could, may, might, must, and would.
For information about clarifying who's performing an action, see Active voice.
Recommended: Ensure that the Classroom Share Button conforms to our min-max size guidelines and related color/button templates.
Recommended: The column of the data table that the filter operates on.
Recommended: Whether it's a brand new project or an existing one, perform the following steps.
Not recommended: The Classroom Share Button should conform to our min-max size guidelines and related color and button templates.
Not recommended: The column of the data table that the filter should operate on.
Not recommended: Whether it's a brand new project or an existing one, here's what you should do.
sign-in (noun or adjective), sign in (verb)
Not log in or signin.
sign into
Don't use. Instead, use sign in to.
sign-on, sign on
Don't use either form on its own. Use the hyphenated version as part of single sign-on.
sign-out (noun or adjective), sign out (verb)
Not log out or signout.
simple, simply
What might be simple for you might not be simple for others. Try eliminating this word from the sentence because usually the same meaning can be conveyed without it.
since
If you mean because, then use because instead of since. Since is ambiguous; it can refer to the passage of time. Because refers to causation or the reason for something.
single most
Not singlemost.
single pane of glass
Avoid. This term is used to favorably compare a centralized control and monitoring interface against the alternative of several disparate interfaces. It can almost always be replaced by single interface or unified interface.
single sign-on (noun or adjective)
slave
Don't use. Instead, use alternative terms appropriate to your domain, such as worker or replica.
If you're replacing the terms master and slave together, then consider such combinations as primary/secondary, primary/replica, original/replica, controller/worker, initiator/responder, mixer/leaf, aggregator/collector, publisher/subscriber, leader/follower, and active/standby.
If the command or code that you're documenting uses the literal word slave, then use this word only in direct reference to the code item (formatted as code), make it clear what you're referring to, and use the new term thereafter. For example, "Invoke the secondary (slave) process directly when debugging issues between the primary and secondary processes."
See also master.
slice and dice
Don't use the phrase slice and dice. Instead, use specific terms appropriate to the task that you're describing. Some possible options include: segment data for analysis or break information into smaller parts.
smartphone, smart phone
Don't use. Instead, use mobile phone or phone. If you're talking about more than phones, then use mobile device. It's OK to use phone (without mobile) when the context is clear.
soon
Avoid in timeless documentation because this word can become outdated. The word can also prematurely disclose product or feature strategy or inappropriately imply that a product or feature might change.
See also eventually and future.
Recommended: This setting is optional.
Not recommended: This setting is optional for existing applications but will soon be required for all applications.
For more information, see Timeless documentation.
spin up
As in spin up an instance. Avoid using spin up unless you're referring to a hard disk; instead, use a less colloquial term like create or start.
SQL
Refer to a SQL, not an SQL.
ssh and SSH
Don't use ssh or SSH as a verb. SSH is a secure communications protocol; ssh is a utility.
Recommended: To establish an SSH connection, use the ssh command.
Recommended: Connect to the instance by using SSH.
Not recommended: ssh into your remote shell.
ssh'ing
Don't use. See also ssh and SSH.
Recommended: When you use ssh to log in ...
startup (noun or adjective), start up (verb)
static external IP address
Don't use static IP address or external IP address to refer to static external IP addresses.
status bar
Not statusbar or status-bar.
Lowercase except at the beginning of a sentence, heading, or list item.
STONITH, STOMITH
Avoid using graphically violent terms. This acronym's letters stand for an extremely graphic and violent act. Instead, explain the relevant feature, such as fence failed nodes.
style sheet
Not stylesheet. This is the official spelling, per the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
sub-command
Not subcommand.
subnet
OK to use as a shortening of subnetwork. Use the same term consistently throughout your document. For more information, see Subnets vs. subnetworks.
subtree
Not sub-tree.
subzone
Not sub-zone or sub zone.
such as versus like
See like versus such as.
surface
Avoid as a transitive verb; instead, use a more specific term, such as make people aware of or expose.
Recommended: To make the audit logs available, you must configure the monitoring system.
Not recommended: To surface audit logs, you must configure the monitoring system.

T

tab
When referring to the sub-pages of a console, use page instead of tab.
table name
Two words. Set specific table names in code font.
tablet
Tablet is OK. If you don't know whether it's a tablet or a phone, use device.
tag
See element.
tap
In Android documentation, use for on-screen and soft (capacitive) buttons.
Use instead of click when the environment is definitely a touch device.
Use instead of touch. However, touch & hold (not touch and hold) is OK to use.
For mechanical buttons, use press.
tap & hold, tap and hold
In Android documentation, don't use. Instead, use touch & hold. (Not touch and hold.)
tarball
Don't use. Instead, use tar file.
target
Avoid using as a verb when possible, especially in reference to people. For some readers, target has aggressive connotations. Instead of "targeting" audiences, we try to attract them or appeal to them or make their lives easier.
It's OK to use target as an adjective, as in target audience, but consider rephrasing for clarity. Alternatives include phrases such as intended for, looking for, focused on, and interacting with.
terminate
Avoid using as a synonym for stop. Instead, use words like stop, exit, cancel, or end.
For a specific context where you can use terminate as a synonym for stop, see Documenting command-line syntax.
In some contexts, such as telephony and networking, terminate has specific technical meanings that aren't synonyms for stop; in those contexts, you can use terminate.
text box, textbox
Don't use. Instead, use box. For more information, see Text box.
In Google Cloud documentation, use field instead of box. For example, "In the Instance field, specify a value less than 64 characters long."
In Google Workspace documentation, use field instead of box. For example, "In the Instance field, specify a value less than 64 characters long."
their (singular)
See they.
then
Although it is common in casual usage to omit the word then in if...then statements, you should include helper words like then in technical documentation. For more information, see Use clear, precise, and unambiguous language.
they (singular)
This is our preferred gender-neutral pronoun. Whether used as singular or plural, it always takes the plural verb. For example, "A user authenticates their identity by entering their password." See also gender-neutral he.
third party (noun), third-party (adjective)
this, that
Where possible, put a noun after this or that for clarity. If doing so results in clunky prose, then don't do it; but even then, try thinking about what the noun would be. If you aren't sure what noun this or that refers to, then consider rephrasing— otherwise, your reader probably won't know what noun you're referring to, either.
timeframe
Not time frame. Avoid where possible, or use an alternative such as period, schedule, deadline, or when. But if you do use it, then write it as one word.
timeout (noun), time out (verb)
timestamp
Not time stamp.
time to live
Not time-to-live. Abbreviate as TTL after first use.
time zone (noun), time-zone (adjective)
tl;dr
Don't use. Instead, use something like To summarize, or revise the sentence.
toolkit
Not tool-kit or tool kit.
touch
In Android documentation, don't use. Instead, use tap. However, touch & hold is OK to use.
"touch & hold"
Not touch and hold.
touchscreen
Not touch screen
traditional
If possible, use a more precise term.
Recommended: Conventionally, Python function names are lowercase, with words separated by underscores.
Not recommended: Traditionally, Python function names are lowercase, with words separated by underscores.
Recommended: This tutorial explains how to migrate from an on-premises data warehouse to BigQuery.
Not recommended: This tutorial explains how to migrate from a traditional data warehouse to BigQuery.
transpile
Not transcompile.
tribal knowledge, tribal wisdom
Don't use. Instead, use a less figurative term to indicate knowledge held by a group of people.
trojan
Lowercase when referring to malware.
turn on
In procedures, use the appropriate label and action for the UI element that the user interacts with.
For turning on or activating an option or feature, use turn on or enable consistently. Use the same term consistently throughout your document.
Recommended: To turn on Magic Mode, follow these steps.
Recommended: In Settings, click the Magic mode toggle to the on position.
tutorial
OK to use. See documentation.
type
In general, use enter instead of type because there is typically more than one way to enter text than typing (such as pasting text or speaking).
typically
Use to describe what is usual or expected under normal circumstances.
Don't use as the first word in a sentence, as doing so can leave the meaning open to misinterpretation.

U

UI
Don't use generically to refer to a page or dashboard. Use a more specific term like page or console. If a specific term is unavailable, use web interface.
Recommended: In the Google Cloud console
Recommended: On the Cloud Tasks page
Recommended: In the Secure Source Manager web interface
Not recommended: In the Cloud Tasks UI
unarchive
Don't use. Instead, use extract.
uncheck
Don't use to refer to clearing a check mark from a checkbox. Instead, use clear.
Recommended: Clear Automatically check for updates.
Not recommended: Uncheck Automatically check for updates.
Not recommended: Deselect Automatically check for updates.
uncompress
Don't use. Instead, use extract.
under
Don't use for a range of version numbers. Instead, use earlier.
Don't use to refer to a position in the UI.
Recommended: In the Service account ID field, enter a name.
Recommended: For Service account ID, enter a name.
Not recommended: Under Service account ID, enter a name.
Unicode
Not UNICODE.
Unix-like
Not Unixlike or Unix like.
Unix epoch time
Use instead of Unix time or epoch time to refer to a point in time represented as a number of seconds since the Unix epoch (00:00:00 UTC on January 1, 1970), ignoring leap seconds.
unselect
Don't use. Instead, use clear for checkboxes, and deselect for other UI elements.
unsighted
Don't use. See blind.
untar
Don't use. Instead, use extract.
unzip
Don't use. Instead, use extract.
US
OK to use as an abbreviation for United States. Don't use U.S. or U.S.A. For more information, see Periods with abbreviations.
user
Use the word user only to refer to the user of the software that your reader is developing. Otherwise, address the reader as you and assume that they will complete the tasks that you're documenting. For more information, see Second person and first person.
user base
Not userbase.
using
Where using might have more than one interpretation, use by using to help clarify the logic of the sentence.
Recommended: You can filter for data with specific attributes by using custom filters.
Not recommended: You can filter for data with specific attributes using custom filters.
UTF
Include the hyphen in the names of Unicode encodings, such as UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32.
utilize, utilization
Use with caution. Don't use utilize when you mean use. It's OK to use utilize or utilization when referring to the quantity of a resource being used.
Recommended: When CPU utilization exceeds 75%, the autoscaler adds more CPU resources.
Recommended: To distribute network traffic, use a load balancer.
Not recommended: To distribute network traffic, utilize a load balancer.

V

v (abbreviating version)
Use lowercase.
via
Don't use.
vice versa
Don't use. Instead, use a phrase like the other way around, conversely, or otherwise. In some contexts, vice versa is unclear or imprecise because in a complex sentence it's hard to know which two things are swapped with each other. In such cases, make it explicitly clear what two things are swapped.
virtual machine (VM) instance
Use when first introducing virtual machines on a given page. For subsequent mentions, you can use VM instance or VM. See also GKE node.
visually challenged
See blind.
VLAN attachment
Don't use the following: interconnect attachment (VLAN), Interconnect attachment, Cloud Interconnect attachment, or any variation thereof. See also interconnectAttachment.
voila
Don't use.
voodoo
Don't use. Instead, use a term like mysterious, complicated, or nondeterministic.
vs.
Don't use vs. as an abbreviation for versus; instead, use the unabbreviated versus.

W

wake lock (noun), wake-lock (adjective)
walkthrough
Not walk-through.
war room, warroom, war-room
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise term to describe the activity or team. Depending on context, possible alternatives include rapid response team, situation response team, situation room, incident-management team, or media monitoring room.
warm
When possible, avoid jargon like warm failover, warm standby, and warm spare. If you use one of these phrases, define it on first use and use it consistently throughout the document.
we
Don't use we (or other second-person plural pronouns such as our or us) to address the reader who is performing the tasks that you're documenting. Instead, use you.
It's OK to use we to refer to the organization that's represented as the author of the document as long as the antecedent is clear. For more information, see Second person and first person.
web (lowercase)
WebAssembly, Wasm
Use the capitalization established in the WebAssembly specification.
web application firewall (lowercase)
webmaster, web master
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise term to describe the specific role, such as website owner, website administrator, web content manager, owner of a site.
web page
Not webpage. But where possible, avoid both by using page.
web server
Not webserver.
website
Not web site or Website.
whether
while
Don't use to indicate a contrast. Instead, use a more precise term, such as although.
OK to use to refer to a period of time.
white-box
Avoid using white-box, whitebox, or white box to describe monitoring and testing. Consider using a more precise term for clarity.
  • For monitoring, use introspective monitoring.
  • For testing, use clear-box testing.
white glove, white-glove, whiteglove
Avoid using. Instead use terms like high-touch, premium, or platinum-level.
whitehat, white hat, white-hat
Don't use. Instead, use precise terms for the kind of compliance, such as legal, ethical, or following the rules.
white label, whitelabel, white-label
Don't use. Instead, use a more precise term for your context, such as unbranded, unlabeled, or blank label.
whitelist, white list, white-list
Don't use. See blacklist.
whitelisted, white listed, white-listed
Don't use. See blacklist.
whitelisting, white listing, white-listing
Don't use. See blacklist.
whitepaper
Not white paper.
When possible, use a more precise term. The term whitepaper has a variety of meanings in various contexts. If you must use the term whitepaper, also use descriptive terms to provide context.
whitespace
Not white space.
wildcard
Not wild card.
will
Avoid. Applies equally to its past tense, would. See also Present tense and Documenting future features.
wish
Don't use. Instead, use a word like want or need.
with
Don't use with when expressing ownership:
Recommended: A handset that has 2 GB of RAM.
Not recommended: A handset with 2 GB of RAM.
Don't use with when expressing use:
Recommended: Use the debugging tool to debug.
Not recommended: Debug this tool with the debugging tool.
workload
The term workload might refer to software, like an app or a service; to app resources, like data and infrastructure; or to physical components that work together.
Where possible, use a more precise term to describe what you mean. If you use the term workload, define your meaning on first use. For information about how to define or write around terms, see the Jargon page.
World Wide Web
Don't use. Instead, use web.
would
Avoid using. Instead, use can where possible.
See also can, could, may, might, must, and should.
For information about clarifying who's performing an action, see Active voice.
For information about tenses, see Present tense.

Y

ymmv
Don't use. Instead, use something like Your results might vary.
you
Use you instead of user to address the reader of your document. For more information, see Second person and first person.

Z

zippy
Don't use to refer to expander arrows, unless you're specifically referring to the Zippy widget in Closure.