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Q-switched—requires the hyphen (a laser term)

quasi-biennial oscillation—not capped; abbreviated QBO

Quotation marks—follow the comma and period, precede the colon and semicolon, with exceptions as noted in The Chicago Manual of Style. Use smart quotes except in news releases, This Week announcements, or other files that travel electronically and require ASCII characters only.


ragged-right copy—As a rule of thumb, the acceptable degree of raggedness in ragged-right text is 1/6 of the line length, up to a 22-pica line. This amounts to 2.5 picas in a 14-pica line and 3 picas in an 18-pica line. The overall maximum allowable raggedness is 4 picas. For copy typeset by IDC, suggest a specific fix for lines that are too short.

rainband—one word (AMS style guide, September 1992)

rain gauge—two words

rainout—one word as a noun: We have a "rainout" from clouds.

RAM—Do not spell out.


R&D—no spaces [revised 2/00]

Rankine—an absolute temperature scale using Fahrenheit- sized degrees. Abbreviate as R (engineers use it).

rate coefficient—(noun), do not link to preceding modifier: photolysis rate coefficient. [08/01]

real-time (as preceding modifier, but "available in real time")  Also note: near real-time (all uses) (updated 2016)

re-compete, re-competition—with hyphen [09/15]

remote-sensing (adj.)

Republic of China—use Taiwan. See also "China." [2/00]

required spaces—See Line Breaks.

rest-strahlen—residual rays

résumé (accent over BOTH e's)

Reticon array camera—Reticon is a trade name.

robotic aircraft—Whenever possible, use this phrase: robotic aircraft, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)....


Rocky Mountains—Give full name (not Rockies) on first use.

root-mean-square (adj.)

Rossby-type waves—with a hyphen, but "Rossby wave dynamo"

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