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Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

characteristic, distinctive, typical

A characteristic quality is one that distinguishes and identifies.

  • The Deputy Minister always included that characteristic flourish at the end of her memorandums.

A distinctive feature denotes an attribute that sets a thing or person apart from a type or group.

  • The unit has a distinctive approach to training and development.

Typical relates to the characteristics peculiar to the type, class, species or group to which a thing or person belongs.

  • The weather was typical of an October day in Ottawa: cool, clear and colourful.