The Joomla! Community Magazine™

Linguistic Style Guide

For most subjects, we are looking for articles consisting of approximately 400-650 words, with 500 words as a good target. The style and tone should be clear, concise, positive, and upbeat.

All spelling should be in UK English. Please review these words to watch.

(Exhaustive list of UK versus US spellings can be found in this sidebar.)


Company and Product Names Dates Headlines Numbers Punctuation

Company Names, Product Names

  • Titles of components/modules/plugins should be capitalised but not bold or italicised.
  • Acronyms Do not follow an organization's full name (component, extension or plugin also) with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses or set off by dashes. If an abbreviation or acronym would not be clear on second reference without this arrangement, do not use it. Write out the proper product name.
    Wrong: Community Builder (CB)
    Right: I love Community Builder. Everyone should use CB.
    Note: See the TYPOGRAPHY guide for the proper use of the <acronym> tag. 

Dates

  • Date format is day/month/year without any punctuation: 1 January 2011

Article Titles

  • Capitalize the first letter of every word in your article's title. It is your editor's responsibility to write the final article title but author input is appreciated.

Numbers

  • Write numbers one to nine as words and numbers 10 and above as numerals. Only use Roman numerals for to establish personal sequence for people and animals: Native Dancer II, King George V
  • SENTENCE START: Spell out a numeral at the beginning of a sentence. If necessary, recast the sentence.
    There is one exception – a numeral that identifies a calendar year.
    Wrong: 993 freshmen entered the college last year.
    Right: Last year 993 freshmen entered the college.
    Right: 1976 was a very good year.
  • Do not put a dash between two numbers when indicating a range:
    Right: 20 to 30
    Wrong: 20-30

Punctuation

Underlines and Italics

  • Avoid emphasising a phrase or word with the use of italics and never with underlining. Readers assume underlined text is hyperlinked. Titles of books should be presented in italics.

Quotation Marks

  • FOR DIRECT QUOTATIONS: To surround the exact words of a speaker or writer when reported in a story: "I have no intention of staying," he replied.
  • UNFAMILIAR TERMS: A word or words being introduced to readers may be placed in quotation marks on first reference: Broadcast frequencies are measured in "kilohertz." Do not put subsequent references to kilohertz in quotation marks.
  • PLACEMENT WITH OTHER PUNCTUATION: Follow these long-established printers' rules: –The period and the comma always go within the quotation marks. –The dash, the semicolon, the question mark and the exclamation point go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence. Right: She is going to classes in "health and beauty".
    Right: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty."

Exclaimation Point

  • Because it will appear after the word Joomla! in every instance, avoid using elsewhere if at all possible. Use the mark to express a high degree of surprise, incredulity or other strong emotion.

Ellipses

  • With ellipses, use three points with full space after last word, then no spacing between points, then full space before next word; not only ... but also

Dashes

  • Dashes should not be used in place of commas. Too many dashes can be ugly and disruptive.
  • Put a space on both sides of a dash.
  • When a phrase that otherwise would be set off by commas contains a series of words that must be separated by commas, use dashes to set off the full phrase:
    He listed the qualities – intelligence, humor, conservatism, independence – that he liked in an executive.

Commas

The following guidelines treat some of the most frequent questions about the use of commas. See the detailed listing for more examples.

  • IN A SERIES: Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series: The flag is red, white and blue. He would nominate Tom, Dick or Harry.
    Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series, however, if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.
    Use a comma also before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases: The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.
  • WITH EQUAL ADJECTIVES: Use commas to separate a series of adjectives equal in rank. If the commas could be replaced by the word and without changing the sense, the adjectives are equal: a thoughtful, precise manner; a dark, dangerous street.

Last modified on Thursday, 01 September 2011 23:14

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