A typical house style
Use full points in abbreviations such as Mr. Dr. eg. ie. etc.
Use initial capitals sparingly. They are used in the following instances:
• For all proper nouns – place names, countries, languages/nationalities (English, French, European), names, etc.
• For historical periods – Victorian, Tudor, Renaissance, Medieval
• For months and days of the week but not for seasons of the year: autumn, spring, summer, winter
• For very specific job titles of individuals eg. Professor of International Relations, and for titles used in conjunction with the name eg. Professor Smith, but not for more general titles such as: a professor in the Economics Department, chairman, chief executive, partner, editor, governor, director (apart from [‘John Smith’ – your company director] who, when referred to just by his/her title without his/her name, is the Director). Titles commonly used in business, such as finance director, do not need initial capitals. If in doubt, use lower case.
• When referring to the Department ie. one particular department, but not when referring generally to departments, ie. if any department…
• For titles of programmes and courses
• North, South etc. are capitalised only if part of a commonly used title of an area – eg. South Africa, Western Australia – otherwise they are lower case – eg. southern England, the west of Scotland, etc
• For the main title of a book, but not for subheadings which are separated by a colon and then lower case eg. Environmental Economics: an elementary introduction.
Dates and time
• Number, month, year eg. 25 December 2007
• In 2006-07
• From 2006 to 2007
• 1990s (with no apostrophe)
• 21st century, 20th-century ideas
• Don’t use the 24-hour clock. Use 11am, 2.30pm (not 11.00am); use noon and midnight.
• Foreign words or phrases should be italicised, unless they are so familiar that they have become anglicised eg. status quo.
• Book titles, newspaper and journal names should be in italics.
• In body copy, spell out numbers from one to ten, and numbers at the start of a sentence. Use figures for numbers from 11 upwards. However, in a paragraph listing several numbers relating to the same topic, eg comparing numbers of votes, use all figures.
• Use a comma for numbers over 999 eg. 1,234.
• Telephone numbers: where relevant, give the international code: +44 (0)1442 827727: do not use hyphens.
Books and journal titles are set in italics. Use initial capitals for the main title, but not for subheadings which are separated by a colon and then lower case eg. Environmental Economics: an elementary introduction.
Use single quotation marks except for quotes within quotes, where double quotation marks are used.
Spelling and style preferences
• Word endings: use ‘-ise’ in preference to ‘-ize’, except in the case of book or report titles which are spelled as published.
• Use email without a hyphen, and lower case letters. Similarly web is lower case, and for web addresses which contain www. there is no need to mention http.
• % is written out in full as two words: per cent.
• & is only used within body copy for company names
Subheadings take a capital as the first letter of the line, but lower case thereafter. They do not take a full stop.