How do editors decide what is the Australian spelling for a word, or if a word is written as one word, two words or has a hyphen?
The Macquarie Dictionary is the authoritative source of information on spelling, hyphenation, capitalisation and common use in Australia. It is the reference on Australian English. The Appendices include a handy guide to punctuation (I’m brushing up on colons vs semicolons), as well as foreign phrases, signs and symbols, and more.
The Macquarie Dictionary Sixth Edition (2013) has a RRP of $99.95. Check online booksellers for a cheaper price including delivery. At over 1,700 pages, you’ll appreciate not carrying the hardback home. There are many versions of the dictionary available so check carefully before buying, especially online.
You can also subscribe to the Macquarie Dictionary Online at www.macquariedictionary.com.au. It is updated annually and with over 300,000 words and definitions, it can help you get your writing right. I haven’t tried it, but the audio pronunciations of 25,000 entries could be useful for some users.