The King's Fund house style: S

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second-hand

Secretary of State

semi-colons [;]
Use semi-colons to break up a sentence with more emphasis than a comma: Yesterday she had five patients; today she had none.

short-term
adjective but ‘in the short term’ (no hyphen)

singular/plural
A collective noun is usually singular (eg, 'the publishing team wants to speak to the author'; 'the media is very influential') – the team may be made up of many people, but it’s a single item. However, this can sound awkward, in which case reword it to, for example, ‘the team members want to speak to the author’ or ‘the people in the publishing team want to speak to the author’. An exception to this is staff, which can read oddly as a singular noun – so takes a plural verb ‘the staff were unhappy’.

sizeable

social care
There is a lot of discussion/debate about how to refer to people who use social care services. Although ‘service user’ is one of the most commonly used phrases, many people don’t like this term, so think about using alternatives such as ‘people with care and support needs’ or ‘people who use care services’.

social services

socio-economic

specialty
not speciality when referring to medical specialties

spelt
not spelled

standalone
one word as a adjective

stationary
not moving

stationery
writing materials

sub-committee