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While I am writing some health tips, I used a phrase do's and don'ts, in describing my activities. I wonder, if there is any equivalent word to do's and don'ts. I believe this phrase is archaic. Are there any phrases that can be used in place of them.

Update: Here's the context where I am using


  • Sleep early and wake up early


  • Keep away from brewed beverages
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I would recommend leaving off the gratuitous apostrophes: "dos and don'ts". Ngrams doesn't seem to think it's archaic. – Peter Shor Dec 28 '12 at 16:36
It is not archaic, and it's used all the time, at least in the U.S. @PeterShor is correct about the apostrophes, btw. – Robusto Dec 28 '12 at 16:40
Surely "Keep away from brewed beverages" is a "Do", if that's what you want people to do. It looks like my "Recommendations" might be just what you want! – Andrew Leach Dec 28 '12 at 16:50
@Robusto: Not archaic, obsolescent or overly informal in the UK either. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 28 '12 at 17:13
@EdwinAshworth. That's what the apostrophe stands for - the missing jam. – Barrie England Dec 28 '12 at 20:39
up vote 1 down vote accepted

"Do's and Don'ts" is perfectly acceptable and does not feel archaic to a US English native speaker. You will probably hear it every day on national TV in exactly this kind of context -- health tips, financial advice, etc.

What you might be sensing about this phrase is that it is somewhat informal, rather than archaic. It is unusual to use "do" and "don't" as nouns. It's pretty much restricted to this phrase, in fact! And my experience suggests that a word acting as a rare part of speech is frequently a sign of archaic usage.

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"Best Practices" might be the term used in business communication, meaning essentially the same thing as "Dos and Donts".

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"Tips and Tricks" is a more recent version which is not exactly the same as "do's and don't's".

If the list is just going to be very brief bullet point items, just "Tips" or "Health Tips", for example, would be appropriate.

"Tricks" would be used for more detailed suggestions such as "If you rinse your apple slices with lemon juice, they won't turn brown."

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Would downvoter please leave some feedback? – Kristina Lopez Dec 29 '12 at 8:27

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